Wednesday March 6, 2019
Greetings!
Question 

Hi Monty,

I have been around horses for most of my life, never owning a farm but working at one from a young and "stupid" child. Doing the silliest and most dangerous things around horses, always trusting them and being seriously naive. Strangely and luckily I was never thrown by my horse. I rode bareback, with a saddle, with no bridle, with nothing at all. She took very good care of me and I her.

Now at 58, I am questioning something I don’t have a clue how to answer... even understanding the present herd dynamics of five mares, one of them being mine and the youngest.

I am limited where to ride my little 8 year old Arabian mare. I am not fond of riding alone around the 100 acres of land and don’t wish to ride on a busy road as she still spooks sometimes and has dumped me four times now while training her.

My question is: Is it safe and/or possible to ride within the confines of the 4 acre paddocks with the other 4 mares loose and in April one new foal?

Walk and trot, circle and figure eights, up and down the fence line, nothing crazy or fast.

Thanks for your expert opinion and I LOVE your books!

Warmest regards, ride like the wind!

Tia Kerst

Answer 

Dear Tia,

The fact that you asked is a good sign you are willing to learn. It would not be on my list of recommendations to ride in any field with any number of horses, let alone a group of mares. Adding to that, one that is about to foal is a further complication. Near the foaling time, mares will begin to become protective of the foal they are carrying. In addition it is simply not safe to ride in any area with limited riding skills and where there are loose horses which can express dangerous behavioral problems at the bat of an eye. 

Alternative riding areas are not a part of your question but I have to say there must be a safer place for you to ride. Please take a red crayon from a child’s crayon box and write the words SAFETY FIRST right over the room where your saddles are kept and then live by those words so that well intended horses are not blamed for injuries you might acquire simply because you were not attentive to safety measures.

Again, thank you for asking. I am sure you will re-think this and alter your riding plans. 
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