Horses are very strong creatures that can kick at up to 1,000 pounds of force per square inch. This equates to the force of 13 elephants’ weight. It’s obvious to imagine how hazardous horse kicks may be when you know that a modest car weighs roughly 4,500 pounds.
You should never approach a horse from behind or on the side to prevent being struck. When meeting them, ensure that they know who you are and where you are approaching them from.
If you’re in immediate proximity, do not even turn your back on them. While harnessing or brushing, keep in mind where they put their feet. The indications of a horse kick are described in this article. Check out the helpful hints to learn how to stay out of trouble.
What Makes A Horse Kick?
Horses are known to kick for a variety of reasons. It’s typically whenever they’re nervous or unsettled.
However, kicks can occur when horses are merely playing with one another. Horses can be quite perceptive, and any unexpected actions by people might cause them to get anxious. They might even act out as a result of pain caused by injury, illness, or painful tack or shoeing.
A horse can easily kick as a reaction to an unexpected movement. However, they aren’t often out for malice. Horses have no concept of retaliating against humans. If you startle them by arriving abruptly before even talking gently and quietly, they will respond immediately. They may kick you out of harm’s way.
When spooked, some horses bite instinctively. Since stomping with their rear feet is less dangerous on uneven surfaces than kicking with their front feet, they prefer to do so.
Horses who have been abused or traumatized in some way prior to coming into contact with people may be violent. Racehorses, for example, are overtrained on racecourses, with kicking techniques employed rather than patient training. Some horses may become aggressive in order to escape more abuse.
Certain horse owners will use a whip or other item to hit a rowdy animal’s rump. Riders do it to coerce it into obedience and conformity. The horse’s muscles stiffen up across its body as a result of the pain induced by this technique.
When they feel frightened or trapped, this can cause them to kick abruptly. Because their bodies have already been set up for both defence and offence. Muscle spasms caused by whips or other instruments, such as riding crops, take awhile to fade away.
Can I Protect Myself From A Horse Kick?
Yes! You can do this by taking a few small steps to protect your own safety. When you’re around horses, be sure you’re wearing protective riding gear at all times. Whenever you head out on a ride, make sure you have your riding helmet on.
To safeguard against head trauma, high-quality helmets include a strong shock-absorbing property. Riding gloves, long – sleeved tees, and breeches are also recommended. Horse kick-related accidents will be less likely with this gear. The use of safety boots on a horse may help to mitigate the effects of a horse kick.
A general rule of thumb is to never approach a horse without first being escorted by someone who knows what they’re doing. The one who has been taught how to control their kicks.
Horses can also detect panic from people in the vicinity. Try not to show any signs of distress or nervousness when around a horse, as this may trigger them to behave in the same manner.
How Strong Is A Horse’s Kick?
The average horse can kick with a force of roughly 1,200 pounds per square inch, at 200 miles per hour. Certain horses may kick with up to 2 thousand pounds of force. That’s far more powerful than any punch thrown by a heavyweight boxer in the whole history of the world.
Due to their size, horse kicks are inherently powerful. When fully mature, a horse can stand between six and seven feet tall.
The rear limbs alone measure roughly four or five inches in length. It’s also strong enough to strike a blow that’s more forceful than the combined strength of most humans’ two arms. While remaining balanced on two legs at all times.
A typical horse, regardless of whether it’s male or female, will weigh approximately 1,000 pounds. As a result, they’ll still be able to inflict serious bodily injury on anyone who approaches too closely.
Horse feet can also appear sharp and hooked, similar to knives. This may readily slash through skin with a single swift movement, posing a major threat to those unlucky enough to be nearby.
How Dangerous Is A Horse’s Kick?
A horse kick is a very dangerous situation to be in. It is, in fact, one of the leading causes of mortality among those who work with horses on a regular basis. This doesn’t always need much to provoke a reaction. All it really takes is an unintentional nudge from behind or any other seemingly innocuous contact to trigger this dreadful outcome.
A solitary hoof can have a force of up to five inches and also be strong enough to inflict injuries. This is more than most people could do with their two arms combined whilst standing on top of only their legs. This means they can cause great physical harm on anyone who approaches them without provocation.
What Should I Do If I’m Kicked By A Horse?
Maintain your composure, analyse the injuries, and get medical help. The most important thing is to remain very still until you can get professional support. This will aid in preventing any hemorrhaging or harm to any wounds that have occurred.
If a person has been knocked out by a horse and has been unconscious for more than a few minutes, they must seek medical help. Or if it has resulted in any other serious injuries, such as shattered bones, open wounds, internal lacerations, and so on.
If you or someone you know has been kicked by a horse, here are some basic skills to put into action now:
- Before lifting the person, make sure they are breathing normally and appear to be steady.
- If fractured bones are a possibility, don’t touch them unless absolutely essential.
- Keep extremities straight to immobilise joints so they don’t create further pain when adjusted.
- If the person has fainted as a result of serious trauma, it may be best to contact for help straight away rather than waiting.
Can You Tell If A Horse Is About To Kick?
Ears pointing back, head facing down toward the ground, and tail upright or darting around them are all frequent early indications that your horse is preparing to kick.
The rapid tensed muscles of their hind legs is another thing to look out for. Even if their leg is simply in the air in front of them – it can sometimes happen a few seconds before they kick out at you or others in the vicinity – so be careful!
A horse that has previously kicked you is more inclined to do this again than one that is new to you. Presumably there would have been some form of repercussion after the first occasion, such as being yelled at, being harshly reprimanded, and so on.
If your horse manages to land a strike on you, they would normally circle back to your side in a complete circle. If you suspect a kick is coming, there are a few things you can do to lessen the chances of injury:
- Keep your cool (this may seem simple, but it’s crucial!)
- Get out from beneath — there are a variety of ways to do this without shrieking and panicking in fear.
- If the horse has backed away at all, take a step beside them and say an appropriate release phrase as you eventually back up too. If at all feasible, get off their backsides by twisting sideways and stepping aside close to one of their legs. So that they can’t spin around with you and keep kicking.
- If you can’t get near enough even to approach and they’ve cornered themself, try going up on their withers — they then won’t be able to back up further or step sideways.
- Move behind them to obstruct exit points if they’re in the middle of an open field. When stepping down close to one of their legs, repeat your chosen release phrase as required while moving away from them until you have established sufficient distance between yourself and the horse.
Can Horse Kicks Be Avoided?
Yes! Well – sometimes. If a horse has been badly treated in the past, it’s more likely to act out and cause injury, so in some instances an accident is very hard to avoid. However, here are some great beginner tips to prevent you or someone you know from being kicked by a horse:
- To interact with a horse, all you need is your hands. No other parts of the animal’s body should be touched. This is one method of attracting their focus. For more successful results, some people employ a large pole or crop with a connected rope that they can tug on throughout practice sessions.
- Everything across from them will almost always be pushed over. As a result, do your best to stay out of their way! Drinking containers that have been left unattended fall into this category, too.
- Be wary when approaching horses from behind. Kicking horses are prone to reacting and lashing out without mercy. Some are renowned for frequently assaulting somebody with whom they had earlier displayed no hostility.
- If a horse kicks the air, it could be attempting to scare off other animals or people. This behaviour is most commonly seen in groups as a means of establishing authority over their domain and feeding area.
- When approaching a horse from behind, be aware of what your hands are doing and where they are positioned at all times. As this is frequently where a large number of kicks occur without any prior warning signs. Leaning out to touch them on the head, for example, can start a chain reaction that results in forceful front kicks and hostile tail swishing.
Horses are large, robust creatures with strong legs and feet. If they feel intimidated, they can and may well kick you. It’s crucial to understand how powerful a horse’s kick may be.
If your horse attempts to attack you or kicks you for no apparent reason, you must investigate. However, if the horse simply kicks out of nowhere, there may be nothing awry with it. It’s possible that something startled the horse.
You might also try softly stroking your horse on the head to calm him down, but you should only do so if the horse knows you very well and trusts you with such movements.
For the most part, horses are peaceful animals who rarely kick. As a result, if they don’t like something you’re doing or aren’t enthusiastic about something, they’re much more inclined to let you know before they decide to throw a kick.
You’re significantly less likely to get kicked if you know your limits with the animal in question and pay heed to the stress indicators. However, if a horse is scared, worried, or in a lot of discomfort, he or she may kick without notice, but this is fairly uncommon.