Our whole teaching at my ranch is trail rides should be fun for you and the horse. We ride on a very loose western one hand, and have spots in the trail we let them stop to eat. Notice I say let them, it's not their choice. We're still in control, but the feeling is relaxed. The horse isn't allowed to act up, but can pick where he wants to put his footing and how he wants to move in the gait asked. We do the same trail (we used to offer trail riding) so we never wanted the horses to hate the trail. It's work for them, yes, but it's meant to be enjoyable work.
Hoover would -prance- when we started the trail, and he never does that outside of the field with his buddies. We would do the trail, and he would want more- bump my elbow when I tried to take his bridle off. His face would light up when we turned out past the barn.
"Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high. Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky. And live like you ain't afraid to die...don't be scared, jut enjoy the ride." - Chris LeDoux