Riding on the road - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 6 Old 08-21-2013, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Riding on the road

How many of you routinely ride your horses on the road? I typically have to ride down the road a short ways to reach trails to go riding. To get to one of the trails I have to ride through a subdivision I've had some strange looks. However, my friend is getting ready to lease a horse at a farm that is about 1 mile from my farm. We want to ride together but it would be a pain to hitch up the trailer just to meet up. We are thinking we could meet at her house which is literally right in the middle. The only thing is I would have to cross a main road. It's not that busy, but still... What do you guys think? Do you ride on the road a lot and is 1 mile to far to ride to meet your friend?
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-21-2013, 10:01 AM
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A mile isn't bad to ride at all. I'm going to be riding on the road quite a bit now, my friend's farm is about 2-3 miles down the road (with one part as trails).
If I'm on the main (rt 68) I'll try to canter around the bends where there isn't a shoulder for me to ride on.

You definitely have to make yourself known though, make sure your horse can deal with cars (flying by, honking, etc), and preferably NEVER ride at night. If you have any inkling that you'll be riding at sunset or in the dark, make sure you deck out in flourescent colours and have reflective gear with/on you and your horse. I'm talking safety vest, reflective strips on boots/polos, strips on saddle, band around your horse's tail, everything. I got caught after dark with nothing and was paranoid as all get out. No one was going to see me until they were right on top of me.

But, if all you have to do is cross the main road, do it just as you would if you were driving a car; make sure it's clear and cross.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-21-2013, 10:24 AM
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If your horses are calm on the roads, it can work. Just be super alert to your surroundings - drivers may not see you or do double-takes and swerve, non-horse people will get excited and honk their horns, wave & holler out the window, loose dogs or kids on bikes may fly out of an alley and cause a spook. Also, if your horse leaves a "package" in front of a neighbors house, you may need to take care of it on your return to maintain the peace. Be aware that some road paints can be really slippery when wet, especially to a shod horse, nevermind the road itself being semi-slippery.

I leased a horse for 6 months and the bulk of our riding trails required riding alongside a 5 lane each direction tollway or past a subdivision to get there. All the horses at this facility got broke really quickly and you could then take them anywhere without worry about spooking, lol. It was harder for ME to get used to semitrucks & motorcycles flying past me at 70mph.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-21-2013, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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I'm used to riding through quiet subdivisions and back roads. Also my horse is fine around cars and motorcycles. The only time I had a problem was when I had to squeeze by a bunch of people doing road construction with bobcats and jackhammers in order to get back to the barn. Looking back I probably should have dismounted and led her by... (we ended up dancing sideways across someones front lawn instead ) However, when I'm riding in a group my horse is fearless and nothing scares her. She will go over bridges, under them, etc... But if I'm riding along a main road by myself I would probably want to do more desensitizing.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-21-2013, 10:39 AM
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Makw yourself known! Get very bright yellow vests with lots of reflective on them. I even made a vest for my horse that goes around her neck.... not that hard to make get about half a yard of brightly colored fabric fold it in half cut a large enough hole for the horses head at the top where the fabric folds over on the sides put elastic connecting the front and back together so it can stretch a bit then buy ribbon that has reflective tape on it and sew it everywhere on the vest! Also get little lights (you can find them in the biking section) get the ones that are red and that blink! Put one on the front of your horse and the back of your horse!

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post #6 of 6 Old 08-21-2013, 02:20 PM
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I ride on the roads all the time...or rather, in the ditches beside the roads. The only problem I've ever had was a couple of runaways when a young horse freaked out over a car going past. That was....um....interesting LOL.

I agree that if you're going to be riding at night, you should really put on reflective attire for both you and your horse. Other than that, go ride with your friend. I used to have a friend when I was a kid that lived about 8 miles out of town. We used to ride our horses to and from her house along a busy highway with no issues at all.
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