OK.. so this one is a bit long. Sorry for the grammar mistakes. Obviously, this is not quite what kids would want to read, but it might help you get some ideas of what you could include. I`m big on safety so I think it would be important to emphasize this. I`m totally open to opinions on this:
Horse and Pony Safety
Horses and ponies can be easily spooked¹ or harmed in the wrong conditions. To make sure you and the animal stay safe, there are many guidelines you need to follow.
§ Do not find yourself behind a horse². He or she may get scared and kick.
§ Make sure the horse you’re approaching knows you are near. Say hello or greet the horse by its name if you know it. This way the horse will not be frightened when you appear to him or her.
§ Always talk to horses in a calm voice. This will relax them. A calm horse is a friendly horse.
§ Do not make any sudden movements or loud noises to scare a horse.
§ To give a horse a treat, always place the treat in the palm of your hand with your hand completely flat.
§ Never strike a horse and take special care with his or her head and face.
§ Always lead a horse on his or her left side by the head. A horse cannot see you if you are too far ahead or too far back from the horses’ line of sight.
Barn and Field Safety
If not careful, a barn and a field can be a dangerous place. You must always be aware of your surroundings when in these areas.
§ Be careful when entering a barn that has horses. The horses may be eating or a staff member may be working with the horses. To keep everyone safe, do not run, play or make loud noises while inside.
§ Do not leave objects lying on the floor. Pick up any items you may be using so people and horses do not trip and fall.
§ Do not place items where they may fall. If these items fall on or near a horse it could get spooked.
§ Do not climb stalls or fences. You may fall and get hurt.
§ Do not bring any food into a field with horses. They love food and can be very aggressive with each other to get treats. You may get pushed around or crowed by horses.
§ Do not run or play in the field. It can be very dangerous.
§ If a gate was closed when you were entering the field, make sure that gate is closed as soon as you get into the field. If it was open, leave it open. It was left that way for a reason.
¹ to be frightened. When spooked, a horse may kick out or rear up.
² will refer to both horses and ponies
Horses are a big responsibility. They need a lot of care and attention. Here is a list of various practices you should be aware of before taking on the responsibility of looking after a horse.
§ Horses thrive on routine. You must feed horses regularly at around the same times each day.
§ Do not feed horses too much food. They can get very sick and sometimes die.
§ Do not feed horses big chunks of treats. Always cut apples and carrots into smaller pieces so the horses will not choke.
§ Horses need to be fed good quality hay.
§ Do not give horses rotten food.
§ Make sure the feed buckets are clean.
§ Horses need clean water to drink.
§ You must groom a horse often. This will remove dust, dirt and sweat from the horse’s coat. It also increases blood flow and helps you check for injuries.
§ A horse’s feet should be cleaned well daily. Any dirt and rocks should be removed regularly. A dirty hoof can get infected.
§ Make sure the horses’ hooves get trimmed when necessary.
§ A horse’s brushes should be kept clean. Once you use them, wipe or comb them clean.
§ Tack³ should always be clean before use. Dirty tack can rub the horse’s skin and cause irritation.
§ Exercise the horse daily but not excessively.
§ Horses need regular veterinary checkups.
§ If you notice any changes in a horse’s behaviour or eating habits, contact your veterinarian and explain what you’ve noticed.
Barn and Field Care
A horse’s home also needs great care and maintenance. The barn and the field should always be a priority when it comes to cleanliness.
§ Barns should be swept often to keep the floor clean from dirt and any small objects that may harm a horse.
§ Loose boards need to be removed and nails should be hammered in flush with the boards. Any nails protruding from the wood can scratch or cut a horses’ skin.
§ No nails or screws should be left laying on the floor or outside where horses roam. They can get the nails or screws stuck in their feet where it can be hard for your eye to spot them.
§ Feed and treats should be kept in buckets or containers with covers so if horses get loose, they cannot overeat and harm themselves. Also, this can help to keep away rodents and other wild animals.
§ Water buckets both in the barn and the field should always be kept clean and filled.
§ Broken fences, gates, and doors should be mended as soon as possible.
§ Pick up any rocks or garbage you may find in the field. Fields should be kept tidy since this is where the horses spend the majority of their day.
§ Tools should be kept in one area where they are easily located in an emergency but where horses and people will not come in contact with them and be harmed.
³ Saddles, saddle blankets, bridles, halters and lead ropes can all be considered tack.