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Discussion Starter #1
I have been working horses since I was 12 years old. Most of the time I work horses by myself, and (knock on wood) have not gotten into trouble. I do keep my cell phone in my pocket all the time, but this does not help if you are knocked out cold. Last year in my community, a woman was seriously injured at a barn. She was alone, knocked unconscious, and was at the mercy of people finding her, which was several hours after her accident. In trauma, time is of the essence. This got me thinking about my own safety practices. For all of you who work horses alone, what things do you try to assure safety? Have you been in situations where you were alone, something happened, and you were screwed until help arrived?
 

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I feed and work horses on my own nearly everyday. I always take a phone, and I normally write a note saying where I am, what I'm doing and what time I expect to be back.
There's not much you really can do except let people be aware of what your doing and where you are.
 

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I don't have anyone to ride with. (not many horse people my age around our parts) I have a phone carrier and keep my phone in there. Really isn't much else to do besides let your family/friends know your general riding area and how long you expect to be gone.

I've had a horse literally flip end over end with me on out in the middle of nowhere. We were both pretty p*ssed and sore so I walked us a mile or two back to the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Good points. But, I don't live near my family. Guess I should make more friends! If I got into trouble, hopefully my boyfriend would notice I am gone, but if football is on, I am sunk - haha:)
 

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I have always worked my horses alone. I actually enjoy working alone and riding alone. I don't ever really think about getting that hurt, although I have.

One of the worst things that happened to me though was that I accidently locked myself in my horse's stall. The only way out was to literally climb the wall and go over the top, which freaked out my horse, but I did it.

So my best words of advice are... Be Careful ;)
 

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If you are riding, wear a helmet. Tell (someone) where you are, whether it be the barn owner, your coach, someone.. & most of all don't do anything stupid.
 

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I usually couldn't be gone for more than a couple of hours without someone noticing. I mostly try not to get knocked unconsious or seriously injured but that may happen someday. If it does I hopefully have a cell phone to call for help. I also carry a knife in each pocket. You can only do so much there will always be a chance you could hurt but that's the same for any activity. If I have a horse that is more likely than most to do something that may cause me harm I won't work it without someone at least checking on me if not actually watching me.
 

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One of the worst things that happened to me though was that I accidently locked myself in my horse's stall. The only way out was to literally climb the wall and go over the top, which freaked out my horse, but I did it.

So my best words of advice are... Be Careful ;)
I knew a guy that got locked in a stock trailer in the middle of a thousand acre pasture. He had to use his knife to cut through the canvas top to get out. He had several modifications made when he got back to town.
 

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LOL, I'm not laughing at your friend, but with him. It's very embarrassing to lock yourself in a stall (or trailer). Thankfully your friends trailer had a canvas top!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
"Don't do anything stupid" is really subjective. Although I have never locked myself in anything (yet), I had a terrible incident with a manure pit. I worked at a breeding barn in which we had to do night checks - we all took turns coming in during the evening hours. Well on my night, I heard barking form the manure pit - basically a huge concrete lined pit. The barn dog had jumped in and could not get out. The pit was about 3/4 full of straw and poop, so not thinking, I thought "you poor thing!" and jumped in to save her. Well, when I jumped in, the pile sunk down and both the dog and I were stuck in the pit. Luckily (and very unusually) my pal had come with me to do the check. I yelled for her and when she saw us she fell over laughing. I was able to boost the dog out, but she had to get a manure fork to pull me out of the pit. If she were not there, I probably would have spent the night in a manure pit. Later, the barn manager told me that rats were common in the pit (which is why the dog probably jumped in). I have huge mouse-phobia, so being locked in a pit with rats probably would have sent me over the edge!
 

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Wow. I would freak if I found myself in a pit with rats!! When I ride alone I normally take my cell phone and a knife with me. If I'm riding in an area close to houses I may also take pepper spray.

I let someone know where I am going, and they will call me periodically to be sure I am still ok if I'm out for very long. I also try to make sure my horse is as solid as possible, but I have found my old horse was more solid alone than when we had company. I hope that I never get in a really bad situation out there, but if it happens it happens. I will just be as prepared as I can.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok, I admit this is a really dumb question. But, what would you use a pocket knife for? I know - cutting things - but what else in an emergency situation? I am envisioning having to cut off my own leg or something....
 

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I would think more for if mine or my horse's foot got caught or if something broke and I needed to cut a new piece fo something to fix a bridle, piece on a saddle, etc. (I keep extra leather bands with me) I'm trying to think of other things I could need it for, but I can't get anything else at the moment...lol. :)
 

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If I have a horse that is more likely than most to do something that may cause me harm I won't work it without someone at least checking on me if not actually watching me.
I do the same. At the start of the riding season hubby's horse can be a handful. I usually wait for him to be home before I ride the first couple of times. I always wear a helmet and our ring is along side a fairly busy road, so I like to think a neighbour would stop.......:lol:
 

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Ok, I admit this is a really dumb question. But, what would you use a pocket knife for? I know - cutting things - but what else in an emergency situation? I am envisioning having to cut off my own leg or something....
If a horse was stuck on top of me I could cut the cinches so the horse may get up. I have had to cut lead ropes and bridle reins and tree branches. I don't think I could cut off my own leg with my little pocket knife. it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
 

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That would take a while to cut your leg off with a swiss army knife. Hehe. I dont ride my mare alone, ever shes a nut. A girl was killed at the barn where I first started riding. She was on a pretty quiet horse, in the back arena mounting or something. She fell, hit her head and died not soon after. There were alot of people there at the time. Accidents happen regardless, and they are usually flukes. I never climb into the top of the barn, were the straw is, unless there is someone there with me. If I fall and break my legs I could be there till the next morning waiting for someone to find me. What if I landed on my phone and broke it?
 

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^ I agree Kevin. :) I never thought of a cinch if a hrose was on top of me, but htat could be very important if you were stuck in a ditch or ravine. I would rather have extra safetly tools.

On long trails my mom always wears a hilarious little fanny pack with all kinds of things for in case something happens. After a horse got an abcess on a trail that includes feminine napkins and duct tape. :) Our vet said if a horse is not lame and has an abcess you could apply that to keep it clean until you get back to camp. I should probably take that little thing with me when I go for rides alone, but that is one thing I have never been able to ride with comfortably. I keep similar items in saddle bags on trails where it would be more difficult for people to get to me.
 

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I ride alone all the time and perfer it that way. I don't carry a phone and no one knows where I am. I don't often know until I get there:D
I don't worry about it. What is going to happen happens and I will deal with it then.

I have had many a horse go down, one landed on my leg hard and I thought it was broken but it was not and I managed to once again crawl on the horse. I have long 7 foot split reins, heavy duty and when the horse goes down I make sure I roll clear and keep a tight hold on one rein. That plus my horses are taught ground tying.

No in 51 years of riding so far I have needed no one to come to my rescue for anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Great advice everyone! I am going to ask for a Swiss Army Knife for Christmas. A trail first aid kit is a great idea! I take one with me hiking, why don't I take one during a trail ride?
 
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