trail to show or show to trail? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 10-13-2012, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Question trail to show or show to trail?

Been looking for a horse for my daughter to use for 4-h (pleasure not speed) and for recreation/trail riding for myself. I see a few horses that are advertized as good at both but many either seem to be trail horses that haven't shown or show horses that are used only in the arena. So assuming we are working with a trainer, which is easier to do, take a trail horse and make him decent at 4-h/local shows or take a horse that shows and make him non-spooky on the trail?
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-13-2012, 08:19 PM
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Taking a horse that has shown to make him a trail horse is easier IMO.
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-13-2012, 08:25 PM
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I would say show to trail. :)

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post #4 of 12 Old 10-13-2012, 08:39 PM
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I'd actually say the other way around - granted, my experience is quite limited, so I could be wrong. But from what I've seen, finding a horse that has a solid head on its shoulders on the trail is harder to find and a lot of show horses seem to freak out once they're outside the familiarity and safety of the arena/show ring.

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post #5 of 12 Old 10-13-2012, 08:58 PM
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I am another one for trail to show. You are looking for a nice 4-H horse, not a high level eventer. Its much more important that the horse has a good brain between its ears and is not going to be afraid and spooky. I think you are more likely to find a been there/done that attitude in a trail horse. This horse is more about having something you and your child can ENJOY together. Your child does not have to win every 4-H show they do need to be safe at every show. Its also likely that you will end up as the sole owner/user of this horse in a few years. In which case, your desire for a safe/sane trial horse should not take a backseat to your child show desires (I know that it can be hard for many parents to put their desires on the same plane as their childs, but in this case its okay). In the end, safety and fun are paramount and I think you are more likely to find that in a trail horse but I would not discourage you from looking at show horses. Again, just my thoughts on the issue.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-13-2012, 10:32 PM
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Any of my show horses can & have been ridden out on the trail & love it.yes they are sound /sane on trail & no special/extra training required.After being hauled around to different venues showing they take on new things readily. I also have horses that have just been out ridden on the trail & pasture,I would be WAY more apprehensive taking one of those horses to a show that have never seen an inside of an arena or use to the sites & different traffic at a show. They also don't have finished training on them required to perform in the show ring.I think you have more work cut out for you trying to turn a strictly trail horse into a showhorse
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-13-2012, 11:04 PM
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Optimal would be one that was trained show and trail at the same time, makes for a much saner horse IMO. But with an either or, put me down for a trail trained horse. Most trail trained horses are used to having everything thrown at them so adjust to shows readily. Show horses tend to freak out at anything outside their insular life of stalls and arenas.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-13-2012, 11:15 PM
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All of my show horses HAVE to be sane enough to ride out on trail because that's how I end every single session with them. We school in the arena and work on the show training and when that's over we go for a ride out on trail or on the neighborhood roads. Depending on the arena work out it might only be a slow, relaxing walk for a while or it may be load up in the trailer and go for a 10 miler at my favorite trail area. If they cannot handle both, mentally or physically, then I sell them on to whatever they are best at, but I want and insist on both at the same time.

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post #9 of 12 Old 10-14-2012, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
All of my show horses HAVE to be sane enough to ride out on trail because that's how I end every single session with them. We school in the arena and work on the show training and when that's over we go for a ride out on trail or on the neighborhood roads. Depending on the arena work out it might only be a slow, relaxing walk for a while or it may be load up in the trailer and go for a 10 miler at my favorite trail area. If they cannot handle both, mentally or physically, then I sell them on to whatever they are best at, but I want and insist on both at the same time.
Majority of show horse owners that I know are like this They do both! Not like the ones that non horse showing people like to sterotype them to be! As horses that live in a stall & only riding is done in an arena.My horses when showing get turned out for the day & only spend night in stall.They get ridden indoors & out.Our show season is short here so in off season they live out in pasture 24/7 & get trail ridden more than any schooling in an arena.A horse that is solely ridden & schooled in an arena gets sour pretty fast
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-14-2012, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
Optimal would be one that was trained show and trail at the same time, makes for a much saner horse IMO. But with an either or, put me down for a trail trained horse. Most trail trained horses are used to having everything thrown at them so adjust to shows readily. Show horses tend to freak out at anything outside their insular life of stalls and arenas.
I agree. Seeing as we are talking about a mature horse, I would much rather train for showing than train for trails. Taking a mature horse on the trail for the first few times is a good way to get exercise though, as you may find yourself walking (or limping) back to the barn every time he teleports when he encounters a deer/squirrel/armadillo/coyote/fox/funny looking stick/suspicious rock/4 wheeler/branch falling from tree/rustling in leaves/snake/fly/horsefly/bee, or any number of things...or if the wind picks up...
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