New video gives insights on horses
A new educational video called "Ground Handling Horses Safely," for adult and older youth beginners, provides a horse's perspective on how and why they act and react in different situations.
"The handler who is paying attention to the surroundings and 'tuned in' to how the horse perceives the immediate environment is more likely to respond to situations in a manner that is safe for both horse and handler," said Betsy Greene, WSU Cooperative Extension equine specialist.
"By understanding life from the equine viewpoint, you may be able to anticipate, prevent, or safely respond to new or frightening situations for your horse." The horse, no matter how well trained, will always revert to natural instincts in a threatening situation, Greene said.
After an incident or accident involving a horse, ground handlers often say things like:
Greene says these statements usually indicate an inadequately educated ground handler.
- "He spooked all of a sudden...for no reason."
- "Bubbles shies at the silliest things!"
- "All I did was try to pet her..."
- "I always did that with my old horse."
Safe methods for approaching, haltering, leading, tying, and general ground handling of horses are demonstrated in the video.
"It is an effective education aid for new horse owners, riding instructors, camp counselors, and anyone involved with youth and horses," Greene said.
The video was produced by horse and safety experts at Washington State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of Nevada. It is endorsed by the American Medical Equestrian Association, the American Association for Horsemanship Safety, Washington State 4-H Youth Development, and the Horsemanship Safety Association.
The video can be ordered by sending a check or money order for $19.95 to Betsy Greene, Clark Hall 126, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6310. Make it payable to "Equine Video-WSU." Washington residents add 7.5% sales tax & $5 shipping.