Trail riding - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 08-12-2012, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Trail riding

Tips for getting my horse more prepared for trail riding? I would like to get my horse out of the arena and do a little training out in the open so he doesn't get too set in one environment. I did read Cherie's sticky article which was awesome, but any other tips?

He doesn't flick an ear at combine's passing by, but his shadow? Now THAT is scary!
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 08:01 AM
Green Broke
 
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you just have to find some safe places to ride and go do it. Don't be to proud to get off and lead your horse if you have to, just lead him away from home not towards it. Still finnish the trail. An older horse he knows that he can follow helps also.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 08:15 AM
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His best teacher will be another, more experienced horse. And there is no other way to really prepare him than to just go in the trails. Of course, be sure that he is responsive to your cues in stressful situations first, but otherwise - have fun! :)
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpbr View Post
Tips for getting my horse more prepared for trail riding? I would like to get my horse out of the arena and do a little training out in the open so he doesn't get too set in one environment. I did read Cherie's sticky article which was awesome, but any other tips?

He doesn't flick an ear at combine's passing by, but his shadow? Now THAT is scary!
Good idea to start riding your horse out with an experienced horse and rider so you and your horse can learn to cope with all that comes your way, and your horse soon learns that the experienced horse doesnt care less, so why should he.. or she..

Talking and reasuring your horse all the time, and keep your horse moving as things such as vehicles etc approach.

Keep the experienced horse and rider between your horse and the passing hazard.. check out my personal trail riding website for some of the things and places we travel over with our horses. www.canterburyhorsetrailriders.org Good luck...!

Last edited by canterburyhorsetrailrider; 08-13-2012 at 08:19 AM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 08:30 AM
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When I started prepping my horse for trails, we warmed up in the arena, and then worked in the fields for a little bit getting used to the different surroundings and making sure she was still listening to my cues. The first trail ride was with another more experienced horse leading...one that does not spook easily or at all. Beware of the unexpected wildlife...my mare can cope with deer, turkeys, rabbits, chipmunks, birds, but it's squirrells she can't deal with...lol. Those crazy things jump from tree to tree and she goes nuts!
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 09:36 AM
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I can't remember where I saw it but I did see an ad for a DVD that teaches one how to trail ride

It was pretty expensive so it must be good

I am sorry but I've been trail riding more than 50 years. Just get the horse out with a seasoned & well grounded trail horse/rider.

If the horse has to be put in an arena before being loaded up and then embarassingly lunged at the trailer before mounting, it's the rider that's not ready to get out in the woods and meet the Marlboro Man or Bigfoot.

All the lunging in the world isn't going to prepare a horse for coming up on a rattlesnake or a bear --- both of which I have done (rattlesnakes more than once). Nobody panicked but we sure did back ourselves out of the snake situations.

Oh yeah, knowing how to back up is pretty important. Especially if you're on a rocky trail that's too narrow to turn around and there's a BIG Diamond Back peacefully sunning himself thirty feet in front of you, as you round the bend. Unless you come closer then things won't be so peaceful

Thankfully the bear was "only" a fresh steaming pile of dung so the bear was watching us from some hidden vantage point. Yes, the horses were spooked alright but stayed calm because we were well-seasoned and knew how to keep them calm -- it wasn't by lunging them
At the horse trailer--------------

Don't make a trail riding mountain out of a molehill; just go with a seasoned horse, forget about perfect show ring posture and try really hard to just smell the roses. The more confidence YOU have and are able to relax, the more the horse will enjoy life in the real world.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! Thanks so much everyone! :)
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 10:23 PM
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Just so the long-time/die hard trail riders know I wasn't making things up, here's the link to the DVD's on trail riding that I had seen.

And look who sells them----------------

Hit The Trail DVD

For that kind of money, there had better be some very important and extremely useful/life-saving information on them.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-14-2012, 10:39 AM
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Some trails are scarier than others. You might want to start on the flat wide open ones rather than take on the steep, rocky wooded ones.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-15-2012, 10:28 PM
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Our horses when we first start them on trails, we have an experienced horse pony us. It seems to be a comfort zone for the horse and they relax, but more importantly for the rider, which in turn makes the horse comfortable. If they are loose and comfortable, we'll go off the lead sometimes -but often we just do one ride like that and if they start and finish well, we will go lead free the next time. Everyone does it ddifferent, but this seems to work extremely well for us.
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