1. Always wear an ASTM-SEI approved riding helmet - not a bike or ski helmet, while on or around horses, and that you have it fitted correctly
2. Wear your boots when you groom, tack and ride your horse. This will keep your toes safe and your feet from going through the stirrups when you ride.
3. Wear pants! Shorts can lead to all kinds of sores on your legs and you’ll want that extra protection if you trail ride through brush.
4. Wear your gloves when you lead, groom and ride your horse. These will keep you from getting any blisters or burns and you’ll get a better grip.
5. If your horse is in cross ties, never duck under the lead rope or move in front of the horse. You could get hurt if the horse comes forward on top of you.
6. Always lead a bridled horse with the reins over his/her head and in a figure 8 position. Never wrap the reins around your hand.
7. Put up the irons on an English saddle when your horse is not being ridden. This way, he/she can’t get a hind leg or his/her mouth caught in the irons while going for a fly and the stirrups won’t get stuck on a fence as you lead your horse by.
8. Dismount by sliding down on your right hip facing the head of your horse, never face the saddle. You could get your shirt caught on the saddle horn or scrap the saddle leather with your belt buckle or jeans button.
9. Always feed your horse treats out of a bucket. Hand feeding can get you nipped and may teach your horse to disrespect you - pushing you for treats even when you don’t have any.
10. Don’t stop your horse if he/she pulls back when tied! Move away until the lead rope or halter breaks or until he/she stops pulling then untie the horse. If you try to interject, you could get hurt or the horse could get free and hurt someone else.