For equestrians, summer is often synonymous with trail rides. Taking Silver out on a pretty trail, or perhaps even riding him down to a secret swimming hole, is a great way to relax and enjoy the warm weather. When it comes to trail riding, safety should always be first and foremost. Even the most ‘bombproof’ horse can spook in certain situations. A Mt. Airy, MD vet offers some safety tips for trail riders below.
The term ‘tailgating’ may very well have started with riders getting too close to the horses in front of them. It’s just as dangerous on horseback as it is in cars. Opt for a two-horse distance between horses at all times.
Get into the habit of always letting someone know where you’re going and what time you are expecting to return. This is especially important in areas with dodgy cell phone reception, as you may not be able to call for help.
Speaking of phones, you definitely want to bring yours along. It should be fully charged. However, turn the ringer down: it could spook your horse.
One of the dangers of trail riding is that there is a possibility that Silver may run away if you fall off. Put luggage tags or dog tags on his collar, so that if he ends up at someone else’s place, he’ll be wearing your contact info. GPS tags are also a good bet.
Have you adopted your horse recently? Get to know Silver before taking him out on a trail. Even if he doesn’t seem skittish, he may have phobias you don’t know about yet. Ride him in a paddock or arena at first to get familiar with his quirks and personality.
Headed out with some friends? Keep the least experienced riders in the middle, with the experts at the front and back of the line.
You should always have some basic supplies with you, even for just a short ride. The list of necessities include a hoof pick, bug spray, a pocket knife or multi-tool, rope, flashlight, and a first-aid kit.
No matter where you’re riding, always wear a helmet. Sunglasses are a good idea as well. Choose sturdy ones that don’t break easily.
Do you have questions about your horse’s health or care? Contact us, your Mt. Airy, MD animal clinic, today!