Originally Posted by prairiewindlady
Even if you have worked long and hard at desensitizing your horse I would never take a horse who can be at all spooky along the road. Just when you think you have prepared for every possible scenario, something else unimaginable will pop up. All the horses I ride are pretty much bombproof:)
I will have to respectfully disagree and say that there is no such thing as a bombproof horse. It's just a matter of personality. Every horse has different levels of reactivity, and what's scary to one won't be to another. My gelding, for example, will ride down the road with cars coming from both directions, motorcycles, semi trucks and the like, and will not flinch. If the wind blows too hard, however, he is at full alert. Go figure. That said, only you will know if your horse can handle road riding.
If you have never ridden your horse near traffic, then I agree with the aforementioned suggestion to take things slowly. Start by walking near the road for increasingly extended periods of time, and expose your horse to the sights and sounds of busy roads.
Once you're ready to ride on the road, a couple things to remember:
1-Never assume that drivers will give you a wide berth, or respect you in any way. This goes along with the whole "some drivers are d-bags" concept. Therefore, you must take it upon yourself to be especially aware of your surroundings, and make certain you stay out of the way of vehicles entirely. A good sidepass is nice for this, so you can get over to the shoulder quickly and out of the way of traffic.
2-When riding on the road, I am extra cautious about controlling my own emotions. If I show uncertainty, my horse might too, and that can lead to disaster. Sit tall, and confident, smile, tell yourself that those drivers are eating their hearts out because you look so majestic up there on your trusty steed! Breath deep, relax. Focus on the destination.
Hope this helped... Good luck!