Hitting the trails with your horse is a unique activity that combines the excitement of exploring with a love for horseback riding. For experienced and rookie riders alike, it's important to be aware of standard safety measures. Brush up before your next ride.
Before Your Ride
Before you swing your first foot in the saddle, you need to take the proper safety precautions. Four important safety measures to prepare for horseback riding on the trails include:
- Tell someone at home where you plan to ride, and how long you'll be gone.
- Check the weather forecast before heading out.
- Be sure to hydrate and snack before you ride, and during. The same goes for your horse.
- Wear a helmet and riding boots.
More: 8 Hiking Safety Tips
For Your Horse
Safety is not just about you, it's about your horse. A happy horse makes for a good horseback riding experience, but a scared horse can be dangerous for both of you.
- Be sure your horse feels comfortable around vehicular traffic. Trail riding is an uncontrolled environment, and if your horse is uneasy you could be in trouble.
- Double check your tack and make sure your reins are sturdy.
- If you plan to tie your horse, don't use the reins. Bring a lead rope and halter to put over the bridle.
- Depending on how long and far you intend to ride, pack an area map, small first aid kit, knife, hoof pick and a cell phone, if you have one.