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When it comes to horses, the general public are incredibly stupid. I don’t think a week goes by where I don’t see something on social media about the general public doing uneducated and often dangerous things with random horses they come across. However, what triggered me finally writing this post was an article in Horse & Hound about a man who was trying to sue after he broke his leg attempting to ride a strange horse!
Maybe we should take it as a compliment that we make riding look so effortless that anyone can get on and have a go. But how the public behave around horses and their disregard for private property or peoples pets is absolutely shocking!
Danger to the Horses and Themselves
I’ve heard stories of horses dying after the public decide to feed them unsuitable foods, people going into private fields to pat the ponies and sit their children on their backs or even try and jump on them themselves. Not only are many of these people trespassing and going against the horse owners and landowners wishes, they are also putting the animals and themselves in danger.
While most horses are not aggressive, every herd has a pecking order. So they may fight each other for the food. In fact we think this could potentially be the reason Jojo kicked Scottie causing his very serious injury as at the time they were in a field with a public footpath running through it rather than their usual one a bit more out of the way. This injury could have been life ending for Scottie! Not only this, but you are also putting yourself at risk of being kicked and trampled as they fight amongst themselves.
Uneducated about horses
I have been riding since the age of 6 and I consider myself a competent rider. However, I would never be foolish enough to A) get on a horse without a helmet, B) get on a horse I don’t know without talking to their owner and/or seeing them worked/ridden and C) I would never ever just jump on a loose horse in the field!
The horse may not be backed, so could easily panic and injure themselves and you. And even if the horse is backed, many won’t be too happy with a random stranger jumping on their back. I know for certain that Scottie would rodeo them straight off out of pure worry and unease.
And finally, some horses are just aggressive. We have a mare at the yard who will take your arm off if you aren’t on the ball. But she loves cuddles and will come over and say hello to that small child you have decided to hold up to her face. I don’t want to think about the amount of damage what could be done to these small children whose parents are encouraging such risky behaviour.
Unfortunately, most of these actions are down to the public having terrible knowledge when it comes to horses. But we can help educate them so that less people take these stupid risks. I created the below info-graphic (now available to download) to highlight some of the key risks to both horse and human to hopefully help educate the public. Please do share!
After so many people being interested in printing this off and using this on their fences and gateways, we have created a downloadable, printable A4 version for you all! Get yours today for FREE by signing up to our email list.