Fall is one of the best times to ride. Things have cooled down, most of those creepy crawly bugs and flies have died off, and if you're lucky enough, you live in an area where you get to ride surrounded by beautiful foliage. Many riders take the opportunity of fall to do lots of trail riding, or riding out in the woods and open fields. But fall also means hunting season, and it's important to make you and your horse visible and safe.
If you plan on hitting the trails this fall, make sure your and your horse both have some blaze orange on you, to make yourself visible to hunters. You can wear a safety vest, blaze orange helmet cover, carry blaze orange saddle bags, etc. And you can deck your horse out in an orange fly bonnet, ride with blaze orange reins, or even put an orange halter & lead rope underneath your bridle. These tools are all great for keeping you safe out in the woods, and making sure you don't get mistaken for something a hunter might have his eye on!
Another simple way to keep yourself safe on the trail in the fall, is to wear some kind of bell, or something that jingles and makes noise. You can easily attach a jingle bell to your horse's breastplate, or one on either side of the back of your saddle! If you're feeling adventurous and have a safe horse to take on a night trail ride to enjoy a crisp fall night, or even if you only have time to ride at dusk now that the sun is going down earlier, you can also wear reflective yellow or green to make sure you are visible in low light.
You can find reflective leg gear for your horse, or make your own by finding reflective strips at your local hardware store and attaching them yourself to your horse's tack. You can also wear a reflective vest or helmet cover, just like you can find in blaze orange! As always, when you hit the trails, be aware of your surroundings and know the trail your taking. If you're not familiar with the area, make sure you have a map with you. If you can, always try to head out with a group, but if you decide to go out alone, be sure to carry a fully charged cell phone with you, and let someone know what trail you're taking and when you expect to be back.
Photo source - Blaze Orange Rope Halter on Etsy