Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

Re: [RC] [RC] Horse Safety (or don't panic, HELP the horse) - sindy mccosker

EXCELLENT post! I would like to make copies and send it to everyone I know. Good solid horse sense.


Sindy McCosker
Newcastle, CA (The Gem of the Foothills)

"Some horses come into our lives and guickly go. Others stay a while, make hoofprints on our hearts and we are never, never the same."

From: "Bonnie Davis" <horsecamping@xxxxxxxxx>
To: "superpat" <superpat@xxxxxxxxxxxx>,<ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [RC]   Horse Safety (or don't panic, HELP the horse)
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 11:34:14 -0800

Way back in the 50's and 60's horse safety and HANDLING A PANICKED HORSE
used to be one of the stead fast clinic items.  There aren't anymore safety
clinics held -- I guess all the top trainers we have roaming the country
have taught us horseowners how to avoid panic situations.

Every horseowner knows the first thing NOT to do is panic!! It's help the
horse. Panic later. Don't stand around screaming or yelling or shouting --
it's help the horse. And there are ways to do it!!!!!

One of the first things as an 18 year old new horseowner I learn from an old
60 year plus (shouldn't probably say old since I'm now 62) cowboy was to
'pile on'.

In other words, sit on the horse's head.  When a horse panics or fights he
throws his head around.  Get on the horse's head and stop the head from
being thrown around.  Hold it down, the horse stops fighting.

If the horse was on the ground and fighting to get legs loose or thrashing
around, grab the head and sit on it. Push the horse's head on the ground so
it can't move.

I've been lucky, only had one of my own horses get hurt in 40 plus years.
But I've seen others.  One horse went into a fence -- the gal owning the
horse was screaming like a witch for the horse to 'whoa'.  About 6 people
went running and everyone began yelling whoa.  The horse wasn't going to
whoa -- it wanted to get away.  It was going through barbwire, kicking and
crashing down the wire fence.  He was out of his head.  He'd fall, thrash,
get up, fall, thrash......

We got there with wire cutters and my husband and I got a hold of the
horse's head and I sat on the head. My husband put a knee in the neck just
below the head. The horse lay perfectly still. It would start to kick but
then stop. Another person got the wire cut, untangled the horse. We got
some scratches, dirty, a lot of blood on us but amazingly, the horse was not
seriously cut.

(By the way, how many of you wear good fitting gloves when working or riding
horses? That's the reason one wears gloves -- to protect your hands so you
can pull wire from around a leg, pull out stickers from a tail, etc.)

Again, one of the tricks to gentle a horse for old time 'horse tamers'
(before they were called 'trainers') used to be to throw a horse and sit on
its head.  The horse can not get up when you sit on its head.  The horse
learned he was at the control of man.  The horse got up when the man let

Look at calf ropers, they knee the calf. My daughter works on a range. She
gets to give the shots to BIG cattle. When she got tired of being tossed
around, she began kneeing cattle -- they lay there now.

I better clarify, by sitting on the horse's head I don't mean put your butt
on his eyes. You put weight on the head -- a lot of weight to
counterbalance an average 40 pound head. If I have to keep a horse down for
a long time, I knee 'em and I've even seen year's-ago-vets lay a horse down,
cover it's eyes with a towel or something, keep weight on the head for a few
minutes longer and put three or four handfuls of dirt on the towel on the
horse's cheek and then the vet walk away. The horse stayed down. Why? If
a horse can feel a fly crawl on its skin it can feel three or four handfuls
of dirt piled on its cheek. In the horse's mind, it couldn't move its head.

Since I'm old (and senile) the problem with horseowners today is that we
EXPECT it now. With the internet we have instant communications and so we
expect someone to solve our horse problem -- now! We have all types of bits
to control a horse. Buy a saddle for every horse we own and then have an AM
saddle for morning riding and a PM saddle for night riding. Give our horses
all kinds of 'goodies' to keep 'em happy. Have 'doctors' talk to 'em to
find out how they feel about us. And then when they throw us off or refuse
to load, hire a trainer or WE go to a trainer to find out what's wrong with
US. It ain't us, folks, it's the horse!!

Our horses are screwed up because we've made 'em that way!!  We've allowed
it.  We're no longer the 'leader' -- we're their 'buddy'.  We talk natural
horsemanship but if you really want to see natural horsemanship -- look at
the cowboys.  They were 'natural' and some were mean!  I'm a firm believer
that my horses respect me and from respect, they do (yes, do) what I want
them to do.  I know my horses.  If I yell at Sig -- he falls apart.  Hit
'em, it'll take him four days to recover.  Bud, yell at him and he giggles.
So for Bud, a sharp whack with a whip or when saddling to make him stand
still -- a swift kick with the side of the foot into the belly makes him
'respect' me.  Yet each horse (and every horse I've owned) will whinny when
I come in the barn (and that's not because they love me but because they
know I'm going to feed 'em grain and they want me to repect them enough to
feed both).

What we need today are some of the 'old' cowboys who taught how to help in a
panic situation -- keep a horse down, get a horse up. Why one should wear
boots!! Gloves! What to do when a horse falls at a dead run. Where to go
when the horse stumbles and falls off the trail. In other words BASIC
safety and horse help......now for the person who ties their horse to the
middle of the fence or the rearview mirrow on your truck, don't. Always tie
to a solid object -- use the fence POST.

Bonnie Davis

----- Original Message -----
From: "superpat" <superpat@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Bonnie Davis" <horsecamping@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, January 10, 2003 12:39 AM
Subject: Re: [RC] [Guest] Trailer ramps

> I have never seen a panicked horse wait for anything.....by the time
> could even think about reacting, the horse would be struggling to free
> itself and get away from whatever monster was attacking......
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bonnie Davis" <horsecamping@xxxxxxxxx>
> To: "Heidi Smith" <heidi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "Jim Holland"
> "Ridecamp" <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2003 11:00 PM
> Subject: Re: [RC] [Guest] Trailer ramps
> > I know its a stupid question -- but if a horse gets a leg under a ramp,
> why
> > can't the ramp be lifted and let the horse get leg out and then stand
> > It's easier than picking up a trailer so a horse can get a leg out from
> > under a step up....
> >
> > Bonnie Davis
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Heidi Smith" <heidi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> > To: "Bonnie Davis" <horsecamping@xxxxxxxxx>; "Jim Holland"
> > <lanconn@xxxxxxx>; "Ridecamp" <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> > Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2003 10:52 PM
> > Subject: Re: [RC] [Guest] Trailer ramps
> >
> >
> > > > But I've never seen a horse slip and go under the end of a ramp
> > > > and break a let. I've seen two of those with step-up trailers --
> > when
> > > > unloading on blacktop at a horse show and the horse spooked and
> slipped,
> > > one
> > > > leg under the step up which the horse broke. The other on dirt when
> the
> > > > horse 'fell' out, sat down and went over backwards with both legs
> going
> > > > under step-up. One leg broke, the other skinned to bone.
> > >
> > > I've euthanized one horse that broke a leg on a ramp (slipped off the
> side
> > > of it and the leg went underneath it) and know of at least one other
> that
> > > was euthanized at an endurance ride by someone else, and have likewise
> > seen
> > > degloving injuries on ramps. They are no assurance that such an
> > will
> > > not happen. In fact, given the narrower space underneath a ramp, if a
> > horse
> > > DOES slip off of one and get a leg underneath, an injury of that sort
> > > more apt to happen than under the wider space of the step-up, although
> > > know such injuries have occurred with step-ups as well.
> > >
> > > I didn't read Jim's response, but have been following this thread
> > > somewhat--and you can add me to the list of folks who have had both
> > who
> > > will never again own a ramp. Although we had no trouble training any
> > our
> > > horses to load with the ramp, we had far more slippage and problem
> > the
> > > ramp that I had EVER had with a step-up trailer (and yes, I've had the
> old
> > > straight-load two-horse variety where they had to back out, as well as
> > > having the open format where they could turn around if they choose).
> The
> > > one trailer I had with a ramp I finally took to a shop and had the
> > > thing removed, as it was fortunately one that had full doors.
> > >
> > > Heidi
> > >
> >
> >
> > =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
> > Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
> > Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
> > Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp
> >
> > Ride Long and Ride Safe!!
> >
> > =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
> >

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net. Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!


Help STOP SPAM: Try the new MSN 8 and get 2 months FREE* http://join.msn.com/?page=features/junkmail

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net. Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!