Q&A Questions and Answers:
Can you tell me how many pounds of pressure there is to a horse kick? A kick to the upper back?
...My brother in law died of a horse kick. He was letting the horse out of the pasture and went to lay down the barb wire gate. The horse was running and kicking, all excited to be let out, and it kicked my brother in law in the upper back. He died 45 minutes later on the way to the hospital. My brother in law worked and rode horses all his life -- he was a rancher -- but he made the mistake of turning his back on the horse, which he always told his wife never to do. He had three broken ribs and it did a lot of damage to the kidneys and he died of internal bleeding
That's a really tough question to answer, because a horse's kick can exert anywhere from zero to more than 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. Also, very few people go around wearing pressure monitoring equipment on their backs on the off-hand chance that a horse may kick them!
Having said that, Here's a situation that may give you a partial answer to that question:
A few years ago, some friends of mine had a mare go into a kicking frenzy in a stall. She broke all the way through the half-inch thick oriented strand board (OSB) on the wall with both feet at a height about where a person's upper back would be. At approximately head height, she connected with one hoof with just enough pressure to put a dent in the board while the other leg was so far extended that it didn't even make a dent.
Depending on the the exact age and the moisture exposure of that OSB at the time, the "modulus of rupture" for the board was somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 PSI. Judging from the way the lower of the hoof impacts smashed all the way through the board, I'd say that the PSI rating would have been somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 PSI.
The bottom line, of course, is that you simply don't want to get kicked by a horse. That's why one of my primary rules is, "Nothing comes within kicking range!" I know that some folks think I'm overly cautious around horses, but, as your brother in law found out the hard way, a horse can turn into a killing machine in a second. I love and thoroughly enjoy those magnificent critters, but I'm always on my guard when I'm around them. When I'm turning a horse out to pasture, I make it walk on a lead rope with me next to its head. When we get through the gate, I'll turn it to face me and the gate before I turn it loose. That way, the kicking machinery is directed away from me and I have a few seconds to get clear (and to put the gate between me and the horse) before it can turn around.
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MINNESOTA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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