These may seem obvious, but it’s good for everyone to keep these things in mind in order to stay safe:
- Animals have blind spots.
Don’t approach a horse or a bull directly from the front or behind, and stay out of range to avoid being kicked. When you walk around a horse, let it know by talking to it and patting its hindquarters.
- Watch where you are going!
This might sound like a no-brainer, but when you get inside an arena, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the crowd, camera flashes or music. Focus on yourself, your horse and the direction you’re headed.
- Control your speed.
When you’re about to enter or exit the arena, do it at a slow, controlled pace. Maintain your speed. If your horse spooks, try putting it in small circle to refocus. After your round, make sure to slow down well before you exit the gate, making sure the gate is clear of people and other animals.
- Wear protective gear.
Bull riders should wear a protective helmet as well as a heavy vest to protect internal organs. A vest also absorbs and dissipates shock from a blow to the body. All riders should wear headgear, appropriate boots and gloves.
- Double check your cinch!
Tighten your cinch, then walk your horse around a bit. This let’s the horse relax into the cinch. Make sure to double check and adjust it if necessary before you jump on. Otherwise, you might be treated to your own rodeo!
Accidents happen, but with good safety practices and awareness of our surroundings, we can help limit them. What safety tips would you add to this list? Let us know on our Facebook!