Riding Alone - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-11-2009, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Abilene, Texas
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Riding Alone

So back in my younger days I was fearless. When I was 12 I started jumping my horse in a western saddle because i saw another girl at my barn doing it and it looked fun. I didn't hesitate to take riding lessons to learn to jump and when my horse and I started jumping 4ft and over I didn't even bat an eye.
After I could drive i went to the barn (back when there was no cell phones and the barn had no phone) and rode by myself training jumping ect...

Now that I am older (almost 33) I am the biggest freaking chicken! I won't ride unless my husband is here in case I fall off or something happens. Of course one of my instructors in nursing school told me a story about a lady here in town who was going to ride her horse. No one was home and her horse was acting wonky but she got on any way. He took off with her and threw her into a fence where she landed in a fire ant bed. She was paralized from the neck down and was there for 2 hours before someone came home and found her. So now I am really freaked out.

I waste so much riding time because I won't ride without someone present. I have even tried calling my husband before and after, telling him I am only riding for xx time and start calling if I don't answer but it doesn't calm my fears. I can't carry my phone with me (nowhere to put it ) I feel like I am being irrational. Am I??

Do any of you have this fear? Do I just need to get over it??? Any ideas for me? We keep our horses at home so it isn't like we have a big barn with lots of people. I am also not as confident in the saddle which doesn't help (I am working on it and hopefully starting lessons soon)
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-11-2009, 09:20 AM
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I know many people who ride alone, and I am one of them.

If I were to wait for someone to be with me to ride, I'd never beable to ride. Don't get me wrong, it is great to beable to ride with another for company and companionship and conversation, but most of the time, I wouldn't beable to ride if I had to ride with another.

Back at the barn I used to be a Working Student at, there are a ginormous amount of trails to ride on, because it was the barn of Fox Hunters. I would go out for hours on my own and ride, that is how I learnt the trails.

I know those trails like the back of my hand now - but before I left, the BM would be notified, and while grooming and tacking up, others who were tacking up as well to work in the arena would be notified.

There is a large white board as well hanging near the tack room, and when people would go out and ride, including myself, would write on the board. Time leaving, name, place, date, time planing on getting back. Then, if the BM or others would see that the rider was not back at the time marked, they would get on 4 wheelers and head out on the trails to find the rider to ensure all was ok.

Another thing I do, is carry a cell phone with me. My Hubby and I luckily have the walkie talkie options on our phones, so if something were to happen, I could 2 way him.

I also have nasty allergies. I am allergic to dust and anything that holds it - like hay. I end up having allergy enduced athsma and due to that, I have to carry my epi pen with me and an inhaler. I wear a fanny pack. So you could carry your cell phone in something like that.

You can also get a cell phone holder, these are awesome. I have one of these!

Dover Saddlery - Search Results for cellphone holder

You can put it around your arm, or, do as I do - which is wrap it around my tall boot, near the top.

Anything can happen at any given time - with or without others being around you while you ride. We are on very powerful animals with minds of their own, so expect the unexpected.

Now, if you are this scared to ride alone, then listen to your gut - because it never steers you wrong. I am not here to tell you that you are crazy, or your feelings are nonsence, because that is not what I think.

I think this is a work in progress. I think starting lessons is a great idea, this way you can start to buid your confidence in the saddle which will give you the essential tools you need to be stronger physcially and mentally while riding.

There are Coaches who will come to your place as well. My Coach does, it is a little more expensive because the cost of her drive is added to the lesson fee - but that's something I am willing to spend because she has all the quallifications I want in a Coach - and because I do not have a Truck nor a Trailer to haul. So it's either that or ride under a Hunter/Jumper, which isn't my cup of tea.

I wish I could throw out more ideas for you -

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post #3 of 10 Old 12-11-2009, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: wisconsin
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i dont think it is unreasonable to not want to ride alone !

personally i will ride most horses alone, but not all.

if you dont feel comfortable riding alone then you dont have to, riding is supposed to be fun right ?

i also always *try* to keep my phone on me just in case. a friend of mine has her own place in the middle of nowhere so she always rides alone & she was thrown from her horse & broke some ribs & punctured a lung, but she had her phone on her & was able to cal 911.

Gypsy & Scout <3
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-11-2009, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by stacieandtheboys View Post
Do any of you have this fear? Do I just need to get over it??? Any ideas for me? We keep our horses at home so it isn't like we have a big barn with lots of people. I am also not as confident in the saddle which doesn't help (I am working on it and hopefully starting lessons soon)
I'm 63, have ridden all my life and like it better alone. I have absolutely no fear of getting thrown or ending up stranded.
I will even take unbroke babies only riden a few days out into the bush where I do my training.

What caused you to be afraid?? NO confidence in your own ability or horses that intimidate you??
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-11-2009, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Abilene, Texas
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I don't know. The older I get the more anxious and scared I have gotten of everything not just horses. Probably started when I had my first son. For a while I couldn't ride in a car with anyone but my husband and even he made me nervous. I would have panic attacks with anyone else. Over that now thank goodness.

I think it is more my ability than scared of the horse. I went 8 years without riding once or owning a horse. (I had to sell my horse when we got married because we couldn't afford him) I know what to do but am just more cautious with everything that I do. I think a big thing for me is I thought I would go back to riding like I was before I got married and it just hasn't worked out that way. I think lessons will help a lot with that aspect but I am usually ok if I know someone is in the house. I will not go out alone of the road unless my neighbor can go with me. (My husband usually can't because he watches the boys when I ride). I am out of school right now and want to ride during the day when it is warmer but no one is home during the day with me and neighbors are at work. I may try the fanny pack thing for my phone ( I have an iphone so it isn't as simple as slipping it into a pocket.)
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-11-2009, 10:32 AM
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It depends on the horse. It has nothing to do with confidence, its about each situation. I could be a very confident rider, but know I am about to ride a bucking bronco. Being confident will not keep a horse from bucking or trampling you if they really wanted to.

With green unpredictable horses I do NOT ride alone. If you fall you could get knocked out or trampled, lie there for hours in pain, and you could even die, especially when its this cold out. I don't even climb into the hay loft when no one is around. If I fall from the ladder I could break my legs.

I saw this thing its called a cell phone buddy or something. It attaches to your boot and fits most cell phones. Or you wear a belt cell phone holder (attractive I know.)
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-11-2009, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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I can forgo attractiveness for safety LOL.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-11-2009, 10:45 AM
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How about a zippered pocket? My boyfriend has an Iphone as well. He just zipps up his pockets and its fine. Although you need deep pockets lol.
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-11-2009, 11:24 AM
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i have no fears riding alone. of our three, two of them i wouldn't hesitate to take out alone all day. the TB we have only ridden a little and he's such a hothead i don't know that i would take him out by myself. the first real solid ride we had wife was already out and i just threw the saddle on him b/c my fella was being dumb. and all he wanted to do was run.

but if you know your horse well, i wouldn't fear too much. if you've got a phone, then find a way to take it with you. i always do just in case.
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-11-2009, 12:35 PM
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Location: Cuthand, TX and Berryville, AR
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I ride alone most of the time as well. I enjoy riding with others but I also enjoy the alone time with my horse. I guess I'm not a typical female as I've always had hobbies that entail some risk. I generally carry a cell phone all the time so it's no different when I ride. My horses will spook a little on occasion but I try to always keep my attention focused far ahead when I'm riding out in the woods. I think that keeps me and them safer.
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