Are you keeping up with your barn safety habits? When working around horses, things can quickly get dangerous. Here are seven barn safety tips to put to use today; with a little attention to these tips, you can make your barn a safer place for both humans and horses to be.
Make Breakaway Crossties
Crossties can be dangerous if a horse panics and can’t break the ties. Nylon ties do not break, so make sure that you run a loop of baling twine from the screw eye in the wall. Then, attach the tie to the twine loop, rather than to the screw eye. In an emergency, the twine will break, freeing the horse.
Use Leather Halters
Try to avoid using nylon halters in the barn. If a horse steps on his lead line or gets his halter caught on something, nylon halters do not easily break and can cause significant cuts and injuries. Instead, opt for leather halters which will break more easily in emergencies.
Post Emergency Numbers
Make sure that all necessary emergency numbers are clearly posted in your barn. Post the barn’s address and the local emergency contacts right by the phone. It’s also a good idea to list emergency contact numbers for the barn owner, the barn manager, and each horse owner.
Lock Up Medications
Horse medications can be dangerous if misdosed or if used improperly. Keep all medications in your barn locked up in a medication cabinet to avoid confusion and to prevent children from accessing the medications.
Keep Barn Aisles Clear
Crowded, cluttered barn aisles are accidents waiting to happen. Make sure that your barn aisle is free of supplies like pitchforks and wheelbarrows. If possible, try to keep tack boxes out of the barn aisle, too, so the horses have more room to navigate the aisle.
Lock Your Feed Room
Put a solid, horse-proof lock on your feed room and keep the room locked whenever it is not in use. Locking your feed room can help to avoid a potentially disastrous situation if a horse got loose and got into the feed room. If you do ever discover that a horse has gotten into the feed, call your vet immediately for further instructions.
Change Smoke Detector Batteries
Change your smoke detector batteries at least once a year. Smoke detectors are often your first alert to the fact that a fire has begun, giving you a precious heads-up during which you can call the fire department and get yourself out of the barn. While you’re at it, check the fire extinguishers to make sure that they’re fully charged, too.