This morning after I fed Cookie I was absent mindedly walking around her paddock looking for things that need to be removed. I had found a piece of glass & in my search to make sure there wasn't anymore I backed up a few steps sort of quickly & turned my head in time to see pinned ears & a nose coming my way. Cookie was just about to take a bite out of my backside. So I stepped forward a step & turned sideways, but didn't look directly at her. She relaxed her face a little & gave a head toss. In reflection I realized how careless I was while looking for things that don't belong. While I usually can hear where she is, this time I didn't & was fixin' to have a pain to remember it by. I'm thinking I need to put a bell on her halter or something so I don't get that unexpected surprise. Though I'm pretty sure I'll pay closer attention next time I'm out with her.
The difference in a calm situation or a hospital visit all depends on how YOU deal with it. Your horse doesn't have the ability to rationalize things out. They are prey animals & will either fight or flight. If you have a feisty horse, chances are they'll fight & that means even with you. Backing up, with your back to them means they're going to get kicked at, their line of defense is to bite that rear end & move it away from them, or turn & kick back. Most trained horses, you can walk directly up to them, some you have to approach at the shoulder & never at any given time should you approach from the rear. Always make your horse move their feet & turn around to face you. They can run faster backwards than you might expect & getting out of the way of a flying hoof can be difficult even for those in the best physical shape.
Most of the time you probably don't think about having a planned escape route, but it might be a good idea to scan around & see where you can get to should your horse go berserk & start running around. They don't always "see" you standing there & could easily run you over unintentionally, or they might find you face on in fight mode & strike out at you. Always have a plan. Even with the most well trained horses there is always that possibility.
Keep things safe at all times, not just for you, but for those around you also. Stay upright & keep it on all 4's.
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