View Full Version : Self Defense for Trail Riders Video

Mar. 13, 2010, 02:48 PM

Some good info-

Mar. 13, 2010, 03:07 PM
thanks for that, i was just thinking of buying the video--instead i've forwarded it to my trail group president. hopefully the group will buy it and we'll all watch it and discuss it at a meeting soon.

Mar. 13, 2010, 05:33 PM
Just the first couple seconds of the video makes my skin crawl...Couldn't even imagine that...:no:

Mar. 15, 2010, 12:39 AM
The riding club I belong to bought the video a few years ago. It is very interesting as the defenses he suggests you use are not what a person's normal response would be. I hope never to have to use the techniques, but they're stored in my brain just in case.

Mar. 15, 2010, 12:51 AM
The video is worth buying.

Mar. 15, 2010, 03:00 AM
I bought the video at Equine Affaire a couple of years ago, when Scot Hansen was there.

Very cool guy - he didn't work with outside riders when I saw him, but he did do a demonstration that was pretty much the material that is in the video.

If I remember correctly, the horse was "borrowed" just for that demo and he and the rider didn't know the horse at all, so there was a good bit of talk about how to teach the horse to "help" you in a bad situation. Scot definitely gives some things to think about, including pointing out how methods we might think would work would actually make a bad situation worse.

There's also amusing footage on the DVD of him having some good-natured fun at the expense of his mock-attacker.:lol:

Mar. 15, 2010, 06:24 AM
I can't help feeling that it's one of those things that prey to fear and in so doing raise the fear factor.

Fear of attack is actually much greater than the real risk.

Albeit at the start I was concerned it was going to be "Rambo Rides Again" and particularly when it started with paintings of horses at war.... I thought here we go - just take the cavalry and a sword out trail riding!

It turned out to be moderately interesting and imminently sensible but as far as I can see it's just basic "how to sit on your horse and position it stuff". Anything that makes a rider/handler more "seat and position and horse aware" isn't a bad thing but I'm not into stuff that heightens fear disproportionately with the real risk.

Mar. 15, 2010, 08:40 AM
It turned out to be moderately interesting and imminently sensible but as far as I can see it's just basic "how to sit on your horse and position it stuff". Anything that makes a rider/handler more "seat and position and horse aware" isn't a bad thing but I'm not into stuff that heightens fear disproportionately with the real risk.

To an extent, I agree. Most of the suggestions in the video clip are pretty basic, but the full-length video goes a little deeper into recognizing "predatory" behavior and trusting your gut-feelings.

Of course, the target audience is female riders. During the demo he addressed the fact that some women don't want to appear "rude." So, if they meet someone on trail who gives them the creeps, and the person approaches them and asks to pet their horse, some women might agree to it and end up in danger before they even know what's happening.

I don't think the purpose of Scot Hansen's program is to create fearful, paranoid riders who trample over other trail users because they are convinced the person is going to attack them. Still, I didn't let that stop me from asking the cantankerous BM from my barn if he'd be willing to practice "going on a date" with me some time. . .just for the fun of it. He declined. Bummer. :D

The program is about awareness of your surroundings and having some clue ahead of time about handle a problem if you do encounter it. You're right, in that a lot of it should be basic horsemanship, good seat, common sense.

The "self defense for trail riders" is no different from preparing you or the horse for any other trail obstacle, it's just filed under the category of "things that are good to know, but which you hope you never have to actually put to use.":eek:

Mar. 15, 2010, 10:08 AM
Having attended one of his demos, I can honestly say he does not promote the "fear everyone/thing" mindset.

As a former police officer, he has taken his training and brought it to the trail rider-- basically, KNOW what to do just in case you are in the situation.

You learn the skills BEFORE you need them. :yes:

Mar. 15, 2010, 10:29 AM
I'm not saying he is actively promoting that mindset.

In my opinion it's a bit like the Crimewatch TV programmes we have here where at the end of it having watched rapes and murders and violent robberies, they tell you not to have nightmares when you go to bed because really it's all very rare and statistically you're never likely to need to be concerned at all.

Mar. 15, 2010, 06:35 PM
I'm sure some people feel more paranoid after watching his presentation. Some people need little excuse to feel paranoid or persecuted. But there's a saying that makes a weird kind of sense: just because you are paranoid doesn't mean you aren't being followed. ;)

Personally, I feel more confident after watching his presentation (I also have the video). I don't really expect anybody to have a chance to get a hold of me, because he's basically sensitized me to the possibilities, heightened my awareness rather than my fears. A heightened awareness may lead to an avoidance of the things he shows on his tapes. Gives one a chance to avoid rather than needing to defend.

It's a bit like getting to know horses. You are much more in danger of being kicked when you are unaware of the warning signs that a horse is preparing to kick. In my job as a trimmer I've been kicked at quite a bit, especially since I initially took on some tough horses. Many times I've avoided a kick that the owner didn't even know had happened. Why? Because I felt the start of the kick rather than waiting until the hoof was swinging my way. If I miss the warning signs, I get kicked. I had my knee hyperextended for my by a horse thanks to my failure to anticipate the kick and her perfect aim.

We figure these things out as we go with horses, learn to be more aware of a horse's body language than non horse people. It simply goes with the territory. Sometimes it takes a few bruises before we learn well enough to avoid without effort.

Scot is trying to raise our awareness and give us some skills to avoid an attack. After all, if we get caught, we might not have another chance to learn what we needed to know in the heat of the moment.

I think it is very unlikely that a woman riding a horse is going to be attacked. One would think it would be easier to catch and subdue a female hiker, and one would think the horse himself would be a deterrent. The lone female hiker is much more at risk than a female rider. I never hike alone for this reason. Neither did I walk campus alone at night.

I still recommend that people attend one of Scot's presentations or watch his video.

Apr. 27, 2010, 12:53 AM

A teenage girl here in Australia was recently the victim of an attempted abduction. It's currently in the news. She was able to kick off her attackers and ride away.