The recent class for adults and volunteers of Gabby’s Sanctuary ARK was both fun and educational. A few of the safety policies resulting from the class and discussions are listed below:
- Boots or steel-reinforced shoes are the best protection for your feet when working around horses. Spurs will not be used.
- Athletic shoes or other shoes with tread soles cannot be used with stirrups. The treads can get caught in the stirrup and cause injuries if the rider falls. Shoes with soft uppers don’t protect the foot from horses’ hooves or tools.
- The proper way to introduce a new rider or one with special needs is to have one person lead the horse, and one person walking on either side of the rider, holding on to the saddle with the forearm across the rider’s thigh.
- Helmets should always be worn when riding or working around horses. Gabby’s ARK is asking for donations of riding helmets.
- Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian whenever they come to Gabby’s Sanctuary ARK.
- Rough-housing (e.g., pushing, shoving, fighting) will not be tolerated. This type of activity makes the horses nervous and can put anyone in the area in danger. Handling horses requires your complete focus.
- In spite of the dirt, heat, and long day, there were smiles on all faces at the end of the day.