SAFETY WITH HORSES
Brian Coleman

1. Attitude
- Be positive
- Have a goal
- Make it handy
- Start with a teamwork mentality
- Quiet, confident

Brian Coleman

Brian Coleman was raised near Cremona, Alberta, on land farmed with horses by his father. He grew up with a love for draft horses and was showing for Stoney Creek Percherons while still in school. Brian went on to break, school, fit and show horses for breeders across Alberta, Canada and the US, and is also a well known farrier. He has won "best in show" for his shoeing of draft horses at major shows in the past six years.

Brian is one of the top teamsters in North America, winning championships in 6-horse hitches at international competitions such as the Royal Winter Fair, the Michigan Great Lakes International Show, the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair and the National Western Stock Show. He is also a highly sought after national breed show judge and a very respected teacher. He has many students learning to break, fit, shoe and school draft horses under his guidance and his students are placed at many major stables across North America.

Brian and his wife Colleen are currently living part of the year in Schulenburg, Texas where Brian is the manager of operations for 2S Clydesdales. They continue to reside permanently in Didsbury, Alberta, on their farm Eaglesfield Percherons.


 


2. Work with instinct!!!!!

3. Dress

4. Equipment
- buy the best you can afford
- strong, safe, and well fitted or do not hook

5. Working around a horse
a. Safe areas around a Horse
Field of vision - Blind spots (never duck under neck)
- Close vs. far
b. Position of handler –HIP TO SHOULDER
c. Approaching a horse
- Mood
- State of awareness
- Acknowledgment –ear and eye
- Approach – always to shoulder (box, tie or field)

6. Leading – always in own space

7. Tie
- Secure/sturdy, height and length.
- Never to a person
- Use an appropriate knot

8. Handling– things every horse should know besides being quiet to touch
-move over
-lower head
-pick up feet


DRIVING BASICS

Communication

1. Contact
· Contact is the only physical communication we have with our horse (excluding the whip).
· Contact refers to the amount of pressure we have on our lines
· Each horse will desire different degrees of contact depending on conformation, disposition and prior training.
· We can teach horses to perform with more or less contact.

2. Voice
· Can be used to compliment contact
· Must be consistent and clear i.e. no white noise
· Volume – speak loud enough for your horse to hear clearly
· Tone – commands should be given as directions not asked as questions.
· We use:
Alright – to collect
Smooch/kiss – to start
Steady – to slow down
Whoa – to stop
Gee – right
Haw – left
Back – back

3. Posture
· THE BOX
- While sitting up straight you can visualize yourself inside a box. Your back forms the back of the box and your knees and shins are along the front of the box. The sides of the box are touching your shoulders. To stay in control you must remain inside the box.
· LINES
- Lines are held through your whole hand to give consistent and secure contact
· HANDS
- For both control and safety:
Hands should be kept close
All movements with the hands should be directed towards your core.

Hooking
1. Strong Safe and Well-Fitted or DO NOT Hook

2. NEVER hook until your horse is settled

3. Before hooking you MUST have the bridle and lines on your horse

4. DO NOT remove the bridle and lines until you are completely unhooked

5. Lines ALWAYS remain in your hand

6. Hook draft last (traces/tugs)

EQUINE PSYCHOLOGY

1. Predator/Prey
- Horses see us as predators
- We must first convince them we are not a predator. This is done through how we move around them. We can be seen as predator or a fellow horse according to our actions.

2. Herd Instinct
- In order to ensure survival horses find there is safety in numbers. This is one thing people have never been able to breed out of horses – it is instinct. Every horse desires to be near other horses.
- Within the herd there is an order. We refer to this as the pecking order.
- Stallion is the leader.
- The boss mare is the manager of the herd she is at the top of the pecking order.
- Other mares find there place in the pecking order. Mares show aggression toward one another with the weaker mare taking a lower position in the herd.
- Foals essentially do not have a place in the pecking order. They are both tolerated and bossed by the other herd members.
- Geldings are seen as stallions by other stallions.
* Once we establish ourselves as a fellow horse, we must then become the boss mare.

3. Fight or Flight Response
- When threatened a horse will first choose to flee.
- If unable to flee the horse will fight a predator

4. Laziness
- A horse’s survival basically revolves around its ability to flee. Therefore they tend to move as little as possible in order to conserve energy.
- In all cases a horse seeks the way of least resistance.

5. Pressure
- A horse is referred to as an into pressure animal
- In order to teach a horse to give to pressure we must start soft.
- Once we feel the horse give in to the pressure we must RELEASE.