Riding alone

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Riding alone

This is a discussion on Riding alone within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Riding a horse when alone
  • How to get your horse to trailride alone

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    09-04-2009, 06:49 PM
Riding alone

Who here rides alone? I used to ride a lot with my brother, but he got burned out (I really can't imagine why though!) and rarely rides anymore. So usually the only riding I do is by myself. Not on huge rides though, just some trails on our farm. What are some safety precautions that you take while riding alone? I always make sure I have my cell phone. Also, how does your horse behave in while riding alone, compared to riding in a group? My horse is a lot more spooky without other horses riding with us... I guess its just the herd mentality?
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    09-04-2009, 08:00 PM
Yep, your right. It is the herd mentality that makes them more spooky when alone. I ride alone all the time but I am usually not real safe about it. I often go out alone on green horses or when I am bareback and seldom take my cell phone. BUT, the worst that has really happened to date (when I am away from home) is that I was riding a young horse who spooked, I fell off, and had to walk about a quarter mile to where she had hit a fence and stopped. Because mine get ridden alone most of the time, they are just fine with it.
    09-04-2009, 08:17 PM
Green Broke
Up until last year I did most of my riding alone. T is fine with or without other horses around. Since her diminishing eyesight, I really haven't taken her out alone much. I think it's mostly me, not her, but I am concerned with the "what could happen ifs" because of the lack of sight.

With that said, I ride with a bell to alert other animals we're coming through and any hunters nearby. I have had someone tell me that they could hear that little ring-a-ling way before they knew what it was!

I always carry trail grooming tools (nippers, collapsible saw, surveyors tape) and a halter and lead rope. Can't get cell phone reception where I ride, but I let someone know where I'll be and approximately when I'll be back.

I'd like to carry a side arm because of the cougar sightings and the black bear in the area, but haven't done that yet. That's to be used only after my horse dumps me and takes off so I can defend myself. Of course that's going to work only if I'm not knocked out or very badly hurt! Yes, these are some of my "what could happen ifs)!

Oh, and I always wear a helmet. Am also considering a protective vest. My bones aren't 30 anymore.
    09-04-2009, 08:29 PM
Haha, that reminds me Walka. I was out for a nice leisurely bareback ride on Dobe the other day when I heard a rattle about 4 feet to our right. I instantly knew what it was and so did Dobe. He move away quickly and then turned and I'll be darned if there wasn't about a 5 foot rattler coiled up right there beside the trail. I wished I had been carrying my gun then.
    09-04-2009, 08:31 PM
I'm comfortable riding in the arena alone, but with a trail there is more of a risk of them running away and/or spooking. Therefore, when I go on a trail I go with another horse and rider or a person on the ground.
    09-04-2009, 09:23 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by smrobs    
Haha, that reminds me Walka. I was out for a nice leisurely bareback ride on Dobe the other day when I heard a rattle about 4 feet to our right. I instantly knew what it was and so did Dobe. He move away quickly and then turned and I'll be darned if there wasn't about a 5 foot rattler coiled up right there beside the trail. I wished I had been carrying my gun then.
That's what I like about Maine. If you hear any rattling, it's probably the beer can your horse accidentally kicked!

Of course there are other varmints, none poisonous, just carnivorous!
    09-04-2009, 09:46 PM
I think I would take the carnivores any day. They are just a little easier to see though a bit more dangerous.
    09-04-2009, 11:42 PM
I ride alone almost all the time. My horse doesn't really act any different, just a little more hesitant to go. I always take my cell phone with and make sure it's connected to me and not in my saddle bags in case me and my horse get separated and lately I started wearing an ID card with my name, emergency #s, address, any known allergies, and blood type. I just put a small index card with the information in a small plastic badge holder and hook one of those key rings that snap (like rock climbers use) through it then through my belt loop. I don't even know it's there. I also make sure I have a hoof pick, a mini first aid kit, and a halter and lead in my saddle bags. Of course the one thing you'll end up needing will be the one thing you don't have but hey...that's just how it goes!
    09-05-2009, 05:42 PM
Green Broke
Something neat that we were told to do on an endurance ride, and apparently is becoming bigger is to pick an emergency number and mark it as !ECI (name) in your phone. That way, if something bad happens and someone finds your phone, it's the first number that pops to the top of your contacts list. I've never taken it off my phone, you never know when it could come in handy!

I spent my entire young life riding alone. I was on a farm in the middle of nowhere with a sister that disliked horses and no riding buddies. Honestly, I had zero problems with my horses. They'd been raised on riding alone, so I never had any problems with herd mentality. It was quite nice, as now that I keep my horses at my best friends farm, they definitely get squirrely going out alone!

Everytime I go trail riding alone, I alert Shay-las mom to the general route I'm taking and how long I expect to be. That way someone has an idea of where I am if a horse comes galloping home alone or if four hours from now I don't come home. I always carry my cell phone with me as well.
    09-06-2009, 02:59 PM
I sadly don't have very many places to ride and no one to ride with so I ride up and down roads all by my loansome...lol

Romeo actually spooks less when he's alone. In a group if the other horse spooks he tends to fallow their lead as an excuse to bolt and spook. So far he has only spooked once badly with me alone...it was at a miniture pony lol

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