Self-Defense For Trail Riders
Sadly, the world we ride in is changing. We need to take precautions to be safe when we ride. It's called self-defense for a reason. It's up to us to take responsibility. Dogs, pedestrians, automobiles, or people with problems can be a menace on the trail. Do you know how to handle a troubling situation?
Many years ago at an equine expo I saw a program by Scott Hanson about safety on the trail. A 90-minute session on what to do if someone tried to attack you while you were horseback. At the time I didn't think there was much chance of that. Then, a couple of years ago we encountered someone who released their dog on us. It came from completely out of the blue. He released his dog in our direction, then rode his bicycle in the opposite direction. Ranae and I had practiced some of the principles we learned from the class. I had pepper spray. Ranae knew to get in head-to-tail tight to me and my horse, Jessie. I sprayed the dog in the face. He turned and ran after his owner. Had we not prepared, who knows what could have happened?
When I saw a flyer for another Self-Defense for Trail Rider class scheduled at our local Rancho Rio Stables, I wanted to cover the event. Elmo Sheeran, the instructor, trains many mounted law enforcement officers on how to protect themselves and their horses in police situations. Elmo offers some great advice. If you ride on the trail, get yourself a $12 can of pepper spray and a $2 whistle. Believe it or not, these two simple, inexpensive items take care of most situations you come across. But, don't just put them in your cantle bag and forget them. Take them out and practice once in a while. A little preparation goes a long way.
I produce a short video of the event for my YouTube Channel. You can see it HERE
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