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JenniferLVAQHA

Who rides alone?

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Hi all,

I don't have alot of riding buddies, all my friends aren't into horses. I am thinking about taking my mare on trails nearby (an hour away tops) alone. Is this a bad idea? I know I can trust my mare, but I'm always afraid of getting lost on the trails or something happening like my horse injuring herself and whatnot. Should I attempt it and see what happens or just stick it at home on the trails around my house? I think my mare would enjoy a change of scenery as well as myself! Any advice would be appreciated!! [smile]

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Honestly, I think it would be safer for you to go with someone. If you don't know the trails and are worried about getting lost then that should be enough to tell you that you shouldn't go alone. What would happen if your horse spooked and you fell off and hit your head causing a concussion? No one would be there to help you.

So I think it would be best to go with someone. [smile] I wish you lived in Texas because in about a week or so I won't have a riding buddy. [Frown]

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I trail ride alone all the time. It's a fabulous thing to be able to do and a fabulous set of skills to develop (both for you and your horse). It's certainly not a bad idea.

BUT....I think Iluvhorses2005 is right...if you don't know the trails well and you're worried about getting lost, maybe it's something you should work towards, rather than start doing cold.

Is there any way that you can suss the trails out by yourself, on foot or by other means, or are there maps, so that you can get familiar with the trails before you take your horse there?

Anyway...whenever you do it (whether you suss the trails out first or decide to just get up and do it) take as many safety precautions as you can. For example:

- wear a helmet.

- wear riding gloves (**** of a lot easier to hang onto your horse if you are not getting a severe case of rope or rein burn at the time).

- have a cell phone. Take it with you. Pack it on you (not the horse or the saddle) but make sure you pack it somewhere where it's less likely to get broken in a fall. Make sure it's turned off when you get on, unless you have trained your horse not to mind the ring.

- tell someone when you are going, approximately where you intend to go, and when you expect to be back. Check in with that person when you get back.

- have a card in your pocket that has your name and address, and the name and address of someone else, and any other details you think relevant (medical sensitivities, blood group) on it - in case you are unconscious.

- have a luggage label or something on the saddle that has your horse's name and address, and a phone number - in case she gets away from you.

- pack a folding hoofpick.

- check the weather forecast before you go.

- if you're really worried about getting lost, pack some chalk, so you can mark trees or trails as you go.

Anyway, I love trail riding alone....hope you enjoy it when you get to do it!

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Just a few words of warning... If you start riding out alone, you'll probably keep on doing it! I thought I'd try out the trails by my house a bit by myself a few years back (no riding buddies) and now I've logged hundreds of hours out there by myself! Come Saturday morning, after a long week of work, it's tough to stay away...

Getting lost hasn't been much of an issue. I did a couple of times, but just trusted my mare and before I knew it I was back in familiar territory.

Falling off and getting injured is a big concern. I haven't, but you just never know. It's one of those things where you have to think on your feet and weigh your options. If something seems unsafe, or you aren't sure about your horse's attitude on a given day, either stay home or take it easy that day.

woolly gave you some great safety tips, and I'd add always being aware. Look and listen, and don't daydream in the saddle when you're out alone. Enjoy yourself, but be alert.

Be safe, and have fun! [smiley Wavey]

[ 08-15-2006, 02:45 AM: Message edited by: e.s.dressage ]

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LOL good point esdressage....you might get lost....your horse won't. If you think you're lost, let her go - she'll take you home, no worries [big Grin]

esdressage made another good point that I forgot (it's such habit for me, I didn't remember it). Have fun - but know where your limits are. Push the envelope when you're confident - but otherwise, stay safe, know how your horse is feeling, know how she's likely to react to stuff. And you don't need to be tense, but esdressage is right, you're not out there to woolgather. Know what's happening around you, stay in the moment. Take it easy - you can come back to that trail another day.

I always like to think of pilots. Pilots have this thing about remembering to 'fly the airplane' when they're in trouble. It means, whatever trouble you're in, don't forget to fly your airplane RIGHT NOW. Don't fly into a mountain because you're thinking about how you'll run out of fuel in half an hour.

Remember to....RIDE THE HORSE. Right now, at this point in the trail.

And after all of that....HAPPY TRAILS! [big Grin] I'm sure you and your horse will have a wonderful time. There is risk....but you can minimise i. Trail riding alone, with just your best buddy, is heaps of fun!

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If you are going to be riding the mare you rode the day we rode at Lake Eufala I would think that you could be pretty confident. She seemed to be really nice and and confident. I think you can ride alone as long as you take some of the precautions mentioned above and don't overextend yourself. Life is a risk even if you do nothing but sit at home, so take steps to minimize the risks and go for it.

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Jennifer,

You need to ride with Ivette and Emily, especially now that we're all so close to you. I'd offer to ride with you, but I am not confident enough with Bellah yet. If you have your coggins I know that Bobby would let ou join us on his trails too. I'm going to PM you my phone #

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woolly has pretty much covered it...

i rode alone for YEARS because i worked retail and didn't go to work until between noon & 3pm. everyone else was at work during the day.

learn the trails close to home and when you get them down, venture out further and further. your horse will learn them before you. if you think you are lost, drop the reins and let your horse lead...she'll know the way home!!

have fun!

.

[ 08-15-2006, 07:45 AM: Message edited by: njdrumrun ]

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Buy a GPS....you can always find your way back...as long as the batteries work [big Grin] .

azgrulla [smiley Wavey]

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been rideing by myself for years...

its not that big of a deal if your smart about what you do and where you go...

just listen to your hoss....

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Riding by yourself can be relaxing. You have some great advice here. On getting lost I learned this from my sister. When going out on new trails by yourself at any split alwasy go the same direction. If you take the first left take all lefts. This does two thinks. It works you in a circle so if the paths cross you area back someplace familiar and if you need to get back, turn around and reverse the direction at all the splits. This lets you back track your own trail to home.

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Just let someone know which direction you are heading out and what time to expect you back. I ride alone alot. I've never worried about getting lost--my horse has always found his way back to the trailer. One day I did tell hubby where I was going and said I'd only be gone an hour or so. The neighbor stopped me and asked if I wanted to go help him bring in some bulls--who could say no (we headed in the opposited direction). Well 4 hours later I got home and hubby was frantic--he'd been out driving around looking for me with binoculars--he was upset. Now I carry my cell phone.

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Wow, there's some awesome advice here, thanks everyone!!!!

Judy, I love riding with Ivette and Emily but the timing never seems to work out. I always have to work Saturday's til 2 and usually they aren't available to ride on Sunday's (my day off). Maybe when they move their horses out to Bobby's I'll be able to take Sassy out there alot to ride with them (she's got a current Coggin's).

In the meantime I might take her out on Sunday somewhere kind of close.

Thanks again everyone!! [smiley Wavey]

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I've ridden solo several times before I got my second horse. Now I usually have someone who wants to ride with me. But I do love those quiet days in the park just me, my horse & the deer....

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I ride alone a lot! But I carry cell phone, hubby knows I am going, wear a helmet, all neighbors know my horses.

Also ride familiar trails. Although once Blue and I cut a new trail. I thought we were lost, I wanted him to go right, he kept pulling left. I let him go and behold! Took me right back where the trailhead is!! Gotta love their sense of direction!

It is very peaceful and relaxing alone.

BB

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Yep yep! Carry the cell phone on you, take some water, leave some ID info on the horse with the Cell phone number. Tell someone.

Get some Topographical maps of the area and a good compass and learn to use them. You will never get lost! OR buy one of those personal GPS things at RadioShack for about 70 to 100 bucks, those work very well for off road, just bring extra batteries as backup.

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I'd be happy to go riding with you once I get comfortable with Miracle and I can get a darn saddle on that thing. [big Grin]

Woolly gave great safety tips. I don't have many more because everyone spoke for me! [Jump]

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You've got lots of great advice so far. Is there any way you could ride the trails on a four wheeler or something first, and take someone with you so they would know where to look if something happened?

I don't think it was mentioned earlier, but besides the other items suggested I always try to keep a pocket knife with me on any ride. They could be very useful for lots of things.

Just be safe and enjoy yourself, whatever you decide.

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Jen,

These guys are so right on with the advice.

Do not fret about riding buddies. Look at it this way- some people cannot ride their horse alone at all! The horse just will not tolerate it. I have worked Jake from mildly buddy sour to a willing trail horse. And what a treat he is to ride now!

Have you ever had a situation where someone's horse is so awful you really wished you were alone? I have! And I was actually the person with the awful horse once, too!

I always ride the trail a few times with friends before I ride it alone. I like my horse to be comfortable with it, and I like to know where I am going, and how long it will take me to get back.

I do the same- bring my cell, tell people when I am going to be back and to call or come for me if they do not hear from me.

Riding alone is FABULOUS with a willing, reasonable horse and a few precautions.

Have fun!!!

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I ride alone mostly, but ride with barn friends also. I wear a helmet when alone and carry my cell phone.

My horse is still a little bit buddy/barn sour, so I have been taking him slowly each time we go out by ourselves a little bit farther away before we turn to come back home. He is getting better.

If your horse will go I would not have any worries about going out alone. There is great advice already given, some I did not even think of and will start doing. Great Topic. [big Grin]

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Once I start riding again I will be riding alone too. All the people I meet around here are all snobby. I love to go trail riding and most of the locals like horse shows,ride english or dressage. I am a western person myself. We all have our own thing about riding. Sometimes it is boring going alone though.

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quote:

Originally posted by rainyspirit:

Once I start riding again I will be riding alone too. All the people I meet around here are all snobby. I love to go trail riding and most of the locals like horse shows,ride english or dressage. I am a western person myself. We all have our own thing about riding. Sometimes it is boring going alone though.

Ditto - I'm not much in to showing either. But I have met one board buddy who trail rides and hope to meet more this weekend. So don't give up on finding someone to ride with once in a while.

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quote:

Originally posted by doublelhorses:

quote:

Originally posted by rainyspirit:

Once I start riding again I will be riding alone too. All the people I meet around here are all snobby. I love to go trail riding and most of the locals like horse shows,ride english or dressage. I am a western person myself. We all have our own thing about riding. Sometimes it is boring going alone though.

Ditto - I'm not much in to showing either. But I have met one board buddy who trail rides and hope to meet more this weekend. So don't give up on finding someone to ride with once in a while.

[Jump] Ditto: Looking forward to Sunday [Jump]

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Taking you cell phone is a good idea. That is usually what I do. Sometimes I'll take a water bottle or some cash for stopping at a gas station. I ride alot on roads and on the sides of highways.

I ride alone alot because of lack of somebody to ride with. I have a couple really good riding buddies, but we can't seem to make our work/class schedules mesh, so it's not alway easy. The other folks that are willing to ride outside of the arena with me like to include alchohol or they are the guys that think it may be a chance to get to know you romantically. No offense, if taken, to the guys who read this. It's the way the majority of the guys are down here. Alchohol is great around the campfire after the ride, but not when you ride. I consider it the same as a DUI...err RUI.

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[Wink] Felda.. You are so right about the drinking and riding.

I frequently ride alone, not because I don't like buddies, but because they are all about the beer and taking too many chances. In fact I ride sometimes with a lady from our trail riding club, who just happens to be the wife of one of my friends!! Never was or will be any "hanky Panky", and I would not do that to my wife either. I did find that riding alone i don't go as far from home though, it just makes sense to only have to walk back a mile or so!! [Jump]

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I think the bulk of my riding in the last couple years have been alone. Nice to ride with others,if you can find someone you enjoy riding with. Have a trainer friend that was critical of who he rode with. He just married a gal that has been riding about 5 years to his 20 plus. But I dare bet she can out ride him. She was trained well. PD

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I ride alone all the time, I dont do it by choice there is just no one else round here to ride with. Im about to start taking out my green 7 year old mare, but she is very quiet so should be easy.

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I ride alone all the time. But when I start trail riding my 2yo I'm definitely dragging a trail buddy along for safety's sake. At least for the first few.

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[smile] Ahh, Such wonderful advice from so many knowledgeable people- A friend (Charmergirl)hooked me up w/this site(HC)am very pleased w/it.I've been riding alone for yrs, w/out any major problems- and also ride @ nite(on familar trails)occaisionally too.May I add-suggest-It may be helpful to take a First Aid-EMT course also, so you can help yourself if need be, who knows what you may come across, I've helped out many in my travels.Also,It may be helpful to carry some supplies w/you.One of the things I've found to be indispensible is a set of ATV Saddle Bags (gas tank)they have many pockets-convienient to fit over a saddle horn,in front of you also.(Found @ Wal Mart-under $20)Been using my set for about 6 yrs now. Supply list- ENDLESS-lots of room. [big Grin]

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I know when we move i will be riding out alone, because there will only be my horse and none others unless we get enough land to support 2 horses, i dont mind riding alone i find it peacful and honestly would rather ride alone than ride with my brother

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