Are trail rides "fun" or "work" for your horse? - Page 4

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Are trail rides "fun" or "work" for your horse?

This is a discussion on Are trail rides "fun" or "work" for your horse? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    09-09-2009, 02:11 PM
Most of you seem to think the same way I do. When I say trail rides are "fun" as opposed to "work," I just mean we don't really do anything we would typically do in the arena out on the trails. A horse needs to be stimulated mentally, and if you go in the arena 5 days a week and do the same thing over and over, it becomes "work" and eventually, the horse will resent it. It needs to be mixed up. The trail ride is a reward, my horse doesn't have to carry herself like we're in a dressage test, she just gets to walk. Or trot, or canter, or jump. My horse loves to be ridden. She actually gets really depressed if I go more than a few days without riding, but I make sure that I take her out whenever I have time, whether it's a long trail ride up in the hills, or just a ride behind the pastures after an arena ride.
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    09-09-2009, 02:14 PM
I think horses love trail riding!
    09-09-2009, 02:21 PM
Definite fun for us :) I usually work Classy in the arena first doing her normal work then we will go out on a short trail for her cool down/ reward..she really likes it and it breaks up her "work" hopefully she will stay happy with me switching it up like that :)
    09-09-2009, 02:25 PM
Chat Moderator
I have never thought about it. I don't know. Hercules was relaxed and enjoy me rubbing his face after the ride on Monday.
    09-22-2009, 10:12 PM
That picture iss soo cutee (:
    09-22-2009, 10:16 PM
1dog3cats17rodents - I love that pic (:
    09-23-2009, 12:39 AM
Green Broke
Definately fun. It never ceases to amaze me just how incrediably LAZY my Arab mare can pretend to be when we're schooling in the yard. We don't do much serious, as we don't show, but she gets so bored going in circles. I do little things on the trail, like I work on her leg yielding on the road and stuff but still just fun things.

It bugs me when people always have to be "schooling on the trail". Horses need some downtime. I understand a young horse needs focus and schooling on a trail is beneficial, but if you have a finished showhorse just let him enjoy the relaxation and not have to think!

I realize some horses dislike trail riding, but in that case, have fun rides in the arena then. I think all horses should have some "downtime" where they aren't constantly being asked to do something while being ridden. I find it keeps them fresh and happier at their jobs.
    09-23-2009, 03:11 AM
Trail rides for me and my mare are fun with a little bit of work. For the most part I don't ask her to be in a frame or collect herself or anything like that. In fact most of our trail rides are spent just walking or galloping madly up every hill we can find. =P I do, however, expect her to behave and will occasionally ask her to get on the bit or stretch.
    09-23-2009, 09:04 AM
I find my horse likes to put her head down and really look where she's going while out on a trail ride, especially going over rocky terain or anything like that. If never put her in a frame over difficult terrain, she tends to trip and lose her balance because she can't stretch out and move her body.. 'naturally' (for want of a better word) and balance accordingly over the terrain, because she can't get a good look at the ground. I do however think "okay, I will put her on the bit untill I get to that tree" just to keep her mind working and doing different things, then i'll let her stretch out again. I think trail rides provide a break from schooling in the arena and keep both the horse and riders mind fresh.
    09-23-2009, 11:40 AM
I like your Ben - I guess he has some Irish blood in him.

From your description of the ride out, my guess is that your friend is very nervous out on a trail ride. She feels happy in the arena but she can't relax and enjoy it out in the open. Maybe she is anxious not to discuss her fears.
Hopefully the mini fall did nothing to dent her confidence further

Riding a trail ride calls for a slightly different technique than for riding in the arena with a dressage test in mind. If you don't already know the difference then ask the tutor. You should do both types of riding.
Your horse no doubt can handle both environments, that's his job.

But the idea of horse riding is to have fun all the time not just occasionally.

Barry G

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