You might think I’m kidding, but I’m actually serious about it! Horse riding can be more secure than walking under some kind of circumstances.
Let me mention some examples from my own life:
1. Dangerous animals in the forest
The possibility to be bitten by a snake is much higher by feet. Lately I’ve seen quite a few snakes squeezed by cars on the hot asphalt. I also saw a dangerous “vipera” while riding in the woods some days ago. They usually feel the movements of the horse long before they feel humans coming towards them. Snakes are only able to feel vibrations in the ground to avoid danger, and the weight of a horse make it easy for them to escape!
I’ve only seen one of these impressive animals during a period of 6-7 years. They usually sleep during the day, but if you run into them in an unexpected way, they might get scared and attack you. Especially if they have kids. Some horses might get scared and throw you off in a situation like that. If you’re able to stay on, it’s more likely to be able to escape on horseback than by feet.
These tiny and often dangerous animals (sometimes causing infections) are often found in the high grass among the leaves on the trees. I’ve never got bitten by any of them while going horse riding. It might be because I’m not touching the grass on the ground and trying to avoid touching too many branches.
2. Other people
I never feel safe walking around on my own in desolate places (except if I’m bringing my protective dog along!). But if I’m riding my horse, I often stop to talk with strangers without any kind of nervousness.
Once I even convinced a couple of forestry workers to cut down a tree in front of us. I wanted to show Soraya that cutting trees with chain saws is not something to get scared off. Thinking back – I don’t think I would be chatting with some solid unknown men in the forest if I was walking around by feet…! And certainly not command them to cut down trees:)
4. Angry dogs
Soraya is usually super sweet with dogs, and she has no fear. Even if she ignores all kind of dogs barking at her or running around her, she did protect me from one – once!
That dog came out of its garden, and he was quite aggressive. He came so close to us that he could sniff my boot. That was too much even for my horse, and she kicked in slow motion to scare the dog away from us. It worked immediately and we could keep going towards the restaurant!
I would never had the courage to walk through that property by feet. We even got followed by another dog that was thinner and bigger than the first one. But he had more respect for the horse and kept his distance. If not he would probably have eaten me for lunch…
This is a strange point. But sometimes it’s easier to be seen in the traffic if you’re riding a big horse. In Italy nobody cares if they see a horse in the traffic, and they often speed up. You need a really safe horse to feel safe in the traffic. But if your horse is calm, it might be better to sit on it than walking next to it!
Horse riding gives me a lot of freedom. I can go out in the nature on my own and still feel secure. As a woman this is really a great feeling. A feeling of strength and being independent.