Trivia Challenge: Do You Guard Against These Horse-Injury Mishaps?

Answer the questions, then check at bottom for the key. For more great information about horses, read H&R’s ‘The Ride’ newsletter. (Not getting it? Sign up below—it’s free!)

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. True or false: A longe whip lying on the ground is not likely to be a serious injury risk to your horse.

T / F

2. True or false: A manure fork parked within reach of a stalled horse’s muzzle can be a serious safety hazard.

T / F

3. True or false: Metal T-posts are safe as an element of horse fencing as long as the fence includes a strand of hot wire.

T / F

4. True or false: It’s safe to turn your horse out wearing a halter as long as he’s thoroughly halter broke.

T / F

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. F is correct. Stepped on just right, the whip can act like a spear. A horse’s weight can drive the solid core of the whip up into the foot, penetrating a critical structure such as the coffin joint or navicular bursae, causing serious damage. Always keep the ground all around your barn area and arena free of any potentially dangerous objects.

[READ: How to avoid, treat puncture wounds in the foot.]

2. T is correct. Horses are inquisitive and often bored when confined. Anything they can grasp in their mouth is at risk of being “played with, with resulting injury always a possibility. Don’t leave brooms, shovels, pitchforks or anything else leaning in a spot where your horse can reach them.

3. F is correct. If you have T-posts on your property in any capacity, cap them. Electric fencing can fail, and T-posts are always potentially a harpoon, so the only safe T is a capped one. Commercially available T-post caps are inexpensive and easy to obtain at feed or farm stores (or at—see below). In a pinch, a tennis ball can serve as a temporary cap.

T-post safety caps on Amazon! 

4. F is correct. No amount of training will stop a horse from panicking if his halter catches on something and “traps” him. Always remove your horse’s halter before turning him out, or else outfit him in a halter with a breakaway crownpiece.

[READ: The bizarre injury risks that can threaten your horse.]

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