Promoting Horse Barn Safety

Promoting Horse Barn Safety

By Siun Griffin, Veterinary Physiotherapist and LCAO Community Manager

Ensuring safety in a horse barn is not just about reacting to potential dangers; it's about proactively preventing them. From the moment a visitor steps onto the property to the daily care routines, every action should prioritise the well-being of both horses and humans. 

So what kind of approach can you take? Here’s somewhere to start to help make your barn fun and safe for both horses and people.

1. Establishing a Safety Program

Training Sessions: Implement regular safety training sessions for all staff, riders, and visitors. Cover topics such as safe handling techniques, emergency procedures, and spotting hazards.

Written Guidelines: Develop written safety guidelines and procedures that are easily accessible to everyone on the premises. This could include protocols for handling emergencies, using equipment safely, and maintaining a clean environment.

Safety Inspections: Conduct regular safety inspections of the facility to identify potential hazards and ensure compliance with safety protocols. Encourage staff and riders to report any safety concerns they notice.

2. Hazard Identification

Slippery Surfaces: Identify areas prone to becoming slippery, such as wash stalls, grooming areas, and aisleways. Implement non-slip flooring or use rubber mats to reduce the risk of slips and falls.

Loose Equipment: Check for loose equipment or debris that could pose a tripping hazard in walkways and common areas. Encourage staff and borders to promptly clean up any spills or clutter.

Unsafe Infrastructure: Inspect fences, gates, and stall doors for signs of wear or damage that could potentially injure horses or humans. Replace or repair any compromised structures promptly.

3. Practical Examples

Safety Protocol for Tacking Up: Before riding, all staff and riders must inspect tack for signs of wear and tear, ensuring it is in good condition. They should also double-check girth tightness and ensure all buckles are secure to prevent accidents while riding.


Identifying Fire Hazards: During safety training sessions, staff should learn to identify potential fire hazards, such as exposed electrical wiring, flammable materials stored improperly, or blocked fire exits. Regular inspections should be conducted to address these hazards promptly.


Emergency Response Drill: Conduct regular emergency response drills to ensure all staff and riders know what to do in the event of an emergency, such as a fire or a horse injury. Practice evacuating horses from stalls and rehearse first aid procedures.

By implementing a comprehensive safety program, identifying potential hazards, and providing practical examples, horse barns can create a culture of safety that protects both horses and humans. Remember, safety is not just a checklist; it's a mindset that should be embraced by everyone in the barn community.

Blog Post written by:
By Siun Griffin
Animal Physiotherapist and Community Manager at London College of Animal Osteopathy (LCAO).