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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,338

    Default Riding alone -- how do you stay safe?

    I just moved to a farm and am bringing my horses here. I grew up on a farm, but there was usually always someone around. Now I need to ride during the days when no one is here.

    What do you do to protect yourselves when riding alone? Or do you just hope someone notices the loose, tacked up horse and comes to investigate? Carry a cell? Leave it by the ring? Check-in before and after with someone?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    21

    Default

    When I ride alone, which I often do now I always carry my cell phone. Oftentimes I will call someone, typically my bf, to let them know that I am going to ride. They know to expect a text or a call from me about an hour and a half or two hours later saying I am done. If i don't let them know I am done they will call me to make sure I am ok. It works out really well.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2002
    Location
    Joppa, Md------USA
    Posts
    365

    Default

    Carry your cell on you, not the horse. Don't leave it by the gate. You need to have it close to you in case you fall and are injured. I guess, if at all possible, call someone to let them know you are riding and tell them you will check in every so often. If you don't check, have them check on you. That is pretty much what I do when trail riding alone.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2000
    Posts
    823

    Default riding alone

    I text my sister when I am standing on the mounting block and text again when I am hopping off. If I haven't texted more than an hour from when I have mounted, my sister knows that something could be wrong.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?

    "Safety is sexy" - Jimmy Fallon
    #mindyourmelon



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2008
    Posts
    1,369

    Default

    Unfortunately I often have to ride alone. Most importantly, though I know anything can happen at any time with any horse, I do trust my mare. She is sensible and sure-footed and rarely spooks and never bucks or rears. Also I stick with places where we are already familiar and don't venture out alone into uncharted territory (I board at a large farm with lots of fields and trails). I always carry my cell phone on my person and let someone know I am riding and I usually don't jump unless someone is around.

    At my old barn I would often ride in the ring during the middle of the day when the only person on the farm was the BO who was usually in his house or office. My father once suggested to me that I leave the gate open so that if something happened the sight of a tacked up horse running around might alert someone of a problem.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2003
    Location
    Up the creek from bar.ka
    Posts
    10,036

    Default

    I try to carry my phone with me all the time. I have been injured on the ground much more often than from actually riding.

    Case in point, right now I have a broken right hand from bringing a horse in from turn out. He lifted his head up quickly from eating grass and hit me just the right way...

    My advice is always keep your phone on you and explain to your neighbors and mail man and electric meter reader person that if they see a loose horse on the farm and you no where in sight, that means something is really wrong.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2002
    Posts
    2,860

    Default

    I ride alone at my farm most of the time. Just ride smart. One of my horses has it in him to be a bad boy at times and on those days he just goes back to the barn.

    Keep a cell phone with you.

    I have all of my emergency contact information on a board right outside my tack room door so if someone needed to contact someone they could.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    8,618

    Default This !

    Quote Originally Posted by tidy rabbit View Post
    I try to carry my phone with me all the time. I have been injured on the ground much more often than from actually riding.

    Case in point, right now I have a broken right hand from bringing a horse in from turn out. He lifted his head up quickly from eating grass and hit me just the right way...

    My advice is always keep your phone on you and explain to your neighbors and mail man and electric meter reader person that if they see a loose horse on the farm and you no where insight, that means something is really wrong.
    This is great advice about telling mailman... I will add this to my saftey measures ~ thanks..
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 1999
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    1,307

    Default

    I ride alone most of the time, too.

    I carry my cellphone on me using the fix-a-phone holder. If there is no one on the property or expected to be back within a short period of time, the DH gets a text before I leave the barn and another when I get back to the barn. I do this with each horse. I will rarely jump if there is no one on the property. If I do, it is just a couple of small jumps.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2008
    Location
    Hampton, VA
    Posts
    1,079

    Default

    I ride with my cell phone in my pocket especially if I'm alone. Additionally, if the mare is in a funky mood and I think she might be stupid I find it best to not ride that day in which case I'll do a lunging or ground driving session instead.
    "Beware the hobby that eats."
    Benjamin Franklin



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,416

    Default

    I ride alone during the week.

    I try to save as much jumping as possible for the weekend and keep the jumps low (and simple...i.e. no complicated or new gymnastics) if I'm home alone. I always have my cell phone in my pocket (though I'm not sure if that's more for my safety or because I'm addicted to my blackberry and still in the middle of the work day). It goes without saying that I never ride without a helmet when I'm home alone, and if I'm particularly concerned I text my mom or my husband before and after I ride. The only problem I have with that is that I often forget to text after. Something about being a space cadet at times...

    I also try to save riding the baby babies (super green or super spooky horses) for after hubby gets home. The only thing I miss about having boarders is always having an extra set of eyes around.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
    Location
    The Prairie
    Posts
    5,448

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Darden View Post
    I text my sister when I am standing on the mounting block and text again when I am hopping off. If I haven't texted more than an hour from when I have mounted, my sister knows that something could be wrong.
    Ditto.
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 14, 2007
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    827

    Default

    I worry about this quite a bit. I'm almost always riding when no one else is home, and usually no neighbors are around either. I try to remember to take my cell phone down to the ring, but usually forget. Maybe I'll try the texting thing. As for leaving the gate open, that seems like a good idea. The trouble is that my only real fear is getting dragged, and somehow I feel that the horse wouldn't gallop around quite so much if stuck in the ring as if he were to get out and have the whole property to galllop over. Mostly I just hope nothing happens. (Ol' head in the sand bit I guess. )



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2008
    Posts
    1,701

    Default

    I always ride with my cell phone in my pocket. I'm at a barn now where people are usually around but I make sure my cell is with me anyways. I like the idea of texting/calling a friend or relative before and after you ride.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2000
    Location
    Out of the loop
    Posts
    2,874

    Default

    One thing I do, especially if working a greenie, is to call hubby at work. Even if I don't get him, I can leave a message: "It is XX:XX and I am getting on Goofall. I plan to ride for 45 minutes. I will call you by XX:XX to let you know I am done."

    If he doesn't hear from me by the callback time, he (1) calls me to chide me for forgetting and, if he doesn't get me (2) calls 911 to check on me. Fortunately, he's only had to do (1) once in the 3 years since we've had the farm and never (knock wood!) had to do (2).

    I also strongly recommend one of those nifty cell phone holders you can strap around your calf. Coming off and landing on a cell phone in your pocket kills the phone and leaves a helluva big, painful bruise.
    Equinox Equine Massage

    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
    -Albert Camus



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 16, 2009
    Posts
    665

    Default

    If you're riding in the arena, close the gate behind you. Carry a phone and let someone know where you're at and about how long you will be there.

    If you're going out on a trail, bring your phone, and let someone nearby (via text or call) know that you're going out and about how long you'll be gone. Put a tag on your horse: "If found, contact: ___" just in case you get unhorsed. In that case, you should also probably wear a tag with emergency contact info on it.

    Don't ride the stupid green one. Lunge him or long line him instead.

    Wear a helmet. If you have safety stirrups, use those.

    If the thought crosses through your mind that what you're about to do might not be safe, don't do it.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2003
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,231

    Default

    Always ride with my cell if there is not one visible, even if there is someone on the farm and I can't see them.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
    Posts
    956

    Default

    I understand sometimes there are circunstances where you have to ride with no person on the property, but to do it on a regular basis is asking for a problem. If I were to start a thread asking people to write their strange or fluke falls there would be 100 pages in no time. Charlie Weaver was a very good, successful, PROfessional rider - he had people around and look at the terrible result. Had he been alone he probably would not have had even a chance to recover.

    Are you sure there is no way to arrange to have someone in the vincinity while riding?

    Hit your head - It will not matter where your cell is located.
    Get kicked and can't move......

    I wish you only the best, I don't want to read about your injuries on another thread GOOD LUCK



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2009
    Location
    Currituck NC
    Posts
    1,309

    Default

    I call before and after, and keep the phone tucked into my sports bra strap (easier to reach if I break both arms or something, lol). I do minimal jumping by myself, and only on my "made" horses with low jumps if I absolutely have to.

    I never trail ride by myself.

    STA-I own my own barn and only have one boarder who usually rides earlier in the day. I have a 2 year old son, so I usually get dinner started, then run to the barn (about 7 minutes away) feed and ride. My husband is usually home with my son and doing yard work or messing with his hunting dogs so I really don't have someone that can watch. He will sometimes come out and hang out while I'm riding (usually holding a video camera if I can talk him into it) or will be doing tractor work around the barn, but thats MAYBE one or two days out of the week and I try to ride 4-5 days, sometimes 6.

    All of my horses are well behaved, even the greenies, and I take as much care as possible. I did have a mare for a little while that was a harder ride and I had some issues with rearing, I never rode or worked with her by myself.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
    Posts
    956

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumper_girl221 View Post
    I call before and after, and keep the phone tucked into my sports bra strap (easier to reach if I break both arms or something, lol). I do minimal jumping by myself, and only on my "made" horses with low jumps if I absolutely have to.

    I never trail ride by myself.

    STA-I own my own barn and only have one boarder who usually rides earlier in the day. I have a 2 year old son, so I usually get dinner started, then run to the barn (about 7 minutes away) feed and ride. My husband is usually home with my son and doing yard work or messing with his hunting dogs so I really don't have someone that can watch. He will sometimes come out and hang out while I'm riding (usually holding a video camera if I can talk him into it) or will be doing tractor work around the barn, but thats MAYBE one or two days out of the week and I try to ride 4-5 days, sometimes 6.

    All of my horses are well behaved, even the greenies, and I take as much care as possible. I did have a mare for a little while that was a harder ride and I had some issues with rearing, I never rode or worked with her by myself.
    I do understand your position, I just repeat, the best horse can have a problem and the result can be bad. My worst fall - jumping a cross rail - result 14 bone fractures. If I was alone I would not have been able to get help. I have ridden for years - qualified and shown at all the indoors, I consider my fall a fluke - just landed wrong. Thank goodness there were people near by.



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