With cooler days and the leaves getting ready to change fall colors, this seems like the perfect time for a trail ride. But it’s also the perfect time for other fall activities so finding a buddy to go on the trail with you isn’t always possible.
While it’s always safer to go on a trail with at least one other person, you can go on your own if you take a few safety precautions.
*At the minimum, wear an approved safety helmet.
*Consider adding a cross country vest for extra protection.
*Add orange or reflective tape if you are going riding during hunting season or will be riding at dusk.
*Carry your fully charged phone on you, not attached to the saddle - just in case you and your horse part ways you’ll still have your phone.
*Take a safety kit - basic first aid for you and your horse, a hoof boot in case he loses a shoe, extra insect repellent, a halter in case you have to tie him, a whistle to signal for help. Add a bottle of water to stay hydrated.
*Check the weather - storms, some including lightening and thunder, can pop up this time of year at any time so it’s best to be prepared.
*Ride on trails you know so you don’t get lost.
*Let someone know where you are riding and what time you will be back. Contact them when you return so they know you and your horse are safe.
*Enter emergency contacts into your phone in case someone has to notify them.
*Don’t over estimate you or your horse’s ability. That slow creek you confidentially crossed last week may have turned into a rushing river after a week of rain. Jumping low logs can be fun, but if the takeoff or landing is muddy and slippery, it can add danger.
*Know when to turn back. If you sense that something is not quite right with your horse or he is overly excited, or the weather starts to turn, it may be better to forego your ride for another day.
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 going it alone.