With the weather turning better, it seems the perfect time for a trail ride. But sometimes it's hard to get everyone to the barn at the same time for the ride. At some point, almost any rider will have to ride alone. Riding alone can be a wonderful way to connect with your horse and enjoy some solitude, but there’s also an element of danger to mounting up when you’re the only one on the property. Before you ride solo, think about putting some or all of these safety tips to use.
Wear a Helmet and Safety Gear
While you might not like wearing a riding helmet, it’s one of the best ways to keep yourself safe when riding. If you’re riding alone, carefully consider your decision of whether or not to wear a helmet. Additionally, wearing other safety equipment like a protective eventer vest will offer you further protection.
Let Someone Know Your Ride Time
It’s always a good idea to let someone know what time you will be mounting up and what time you plan to be done with your ride. You can text this information to a friend or loved one who knows your whereabouts. Then, text or call them once you’re finished your ride. If your friend or loved one doesn’t hear from you, they should attempt to get in touch with you and head out to the horse stables or call in help if they can’t reach you. This practice helps to reduce the chance that you could be injured and undiscovered for hours.
Program Emergency Information Into Your Phone
Before you mount up, take the time to enter some emergency contacts into your phone. If you label these as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone, then first responders will be able to contact these people if you are injured and unable to communicate.
Additionally, make sure that you carry your phone on your body, not in a saddle pad or saddle bag. In case you and your horse part ways, you will still want to be able to access your phone.
Know When to Forego a Ride
Sometimes, it’s better to be safe than to press forward during a ride. If you sense that your horse is not quite right or is highly excited, it may be better to forego your ride until you can work out the issues with someone else present. When you’re riding alone, you may want to keep the jumps lower or avoid jumping altogether. What adjustments you make will depend entirely on your comfort level and your trust in your horse.
The next time that you prepare to go for a ride alone, give some thought to these safety tips and save a great and safe ride.
<span style="color:#000000;">Photo Credit: Equitrekking</span>