Sometimes a quiet ride alone with your horse can be the best therapy in the world. But it’s also important to remember that riding can be a dangerous activity. Before you head out for a ride on your own, consider these seven important safety tips for horseback riding alone.
Tell Someone Where You’re Going
Always let someone know when you’re headed out on a ride, and when you’re going. If there’s no one at the barn, leave a note and take the time to call up a local friend. Tell them what time you should be back, and your intended route if you’re heading out on the trails. Then, call them once you’ve returned to let you know that you finished your ride safely.
Wear Safety Gear
It’s always a good idea to wear appropriate safety gear when horseback riding alone. It’s especially true when you’re riding alone. Make sure that you’re outfitted correctly with heeled riding boots and appropriate attire. If you wear a helmet, then make sure your helmet fits you properly and is buckled before you mount up.
Bring Your Cell Phone
Bring your cell phone along on solo rides. Carry your cell phone on your body, not in your saddlebags or attached to your horse. If you and your horse part ways, having your phone on your body can be a lifesaver.
Ride a Trusted Horse
A solo ride isn’t the right time to try out the new horse who arrived a few days ago. When you know that you’ll be horseback riding alone, riding a horse who you know and who you can trust can help reduce your chances of a serious accident or injury.
Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
When you’re out in the ring or on a trail alone, stay aware of what’s going on around you. See a person approaching ahead on the trail with a dog by their side? Now might be a good time to get off the trail or to take a cutoff to avoid the potential program. Be smart about what’s happening around you.
Prepare Before Mounting Up
It’s always important to make sure that your horse is in the right mindset before climbing into the saddle. That becomes even more important when you’re riding alone. Take the time to do some groundwork or lunging until your horse is focused, calm, and ready to work before you climb on board.
Don’t Push Your Limits
Finally, don’t push your limits while you’re riding alone. It’s not a great idea to school over super high fences or to work a horse who has been spooky for the very start. Save these rides for days when there are other people with you in case you should need help.
Horseback riding alone can be quite enjoyable, but we want you to stay safe at the same time.
Horse Courses by Elaine Heney
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