The 99% Lucky rule is very simple - when you're around horses, and particularly in dangerous situations, you are lucky 99% of the time. That is a good rule - unless it happens to be the 1% of the time that you might be 'un'-lucky! Then, it's no fun at all. Let me explain...
When you are around horses, safety must come first before anything else - your safety first, then the horse's safety. Regardless of the horse-related activity you participate in, once the horse is involved, your safety 'barometer' has to be turned on and stay active the whole time.
How to be in the right place at the wrong time (stay in that 99% lucky zone):
- be aware of your positioning in relation to the horse (even if you are on the ground).
- be aware of the surroundings and the possible reactions of the horse.
- know when to stop an activity (whether you should stop insisting on something from the ground, or even to the point of getting off the horse when you know it is time to stop the ride).
- control your external body language to exude calmness and confidence at all times (even if you and/or the horse are at high alert).
- verbally talk yourself and your horse out of a sticky situation - your voice calms the horse and reinforces to yourself what you want to do.
Most of the time, your luck will hold out in dangerous situations. Some of the craziest, most dangerous events go by unnoticed because just out of luck, your horse refrained from reacting as violently he could have, or the situation just didn't present in the worst-case scenario. People then go along as usual, completely unaware that the reason they were not injured was purely thanks to luck....
One example: wrapping a lead rope around your hand while you walk the horse into the barn. Now, we all know that you should never wrap a lead rope around a hand. And still we do it from time to time. And 'most' of the time, nothing happens at all.
The horse obliges nicely and walks beside us as we walk in. 99 times out of 100, the scene proceeds as planned. However, just once, there might be something that jumps out of the bush, or your horse sees something out of the corner of his eye, and he lunges forward/backward/sideways (take your pick) and very unfortunately, your hand must follow!
Work diligently to prevent that 1% unlucky! Make every effort to remain in the "safe zone" of whatever you do with the horse. You'll be glad you did.
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