Horse industry partnership grows as more get involved for kids safety

SSG Gloves has announced that it has joined as an industry partner of Equine Guelph’s youth educa­tional initiative, Play Safe. It’s HorseSense – an interactive safety activity for kids within Equine Guelph’s travelling education centre – EquiMania.  

Entering into its third year, other partners of the initiative include: Workplace Safety Pre­vention Services (formerly Farm Safety Association), Ku­bota Canada, System Fencing and Tack, and the Ontario Equestrian Federation. 

Featured at events like the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Can-Am All Breeds Equine Emporium, and Canada’s Outdoor Equine Expo, the EquiMania safety initiative teaches kids how to stay safe around horses and on the farm – in the barn, outside, and around tractors and other farm equipment. 

The fun, interactive scav­en­ger hunt engages kids to be Danger Detectives – investi­gating a mock horse farm for hidden dangers and hazards.  They search for clues with magnifying glasses, and once they have found all of the clues and solved the ‘case’, they earn an official Danger Detective badge.

“Safety around horses and on the farm is mostly common sense,” said Ed James, Founder of SSG Gloves.  “If we can teach kids ‘how to use their heads’ when they’re young, it will stick with them. We are pleased to play a role in this important – potentially life-saving – initiative and we hope to contribute some expertise in educating kids about the importance of protecting their hands when handling horses.”

 The primary goal of the safety initiative is to reduce the number of tractor- and horse-related accidents among youth on horse farms in Ontario.  Between 1990 and 2005, 63% of animal-related injuries among youth in Ontario occurred in incidents involving horses. For children aged 16 and under, machine runovers were the predominant cause of fatal injuries at 46%. Between hors­es, moving equipment and children, a horse farm can be a very dangerous place. 

“I am so pleased to see this partnership growing and gaining breadth,” said Dean Anderson, regional director of western Ontario at Workplace Safety & Prevention Services.  “It is refreshing to know that the equine industry is taking re­sponsibility when it comes to keeping kids safe around horses and on the farm. 

“EquiMania provides us with a unique venue to deliver a critical safety message in a fun, interactive way to kids through its educational initia­tives at equine events.”