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Riding Alone

This is a discussion on Riding Alone within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
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    02-22-2011, 12:32 AM
  #11
Foal
If I didn't ride alone, I'd almost never ride. I have one of those ankle pockets where you can store a cell phone and a flashlight and pepper spray and a few Cashel Company
Other things on your leg.
If you and your horse part ways, you want something attached to your body that can help you get home. The other thingI use is one of the Garmin forerunner wrist GPS units. Because if you have a cell phone in the middle of no where and actually have service but no GPS how can you tell the rescue squad your exact location? Of if you aren't injured, you just set it to trace back to your truck.

As for carrying a gun, it's not going to do you much good if your horse isn't used to you shooting in. I also train my horses for Cowboy mounted shooting so my horses are used to the noise but most horses aren't used to it. You could do more harm then good by shooting off a gun if you horse is nearby. The best thing is to leave the gun at home.
     
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    02-22-2011, 12:42 AM
  #12
Weanling
I ride alone a lot, too. One thing I'm never without, and I've mentioned it on the forum before, is my SPOT. A satelite positioning system that will allow you to send a 911 call from anywhere in the world (more or less) that will give your GPS cooridinates.

You have to be concious to activate it, which is a bit of a drawback, but if you can get a GPS signal it WILL send out an emergency call.

It can also be used to send an "I'm OK" call to up to 10 people or a "I need Help but it's not a 911 emergency" call to up to 10 people.

I often send out an "I'm OK" just to test the system and to make my brother in Mississippi jealous of where I'm riding--the message includes GPS coordinates and a link to GoogleMap with your location. He's in Mississippi. I'm in Idaho. And I LOVE to rub it in!

Water, lighter(s), knife, rope, SPOT. And you're good for an emergency in the woods. I also carry a few PowerBars, but that's just a personal choice.

Have fun!
     
    02-22-2011, 08:01 AM
  #13
Yearling
I have never ridden in bear country, but I have hiked there.
What I have heard is do not bring a dog, as they could bring an angry bear back to you.
A bear will really only attack when startled, so make sure he can hear you coming so he can get out of your way. Have your horse wear sleigh bells.
That's what I do when riding during hunting season, so that I am not mistaken for a deer!
     
    02-22-2011, 09:59 AM
  #14
Yearling
Hunting season in different parts of the country mean different things. I've had many people tell that they would never dream of riding during hunting season. Here in Utah Bow hunting starts in Aug and we have hunt thru Dec or even January depending of the species.

There is no way I'm giving up being out in the moutains for 4 months of the year, because there might be somebody hunting.

I hunt and spend a lot of time on the mountain during the fall. I'm often alone, my hunting buddies on the far side of a distant mountain. Or at home because they couldn't get away from work. I've learned to travel with my horses and have accepted the possibility that some day, I may get hurt. I've broken ribs, torn ligiments and had a multitude of blister and bruises. But I've survived so far. Go prepared and have fun
     
    02-22-2011, 11:18 AM
  #15
Foal
I have read a lot of good suggestions here.

When Riding alone, on trail, I first would make sure you have a set of saddle bags in one side have your horse first aid and in the other have a human first aid kit. Then I would get yourself a set of horn bags, keep a water bottle and a few snacks that keep well, things like power bars, granola bars and things like that.
Educate yourself on the local wild life so you know what you have to worry about and what you don't. Pepper spray or wasp spray work great on most animals just aim at the eyes. If you horse is afraid of gun shots a gun will do little more than leave you horseless in the woods. Dogs I will usually stop and face them and they will usually stop too, if they stand thier ground I'll tell them in a very stern voice to "Go Home!" If they don't budge I move my horse toward the dog and it usually makes them back down, If not I get more aggressive about chasing them. My horse like this lol.

The GPS is a GREAT idea if you can afford it. If not The ranch I work at had Walkie talkies the main one was always on back home and they where of superb quality and we could be, I think, 25 miles away and still get a message back to the ranch if something went wrong.
     
    02-22-2011, 11:21 AM
  #16
Foal
Oh and as far as hunting season goes a hunter orange saddle pad and vest really are a good idea!
     
    02-22-2011, 12:43 PM
  #17
Started
I ride alone pretty much every time I ride. I'm lucky to have a really great horse.

We don't have bears or moose here... but we have gators, snapping turtles, hogs, coyotes, deer, bobcats, snakes, and panthers (although you never see them).

I've never had a problem with dogs... I either yell at them or chase them and they run off. A horse can easily outrun most dogs, and even the fastest dogs (sighthounds) can only outrun a horse for a very short period of time.

I bring dogs with me sometimes, but ONLY if they have a reliable recall, will lay down and stay from a run off leash, and know commands for 'stay close' and 'stay right next to me.' I never let them stray.


Coyotes and bobcats would never go after a horse unless there was something seriously wrong with them.

A deer would never do anything and you would never see a panther.

Hogs will occasionally go after horses but usually run away. They can be outrun.

Unfortunately, around here, the venomous snakes seem to be the stupid ones. I really only see black racers and cottonmouths while I'm riding. The black racers always run for their lives the second they feel the ground vibrating. The cottonmouths, on the other hand, coil up in the middle of the trail and refuse to move - even with a horse galloping towards them! I can't tell you how many I've accidentally run over. Luckily, they can't really bite a horse moving that quickly, and if I'm going more slowly I can usually spot them before we get near them.

Snapping turtles won't do anything unless they're cornered or you block their access to the water. Gators are the same, except add when they have eggs or babies or are trying to mate.



SailorGriz - Thanks for the info on the SPOT! I'd never heard of one and it sounds awesome : )
     
    02-22-2011, 01:05 PM
  #18
Yearling
Thanks all! Everyone has realy great ideas, I feel better about it now. I will have to look at the gps or the SPOT thing and see how much they run. We have a car gps that you can program for walking, but my mom would have my hide if it were to get damaged in anyway. Well the more we have been shooting around Gizmo the more he has been getting used to it. I think mounted shooting is so cool. But I still don't know how he would be if it was right on his back. He is a really great horse so I doubt anything would happen, I just want to be prepared for the unexpected.
     
    02-22-2011, 01:47 PM
  #19
Weanling
Gizmo, FindMeSpot.com is the place to get info on Spot. They are NOT a GPS! They are strictly a one way communicator for preprogrammed (user programmed) messages. They won't keep you from getting lost--but they just might get you found!
     
    02-22-2011, 02:17 PM
  #20
Green Broke
If you're going to take a cell phone with you...

First off, don't put it in your saddle bags or otherwise attach it to your horse. When you're on the ground bleeding and your horse has gone south, you're going to wish you had it. If you're separated from your horse and your horse has your phone, you're going to have a problem. When people put cell phones in their saddle bags and go off alone, it makes me die a little inside.

Second, have a contact in your phone that says "ICE". That stands for "in chase of emergency". That contact should call someone reliable who knows you and can get you to a hospital. When you're on the ground unconscious or otherwise delirious, the person who finds you needs to know who to call. I have two ICE numbers (ICE #1 and ICE #2), in case the first doesn't pick up.

Third, take the password off your phone. You probably don't need it, and your phone is as good as a square rock if the person who finds your body can't get into it, identify you, and call help.
     

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