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Thread: How Dangerous Are Trail Rides?

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    Senior Member feisty goddess's Avatar
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    How Dangerous Are Trail Rides?

    I have a little bit of extra money, and I've worked hard this semester, so I'm thinking about treating myself to a trail ride next week at wolf laurel which has very nice views. Its not a sketchy place, and the trails appear to be very flat and wide, and the one I want to go on is in the forest. I worry though, because being 18 I don't have my own health insurance and if something happened to me, it would be on my parents. I am also very phobic of heights or being thrown in the air but not being on a horse. I know there is always some danger when you're on a horse, no matter how calm and docile they are. They can easily get spooked and you can either get thrown or they may start running and not stop. I saw my dad get thrown one time in front of my own eyes. I really love horses, but am very afraid of being in pain or getting hurt. If my horse showed signs of being spooked, I think I might have a panic attack (just from seeing what happened to my dad). Should I tell myself nothing is going to happen or refrain from getting on a horse?

    What are the chances of getting injured going on a trail ride? Are they insignifigant? Also this is probably a good place to discuss injuries from riding horses in general.

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    If you chose to go, go with friends. That way you will be calmer, and you will have a lesser chance of spooking your horse. Animals can sense it when you're anxious, and they don't like it.

    I used to take horse riding lessons when I was 11. One ordinary day, on the indoor track, the fairly young horse I was on inexplicably freaked out and started running really really fast. I thought I was going to have to do an emergency dismount and get badly hurt in the process, but I just kept holding on until the horse burned itself out and stopped. It was a hell of an experience. Luckily for me horses aren't that smart, so it missed some pretty obvious opportunities to throw me off, but instead just ran in circles. I don't care to get on another horse any time soon, unless I really have to. I decided to stop doing all redundant activities unless they are proven 100% safe.

    edit: if you are nervous enough to ask this question, then you should definitely wait it out.

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    Senior Member TXRog's Avatar
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    How Dangerous Are Trail Rides?

    What are your own individual riding skills feisty goddess?
    Do you have any experience riding horses at all?
    Most venues that offer trail rides use pretty mature horses and most all of them are more interested in just turning around and going back to the barn then becoming "spooked" and bucking their riders off.
    I will tell you though that if you have never ridden a horse before and are openly fearful and/or nervous about riding them, horses can and will sense your fear. It has been said they can "smell fear." Horses are some of the most sensitive animals in the world and to be around them for any length of period of time you can learn alot from them.
    It is nice of you to be concerned the burden placed on your folks in the event you got hurt.
    I have been riding horses all my life and even competed in rodeo for a couple years (saddle broncs was my event) and I have been bitten, bucked off, stepped on and kicked more times than I care to count but as the old saying goes - you just get back in the saddle.
    So there you have it.

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    Senior Member feisty goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXRog View Post
    What are your own individual riding skills feisty goddess?
    Do you have any experience riding horses at all?
    Most venues that offer trail rides use pretty mature horses and most all of them are more interested in just turning around and going back to the barn then becoming "spooked" and bucking their riders off.
    I will tell you though that if you have never ridden a horse before and are openly fearful and/or nervous about riding them, horses can and will sense your fear. It has been said they can "smell fear." Horses are some of the most sensitive animals in the world and to be around them for any length of period of time you can learn alot from them.
    It is nice of you to be concerned the burden placed on your folks in the event you got hurt.
    I have been riding horses all my life and even competed in rodeo for a couple years (saddle broncs was my event) and I have been bitten, bucked off, stepped on and kicked more times than I care to count but as the old saying goes - you just get back in the saddle.
    So there you have it.
    When I was about 12 or 13, I went to summer camp and felt completely comfortable and in control of the horse and all the horses I've come across have seemed to pick up a good vibe from me. But I had no fear then, now I have better judgement. I haven't really taken riding lessons, but my aunt gave me some basic ones when I was little and I still sort of remember them. But you're right usually the animals they use for that are quite lazy and unexcitable, and if there was a signifigant risk they probably wouldn't be taking a group of inexperienced riders out in the woods to make $500.

    Initially the only thing that bothered me was the idea of the horse losing his footing and falling over on a high elevation trail with a ditch, but this place doesn't look like it has that kind of terrain. One time on a trail ride we rode up on this big mountain and the horse was standing right on the edge of a very high drop. It freaked me out. One wrong move and I would be dead .

    None of my friends are horse people, so they probably wouldn't want to do it since it costs money, but I could always ask.

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    Senior Member TXRog's Avatar
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    How Dangerous Are Trail Rides?

    Quote Originally Posted by feisty goddess View Post
    When I was about 12 or 13, I went to summer camp and felt completely comfortable and in control of the horse and all the horses I've come across have seemed to pick up a good vibe from me. But I had no fear then, now I have better judgement. I haven't really taken riding lessons, but my aunt gave me some basic ones when I was little and I still sort of remember them. But you're right usually the animals they use for that are quite lazy and unexcitable, and if there was a significant risk they probably wouldn't be taking a group of inexperienced riders out in the woods to make $500.

    Initially the only thing that bothered me was the idea of the horse losing his footing and falling over on a high elevation trail with a ditch, but this place doesn't look like it has that kind of terrain. One time on a trail ride we rode up on this big mountain and the horse was standing right on the edge of a very high drop. It freaked me out. One wrong move and I would be dead .

    None of my friends are horse people, so they probably wouldn't want to do it since it costs money, but I could always ask.
    I am surprised that this place you are planning on visiting uses horses on these more rugged, mountainous trails. Mules are much more sure-footed than horses and this is why they use them in the Grand Canyon (here is a video for you to watch looks like alot of fun doesn't it?):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhBHPTrK5ys

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    I was forced to ride horses when I was in the army for ceremonial purposes. After about 15 lessons I quit/was thrown out of the course. Before I didn't really have an opinion on horses. Now I have a fobia.

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    I was raised around horses and for number years I was a professional Hufschmied. Trail riding horses is somewhat popular around here. There are very few accidents and when there is one it is on a privately owned horse that was ill trained and usually the rider was also. The horses that are at places where you pay to ' rent ' a horse are very well broke and the handlers sort out the spirited horses before even offering them for riding.

    If you decide to do this than just explain to the people in charge your needs and concerns and they will most likely see that you get a nice well broke horse that behaves. After all these places don't want people to have a bad experience as it does not look good on them. Most likely they offer guided trial rides, where guides go with you and make sure everything goes well.

    Live a little and have some fun, who knows you may enjoy it so much that you start taking riding lessons and that becomes your passion.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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