Safety gear-what is your bare minimum? Will you hop on in shorts and flip flops?
Or do you never ride without boots, helmet and a body protector vest?
The various disciplines have different requirements when competing, but I am talking your every day riding, schooling or just hacking out.
Personally I am a stickler for boots, saw someone get dragged once and am not up for that. Besides, barn work in sneakers?
Barefoot? An even BETTER chance of your foot getting thru a stirrup, never mind handling the horse on the ground. We’ve likely all had our feet stepped on…OW. I also wonder about getting worms by walking barefoot in manure…is that even possible? Someone told me that as a child-old wives tale? Trying to get me to use my brain and put some shoes on?
I usually don a helmet too but will admit I have forgotten it and rode anyways…flatwork or hacks only and NOT on a greenie. Yes this may not be wise-I DO know you can get hurt doing anything on any horse-but hey I am not about to sit here, pretend to be perfect and type lies.
Body protector vests? I have never worn one, though I am sure they come in handy, especially in Rodeo events (hmm some greenies can qualify for that description LOL) or 3-Day.
When it comes to the kids there is no leeway. Helmets and boots, every time every ride. But another important part of their “safety equipment” is the HORSE.
No buck, bolt or rear, period. Not spooky (yes, they all have something they’ll spook at, but some equines take it to the extreme). I like the sensible horse type spooks-they just stop and stare at stuff, not the ones who leap 10 feet sideways, whirl and head for the hills at a full gallop. I do not believe there is such a thing as the legendary bombproof horse, but a sensible one…those we can find.
Greenies are not appropriate child mounts. I will never understand the rationale when it comes to putting kids on youngsters. Get your old ass on that thing until it seasoned or pay someone to do it! Neither is the horse without a good whoa. The odd “feelgood” little buck after a fence or barrel round may be ok for a more seasoned kid rider but will scare and perhaps unseat the newbie.
I have owned well trained horses who were not good for a child. A kids erratic aids would confuse and irritate them, the horse would overreact to the clumsy commands, so except for sitting there being led around, no kids on them either!
A horse you do not know is not a kids horse. If your trainer or coach or horsey best friend says so, and you trust their judgment, then OK. Going to visit a not-so-horsey pal who has two he never does anything with and they say your kids are welcome to ride them as the children clamor and beg to? Not so much.
What is your bare minimum-for yourself and your kids?