Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
There's a long list, but most of it can be covered simply by imagining what would happen if your horse panicked and you were in that position (with the lead rope wrapped around your arm, kneeling behind your horse, with the saddle girth not done up, etc etc etc.
Most experienced horsefolks, after years of practice, just keep that image somewhere tucked into the back of their mind at all times.
The other thing newbies need to learn to do is to pay attention to the horse's mood and situation. Of course this is changeable, but I would not be treating a sleepy old horse in its own familiar stable the same way as a young nervous horse in a new environment. You still use the same protocols, but with the first, it might be routine and casual, and the other, with a lot of reassuring and at the same time being very alert.
One general rule -- when working around a horse, to the degree possible just keep a hand on it. That way they know exactly where you are, and should they move in your direction you'll either stop them, or push yourself out of the way easily.
Short horse lover