Introducing Non-Horse Friends to Your Horse

When you’re a “horse girl” most of your friends are also “horse girls”. But maybe you find a friend who has never been around horses; what do you do to introduce this non-horsey friend to your horse? I recently just introduced a close friend to the beauty of horses; here is my experience with it!

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My horse, Red!

My friend had never before been around a horse. The first thing she said was “I don’t think I’ve ever been this close to a horse.” The first thing I did was introduce her to the four horses in the barn and explain their personalities a bit and had her say hello to each of them. When it was time to pull my horse out of the stall to groom him, I went over a few safety precautions about being around horses. To horse-people, they come as second nature, but to someone who has never been around horses, you should teach them how to be safe around horses. Before we even went to the barn I told her she needed to have jeans and boots on. My horse is very gentle, but he’s also clumsy and can easily misplace a foot. I then taught her that horses have many blind spots. I showed her to talk to him as you’re moving around him, and keep a hand on his body so he always knows where you are.

Grooming is always my favorite horse activity, and teaching a friend how to properly groom was fun too! I explained to her that although my horse is very laid back, there are other horses in the barn that when you groom them you need to move slowly and not be loud around them or they’ll spook. As I was saddling my horse up, I was explaining what each piece of equipment is and what the purpose of it was.

Once in the arena, I hopped on and rode around the arena a few times to show her the different gaits and how to move him off of your leg, etc. Then it was time for her to try. She was a little nervous before she got on but I explained that he was a very gentle horse and nothing would happen. I lead her around the arena a few times just walking until she got used to what it feels like to be on the horse. After about 20 minutes I asked if she wanted to walk around the arena by herself and she did!

I really had a blast showing a friend of mine a bit of what owning a horse is like. If you have a friend that you can introduce your horse to, I encourage you to do it! Loving horses is easy, sharing that love with other non-horse people is easy too!

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