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I trail ride. With it getting dark at 4:00 PM and it being hunting season...



What are your favorites - for the horse?

P.S. Does this actually work?
 

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In my experience it takes a light to be shined on reflective gear to be reflective, like flashlights or headlights of cars on the road. I would use a good loud bear bell tied so it would ring as the horse walks. There are also battery powered twinkly red lights you can tie to their tails. (tail lights :) Heck, theoretically you could light up the whole horse like a Christmas tree.
 

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For riding I see a combination of reflective exercise sheets, boots, neck and tail bands and the riders have reflective vests and hat bands. I usually wear my reflective vest throughout the year or time of day; of course I don't need to worry about hunters. In the field we used reflective headcollars and/or rugs and carried a torch. Although I haven't seen people putting lights on their horses here, there is a dog walker who lights up her black lab!
 

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If you are riding where hunters are... be so very careful!!

I wear bright orange/lime colored safety vest on my body for seen on a moving target and seen because it is covered in reflective tape at night.
I put reflective strips{Velcro} on my stirrup treads cause motion catches the eye of a driver..
My horses wear bells...you hear us coming, period.
Desensitizing to the noise needs done, its easy.
My horses have jingle bells sewn to loops of Velcro fabric I attach through saddle dees, my breastplate dees, smaller ones go to my reins..
We also will use a tail wrap that is florescent with Velcro closure that I can again pop those bells onto...
Each step the horse makes is tinkling with sounds...using different sized bells and pitch I find makes us a bit more easily heard from a distance.
My sister took my horse about a mile from me for a ride and came toward me at a walk...heard that horse for sometime before I actually had a visual of them. :cool:
Hunters may not like you because your sound will also send wildlife gone..


The fluorescent will get you seen a bit better.
If you must be on roads, try to use roads with wide shoulders...
I have a friend who use to purchase small flashlights and as it got dark she would turn them on so you saw moving lights and knew something was roadside, but no idea of what it was till close up.
We always wear riding helmets for protection and know there are helmet covers made that are reflective..

The more you can be heard and seen the safer you will be.
Dawn & dusk are your most dangerous times to be in the woods astride during hunting season here by me.
Roadside you are always in danger from a distracted driver no matter the hour of day...again, visibility and wearing clothing articles that catch attention are assets.
Horses need that kind of protection too if they are t/o near where hunters are...seen and heard 24/7 means hoof bell tapes, tails and manes braided in bells...
Some ideas can be found here...
https://www.chicksaddlery.com/search-results?Search=reflective+apparel
https://www.chicksaddlery.com/6-bell-sleigh-bells-strand

Amazon has more ideas...
https://www.amazon.com/Safe-Riders-Gear-Trail-Horses/dp/B01KA00N9M

Be safe, be seen and be heard!!
:cowboy:...
 

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I like something like this:


https://www.walmart.com/ip/Safety-R...ng-Motorcylcle-Riding-More-L-XL-ONE/899175112

It's got the reflective strips but just the neon yellow itself shows up really well in low-light situations. And it's cheap! I don't know how I look to other people when riding but I can't help but think the reflective strips show up really well because if I go down to my tack room after dark with a flash light it shows up really well to me!

My current horse is black (not elk or deer colored) so I have been a little lax about dressing her up, I just generally dress up myself. But I used to have a chestnut horse and I put hunting vests all over him during hunting season. (His back vest curled up in the breeze but normally it hang down on his hind quarter better).


PS. I've done the bell thing too but I don't know how far the sound carries. I think it would be good for archery season but probably not that great for rifle season. However, it doesn't hurt to make yourself as non-deer-like as possible!
 

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One time when I was a teenager I was riding my mare in the hills with her colt following on a forested path. A shot rang out and the bullet slammed into the hillside just above my colt's back. He was the color of a deer. That really got my heart pounding and I was hopping mad.
 

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One time when I was a teenager I was riding my mare in the hills with her colt following on a forested path. A shot rang out and the bullet slammed into the hillside just above my colt's back. He was the color of a deer. That really got my heart pounding and I was hopping mad.

Wow, that's scary! I also put a hunting vest on my colt when he was a baby (chestnut colt not mine or he would have been wearing a vest too).
 

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P.S. Does this actually work?
I have no experience with it, but I would think it would, based on the fact that I have paracord with reflective tracers in it very similar to that and it lights up really well with a flashlight from a good distance away. So it should work if someone shines a light on it.

If you are worried about hunters though (vs. cars and flashlights) that isn't going to show up. I think you need the neon yellow or orange if what you are worried about is hunters. But for road riding, I think the reflective strips are a great idea.
 

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:smile:" Hunters may not like you because your sound will also send wildlife gone.." :smile: like

I could care less what the hunters think.......as long as they don't shoot me or my horse. But sometimes wildlife will just watch you if you are making a strange sound. I see elk all the time when I am playing music. They stare at me in astonishment right before they run. But the bells are supposed to scare off bears, so I guess there's that.
 

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I could care less what the hunters think.......as long as they don't shoot me or my horse. But sometimes wildlife will just watch you if you are making a strange sound. I see elk all the time when I am playing music. They stare at me in astonishment right before they run. But the bells are supposed to scare off bears, so I guess there's that.
I don't think it scares off bears as much as alerts them to your presence so you don't startle each other. Black bears generally move right off anyway.
 

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I like the hi viz products from Equisafety. You can usually find them on sale at horseloverz.com. I replaced my hi vis riding vest this summer for under $10 on that site. Actually had a driver stop me a couple of weeks ago and said they appreciated how easy we were to see and that there were instructions for passing on the vest (it says- "Please pass wide and slow.") I also have an orange helmet cover and our boot accessories are orange.



I have a reflective biothane browband and breastcollar- orange overlaid with the hi viz reflective stripe. They came from Distance Depot. When the weather is cool enough (like today), I add a hi viz quarter sheet.



All this gear absolutely makes a difference when riding on the roads. I hear cars slow down much earlier, and see them pass much more slowly, when we're all "lit up." We don't pass people on the trails very often but this time of year, with hunting going on, if I'm going on a woods trail I'm dressed to be obvious. Also have a bear bell on the saddle.
 

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Couldn't pay me to ride on trails during firearms deer hunting. Even with blaze orange on horse and me with blaze orange coat,an helmet cover.

You'd be lucky if your horse survived the ride. No way no how would I ride on trails or dirt roads. I value my life and my horses life to much to risk it.

My horses are in a corral right by barn. An that's where they stay till deer hunting is over. Every year horses get shot ,being mistaken for deer during firearms deer hunting.
 

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Couldn't pay me to ride on trails during firearms deer hunting. Even with blaze orange on horse and me with blaze orange coat,an helmet cover.

You'd be lucky if your horse survived the ride. No way no how would I ride on trails or dirt roads. I value my life and my horses life to much to risk it.

My horses are in a corral right by barn. An that's where they stay till deer hunting is over. Every year horses get shot ,being mistaken for deer during firearms deer hunting.
I think things are different out west. Well, at least I hope so! But deer season always sounds like a free-for-all in other places. Here, we have both deer and elk hunts and the hunters have to be drawn for permits and only hunt in certain sections. That does include my favorite part of the national forest near my house.

I have been told the limited number of hunters and the fact they have to be drawn in a lottery to get a tag is what keeps things under control. To be honest, I don't even know when the deer hunts are in my area. I DO keep track of the elk hunts because I like to go out and call the elk and I obviously don't want to do if there is a hunt going on. But the way I look at it is that I have every right to be out there as anyone else, I just need to be careful about it. And if I didn't ride during hunting season I wouldn't be riding from the beginning of September through November because the hunts are all staggered (at least those 3 months.......deer season might be into December as well). So I'm not going to stop riding for 3-4 months because of hunters in the woods. I just try not to sound or look like a game animal when there is a hunt going on. The "big" elk hunts are still coming up in November. The ones with 250 plus permits for bull elk and about the same number for cow elk. Those last about a week each. I will be extra careful during those times and stick to the main roads rather than doing a lot of bush whacking. And yes, wear all my crazy yellow and orange garb. It can't hurt and probably helps quite a bit.
 

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PS. I have never heard of a horse actually being shot by accident (although I'm sure it could happen). But we do have idiots who shoot feral horses or even pastured domestic horses on purpose. And then they just get a slap on the wrist. Makes me so angry!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think things are different out west. Well, at least I hope so! But deer season always sounds like a free-for-all in other places. Here, we have both deer and elk hunts and the hunters have to be drawn for permits and only hunt in certain sections. That does include my favorite part of the national forest near my house.

I have been told the limited number of hunters and the fact they have to be drawn in a lottery to get a tag is what keeps things under control. To be honest, I don't even know when the deer hunts are in my area. I DO keep track of the elk hunts because I like to go out and call the elk and I obviously don't want to do if there is a hunt going on. But the way I look at it is that I have every right to be out there as anyone else, I just need to be careful about it. And if I didn't ride during hunting season I wouldn't be riding from the beginning of September through November because the hunts are all staggered (at least those 3 months.......deer season might be into December as well). So I'm not going to stop riding for 3-4 months because of hunters in the woods. I just try not to sound or look like a game animal when there is a hunt going on. The "big" elk hunts are still coming up in November. The ones with 250 plus permits for bull elk and about the same number for cow elk. Those last about a week each. I will be extra careful during those times and stick to the main roads rather than doing a lot of bush whacking. And yes, wear all my crazy yellow and orange garb. It can't hurt and probably helps quite a bit.
That is exactly how it is here. The hunting is extremely strict. Extremely limited permits. Extremely sectioned. Spammed warning signs. Limited hours. Legalized specified weapons only. Harsh penalties for illegal hunting. Etc. We have a major deer (over population) problem here and they need the hunters to help control it. The trails don't go through the deer hunting territory (obviously), but they do run close by (parallel ish). No need to play "where's waldo." I can't ride in the summer due to the heat. I don't want to take away the fall!
 
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It's already been said, but I just want to add extra emphasis: Reflective gear might not help with hunters. That type of gear needs a bright light to shine on it (hence why it's good for cars, because they have headlights). Most hunters don't go around shining lights into the forest (in fact, depending on the laws where you live, it might be illegal -- research "jacklighting" for more information).


Do wear bright colors (on you and your horse) and reflective gear, but to be safest, you want your gear to make noise and have actual lighting, not just reflective strips. Wear bells, play music, wear a headlamp, put fairy lights in your horse's tail. Maybe mirrors? Mirrors are great for catching sunlight, you should always have one on you in case you need to signal for help. Also a whistle.


I would also be concerned about your horse spooking from a gunshot. The last thing you want is for you to be thrown and then you're down, possible hurt, while your scared horse runs off who knows where.
 

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PS. I have never heard of a horse actually being shot by accident (although I'm sure it could happen). But we do have idiots who shoot feral horses or even pastured domestic horses on purpose. And then they just get a slap on the wrist. Makes me so angry!
In my area (Great Lakes region, Wisconsin), a horse was just shot by a bow while on a trail ride, while the rider was wearing bright red protective gear, and was in a talkative group. The arrow went through the horses heel and hoof, and the horse was immediately put to sleep.

Caption of picture: Front hoof. Arrow struck pastern area and hit an artery, a tendon and a fluid sac.
 

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Make a lot of noise. The most weird thing to hear in the woods when you're hunting is a human voice. Stay on open trails. Make sure whoever owns the land knows you're there and if it's state forest...good luck and stay safe. Reflective gear and maybe some bells on the tack would be a good warning that you're coming.

IMO when people take their hunter safety courses to get a license, there should be a portion SPECIFICALLY about watching for equestrians. Not that everyone out there is licensed though... typically it's those people that are the problem.
 
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