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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2006
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,524

    Default Those of you who ride alone a lot

    How do you feel about it? Do you get nervous?

    I'm at a place that is open until 10pm. Most everyone is gone by about 8 on most nights, though, and I often get there after 8 and am on by 9 so I am often out after people are gone and I frequently don't see another soul.

    I've been thinking about getting a radio to break the silence a little bit. I'm not afraid in the sense of my personal safety, I'm just unused to riding alone so much and sometimes the silence is deafening. And of course, it makes me extra nervous when my horse is being a bit of a twink and there is no one around.

    Sometimes I can convince the hubby to come and keep me company (he watches TV on his phone!) and once I had a very fresh horse and called my hubby and told him that if I didn't call him back in 30 minutes that he should call ME, and if I didn't answer he should come to the barn to scrape me up off the footing.

    Now, I know lots of you have your own places and/or ride alone a lot. How does it make you feel? How do you deal with a unusually idiotic horse every once in a while? Do you get nervous? Will it go away as I get used to the silence?
    Quote Originally Posted by tidy rabbit View Post
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2008
    Posts
    1,521

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ExJumper View Post
    How do you feel about it? Do you get nervous?

    I'm at a place that is open until 10pm. Most everyone is gone by about 8 on most nights, though, and I often get there after 8 and am on by 9 so I am often out after people are gone and I frequently don't see another soul.

    I've been thinking about getting a radio to break the silence a little bit. I'm not afraid in the sense of my personal safety, I'm just unused to riding alone so much and sometimes the silence is deafening. And of course, it makes me extra nervous when my horse is being a bit of a twink and there is no one around.

    Sometimes I can convince the hubby to come and keep me company (he watches TV on his phone!) and once I had a very fresh horse and called my hubby and told him that if I didn't call him back in 30 minutes that he should call ME, and if I didn't answer he should come to the barn to scrape me up off the footing.

    Now, I know lots of you have your own places and/or ride alone a lot. How does it make you feel? How do you deal with a unusually idiotic horse every once in a while? Do you get nervous? Will it go away as I get used to the silence?
    I definitely get nervous when riding alone...you are not....alone!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2007
    Posts
    592

    Default

    I absolutely get nervous when riding alone. Luckily, my friend gets off work an hour before me, so she usually gets there, rides, and then hangs out and watches while I ride.
    Worst case scenario- I can be scraped off the footing by the barn owner when she comes down to check on the horses at like 9pm!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2004
    Posts
    10,526

    Default

    I used to ride alone a lot at night, most of the boarders would be gone by the time I got there after work. The barn is very isolated on hundreds of acres of woods and open fields but I always felt safe. And the horse I was leasing was a real bombproof packer type, yet I always wondered if I would be as comfortable riding alone on any other horse.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2006
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    793

    Default

    I'm usually the last person at the barn on weeknights as well. I've gotten used to it, and I'm usually off by the time night check happens so I figure that if they do night check and see that the lights are still on in the indoor, they'll come down to turn them off and be able to rescue me.

    Also, the BO lives on the property so I figure if I yell loudly enough someone will hear me. This of course is assuming that I am conscious after any incident.

    Some nights I feel more nervous than others, but my boyfriend knows when I usually get home, and if I am late he calls me and he knows that if I don't answer that it's not a good sign and he should probably call for help.

    I try to wear something with pockets to keep my cell phone on me, so that makes me feel better as well.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2003
    Location
    New York/New Jersey
    Posts
    3,508

    Default

    I'm alone most of the time and depending on my mood, may or may not even ride, even after driving over an hour to get to the barn. It's a bummer, for sure. My horse has been really UP lately too for some reason. Ugh.
    She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2008
    Posts
    1,701

    Default

    It depends on who I'm riding. If I'm riding my pony, I'm not nervous at all. She really seems to not care about anything unless she hasn't been out in awhile and it's windy. I'll take her over jumps bareback with just a halter and leadrope and the worst thing she does is get frisky and ocassionally through in a crow hop/baby buck or two, and most of the time she doesn't even do that! The TB I'm training is a different story. If I'm jumping, I like someone to be at least at the barn, if not, watching me. He can be a total psychotic brat about the smallest thing if he feels like causing trouble; and the fact that he's over 17hh doesn't help either! I don't do anything higher than 2ft with him if no one is around; just knowing the way he is, it wouldn't be smart or safe otherwise. For flatwork, I'm ok with no one being around. The only thing I worry about with him is that the arena at his barn has no fences and on two sides goes down a hill so if he was really awful we could go flying down the hill, which would be really scary.

    As far as silence goes...it doesn't really bother me, and when it does I just talk to the horse! Sometimes I'll ride with my iPod anyways. I prefer riding with people though, since I'm a pretty social person.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2000
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    1,611

    Default

    At one facility that I boarded at, I was almost always there alone in the evening. They did have music to listen to in the indoor and I always turned it on. More comforting than total silence to me. They did night checks and I figured someone would see me if I had had an unschduled dismount. LOL

    I have the horses at home now and when my boyfriend isn't home, I usually text or call and let him know that I'm riding and will check in when I'm done. Works for us.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2002
    Location
    Cow County, MD
    Posts
    6,958

    Default

    I prefer to ride with other people, more for the company than anything else. I have my horses at home, and I frequently ride alone. I always carry my cell, and I generally check in with DH when I get on and off, especially if I'm going to be on a nutty one.
    Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2006
    Posts
    3,381

    Default

    Yes when I boarded, I was the only person there in the morning. I hated riding alone for safety reasons. I tried to take extra precautions...always wear a helmet, no jumping, and if I hadn't ridden in a while, take some extra time to lunge the crazy horse first. If my horse was being exceptionally flighty, I didn't try and push the issue, just work on 'safe' stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by barka.lounger View Post
    u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

    we see u in gp ring in no time.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2000
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    2,237

    Default

    Other than when I was a young kid, I have almost always ridden alone from a teenager until now. When I had my own farm I was alone-alone since my ex was at work most of the time when I would ride. Now I live on the farm I work at, but I still ride alone.
    I talk to my pony alot and if I am in the indoor I usually put on music to drown out any spooky cracking noises.
    I always wear my helmet and if worse came to worse, one of the workers would find me here eventally.
    Proud to have two Gold Prince POAs!
    Takaupas Top Gold
    Gifts Black Gold Knight



  12. #12

    Default

    I ride mostly alone since moving barns. I hate it because my horse is much more relaxed with company so now he jumps at every little noise. It doesn't help that the arena is a coverall so it's very echoey and sounds are magnified. I've started to put stuffies in his ears again and it's helped somewhat. The worst was when the coyotes were howling and yelping 50 feet from the barn.... that was an unproductive ride!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2002
    Location
    Rocky Mountain High
    Posts
    2,398

    Default

    I am one of a few adults in a barn of mostly juniors - who are often away at shows. There are rarely lessons after 6:00, and often the place is dark when I show up at 5:30 (especially if it's a show week). I don't usually worry about riding alone, since I'm so focused on my ride, but sometimes I'll turn on the radio just for fun. I do always wear a helmet and I don't jump outside of lessons, so that reduces some risk. I often catch one of the workers coming in to do night check as i'm finishing up or leaving, so if anything were to happen, they'd probably find me. If not, I am rarely home later than 8 and my boyfriend knows when I'm riding, so if I were to be late or he didn't hear from me at the normal time, he'd come up and make sure I'm ok.

    I usually like riding alone because it allows me to focus more. Plus I get to have goofy bonding time with my horse that I would probably not do in front of people
    "These are my principles. If you do not like them, I have others." --Groucho Marx



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2,889

    Default

    I have my own little farm...A lighted ring for night rides...Am going through the divorce from HELL and have my psychopath husband in my home looking down at me in my ring on Mom's property while I ride at night. I love riding alone in the evening. My soon to be ex scares me...but I bought speakers for my iPod and crank my favorite music while I school...I keep my cell in my pocket, and have some wonderful rides. My situation is so awful and frightening it's not funny...But I grow a pair and take heart in my horses and try not to let the evil bastaard ruin my time alone with my steeds. I think headphones are a little dangerous...but your personal music playing loud from iPod speakers helps immensely.
    http://community.webshots.com/user/racetb

    *Save The Prairie Dog*
    \"Jean Louise, stand up. Your father\'s passing.\"



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2006
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    671

    Default

    I am lucky in that even though my horse is a green bean, she is pretty level headed and sensible (although she has a tendency to buck!). So although I have to ride alone a lot, I am usually not too nervous. But if she's having a spooky day, or I'm just not feeling it, I always listen to my gut and don't ride that day. The BO's mom is generally around all day, and the BO comes home right after work, so I figure worst-case scenario, they come scrape me up at the end of the day

    ETA: I also keep my cell in a pocket or something when I'm riding.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2007
    Location
    zone 6
    Posts
    695

    Default

    Its rare for me to NOT ride alone. I live in the middle of nowhere and am a mile from my nearest neighbor. We get about 3 trucks by our house each day too. Hubby travels a lot....so yeah...I ride alone haha.

    I ride only ottbs..that I start off the track...so they're a lil nutsy at times. Its VERY windy out here....so that breaks the silence HAHA I get so concentrated on the ride anyway, that I don't notice if its quiet or not.

    When they're being especially idiotic I may skip the canter work, or something of the sort. I won't get on a new one if hubby isn't home...just for the sake of not knowing what they'll pull.

    I will jump when alone depending on how the horse is going, the weather and what I wanted to school. When I took my mare up to 4'3 for her first time, there wasn't a sole around...but some days I won't do 2' with no one home.

    So I guess the answer to the question is that it depends.

    SOME days I'm just flat out not feeling brave too...that is a good day to just stay on the ground and do lunge work or let them run around or whatever.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    8,597

    Default

    I ride alone a LOT because

    1.) no one else wants to ride at 5:30am during the week
    2.) no one else wants to come along on the trails.

    I always wear a helmet and try to always have the phone in my pocket and usually the blackberry too for good measure.
    The phone comes along on the trails too.

    I was a little bit nervous when I had just started my 3.5yo and we were working on the very basic basics by ourselves, but he is a chillaxed type of dude so after three solo rides I was fine with it.

    That said I ride in the morning so if I do
    -fall off
    -in such a manner that I am unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate
    the grooms will discover me by the time they get there and the horse is running loose in the barn.

    If I am in the outdoor my trainers live on the property within view of the ring.


    I am pretty "underhorsed" temperament/ridability wise with my current happy, relaxed, and easy equine crew, so they would really have to do something surprising and very out of character to give me a run for my money.

    Then again there is a difference between being confident and being invincible and I recognize that confidence is something to be approached with humility, as anyone at any level can lose it in one bad moment.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    69

    Default

    I actually really like riding alone - it allows me to concentrate on my riding versus my riding + avoiding other people in the ring (too many people do not ride left-to-left or call out where they are going if they so choose not to ride left-to-left). The only thing that creeps me out is when I have to turn off all of the lights and it's pitch black...for some reason barns creep me out in that weird way (I've lived in a number of super creepy houses).



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2008
    Posts
    80

    Default

    Though I really like riding alone too, I get nervous being by myself just in the case something happens. I ALWAYS wear my helmet, and if my horse is even a tad fresh I longe for atleast a couple minutes. I keep my cell phone tucked in between the outside of my calf and my half chap (if that makes sense) Maybe its just me being a chicken, but I hate being at the barn after dark by myself lol
    Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look
    around once in a while you could miss it.


    Popular Vote - Delaney



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2005
    Posts
    1,906

    Default

    I ride alone. A few years ago I would be riding in the dark (it was the middle of winter) with one little floodlight, in a small pasture, without anyone there (quite depressing, but it was the only time I could ride).

    I still ride alone if no one is around. If the horse is very mellow, and I know it well, I will jump up to my competition height. If its green or untrustworthy, I usually stick to dressage. Any time I feel like it could get out of hand (i.e. very spooky horse) and I think there is a chance I may end up on the ground, I call it a day. Not worth risking getting hurt without anyone there.

    I enjoy having the ring to myself, but I think my horses are a bit more relaxed with company.

    However, I would NOT ride with headphones. Way too easy to miss some scary noise and end up on your butt when your horse spooks.



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