Continuing with my theme on dealing with mud and preventing mud-related injuries, here is an article with some strategies for dealing with mud on trails and in horse facilities. In addition to creating hazards for people, mud is a health hazard for horses. It can cause foot health issues, increase the risk of falls, and is generally unpleasant for them. Many of the strategies listed in the article such as installing gutters and berms and putting buildings and outdoor arenas on the highest ground possible are good advice for any animal facility. Pay special attention to high traffic areas since they tend to accumulate mud more easily and because the exposure happens more often. Click on the link below to see an article from Equus Magazine on preventing mud in stables and arenas.
Another important area to consider mud when you have horses is on trails. Mud makes it much easier for horses to loose their footing, and mud can hide other hazards for your horses’ feet like rocks or other objects. Horses can even become stuck if the mud is deep enough. Anything that creates a hazard for the horse also creates a hazard for the rider. I found a second article from Equus gives some advice on dealing with mud on trails. Also if you have students or boarders that are less experienced, make sure that they know how to deal with mud before they go out. Riders with less experience are more prone to getting their horses or themselves in trouble even in ideal conditions, and according to the regional rural injury study, riding is the top cause of ag injuries for girls under the age of 18.
I was researching horse safety and came across this website that offers free online horse safety courses for kids and teens. The courses cover a wide range of topics including machine safety, understanding horse behavior, safe riding techniques, and horse care guides. From what I’ve learned from our neighbors who have horses, keeping the horse happy and healthy is especially important if you want to keep people safe! The courses are designed mostly for teens and preteens who are either taking riding lessons or are considering getting a job at a boarding facility, but they could also be beneficial for anyone who is planning on being around horses and doesn’t have much experience with them.
Here is the link to the introductory webpage. If you want to take classes, you can click on the registration link to create an account (this lets you save your progress) and start taking courses.
Here is an article from Equisearch with some tips on transporting horses during the winter. These tips are great for transporting other animals too, and for hauling trailers during the winter. In icy conditions, it’s especially important to make sure that you’re visible to other vehicles. Make sure that all of your light are working and that decals and slow moving vehicle signs are in good shape. Icy roads also make it more difficult to get moving and to stop. Make sure your tires and brakes are in top shape, and carry tire chains just in case. Finally, make sure that human and animal passengers have enough food, water, and insulation to handle a breakdown.
Click here to see the full article
Here is an interesting article I stumbled on while I was doing some research on artificial intelligence for a school project. There is a company in Seattle called Magic AI that has developed a system to monitor horse health and behavior using a camera and deep learning software. For anyone that is unfamiliar with the term, a deep learning program is a type of artificial intelligence where a complex computer learning system is fed data to teach it to identify certain patterns. For this system, they gave the computer videos of horses behaving normally and video of horses experiencing health problems or stress. The system is trained to recognize when a horse is showing signs of stress through a video camera, and can sent an alert to a cell phone app. The system can also be configured to monitor things like temperature, food/water consumption, and to act as a security camera. Owners can also use the wireless connection to check on their horses at any time. At $2500 plus a monthly subscription fee, it’s a pricey system for now, but it might offer a glimpse into the future of health and security monitoring.
Click here to see the article
Today I’m sharing a couple of articles about the most common causes of riding injuries and riding injury prevention. The first article by Equimed (Click here for full article) identifies 5 causes that contribute to riding injuries. These are:
- Lack of proper training of rider and/or horse,
- Rider’s lack of understanding of horse psyche and behavior,
- Lack of proper equipment and attire for horse and rider,
- Inattention on part of rider or others around horses,
- Lack of preparation for unusual situations.
The article then describes in detail how training for horse and rider, proper equipment, and keeping your attention on the task at hand can help reduce risk of injury.
The second article comes from theHorse.com (Click here for full article). It provides details on the most common types of riding injuries, injury rates, and prevention. A lot of the injury prevention advice is the same as in the Equimed article, but it also has a section on planning emergency procedures.
Here is an article I found on riding helmets. It’s produced by a group called Risky Head, which specializes in reviewing all kinds of helmets. The article has reviews of their top 10 picks for riding helmets along with a buying guide. Wearing a helmet designed for riding reduces the risk of dying as a result of a fall by 70%-80% !!(Source)
Click here for riding helmet guide
They also have a top 10 guide for motorcycle helmets, which can also be used with ATVs. Wearing a motorcycle, motocross, or ATV helmet with a face guard reduces the risk for head injury by 64% (Source).
Click here for motorcycle helmet guide