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When first meeting a horse, it's important to move slowly and methodically, but not with timidity or nervous behavior. Discover the safest way to pet a horse with help from an equestrian riding instructor in this video on meeting a horse for the first time.
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Hello, my name is Chelsey Sawtell, Primary Riding Instructor at Black Friar Farm in Kingston Springs, Tennessee and today, we will be discussing meeting a horse for the first time. When meeting a horse for the first time, you want to move slowly and methodically, but not timidly or with nervous behavior. Horses will bite and kick. As tempting as it is, it is best to avoid pinning the muzzle. Some horses will nip and eventually could grab skin. The safest place to pet the horse during introduction is on the neck or shoulder. You can also stroke the forelock, but once again, keep your hand away from the muzzle. The safest place to stand is right next to the horse's front shoulder. Any further back and you can get kick, standing directly in front of a horse, you can get struck with their front feet. Horses read body language. If you are nervous, shaky, timid or neurotic in your behavior, it can feed through to the animal causing them to become distracted, nervous and unsettled. Do not feed any treats to the horse without previous permission from the horse's owner. Do not give treats to the horse without previous permission from the owners. Just like people, some horses are on strict diet; others have biting issues or issues that could make it unsafe to feed them cookies. In the event that the owner says that it is appropriate to feed their horse cookies, you can give them treats. It is preferred that you ask for owner's supplied treats rather than bring some of your own, you never know what might upset the horse's stomach. When feeding a horse a cookie, keep your hand flat. The horse cannot see beyond its muzzle and can easily mistake your finger for something tasty. Apply the treat directly to the bottom of the horse's mouth allowing it to remove the treat from your hands with its lips. Do not grab the horse by the ear; pull its ears, pull its nose; these are rude behaviors and can upset most horses. So, in conclusion, when meeting your horse for the first time, move slowly and methodically, but not timidly. Always approach the horse from its shoulder, stroking it on its neck and not its muzzle. Wear close toed shoes and long pants and only feed treats if given previous permission by the owner.
Specialty: Young Stock and Horsemanship