I'm afraid of trail riding, please help... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 02-28-2011, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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I'm afraid of trail riding, please help...

I have a mare for 3 years, she's quite temperament, but I don't have any problems riding her. Till now I used to ride with my friend on trail, but we got in a fight, and now I'm riding alone. I'm not afraid of falling of my mare, she obeys me and I have no problems with her. But I'm afraid of dogs, machines, people working... I'm afraid of Candy getting hurt. What if dog bites her, or she gets panicky because something, and falls and hurts herself? I'm riding only near home now, but I want to be on horse for few hours sometimes too, and now I don't dare to :(
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post #2 of 26 Old 02-28-2011, 01:08 PM
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I'm sorry that you and your friend got into a fight :( Venturing out on your own is always scarey, and those "What if's" always go through your mind.

The more you get out there, the more exposed the both of you will become, and hopefully, the more confident you both will get as well :) I am not saying that you should just buck up and get out there alone - because you have to stay within your comfort zone, and awknowledge your fears, but there are ways that can help you feel more "comfortable".

Is there anyone else you can contact who would be willing to trail ride with you? If not, do you have someone at home or at the barn that you can keep in contact with? My friend, when he goes out on his own, has walkie talkies. He carries one, and he leaves the other with the BO - so that if something were to go wrong, they can keep in touch.

Also, notes - notes help. Stating where you are going, what time you left and if you are not back at such n such time, send help. Two way phones also, if you have access to that?

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post #3 of 26 Old 02-28-2011, 01:44 PM
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Riding Alone

Check out this thread ,I started it, but I have gotten a lot of feedback on what to bring, and what to do if you see an animal and lots of really good information.

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post #4 of 26 Old 02-28-2011, 05:42 PM
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I ride out in my arena when no one is around quite a bit. I used to get nervous because my mom put all these bad thoughts into my head. Once I got my cell phone I stop worrying as much.

I decided that if I ever want to trail ride a lot I would invest in a safety vest, just to be safe. I would want to be galloping on the trails and if I were to fall off, I would fall hard. So maybe think about trying to find a cheap/used vest. Plus ALWAYS wear a helmet out on the trails, esp. alone. You really don't want to risk falling off and getting knocked out because you bumbed your head (it could still happen WITH a helmet). If you have a cell phone, make sure it is full charged and you have a case for it that can attach to your pants or arm or something. NEVER attach it to the horse (horse runs off without you = no phone).
Also, you could tell people at the barn that if you aren't back in an hour they should call you to see if you are alright. Make sure people know where you are at!

I know I sound over protective right now, but I have heard some pretty bad stories about stuff that has happened to people out on the trails.

Have fun and stay safe!!

You can never take a Thoroughbred away from a horse crazy girl.
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post #5 of 26 Old 03-01-2011, 06:31 PM
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That Riding Alone thread is very helpful, I second taking a look at it. Also when starting out outside, it's important to build your confidence and that of your horse. The first time, go for a short ride and finish on a good note. Never stop the trail ride because your horse pulls up to go back or starts being foul. You want to end the ride positively. Make a mental note of how far you went. The next time you go, try to go a bit farther than the least time, and just keep doing that, gradually increasing your distance, you'll gain confidence in the area you keep riding through but you'll also build your confidence by going farther. Don't be too afraid of what might happen. be as prepared as you can be, and then hop on and go have fun. if something happens, remember to remain calm and try to think about the situation, the worst thing is to panic, cause the horse will feel that. Good luck, and ride safe! Always wear your helmet and ALWAYS tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back (even if it's a note on the front of your tack box).
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post #6 of 26 Old 03-01-2011, 11:29 PM
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Aww that's too bad. I agree with one hot fuzz that you should make sure that someone knows that you are out on a trail alone. It's also a good idea to really strategize your ride. Make sure that you are going for your ride out of earshot from the herd so that you horse doesn't get called to and run off with you; be careful on trails with a lot of slippery dried leaves (avoid them if you can) and bring a cell phone. Just a few suggestions there. You don't have to give up trail riding because you and your friend don't talk and you are smart to be cautious about it because it can become a serious situation. Also maybe start by trail riding for short periods of time close to the barn and then once you are comfortable you can start going out further and longer.
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post #7 of 26 Old 03-03-2011, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, you were all very helpful. Noone can ride with me, but I always tell my mom I am going. The problem is I change route a lot, last time I saw 2 dogs 100 meters away and I take other route... I have my phone with me, but there is bad signal almost everywhere. I'll buy a saddle bag (is it the right word?) and take some vet kit with me. What kind of saddle bag should be okay? I'll start slowly like you said. I have a safe vest, but it's very uncomfortable and disturbs me... Helmet is always with me. Thanks again :)
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post #8 of 26 Old 03-03-2011, 09:11 AM
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Not sure how you ride. They have western versions of this but these are pads that have pockets for you to put things in. Probably a good idea to keep really important things on you like some else mentioned. I know it feels ridiculous but perhaps a fanny pack or other small carrying item would help!

English Trail Saddle Pad with Pockets and Extra CushioningEquestrian International
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post #9 of 26 Old 03-03-2011, 09:16 AM
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With your mare, what are you comfortable doing? Would you be willing to go on a trail just walking? If so, just go for a quick walk ride. Build confidence. Another thing that may help calm you is knowing you are prepared. If you had a cellphone, first aid kit, and mace (for creeps/dogs) would you feel better? Take things slow, and easy and you will probably start to relax more on the trail.

Last edited by BFFofHorses; 03-03-2011 at 09:17 AM. Reason: I messed up a word haha. Best of luck! I have been there with my first mare :)
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post #10 of 26 Old 03-03-2011, 09:17 AM
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These are all great riding alone tips to which I have none to add. However (always a however) I would look at the reason I lost a friend & decide if it was worth it. There must have been something you liked about your friend that you became friends in the first place?
Sometimes friends fight but that doesn't have to mean the friendship is over. If it did most of us would not be on speaking terms with our own families.
Just something to think about. Good luck.
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