Turning your horse out to pasture can sometimes feel like dropping your child off at daycare for the first time. Will they play nice with their friends? Will they get enough to eat? Will they come home safe and sound?
If you’re a worried horse owner, there are a few easy steps you can take to calm your nerves and ensure your horse’s safety while out on pasture.
Choose a Safe Halter
First and foremost, you want to make sure that anything your horse is wearing while turned out adds to their safety and will not endanger them. Non-breakaway halters should not be used while turned out in a pasture. These halters can get caught on fences, tree limbs or even a hind shoe and cause serious injury.
To ensure your horse’s safety, turn them out wearing no halter or a breakaway halter. Breakaway halters are ones that are either all leather, have a leather crown piece, or a leather tab and will breakaway if enough force is applied. This will allow a horse to escape a dangerous situation.
Use Bell Boots
Is your horse consistently losing their shoes while in turnout? Some horses just seem to have a talent for pulling their shoes. When horses lose a shoe unexpectedly, it can cause hoof soreness, lameness or even hoof integrity issues. If your horse does pull their shoes while they’re playing in their pasture, they can sometimes take a good amount of their hoof wall off when their shoe comes off. This could lead to lameness and or even time loss in training. Bell boots are your best friend if your horse pulls their shoes off. Bell boots have several benefits when it comes to horse safety, as they provide a protective layer from the bulb of the heels down to the shoe. They reduce the risk that your horse will pull off their shoes and also protect your horse’s heels from overstepping hind feet and forging.
Ensure Horse Pasture Fencing is Secure
Loose or broken horse pasture fencing can lead to puncture wounds or even allow your horse out of the paddock, leading to major safety issues. The last thing you want as a horse owner is to turn your horse out to pasture only to get a phone call some time later that they’re running down the street!
Regularly walking your fence line ensures that you catch any and all damaged areas early. Horses are masters of getting hurt. If there is a loose board that they can get a hoof stuck on, they will!
Police Herd Dynamics
Unfortunately, not all horses will get along well. To keep your horse as safe as possible, make sure they’re turned out with a group of horses that matches their energy level. For example, if you have a calm, shy horse who is easily bossed around, make sure they’re turned out with other non-dominant horses who won’t act aggressively towards them.
Keep your horse safe in the barn, as well as in the pasture. Contact us for more information on how to make your barn safer for your horses.