Monday, 25 November 2013

Protecting Yourself on the Horse Trail

Protecting Yourself on the Horse Trail 
I featured this article on my blog on Best Horse Products Review. I decided to add some more information for the senior rider.  
Everyone loves to ride out on the trail for a few hours of relaxation. We sometimes entertain a false sense of security because we are mounted on a 1500 pound animal. We forget that our horse is a prey animal and not our personal defender. Self-defense is not upper most in the riders mind. Without the correct training and awareness we are at risk for an attack by human predators. Most of us never imagine being attacked. Older riders need to be reminded that it is not just young women who are in danger, but seniors are also at risk. 
Scot Hansen Self-Defense for Trail Riders
ScotHansen, a retired mounted police officer created a wonderful video that all riders should view. Scott offers a DVD training video $ 39.00 on his website  Scot Hansen - Horse Think . It demonstrates excellent tips on how to protect yourself if assaulted. This would be a great video to present at your pony club meeting, or horse club. Scot's site also has a list of clinics that he offers around North America.

Tips for Self- Defense on the Trail

Here are some general tips for mounted self-defense:
1) Carry a cell phone in your pocket. Activate the emergency alert app before your ride so you can touch it to activate if you need help.
2) Be aware of your surroundings. We ride to relax, but we must stay alert and be aware of:where you are, and the nearest populated area.
3) If you suddenly realize that you are in danger you must be in control of your horse and remain calm. Think of your escape route options.
4) If someone approaches you with a smile and friendly greeting - remember the human predator uses a friendly guise to disarm his prey.This is not the time to be friendly.
   Warn the person to stay back.
   Say: " My horse bites." He will step on you! or Get back! My horse doesn't like men."
 5)  Move off in the opposite direction.
6) Train your horse to move his hindquarters into the attacker, move the front end of your horse away from the attacker so your reins or leg cannot be grabbed.
7) Pull your leg up and away from the attacker. As soon as you are free, trot off towards a populated area. 

Emergency Alert 

I usually ride and walk my dog on our farm. We rarely have trespassers, but after visiting Scot Hansen's site, I revisited my thoughts about emergency alerts. I had a heart attack three years ago and I always wear my phone. I always wondered how I would respond if I were physically incapacitated, would I be able to call for help? My concern - if you need help and cannot manipulate the phone to call for assistance. Could you set the phone up so one touch would alert your family, or emergency crew?
I searched the web and found a number of emergency phone apps that can be downloaded to your smart phone. Check out iTunes app store, or the web to find an emergency alert app that will suit your needs. Make sure that you have your phone set-up for any potentially dangerous situation.

Phone Emergency Alert Apps Suggestions 

Make sure your phone app has a silent option so you do not frighten your horse!
bSafe - 
Nervous when walking alone at night? Jogging or hiking on lonely trails? When walking alone you can ask selected friends to follow you LIVE from a distance with real-time GPS tracing, or if you are jogging or hiking you can program your bSafe SOS alarm to trigger automatically if you have not checked in within a predefined time. All developed to keep you safe!
Ever begged for the phone to ring to get out of a situation? bSafe is what you need! This GPS-based safety alarm is packed features to make you safer. bSafe is only available for android phones at the moment.
Set up your own safety network of friends and family members – as many as you want – and all will be notified in case of an emergency. Just push the big red SOS button to text/call them with information on your exact location and that you need help. It`s as simple as that! 
Guardly - is available from their website or iTunes. It comes with monthly subscription. 

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