We get asked this question daily. Anyone can ride a horse, but who should? Every horseback company has a few people fall off a horse every season. The best horse can do several hundred rides without incidence, but they are still a living breathing animal with a flight or fight instinct. It could be a lunge, a quick step, a bee sting, a trip, a bite from another horse, a moose runs by, you name it, it has probably happened. An experienced rider or agile person may not be phased by a quick movement, where a more novice rider or less agile person may. A younger person may hop right up after a fall, laughing, brush off the dirt and continue on, maybe with nothing more than a bruise or a bruised ego. Same exact incident with an older or compromised individual may be a much different outcome. Before booking, ask yourself these questions?
If you have one or more of these conditions you may want to consider a shorter ride or not to participate. Although we do not enforce a maximum age to ride a horse, the majority of our more serious injuries sustained over the years have been to riders over 65 years of age. (Something to consider)
If you are not able to keep constant and even pressure in your stirrups for the duration of the ride then you are likely at higher risk for having issues with keeping the saddle centered which can lead to injury to yourself and possible spring or injuring to the horse.
Can my 6-10 year old child endure the ride?
Only you know the answer to that question. Most young kids are agile, and fearless. Time goes by fast on a trail ride. Is your child a go-getter or more passive? Does your child take instruction well? Will your child cry if they are scared? Nobody really enjoys listening to a crying child while on their trail ride. Most importantly, does your child have a short attention span? Our experience is that most parents underestimate their children’s ability. Most young kids ride their horse better than their parents!
As much as we would love to take you and appreciate your business, please consider the liability that you are asking us to take on if you are a “high risk” rider. If you do have any of the above conditions, please let us know when you make your reservation so we can do our best to accommodate you.
We wish you a safe ride and and an unforgettable experience.
Rob and Jamie (owners and operators)
Rockin’ M Ranch, Alpine, Wyoming