Trail riding is a great way to get outside of the confines of the ring and explore nature with your horse. Make sure that you put these seven trail riding safety tips to use every time that you head out.
1. Leave Notice With Someone Back Home
Before you go trail riding, always tell someone back home about your plans. Give them a description of your route and provide them with an estimated time of your return. It’s also a good idea to provide your friend or family member with instructions on what to do if you haven’t returned by the planned time.
2. Check the Weather
Always make a point of checking the weather before you go riding. You don’t want to get caught out on the trails during a thunderstorm.
3. Ride With a Buddy
Try to schedule trail rides so that you and a buddy can head out together. In the event that something happens and you need help on the trail, having a buddy along can mean that you’ll get help sooner.
4. Carry Your Cell Phone
Make sure that your cell phone is fully charged, and carry it with you when you go trail riding. Rather than keeping your cell phone in your saddle bags, make sure that you carry it on your person. In case you and your horse are separated, you will still have access to your phone as long as you carried it on yourself.
5. Bring Along a Trail Pack
Have a standard “trail pack” prepared that you can bring with you anytime you go trail riding. Your trail pack should consist of necessities, like a hoof pick, an extra lead rope, and a basic First-Aid kit. You should always include a map and a compass in your trail pack, particularly if you’re riding on unfamiliar trails.
6. Watch the Footing
You never know what types of footing you’ll encounter on the trails, so make sure that any areas where you choose to trot or canter are safe to do so. Remember to always check the footing on the other sides of objects – like fallen trees or brush piles – before you allow your horse to jump them.
7. Be Aware of Hunting Seasons
Finally, make sure to stay aware of local hunting seasons when you’re going trail riding. Find out if hunting is allowed in the areas where you’ll be riding. If it is, then you will want to equip yourself and your horse with blaze orange material and you might choose to only ride on Sundays, when hunting is not permitted.