Safe Handling Assessment


Approach and halter the horse

  • Assess herd behaviour
  • Let horse know you are coming
  • Approach from front
  • Friendly touch on shoulder/neck
  • Horse stands still while being haltered
  • Maintain awareness of other horses

Lead horse to arena

  • Horse maintains path and gait set by handler
  • Horse respects personal space
  • Walks beside horse
  • Awareness of environment and transition zones
  • Loose lead line
  • Use of pressure to control horse

Park and groom the horse

  • Horse stands still
  • Horse stays “Connected”
  • Timely corrections as needed

Back the horse up one step at a time touch on nose and halter and driving with hand, lead line, or carrot stick

  • Horse moves straight back
  • Correct use of rhythm, pressure, and timing

Drive/Touch the horse to yield the hind through 90 degrees one step at a time on left and right side

  • Front legs stay still
  • Handler maintains correct position relative to horse
  • Handler walks forward
  • Appropriate pressure

Drive/Touch the horse to yield the fore one step at a time through 90 degrees on left and right side

  • Back legs stay still
  • Handler maintains correct position relative to horse
  • Handler walks forward
  • Appropriate pressure

Drive the hind to draw the head while walking

  • Appropriate pressure
  • Opposite side of head draws in to handlers shoulder

Draw the horse in walking backwards and transition to follow my shoulder

  • Loose lead line
  • Smooth transition

Follow my shoulder walking a square: (a) clockwise right and left shoulder, (b) counter-clockwise right and left shoulder.

  • Loose lead line
  • Handler maintains personal space
  • 90 degree turns
  • Drive to draw to change sides

Drive the horse in a circle (clockwise and counter-clockwise) walk, trot, walk, come in. 3 circles in each direction

  • Step forward to drive horse away
  • Loose lead line
  • Handler controls path and gait

Handler follows safe horse handling principles

  • Appropriate footwear
  • Work at a safe distance from horse
  • Respect danger zone
  • Awareness of horse mood
  • Maintain calm neutral mood
  • Let the horse know what’s coming
  • Awareness of environment
  • Correct use of pressure on lead line