Wow....I feel kinda bad now. I do nothing that everyone else does to stay safe...Helmet? No. Cell phone? Don't even have one. Contact information? No. Tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back? A lot of times no one is even home to tell. It's a wonder I haven't been killed yet!
Unless it's a special, planned event, I have no choice but to ride alone. Honestly, I prefer it that way. It's fun to go out with friends and chat and stuff, but very few of my friends ride so usually when I go it's just me riding with a bunch of people I barely know. Both my girls are decent alone or in a group, but they both tend to be less focused when they're in a group. I like riding alone or with just the dog and being quiet and just enjoying the companionship. I like how much more attentive both horses are when they're alone.
I really like taking them alone too, because it's something I can say they can do. Anyone can hop on a horse and ride it out with a group of others, but judging from these forums and stuff, not everyone's horse will go out alone. In my trail-rider opinion, riding out alone is the most important skill a horse can have, and I would never even consider buying a horse who was herdbound.