Howdy Friends! I was asked about riding alone…. I have for many years preferred to ride alone. For me it’s not a social thing, or an outing with friends. It’s time for my horse and me to enjoy each other and nature. I see so many folks who only ride with others and to me it seems they never really get the bond they seek with their horse.
When riding with others the horses pay more attention to the other horses, and the people pay more attention to each other than their horses. And the horses suffer much more correction cues.
I first developed this attitude back when I rode endurance and competitive trail. So often I witnessed small groups riding together and in each of those groups was at least one rider who was struggling as their horse only had thoughts of the other horses. Those riders often had to ride faster than was safe for either them or their horse – Or too slow.
What really finalized it for me was during one Competitive ride I came upon a young woman barely hanging on, and crying. I stopped her horse, asked what was wrong. She told me she had come with 4 friends and they went too fast and left her, and she”can’t handle her horse without them.”
We had just passed Mid-Point about 2 miles back. She said she wanted to quit but was afraid to go back alone. I led her horse back to mid-point, and ended up quitting my ride.
After that we never met again, but I think of that day often, and yes her friends were not friends at all. But had she spent time practicing riding alone with her horse, that day would have had a better outcome for her, and her horse. ~ Gitty Up, Dutch.