Safe handling of horses Weekly magazine for agriculture and rural life

The number of accidents in horse breeding fuels the thought: Statistically speaking, in 2020 alone, between five and six people insured through the Social Insurance for Agriculture, Forestry and Horticulture (SVLFG) had an accident each day when dealing directly with horses that they could not work for more than Three days. In total, more than 2,000 people were affected. But why do so many people who work with horses have accidents when dealing with four-legged friends?

In addition to falls from horses, people have accidents when driving or lunging horses. According to the SVLFG, they are kicked, run over, knocked over, or pushed by four-legged friends. Accidents happen significantly more often when horses are taken to the paddock and released there. The horses begin to run and run or knock down the person who leads them. It is important to turn the horse’s head toward you before leaving it and to leave the danger zone immediately after leaving it.

accidents of ignorance

But there are also tragic incidents in Stallgasse. This is how a person who was not far from a horse’s chest died and bit him on the neck.

One reason for many accidents is ignorance. Horses are flying animals and behave instinctively. If a caregiver is not aware of or ignores the typical behavior of four-legged friends, he or she will not be able to assess the danger that horses can pose.

Due to the high number of accidents, the “Safety and Health Protection in Animal Husbandry Regulations (VSG 4.1)” have been amended. People who work with horses should be better protected. In addition to the new requirements for the design of riding yards (see the next paragraph “A quick look at riding yard equipment”), the modified VSG requires horse owners to ensure that only people who have sufficient knowledge of how to handle animals safely work with their horses. This requirement is aimed primarily at employers.

Equipping horse riding halls

The change to the “Safety and Health Protection for Animals (VSG 4.1) Regulations” affects, among other things, the equipment of indoor riding yards. New, for example, is that the indoor riding circuit must have sufficient headroom and a perimeter fender of sufficient height. The bulkhead should also provide the occupant with sufficient legroom. In halls that are used to allow horses to run and jump freely, the boundaries must be high enough that the animals cannot jump over them. If there are mirrors in these halls, they must be covered. SVLFG provides more information about keeping horses safely.

Horse loading tips

Serious accidents happen again and again, especially when loading horses. The following tips help increase security when downloading:

  • If possible, upload with a helper.
  • Wear safety shoes and, when necessary, gloves when loading horses.
  • Visual inspection of the trailer before each ride (the floor and side parts are not TÜV inspected, so look for loose and brittle spots).
  • Loading training with a horse.
  • keep calm and create a calm atmosphere; Plan enough time.
  • Make sure the ramp is stable feet and the ground is level.
  • Open the tailgate locks so that they are hidden under the tailgate.
  • When loading, close the back strap first, then tie the horse. When unloading, first loosen the horse harness, then open the seat bar.
  • Adjust the front and rear rails according to the horse’s size and secure them.
  • Opening and closing the liftgate and the rails from the side only. Do not stand directly behind the horse.
  • Glare-free lighting inside the trailer at dusk or in the dark.

View seminar

SVLFG offers tailored seminars and lectures for the respective target group. In the two-day seminar “Working Safely and Healthily in Horse Breeding”, participants learn to recognize sources of danger when handling horses based on typical examples of accidents. Events target horse owners, employers and employees whose duties include handling horses. Seminars and lectures are free of charge for participants from SVLFG member companies. Dates of events and registration documents can be found on the Internet.

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