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Thyme 09-07-2010 01:32 AM

Trail Riding Solo - Advice/Help
Hello, so I am starting college this october! and my plan to not let stress kill me is weekend trail riding. However my long time horse buddy had to lease her horse out for the year so I am going to be trail riding alone, and need advice on what I should bring and what I should do with my horse to prepare him for this.
He really likes the trails and has been ridden out alone and is fine with that, but he has never been into the mountains (where I ride) he can be spooky (his arabian side) but he is a pretty firm and adventurous tough guy too (his peruvian paso side)
I recently purchased a halter bridle, Aussie saddle and a new helmet.
I found the trail riding self-defence post which really help, I had never thought about that.
I also read on another post to carry a knife and lead rope.
I also will bring a hoof pick and mini-medical kit.
Anything else I should get or do to prepare us for the solo-trails?

Solon 09-07-2010 01:34 AM

What I did first was to ride my boy around the property. Get him used to be riding but without the other horses. We rode through the turn out pastures, around the parking lot etc.

Each time we went a little further and finally we were well away from the barn. Now my only problem is getting him to go back to the barn. He just wants to explore.

Best of luck!

Wanted to add about the self defense - carrying pepper spray is not a bad idea. There are a lot of homeless people that live off the trail I ride (trail is combination horse/people - very busy). Mostly they like to come out and see the horses and pet them, but you never know.

I take a little bag that keeps my cell phone, information about me - where my horse is boarded, emergency contact, hoof pick, extra water and my pocketknife.

The contact information is really good. I even know of people that put a small tag on the bridle with the horses barn information and phone number.

Thyme 09-07-2010 01:35 AM

Yea that sounds good I will prob just adventure around the parking lots at the trail head, the first couple times rather then just going for it.

Oh i got pepper spray for christmas I will add in there, I also love the tag idea and ID card. Thanks!

Solon 09-07-2010 01:41 AM

There are some western washington folks that are on this board! Riccil0ve is one - she may even know of folks in the area.

What general area are in you? (don't have to list exact location).

Thyme 09-07-2010 01:51 AM

I am in the Puget Sound Area

Solon 09-07-2010 01:54 AM

I work for Fish and Wildlife in southwest Washington, I'm going to give you a link to our website that talks about interacting with bears and cougars. It's something you need to be aware of when you are out on the trails.

Black Bears - Living with Wildlife | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Cougars (Mountain Lions) - Living with Wildlife | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Thyme 09-07-2010 02:01 AM

Alright thanks so much! We are gonng be staying on the flat trails follwing logging roads and the camp grounds not the actual mountains but they do come down so we will watch out, Dante pretty much knows when a rabbits takes a breath though LOL you cant sneak up on him.

Solon 09-07-2010 02:07 AM

That's the thing, that's where they have been moving down to, so just be aware of your surroundings and make sure you read both of those. Unfortunately both their populations are getting more out of control so they are moving into urban areas to find food.

mbender 09-07-2010 08:10 AM

Hi, how exciting to be able to go out and ride around mountians. I would be nervous about the wildlife but like someone said carry pepper spray. I would make sure it works. I don't know how old you are but because it seems like you ride in a vast area, maybe bringing a b-b gun with.? I don't know the legalities but for self defense I would. Bringing a bottle of water would be a survival tactic. Lighter. Change of socks? Ibu profene? I don't know. You never can be to prepared. Even snacks.
Posted via Mobile Device

Solon 09-07-2010 12:58 PM

A BB gun isn't going to do anything to a cougar or bear.

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