Navigation planning

  • Trails
    Scout areas (trails or show grounds) if possible before you take your horse(s) out. Know your horse and be mindful of your surroundings.
    Note: New and busy situations can always cause trouble, even if your horse is usually calm. The herd mentality can take over very easily. 
  • Maps
    I always let someone know where I am riding. If they are not familiar with the area, I draw them a map.
    Note: Just like hiking, it's not good to go off alone on horseback without anyone knowing where you are or when you should be back. 
  • GPS notification
    When trail riding in the National Forest or on backwoods Kentucky trails, I carry an emergency locator beacon to aid EMS in pinpointing our location in the event of life-threatening injuries.
    Note: This is a safety precaution that backpackers and adventurists have used for years and is a wonderful idea for the equestrian world! 
  • Cell phone on self
    I always keep my cell phone in an arm band cell phone holder. Having my horse gallop off one time with my cell phone clipped to a D-ring on my saddle was enough to convince me that I needed the phone on me.
    Note: Great tip. Your link to the outside world does no good if it is galloping away on your horse. 
  • Hurrying
    I was hurrying back to my campsite before dark and didn't have enough time to react to horse moving sideways to miss a hazard. I hit my knee on a tree, tearing my meniscus and ACL. Plan plenty of time for a ride and keep a safe distance from the horse in front to have a better view of oncoming hazards.
    Note: Just like when you're hiking, make sure you are prepared for anything on the trail. Plan your route and your time accordingly to make the ride enjoyable and safe for all involved.  
Page last updated: 4/6/2015 2:50:06 PM