I just got back from 3 days of riding in Yellowstone National Park. Since it is a National Park, The rangers did want to see out current coggins test. But they never asked where we were going. I would need a permit to camp over night in the park. But not to ride in the park.
We rode 3 days and the park rangers bumped into us one of those days and checked our papers.
Most of the time riding in Utah I never see a Forest Service Ranger, So we just ride where we want. Canterbury, we frequently cross passes at 12,000 foot during the summer months. During the winter we stay lower to get out of the snow and cold.
I've never had one of my personal horses get serious hurt. But have seen 3 horses that friends owned go down over the years. One a broken leg, one a ruptured Aorta and the third was bumped off a cliff by a pack horse and broke its neck when it fell. So accidents do happen. Fatal accidents are not common, But anything is possible.
Personally, I've broken ribs and blown out my ligiments in my wrist while riding and have had to cope with the pain and injuries for extended rides out of the back country. A close friends horse went off a cliff and he broke his back in 5 places, He was lifeflighted to a hospital in a helocopter. Another friends horse slipped in some mud and went down, He broke his pelvis and ruprtured his bladder and lay on the trail for 14 hours until Search and Rescue found him. Things happen even though we are careful. Riding alone is risky for even the best, and down right irresponsible for novice riders
CHT...you are right in possibly letting someone ride an older/bombproof horse to get them back into riding. I have done that a couple of times, but was right with them.
As for my "good horses", I can count on the fingers of one hand how many people have ever ridden my Palomino, since I've had him, and have 3 fingers left over. And that is in 12 years.
Baby Huey I have put someone up on, in round pen only, and did let my daughter ride him outside it, where he went to crow hopping and she bailed, (never taught her what to do, since only had ridden her horse who didn't do things like that) and other friend rode him too.
But by and large, I won't let people ride my horses.
I'm really picky about hands, so makes me nervous.
I have a dead broke, lazy appaloosa that I don't mind letting beginners ride. I don't let anybody ride my main horse. I did once. The lady was an attorney. My horse threw her off. Only my darling little Princess would choose an attorney to dump. Nothing came of it and everybody was ok. But it did get me to thinking...........
Having a trail riding business I can tell you that I would NEVER EVER rent my horse to someone (experienced or not) and let them go alone. We have done that with people who came on a guided tour first and seemed to be doing alright and the horses came back lame, sweating from head to toe or totally nervous and it is not worth it if you have horses for your business. I am not aware of anybody who offers that service and I would think you are probably better of in getting more experience, safe money and lease a horse or something like that!
A total beginner (I don't consider 10 guided rides on tourist-proof horses as any kind of experience) out alone on ANY kind of horse is asking for trouble.
WAY too many things can happen. A trail is not a controlled environment like an arena. It's no place for unaccompanied beginners.
I would second taking lessons. I worked at a facility that would allow guests to take out horses for solo rides after they had been coming and riding for at least 7 to 10 years. That said they had rules, you carry a cell, you arrive back on time and you do not bring back a sweaty horse. That said, I think the liability associated with a beginner rider (with only 10 rides and no tack up experience that's what you are) would be so intense that people would not do it.
I skimmed over everything and most of the responses are similar. I get that. I know I am not an experienced rider. I'm willing to learn anything others are willing to teach me. I live paycheck to paycheck with no means of saving any money, so leasing a horse is sadly not an option. Someone mentioned making it a goal of mine. Well, it sure is one. I just have no idea where to start especially when I can only afford MAYBE one or 2 trail rides a month. So I guess this post is going in a tiny bit different direction... where to go to learn the basics without a high cost?