Horses and farm animals in general can be…a hazard, if you will. I’ve heard many stories of friends being kicked by their cows, or bucked off their horses as kids, and some of those people are afraid to ever go near horses again. Up until a few years ago, I wasn’t overly comfortable with animals on the farm, but when I started working at a farm I got used to it, and it’s really not that bad. Of course, I am slightly biased because I have not had the unpleasant experience of being bucked off or had my toes crushed, but it does cross my mind when I push through the cattle to dump their feed in the trough.
At the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto this year Equine Guelph’s youth program and EquiMania will be teaching kids about horse health care and safety. From 1990 to 2005, 63% of animal related injuries among youth occurred in incidents involving horses. The program is called Danger Detectives and kids will be able to go on a scavenger hunt on a mock farm investigating dangers in the barn, around equipment, as well as outside and around horses.
This is a fantastic way to teach kids the safety and care of horses, and hopefully make them comfortable around them. For me, learning to get along with the horses at the farm has been a very enlightening experience. I thoroughly enjoy the interaction with the horses, and I think it’s sad that people don’t get to experience that connection because of a bad experience when they were young.
Below is a photo of myself with Justin, a boarder Morgan at the farm in my hometown.