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Riding on the road..or near it

This is a discussion on Riding on the road..or near it within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        07-28-2011, 08:35 PM
      #11
    Weanling
    I ride on the road almost everyday. I live by a highway and my horse doesn't even flinch at anything going by. My advice is to take your time and lead the horse first. Find a patch of grass and let her eat while the cars go by. Eventually she will not mind the cars at all and you can ride.
         
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        07-28-2011, 08:55 PM
      #12
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eowyn    
    I've watched lots of videos on youtube with riders full on GALLOPING down asphalt roads. Makes me angry at the riders and sad for the horses :P
    That's fine if you don't want to quickly turn or stop

    I learned my asphalt 'lesson' years ago. We rode a lot though areas that had asphalted hiking trails with some steep inclines that we always took at a trot to keep momentum. One day trotting up the incline, a couple with a baby stroller appears at the top coming towards us. There was no room off the path to ride so I slowed to a walk. Big mistake...with no momentum, the path was steep enough that my mare couldn't get any traction, desperately trying to dig her front toe into the asphalt. She finally slipped on her side with my leg under her. She managed to get back up in a second and I luckily got my foot out of the stirrup. She got by with just a scrape on her fetlock from the asphalt, and I was very lucky to not break a leg, but I was hobbling around with an ankle swollen like a balloon for 6 weeks and couldn't even get a boot on.

    BTW, we would never go faster that a trot on asphalt. It does have some 'give' under the weight of a horse, but we felt that faster gaits would be a little rough on the joints in the long run.
         
        07-29-2011, 12:03 AM
      #13
    Green Broke
    I've never had a horse that had problems riding down a road. Also most drivers will slow down and give you room as they approach. What scares me is roads with little to no shoulder and blind corners. Drivers can't see you.
         
        07-29-2011, 12:48 AM
      #14
    Showing
    I ride on the roads all the time. We have a ton of dirt country roads and a couple of fairly busy highways pretty close to my barn. One thing to kind of prepare both you and your horse is if you have a driveway or yard that is right on the road, you might ride around there while the traffic is going by. That way, you both get accustomed to the vehicles but you are not trapped between the road and a fence with no place to go if your horse gets skittish.
         
        07-29-2011, 01:11 AM
      #15
    Started
    I also road ride frequently. If you can ride with a buddy who's horse is ok with traffic etc. Taking your horse for walks is a great way to handle and instill confidence safely. As far as traffic I try to stay in the road(back roads only) so the autos coming can see me before I move to the side unless it's a wide open area where it's easy to see horse riders. I will ask them to slow if I feel they may cause a problem. Most are courteous, some are not. Cycle riders have never given me any trouble either. But you have to be watchful and careful as not all people are considerate of others.. You could simply lead your horse on the road part of your trip to your trails.
         
        07-29-2011, 02:41 AM
      #16
    Weanling
    I love road riding and do it often around the little town I live in. We ride past the school, the fire station, to the store, to the post office, over to the park. We even ride down to the railroad tracks and watch the train go by ;) I never ride at more than a walk on the asphalt however and try and stay off to the edge where it is grass or gravel etc as much as possible. We encounter all kinds of vehicles, people, animals etc. Something new every time. I say take your time and try to go first with a horse that is comfortable with road riding and the usual distractions and "monsters" that go with it as this makes it easier in the beginning. Have fun!
         
        07-29-2011, 11:10 AM
      #17
    Weanling
    My younger mare is safe around the "normal" vehicles-cars, trucks, jeeps, vans, trucks pulling trailers, dump trucks etc, but I have yet to meet a motorcycle or a transport on her. I think she may be alright with the transport, but motorcycles...honestly, I'm not looking forwards to it

    As for my older mare...well, she lived down around the city before I got her, so she is absolutely, 188% traffic safe. I have met all manner of vehicles, and the worst I've ever gotten out of her was a hollowed back and a small flinch as two motorcyclists roared by (they didn't stop or slow down..) One time, I was about a mile from home on a dirt road and heard a transport truck coming up behind us hauling hay. Well, I was way more concerned than the horse was, and I got her slightly off the road and sat there until it went by (we would've had to do it anyways-with the truck passing, there would be no room for us to stay on the road). It went by with all the dust and engines roaring, and the horse literally didn't even flick an ear. There is something really, really amazing about having a horse so totally traffic safe.
         
        07-29-2011, 11:18 AM
      #18
    Started
    My horse is okay with one or two, but if there are any more traveling together then he jumps up and down. Luckily, around here, all the motocylcists are very considerate and do not rev their engines and they pass very slowly.
         
        07-29-2011, 02:21 PM
      #19
    Trained
    The worst thing we've ever encountered was a GIANT tractor thing. One of those really tall ones that go really fast. Yeah. Terrifying. We thought the horses were going to flip out, but they were actually completely fine.
         
        07-29-2011, 04:09 PM
      #20
    Green Broke
    I have ridden on roads.Even some that are decently busy! All I have to say is you want to be more cautious of your surroundings. Some people drive like complete idiots. I was riding Gidget down a road that wasn't too busy and we were enjoying ourselves and all of the sudden here comes a jeep full of young guys flying down the road at about 60 miles per hour. I had to find a place to pull my horse over. That's just an example of what you want to look for.

    Riding on the road is really fun. It gets the horses use to new situations. I would say if your horse isn't use to roads just sit deep and make sure you have extra weight in those stirrups.
         

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