Safety tips from Rocco...

by - 7/01/2008 12:40:00 AM

Rocco from the TV show “Cowboy U” was at the Equifest that we recently attended.

Here are some of the safety tips he mentioned:

1. He said that when you are going around behind a horse that it is best to stay as close as possible to his hind quarter while your hand runs along the side, then butt, then to the other side, this way if the horse decides to kick, you are most likely going to get a “warning” by feeling the horse begin to move. Basically if you walk around the back of a horse, you are safer very snug against the horse’s body or 10+ feet away.

2. He said that when tying a horse, never tie them lower than their mid neck height and never tie them with a permanent knot if at all possible, always use a quick release one. And never give more than about a 2 foot length of rope between the horse the tied end.

3. He said that to approach a horse always do it from the side, best is from the side and slightly front of shoulder area and that you should talk to the horse when you approach him/her. Horses have 2 blind spots, directly in front and directly behind them.

4. It is best to use leather halters, (it's hard to tell, but this is a leather halter) Rocco won’t use anything else.
But that if you use a nylon halter that you should never do the strap other than to put it thru the first way through the buckle and place the stopper in the hole, do not then send the strap back thru the bottom of the buckle.

He also hates those nylon rope halters, like below, for anything other than looks. He says they can easily cut into the horse’s skin if the horse bolts while tied, they basically have no give. He says there are people that think this is a good tool to teach with, but he doesn’t think so at all.

(picture from the internet, not my horse)

5. No horse is truly completely safe to be around. Even his appaloosa, which he has had and trained since it was a baby. Even though he can touch it, walk anywhere near it, rub on it, undo and redo it’s halter, snug up the girth, have the horse follow his every move and so on and so on, when Rocco took his cowboy hat off and threw it at his horse, the horse flinched and stepped back. He said the horse trusts Rocco, but not that flying hat, so do not think your horse is a perfectly safe horse to be around. Always be aware.

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  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cowboy U but with my work/sleep schedule I don't get to watch much real tv.

  2. Rocco is so cool! He embodies the cowboy spirit-hard to believe that he grew up in New Jersey(or New York?-one of those non-cowboy areas).

  3. Great tips to remind us!
    Of course that is all we use are the cowboy halters, we love them! To each there own!
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Excellent tips, we do love Rocco :)
    Around here we quit "hard tying" horses. I'm making it a point to teach everyone to STAY, dang it. It works most of the time. There's a lot of "natural" horsemanship going on here lately, which to me is the same way I train the dogs. Sit, stay, come, go away, get out of MY way, lol.
    (Ok, not the sit part, I have yet to teach a horse to do that)
    I like the last one too. Never forget that horses are HORSES and can do anything at any time to any one.

  5. Good tips to remember, thanks for sharing.
    You know, I use a rope halter when working on groundwork/Parelli games. I noticed a huge difference in how my horse responds (better) than with a nylon halter. But for tying, trailering, regular longing, I use a regular nylon web halter. For safety. Never tie a horse with a rope halter!


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