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Safety When Riding

Riding horses can carry inherent risks. We encourage you to have a read through these reminders of best practice around horses, which we hope are helpful to all, including those who have been riding many years. When you book to ride with our company we rely on the information you provide us with to match you with the right horse and trail. It is therefore, very important that you are open and honest about your riding. The description of your riding experience will be utilised to match you with the correct horse. Whilst riding or in the vicinity of horses, you must comply with the instructions of the Trail boss/ wrangler. If you have any doubt that you’re riding skills or fitness are not of the level required for your chosen adventure trail please contact us to discuss. For your own safety, we recommend that you wear a hard hat that meets AS/NZ 3838:2006. It is important that your hat fits properly. Some riders choose to wear a lightweight endurance style hat. Alternatively, wide brimmed covers in a range of materials which are designed to fit over a skull cap are available to purchase. There are a number of places wholesalers where you can obtain such a helmet.

Basic Safety Guidelines for Handling Horses and riding on farms

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  1. Horses can be unpredictable and accidents can happen. However, if safety precautions and common sense are used then serious mishaps can be prevented.
  2. Always approach the horse from the side and speak to let him know you are there. (The horse has two ‘blind’ spots – directly in front and behind him/her.
  3. Don’t make loud noises or sudden movements around horses.
  4. When walking round the back of the horse leave plenty of room.
  5. When working around the horse (i.e. grooming or tacking up) stay close to the horse so that, in the unlikely event that the horse kicks, you will not receive the full impact.
  6. Never wrap the lead rope or reins around your hand.
  7. When leading the horse into a stable, always turn the horse towards you at the door before taking the head collar off.
  8. When turning a horse out in a field or paddock, always turn the horse’s head towards the fence before taking the head collar off. If more than one horse is being turned out, leave plenty of room between each horse and ensure everyone removes the head collars at the same time.
  9. If you are not happy working around the horse (i.e. picking up feet), or are unsure of what has been asked of you (i.e. tacking up or untacking), ask us for help.
  10. Always wear sensible footwear around horses.
  11. Remember that jewellery (especially earrings, rings and necklaces) can get caught and could cause injury.
  12. Always make sure loose clothing is buttoned / zipped up and cannot flap and frighten your horse.

Basic Riding Safety and Etiquette

  1. Riding safety and etiquette is a combination of common sense, good manners and respecting the horses and riders around you.
  2. We recommend you wear a hard hat that meets current safety regulations. Even if your guide or other riders are not wearing a hard hat, this should not influence your decision. It’s your head! On some rides hard hats are compulsory.
  3. When you are riding remember you are more than a passenger. Stay aware of your horse, what you are doing and where you are riding at all times.
  4. Always listen to the guide’s instructions follow their instructions at all times. They are for your safety.
  5. Never ride past the guide, unless he/she has said you may do so. Stay at the pace set by the guide.
  6. Wait until all riders are mounted and ready before riding off.
  7. When riding in a group, be aware of the other riders and pack horses. Do not allow your horse to get too close to the horse in front or you might get kicked.
  8. Do not cut in front of other horses, especially when cantering and jumping, or pass them at speed.
  9. As a courtesy to others, give verbal warnings for dangers (i.e. holes, low branches) and pass back messages clearly that the guide may have given.
  10. Please do not use another rider’s leg or horse as a rubbing post for your horse as this could result in biting and kicking.
  11. Horses can be startled by sudden movements. Don’t throw things (i.e. hats, cameras) to or from a horse. Always dismount to remove or put on coats and jumpers etc.
  12. Hats and sunglasses should be firmly secured.
  13. Always ride in boots that you would be happy to walk a long distance in.
  14. Horse riding is a physical activity. The fitter you are, the less tired you will become and the more you will enjoy your holiday.
If you have any concerns about anything in the above information, please give us a call on (0064) 03 689 2838