10 Tips on using a Horse Walker
Using a Horse Walker for the first time can be an exciting prospect for both handler and horse.
We have compiled 10 Top Tips to ensure the process is as smooth and safe as possible;
- First things first, the emergency stop button is located on the control panel next to the walker entrance. Ensure you’re familiar with the positioning of this in case there is an urgent need to stop the walker.
- Make sure the walker is stationary when you are entering a horse into it. Remain on the outer side, so you don’t get trapped inside the walker.
- When putting a new or young horse on the walker for the first time, try to have an experienced or sensible companion in the section in front to keep it settled and show them the ropes.
- If this isn’t possible, or you want to provide extra reassurance, you can walk around with them for the first laps. This can be achieved safely from the outside of a fenced walker. In an enclosed walker, we would suggest walking in the section directly in front of the horse. This way they will follow you, whilst you are safely protected on the other side of the pusher gate.
- Keep the horses working in one direction on their first few uses (you can alternate the direction each time). Once they are used to this, then you can introduce turning them around mid session.
- You can leave the headcollar on initially or if the horse is troublesome to catch. However as usual, it’s safer to remove headcollars while they are unattended.
- Do not use the electric for the first time! Allow the horse to get used to their new surroundings and what is expected of them before they receive a shock to move them forward.
- Never leave the horses completely unsupervised on a walker, make sure somebody is around the yard to keep an eye on them.
- Remove the new horse before any other horses to ensure they do not get panicked at being left behind in the walker.
- Make sure you muck out the walker after each session and keep the track free of any debris.
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