how to work with a horse when you don’t know what to do

 By: Paige Grace (Pen Name)


I’m Paige, and I am a middle schooler in North Carolina. Let’s talk a little bit about horses and what I know and have experienced.

I take horseback riding lessons. I have a horse, and I am learning about horses from a horse trainer. I love horses! Our family recently visited the Outer Banks, where wild horses can still be found. They have their own beach. A colt was born just before we arrived. How awesome is that!? When I’m an adult, I think I will own a lot of horses.

I love horses, but a horse can be a lot of work. They can sometimes be dangerous, and they need a lot of care and attention. If you have only one horse, you need to be its companion because it needs a friend. 

You can’t just walk up to a horse and tell it you want to be its friend; you have to win it over. When you’re trying to get close to a horse, but the horse is not too comfortable with you, don’t take any risks because you could get hurt. Let someone that the horse is familiar with introduce you. They can work with the horse and help you both get comfortable.  After you start feeding the horse for a while, you will notice that it really likes you and will start getting comfortable with you.

Do you know the correct way to walk around a horse? If you’re not careful, you could get really hurt badly. When you’re walking around the horse, touch them a little bit, so they know you’re there before you get on their other side. Talk to them and pat them on the butt because you are likely to get kicked if you don’t.  What I normally do is touch the back end and talk to them gently. I don’t want the horse to be uncomfortable or get freaked out. 

It’s also important to watch where your feet are. A horse has stepped on me, and it really hurts. They don’t understand when they put their weight down, and if you aren’t paying attention, you will be in pain. 

The next step to caring for a horse well is cleaning the horse’s feet. The horse has a really sensitive spot on its hooves called a frog. A frog is this thing in the middle of their foot. When you are cleaning dirt and mud off the bottom of their feet, don’t touch the frog. They will kick you. The tool you will use to clean the hoof is a pick. It has a sharp spot on one side to clean the dirt off, and the other side is a brush to get the dust off. Sometimes the horse will be anxious, which means they are in a bad mood. They will jerk their foot away from you, and they could even step at you.

Keeping a horse’s feet clean is important. If your horse has a stall that has a bunch of poop and pee in it, that’s not good because they can get this disease that makes the skin on their hoof fall off. Germs, moisture, or bacteria could make holes in their hooves. It’s really good for the horse if you clean the stall every other day and pay attention to the bottom of their hooves as well.

One of the most important steps to good horse care is feeding your horse. When you need to feed and don’t quite know what to feed them, you need to learn what they have eaten before. I feed my horse Producer’s Pride. That’s something that you can buy for your horse from Tractor Supply. You need to make sure to feed them every day, or your horse will bite you or kick you to show they are hungry. Be sure to feed them and give them hay, or they will be pacing all day, back and forth. They need hay, food, water, and for you to give them enough room to run, then they will be a happy horse. My horse is really happy, and she listens well. She knows I care for her and will always show up to take care of her. 

Did you know you should take time to wash your horse? When you are washing your horse, you will need to tie your horse to a tree or a post and make him or her wait patiently. If they don’t want to or fight you a little, you grab the lead rope and pull it tightly toward them and might even have to pop the reins and say no or woah. You have to be in control before you get them wet. Now, grab the water hose and spray the water and apply soap. Rinse them off well. When you are applying fly spray, they might get a little freaked out, but after you do it for a while, they will get used to it… which is a good thing.

If you want to make your horse happy, you need to pay attention to their needs. Here are some ways you can tell they are happy. One is when they nay when you come near, or when they see you coming. Another one is when their tail is up. Sometimes their tail could be telling you they are mad, but not usually. Giving them room to run, feeding them on time, and be sure they have plenty of water and attention.

You will want to put a fence up for them to run inside of, so they don’t run away. Horses need lots of space to run, to graze, and to enjoy life. You may be a great friend to your animals, but still, you will probably need another horse to let them have a friend. 

My horse’s name is Luna. She is now 10 months, and I love being her friend.