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Your Opinion On Trail Riding Alone?

This is a discussion on Your Opinion On Trail Riding Alone? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        03-11-2014, 07:44 PM
      #41
    Foal
    I've had my first horse of my own a year next month and I've been afraid to ride alone. I did it once or twice and fought him trying to get back to the barn and got thrown off once when something spooked him. However, he (Peanut) and I have come a long way with each other. He is a very experienced horse who's had multiple owners and I am a first time horse owner who at the time was afraid and lacked confidence. Not saying I'm an expert now by any stretch, but I feel like Peanut and I have built on our relationship and understanding of one another and I have learned alot about control and paying attention to the signs a horse gives as to what he's about to do.

    With that said, I have been thinking alot the past two days since I got my new trailer about taking him somewhere away from the farm and giving it a try. I have been relying on someone else to go ride with me and as everyone else said, when you wait on someone else there's no telling how long you'll wait.
         
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        03-12-2014, 07:23 PM
      #42
    Foal
    I used to ride alone all the time and I loved it. I still would prefer to ride alone because then you don't have to worry about what the other horse is doing - going slower, faster etc. You can walk, trot and do your own thing.
    I'm in a new area now and a couple years ago had a wreck and was dumped. My horse left and I did have a cell phone with me. I wasn't hurt - just bumps and bruises. I was able to get up and walk. Found my horse who was a trembling mess. Ever since then and hearing about other people getting dumped or couldn't get a phone signal or a horse hurt. I just don't ride alone anymore. And I enjoy talking with someone. My husband rides and that's who I ride with. I have met a couple of people that I could ride with too. Those people NEVER ride alone. Oh and the new horse I have now (well he's not that new anymore) has never been out alone. So I haven't pushed it that far with him to go it alone. He's never had a "leader" for his person tho either and I have become that for him and I've been leading more and more when I go riding with my husband and he's doing great. Don't know what he'd do tho if there was not another horse there. One way to find out :) I'm 54 years old tho and I really don't need to find out. I don't need to prove anything.
         
        03-14-2014, 10:35 PM
      #43
    Foal
    Riding alone

    I do it because I do not have a saddle buddy. Carrying a gun ? Nope. That's not going to help you when your horse gets spooked and causes a serious injury. Horses do better and are more relaxed , when there is another horse close by.
    equinesnfelines likes this.
         
        03-14-2014, 11:28 PM
      #44
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SueC    
    I started riding alone on Australian bush trails at age 14. This is before mobile phones (and just after microwave ovens ...soon I can be a historical relic). My father rode with me before that but then my parents decided I was good to go alone, and I rode out a lot and got hours away from home. My parents knew the general direction / riding plan and the time I expected to be back. If necessary they would follow hoofprints in the sand, but that never eventuated because I never actually fell off on a trail riding alone, still haven't, although you get close sometimes when a kangaroo jumps out of thick bush unexpectedly. (I seemed to reserve falling off for rides on our own property. Usually the horse was surprised by the loss of rider and stopped long enough for me to dive for the reins and get back on, but I did walk back to the homestead a few times.) Most of my rides were and are at a good clip. I found horses actually startle less when you keep them trotting or cantering along. In summer I sometimes did trails bareback.

    These days I ride trails accompanied by my dog Jess, who is a Kelpie and runs like a rocket for long distances (Kelpies working sheep often do 30-60km of running in a day's work). The dog notices any wildlife well before us and the act of her noticing stops the horse from startling compared to riding without the dog - also the dog is excited by wildlife rather than scared and so the horse seems to pick up on that and use it as a "don't worry" cue. The dog is a speed freak and if we fall back to a walk she often tries to egg the horse on to a faster pace by gambolling around his front end and yapping excitedly. The dog and horse enjoy racing each other at least once in a ride.

    I ride in a Spanish Snaffle, which is actually a mild curb bit with a port mouth, because it makes a spooking episode so much simpler to manage than a snaffle. You can encourage the horse to tuck his face down instead of poking it up and this means you can nip any idea of running off in the bud quite easily and gently. This really reduces injury risks to rider and horse.

    Also I carry a multi-tool on the saddle in case my horse gets tangled in stray wire. It hasn't happened but it's good to have a plan in case.

    When I ride alone I don't cross roads with regular traffic so if my horse does ever go home without me I don't have to worry about it getting hit by a vehicle.
    I often ride alone (only human) but always with dogs to break trail. Usually its near home, and with a bareback pad.

    Yesterday we startled a flock of wild turkey and, because dogs were on it, no problem with the horse.

    Dogs, cell phone and knife always.
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        03-14-2014, 11:52 PM
      #45
    Weanling
    I think it is a very difficult question, because there are so many variables.

    1). Is it a trail that you and the horse are extremely familiar with ?
    2). Has your horse ever been spooked on that trail and why ?
    3). I assume that you have timed it so you would be bask by dusk?
    4). Someone would know your trail your eta ?
    5). Helmet (maybe vest) small first aid kit, flashlight and charged phone ?
    6). Firearm is optional

    Have a good time !
         
        03-15-2014, 12:26 AM
      #46
    Yearling
    I don't ride alone just because I am too much of a chatter box and as much as I love Sonny he only does well at listening...he's not so great at talking back

    But I don't see an issue with being alone as long as you trust your horse, your horse trusts you, and you're familiar with where you're riding...or at least know how to handle yourself should something come up.
         
        03-15-2014, 10:31 AM
      #47
    Yearling
    I think riding alone is a great test for the horse. I work hard, especially this time of year, to get all three of our horses comfortable with riding alone. It builds their confidence and makes them a better working partner. We don't have an arena YET, so all our riding is on the driveways, pastures and dirt roads near my house.

    Even when you are shoveling manure in the barn by yourself, there is risk. Two years ago, I tripped, fell and got stepped on by one of our horses, the biggest one, of course. As usual, I had my phone and called my MIL to rescue me. I broke 4 ribs, spent the night in ICU, and missed 5 days of work. It wasn't the horses fault or mine. I blame it on my bum right leg and I have worked harder on my balance since then.

    I came into this life to play it hard, and though I don't want to be foolish, I plan to enjoy it. If I waited for a riding partner, I would ride so infrequently that my horses would be too out of tune and out of shape to ride at all, and I think THAT is even more dangerous.
    phantomhorse13 likes this.
         
        03-15-2014, 05:57 PM
      #48
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ForeverSunRider    
    But I don't see an issue with being alone as long as you trust your horse, your horse trusts you, and you're familiar with where you're riding...or at least know how to handle yourself should something come up.
    This. If I only stuck to trails I knew...in areas that would never cause my horse to spook, then I could never ride anywhere away from my own barn. I could be walking down a dirt road that I'd ridden a million times before and have a herd of deer jump out of thickets 15 feet away from me. It takes a sure enough steady horse to not at least flinch at that.

    I guess others may view me as a fool or a risk taker, but I know how to handle myself and I know how to handle horses in even the worst of circumstances. That doesn't mean that I'll never fall off, but falling is part of riding....and I've learned how to minimize injury when doing that too.

    I guess that's why I'm comfortable taking green horses down trails they've never seen before...by myself...in the middle of the night with only the moon to light my way.
    Foxtail Ranch and 6gun Kid like this.
         
        03-15-2014, 06:36 PM
      #49
    Showing
    For years I never tho't of it as riding alone, just not with another horse and rider. My horse was my riding partner. It helps to have a forward thinking horse with a "where are we going today" attitude.
    Foxtail Ranch, 6gun Kid and SueC like this.
         

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