trail riding alone
 
 

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trail riding alone

This is a discussion on trail riding alone within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Trail riding equine alone
  • Is it safe to ride trails alone

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    10-22-2012, 10:38 PM
  #1
Foal
trail riding alone

Hi, I've never been on a trail ride by myself (i go with my cousin when I ride) and i'm debating if I should go alone or not. I'm still a beginner rider, I got my first horse in janurary and was told he was ok for beginners but he was way too much for me, even my cousin agreed that he wasn't for a beginner plus he had an attitude. I found him a new home in May and got my current horse in June (her name is ladybug)she is a 14 or 15 year old appendix 15'3 hands. I've only been on about 5 trail rides on her since it's been so hot but she is pretty mellow. I haven't had any real issues with her yet aside from one spot on the trail where it's like a mound of dirt and then the curb to the street, she never wants to step off the curb and gives me a hard time (i think this spot is scary for some horses because my other horse was hesitant too). Another thing she doesn't really like is puddles (on the street) I have to cross the street to get to the other trail and there is usually a puddle, she will stop and try to back up or avoid it however she can. I try to make her walk through it but I usually have a hard time, it doesn't help that she's already worked up from the mini mound because these two things are back to back. She doesn't really get spooked very easily, i've noticed she looks around alot and doesn't keep her eyes on the trail lol. I was told by her previous owner that she does pretty good by herself, i'm just not sure if i'm ready to ride alone yet. Maybe I should have my cousin take her out by alone and see how she does?
     
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    10-22-2012, 10:44 PM
  #2
Trained
The horse's behavior is only part of it. What she doesn't spook or fuss at once doesn't mean she won't next time. As a beginner I don't think you'll have the riding skill to ride through tough situations and you may not have the general horse knowledge to handle other things like an injury or what to do if you fall off or if there's a wild animal tracking you. The question is not only if the horse can handle riding out alone but can YOU as a rider do it safely? I'd wait until you had more experience under your belt.

FWIW there's plenty of very experienced riders who never ride out alone
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    10-22-2012, 11:31 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
The horse's behavior is only part of it. What she doesn't spook or fuss at once doesn't mean she won't next time. As a beginner I don't think you'll have the riding skill to ride through tough situations and you may not have the general horse knowledge to handle other things like an injury or what to do if you fall off or if there's a wild animal tracking you. The question is not only if the horse can handle riding out alone but can YOU as a rider do it safely? I'd wait until you had more experience under your belt.

FWIW there's plenty of very experienced riders who never ride out alone
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Ya, I think i'm going to wait a few more months or at least until i've ridden her more. My cousin is going to take her out alone tomorrow so i'll see how she does. It's just a drag having to coordinate schedules with my cousin because sometimes we can't make it work which means I have to ride in the arena which isn't quite as fun.
Thanks for the feed back
     
    10-22-2012, 11:42 PM
  #4
Yearling
When she is afraid of something I recommend getting off and encourage her to investigate it. Kind of show her its its not going to eat her. When you force it they will force back. I also think, because you haven't had her long I would start out by short rides alone and slowly work up to a long one. I use to go miles and miles alone when I was 9, but made sure someone new where I was headed.
Did not have cell phones back then, so now that is a plus. Keep calling and checking in. If know one hears from you in a certain amount of time then come looking. Don't do something your not comfortable with :)
     
    10-22-2012, 11:47 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spotted    
when she is afraid of something I recommend getting off and encourage her to investigate it. Kind of show her its its not going to eat her. When you force it they will force back. I also think, because you haven't had her long I would start out by short rides alone and slowly work up to a long one. I use to go miles and miles alone when I was 9, but made sure someone new where I was headed.
Did not have cell phones back then, so now that is a plus. Keep calling and checking in. If know one hears from you in a certain amount of time then come looking. Don't do something your not comfortable with :)
I'll try that next timeit's a pain to get back on her though haha that's another thing I need to work on, getting on her without a mounting block! My leg just doesn't want to reach up that high (even though she isn't super tall).
     
    10-23-2012, 11:13 PM
  #6
QOS
Green Broke
Riding in the arena isn't as fun but it will help you gain experience. Recreate the issues in the arena where you can work on it over and over. I just took a bomb proof clinic and it helped so much. One of the things is to approach what ever they are balking at. Hold them straight and do not let them walk around or swing their butt around. Keep asking. Biscuit would throw it into reverse plenty of times over a puddle - but will walk through a creek...go figure.

We walked over a flat tarp. Over crinkled up feed bags, over round circles that were painted black. They had to step on them. I was able to get Biscuit to do all of it it. Yeah...we had a back up moment several times. We went over a bunch of plastic bottles in a pile. Crunch crunch crunch. He had a box of wood about 10" high and about 3.5" feet square that they had to step in and out.

Work on these things in the arena - it will help you and the horse and you won't be bored working in the arena. My cousin is my favorite ride buddy too. We have had many miles together so I can relate.

When you can get your horse to go over some little obstacles in the arena without the tiniest bit of a meltdown then get your cousin or someone to go with you while you ride solo around/down the trail. That is how I started riding by myself. I still don't ride far but I am working on it!
     
    10-24-2012, 12:20 AM
  #7
Weanling
Ive ridden solo the past couple wks. I really enjoy the solitude. My mare preferrs to have other horses there, but she did real well. This past wk, she did even better by herself.

You said riding trails, not sure what kinda trails you have there. But the trails I ride there are rocks or stumps to help me remount if I need them. Or I can lead her on the side of the trail while im on the bank. Makes it real easy to mount. Im in the mtns. So I may have more options than you.
ashanz390 likes this.
     
    10-24-2012, 01:07 AM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by QOS    
Riding in the arena isn't as fun but it will help you gain experience. Recreate the issues in the arena where you can work on it over and over. I just took a bomb proof clinic and it helped so much. One of the things is to approach what ever they are balking at. Hold them straight and do not let them walk around or swing their butt around. Keep asking. Biscuit would throw it into reverse plenty of times over a puddle - but will walk through a creek...go figure.

We walked over a flat tarp. Over crinkled up feed bags, over round circles that were painted black. They had to step on them. I was able to get Biscuit to do all of it it. Yeah...we had a back up moment several times. We went over a bunch of plastic bottles in a pile. Crunch crunch crunch. He had a box of wood about 10" high and about 3.5" feet square that they had to step in and out.

Work on these things in the arena - it will help you and the horse and you won't be bored working in the arena. My cousin is my favorite ride buddy too. We have had many miles together so I can relate.

When you can get your horse to go over some little obstacles in the arena without the tiniest bit of a meltdown then get your cousin or someone to go with you while you ride solo around/down the trail. That is how I started riding by myself. I still don't ride far but I am working on it!
I'll have to try some of those things, thanks for the tip :) I was told ladybug will go through creeks too but I haven't tried yet, because the only real water to go through is in the riverbed and that's a long ride which she isn't quite in shape for yet. She really just doesn't like going through puddles in the street but on the trail she doesn't have an issue with it.
     
    10-24-2012, 01:13 AM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Rabbit    
ive ridden solo the past couple wks. I really enjoy the solitude. My mare preferrs to have other horses there, but she did real well. This past wk, she did even better by herself.

You said riding trails, not sure what kinda trails you have there. But the trails I ride there are rocks or stumps to help me remount if I need them. Or I can lead her on the side of the trail while im on the bank. Makes it real easy to mount. Im in the mtns. So I may have more options than you.
I ride in a city on dirt trails which is why i'm kind of iffy about going alone. If I was on a more secluded trail i'd have no problem going alone. When I ride with my cousin we usually avoid riding down main streets unless we have a calm horse in the group.
     
    10-24-2012, 01:47 AM
  #10
QOS
Green Broke
Keep working at it. I took Biscuit to Mississippi this past weekend to ride. I was so proud of him. He went through mud to cross a bridge. This horse HATES mud and will contort himself like a pretzel and run me into a tree to avoid mud!!! After we did this bombproof clinic he has stopped most of that nonsense. He crossed creeks and was sinking in the sand. He was a little nervous about it but kept going. The bomb proof clinic was terrific and I would recommend anyone take it that has issues with their own fears or with a horse that is fearful or buffalo'ing you! It was put on by a policeman that trains mounted police troops and is a mounted policeman himself. I was impressed!!!
     

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