While we’re all horse savvy enough to know you shouldn’t trust a horse you don’t know anymore than you would a strange dog, not everyone understands the consequences.
A horse with his ears pricked forward, eyes sparkling in anticipation of a treat from a person wandering by the barn aisle, may tempt a stranger to come over and say hello. That’s fine, if you can virtually ensure your horse won’t suddenly turn Mr. Hyde on them.
Ears pinned, lips drawn back, massive teeth apart, a horse can bite fast, inflicting serious damage. Barn managers, trainers and owners of horses that have a less-than-friendly disposition should post signs on the horse’s door to leave that particular animal alone.
The potential for liability and litigation can’t be ignored, especially at a competition where non-horse people are likely.
Along with warning signs, it’s important to list your contact information on the stall door. If your horse is in trouble, you don’t want fellow boarders or even the trainer running around the barn office in a panic, trying to find your phone number.
Be sure you include your veterinarian’s name and number, farrier information, and a second contact person in case you’re not immediately reachable.