1. Handle horses from their left side. This means leading, saddling, mounting and dismounting, and so on.
2. Talk, mumble, whistle, or sing to a horse as you work with him. That way they know who and where you are at all times.
3. Respect a horse's blind spot. Everything directly behind the horse —and extending a bit to each side—is invisible to him, unless his head is turned. Don't arrive in that zone unannounced (remember rule No. 2). Even the best of horses are justified in kicking if you ambush them.
4. The tail is private property. Don't pull on it and try not to let ropes get stuck under it. You may use it to tail a pack string together (see video below), but other than that, it belongs to the horse that wears it.
5. Clean saddle pads. You know how irritating a sticker inside your shirt can be? Make sure the underside of a saddle pad (the blanket) is clean and free of debris before placing it aboard your buddy.
6. Bridle carefully. Don't clang the bit against your horse's teeth, and don't crumple his ears. Make sure the bit is not freezing (his tongue will stick) when you put it in his mouth: warm it inside your shirt or between the saddle-pad edge and the horse himself in really cold temps.
7. Your horse comes first. Unless you're about to die from hypothermia, good etiquette demands that you care for your horse's needs before your own.