Going out alone for conditioning? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 27 Old 04-24-2012, 10:08 AM
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I think it's best to be prepared for the worst. My friend who rides alone all the time (and is luckily always prepared) was hurt not to long back while out on trail. She stopped for some reason and got off (possibly to pee) and when she went to get back on she fell and dislocated her shoulder. She was able to phone the barn for help and someone came out and rode her horse back while she went off to hospital.

I always keep my phone on me even when i'm out with a group, just in case.
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post #12 of 27 Old 04-24-2012, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the good advice! I am glad to hear that I'm not crazy for thinking of going out on my own. My horse has been an angel on the trail so far in the past, the only scary part is the 200ft down an occasionally busy road to get to the trails. So far his 'bad' behavior is drunk walking a little when I ask him to walk away from the barn. Horses do stupid crap and humans get hurt though. Time to order a saddle bag so I can carry some basics I think.
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post #13 of 27 Old 04-24-2012, 11:38 AM
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Truthfully, you may be better off ordering a fanny pack, as unfashionable as they are. That way, you will have all your stuff available to you even if you get separated from your horse.

I live in an area where I really don't need a compass, GPS, etc (thankfully), but if I lived in a woodsy area where long distance visibility was nonexistent, I would have them. As it is now, I am riding trails that I've ridden for 25 years and if I do somehow get turned around, all I have to do is ride to the top of a hill and I can see everything in the surrounding 10 miles to get my bearings.

Cell phones rarely get a signal in my area, but I take it with me anyway, and I usually let someone know where I'm going and when I plan to be back.
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post #14 of 27 Old 04-24-2012, 02:38 PM
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I prefer to ride out alone. I also prefer to do all of my fitness and conditioning work out on the roads, fields and trails. I usually try to remember to bring my phone with me and have it on me for just in case.

I think smrobs idea of the fanny pack that you can wear on you is an excellent idea. You would still have all of your essentials if you happened to part ways with your horse.
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post #15 of 27 Old 04-24-2012, 05:34 PM
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When you really ride and condition for endurance competition, you learn to bring all the above. I always tell my hubby which way I am going, as I live on the edge of National land and could ride 100's of miles. You never know when a rein or halter or saddle is going to break, if you need to repair or cut something.
I've only had a few friends I could really condition with, you know, who will gallop and not mosey along. Ride on the streets? *clutches pearls*. My daughter is now seasoned enough to start with LD, but I prefer to ride alone when I can. Horses both enjoy it.
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post #16 of 27 Old 04-24-2012, 06:22 PM
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I also ride alone most of the time...like the others said, bring emergency items, and let somebody know that you're out! Make sure your phone is attached to you, NOT the horse. Better safe than sorry. One suggestion if you don't want to ride alone all the time is to look for a trail riding club in your area and start asking questions. I was lucky to find a trail riding club in my area that is mostly made up of people conditioning for endurance/CTRs. We ride often, fast, and far. It's great to have this network of experts in the discipline who are so readily available to me!

A horse is the projection of peoples' views about themselves--strong, powerful, beautiful--and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existance.
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post #17 of 27 Old 04-25-2012, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mildot View Post
Let me give you some food for thought.

What is a horse that is "safe enough for you to take him out alone"?

Is that a horse that NEVER spooks at anything hard enough to unseat you?

Is that a horse that NEVER puts a foot wrong and never stumbles or slips?

Never mind the horse, there are many other factors that are unpredictable enough to warrant some precaution.

Add to that the fact that some of us are responsible for others, so it isn't fair to them to be careless or cavalier about this.

Let me assure you there are plenty of dead hikers who thought just like you.

A safe horse is a rational one. Not one who is likely to buck and run or has a reputation for doing so. All horses spook - you need to assess your ability to stay on and accept that fact that just in getting on a horse it's a given that you WILL fall off at some stage. How are you physically ? Are there any factors that could make it easier for you to come off worse from a fall ie joints / old injuries etc.

If a horse is regularly stumbling and slipping he's probably no good for endurance and may well have an underlying problem anyway. Should probably get him checked !!

I'm not saying be reckless... And i did encourage precaution, but if you approach everything in life the way some people above me had implied nothing will ever be done. Riding horses is a risky business no matter how careful you are. People should think more about that before becoming a rider. It's down to individuals to assess their own situation.
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post #18 of 27 Old 04-25-2012, 08:12 AM
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If I didnt ride alone I would never condition my horse. Any time I ride with others I end up spending 45 minutes out of every hour waiting. SOme days I work a "D" watch 230 pm to midnight. On those days by myself I can get horse load up drive an hour ride 16 miles come home unload shower change and make it to work with plenty of time. Tried it with someone else and half hour late showing up, putz around grooming, tack not ready or checked out ahead of time, so in same time only got to ride 4 miles. Not worth the 2 hours driving and gas.
I also work rotating shifts so my weekend may be middle of the week. So I ride alone. It is really hard to find someone the same level as you . Either you're waiting or cant keep up. I also dont get the need to be attached to the hip to someone while riding. My idea of "with" has changed. Meet up ride out see u at lunch, hang out ride out see yo at the trailer.
I know someone near by is safer, but I like to ride so I ride alone. I do take some precautions. I text 2 friends when I ride out. Check in periodically and when I am done. I am fortunate to have Petersburg national battlefield nearby that where I do most of my training. It runs along an Army base so there are always jogger or bikers along every so often most military and I would assume with some basic first aid training, So even though I am technically alone some one will be along eventually. Just gotta do it. If Iwaited for a partner Id never get to ride.
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post #19 of 27 Old 04-25-2012, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by GeeGee Gem View Post
but if you approach everything in life the way some people above me had implied nothing will ever be done.
Nonsense. No one in this thread has said or even implied that going out alone on long rides (for whatever purpose) is something to be paralyzed about.

There's an old military saying: proper planning prevents poor performance.

What people here have been saying is that there are higher risks associated with riding alone than with riding in a group. That means that the rider needs to be more self-sufficient and PLAN for ways to mitigate the consequences of being alone when trouble does strike.

Also, I wasn't talking about going out on horses that are known buckers or can't take three strides without slipping or stumbling. But thanks for taking my point and exaggerating it to try to make yours.

Do as you wish and don't worry about the precautions taken by others since they don't affect you.
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Last edited by mildot; 04-25-2012 at 08:48 AM.
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post #20 of 27 Old 04-25-2012, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by phantomhorse13 View Post
Accidents are accidents because they are unplanned. I had been riding over familiar trails and had bells on (always train in them to make both wildlife and other trail users aware of us). We had been that way probably 100s of times with no problems. But all it took was once.
Phantomhorse, if anyone should know, it would be you! How many miles so far this year? I followed that thread for a while...
How do you attach the bells? How big are they? Just curious, I need to upgrade. I have some that I attach to my mare's mane, but they are small and probably aren't loud enough to warn wildlife.
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