Nathan Halsey

Nathan Halsey Story Reminds Horse Farm Owners About Safety

Avoiding Danger on Horse Farm Properties: A Lesson from Nathan Halsey


Injuries on horse farms are not at all uncommon. The story of pioneer Nathan Halsey should be a testament to the dangers of mishandling horses. Halsey, a prominent Oregon figure, was killed when he slid off a pile of poles and onto his wagon’s tongue. As a result, one of his horses fatally kicked him. Even having learned from past mistakes, there are numerous ways horses can seriously injure stable hands, barn handlers, and riders. Although some injuries are more severe than others, dangers are best avoided by following the recommended guidelines for tending to horses.

When a horse kicks horse handlers, the results can be fatal, much like Nathan Halsey’s story. Even though farm owners try their best to maintain safety protocols, farm-related injuries continue to rise. According to the National Ag Safety Database, minimum safety standards must be met by handlers to decrease the number of injuries related to horses and livestock. The safety recommendations apply to handling horses and buildings in the surrounding area of the farm as well. Furthermore, based on previous research, there are several ways that horse owners avoid being kicked in the way that Nathan Halsey was so long ago.

Keeping Horse Properties Safe

Because humans and horses risk serious injuries, equipment, including poles and obstacles, should be well-kept. A slip-on his poles is what led to Nathan Halsey being injured in the first place. If any accessories are damaged or broken, they should be repaired or replaced without hesitation. Furthermore, the areas surrounding horse properties should contain adequate fencing for safety. Additionally, hazards are reduced on pastures with proper grooming. Eliminating threats include trimming branches and removing repairing broken gates and loose wires. Stable hands must also address projectile hazards to ensure the safety of horses and people.

Horse barns and stables must meet specific safety requirements to reduce the likelihood of damage and injury. The owners can protect horses by keeping the stables clean and free from debris. Unnecessary objects can create hazards that require first aid or emergency response, such as a fire. Additionally, unwanted visitors should be kept away from barns and stables with proper fencing. Furthermore, sufficient lighting is required to reduce injuries.
Horse Safety Tips for Owners and Riders

Horseback riders must always be aware of their surroundings to ensure the highest level of safety. Because a horse kick can register in at over 2000 pounds, extra precautions should be taken while handling the long-legged creatures to avoid fatalities. Horses may kick out of excitement or if they are startled. Riders should be conscious about approaching horses correctly so that they do not become startled. Experts in horseback riding also recommend using caution when sending the horseback to the pastures. Handlers must take care to place the horse in the correct position, facing the rider upon an exit to decrease the odds of being kicked.

Moreover, how a rider approaches a horse is just as important as how he or she returns the equine to pasture. Horses should be approached from the side so that they can see who is headed their way. Advancing towards a horse from the front, behind, or a blind spot will increase the chance of being kicked exponentially.

Find more safety tips for horse handlers.