Kentucky takes pride in its reputation as Horse Capital of the World. This title invokes a unique set of safety challenges. Horse farms house many different types of employees: grooms, maintenance workers, trainers, etc.. KEMI recommends developing a safety program to encompass and address all aspects of a horse farm. Luckily, KEMI’s Loss Education department has developed several safety resources to assist horse farms in keeping their workers safe on the job.

Some of the distinct characteristics related to this industry are the horses themselves. Workers should be trained to understand the temperament and nature of the animals that reside on the farm. Especially true to this are the maintenance crews. Some general tips for working on these types of farms include:

  • Be aware and adhere to the speed limit on farm property. Proceed slowly around barns and whenever horses or people are nearby.
  • Wear sturdy work boots with non-slip soles.
  • Turn off loud equipment such as weed-eaters or lawn mowers when in close proximity to horses.

In 2015, a not-for-profit called “Horse Country, Inc.” was formed to encourage Kentucky horse farms to allow visitors to tour their properties. With this increase in outside visitors, horse farms should design safety rules and programs that will protect the horses, visitors, and employees from any incident.  Visitors should be made aware of the innate risks associated with horse farms. Here are some tips to share with visitors:

  • Turn off or silence cell phones. Distracted training/riding increases the risk of accident by almost 85%.
  • Viewing of horses in training should be done at least 20 feet away.
  • Wear appropriate clothing, including boots with non-slip soles.
  • When a horse is passing you in a barn aisle, always stand on the same side of the aisle as the horse handler.
  • Do not approach a horse from behind or reach for a horse while passing.
  • Always maintain a safe space between horses, handlers and other people in the near area.

The farm management staff has the duty and responsibility to provide a safe place to work and visit that is free of recognized hazards. Horse farms can be a wonderful reflection of the equine culture in Kentucky. It is important to keep these organizations thriving. By instilling and maintaining safe practices, Kentucky can continue to be the destination for horse enthusiasts from around the world.

Interested in more resources in Equine Safety? Click here to check it out. 

KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.