Cell Phone Safety on the Trail

EQUUS founding Medical Editor Matthew Mackay-Smith gives advice on equipping yourself with a cell phone while out on trail rides.
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EQUUS founding Medical Editor Matthew Mackay-Smith gives advice on equipping yourself with a cell phone while out on trail rides.
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Question: For safety's sake, I carry a cell phone when I trail ride. My question is, what's the best place for me to carry it? If the phone is in my saddle bag and I fall off, my horse could gallop home with it, leaving me lying there. But if I keep it on my body, it could break if I fall on it. What's the best solution?

Answer: A cell phone is a comfort and convenience to both trail rider and those at home who may be searching for you. However, it has to be charged up, turned on and not "blinded" by distance or intervening land formations to work.

I would suggest you carry the phone on your person, not in your saddle bag. You can purchase a heavy-duty protective case that will protect it in case of fall. The safest place on your body--the area least likely to hit the ground in a fall--would be your chest. You can hang it around your neck and under your shirt with a key lanyard. Also, if you can, program your cell phone to speed-dial home at the touch of a button. That way, even if you are barely conscious, you can still alert someone that you need help.

This article first appeared in the September 2002 issue of EQUUS magazine