getting horses use to trail riding?! help please
I REALLY want to go on a trail ride with chance since shes sorta on hard work break lol cause of her feet, but she gets nervous and tends to spook and just plain wants to get out of there. Earlier today I took her a quarter of the way down the trail and she got so nervous and was ready to bolt [i wasnt riding we were walking in hand] so we had to turn back around and do our normal routine.
I need some ideas to get chance use to walking on trails/ trail riding and not get so nervous. I dont want to just limit her to the indoor arena, outdoor arena, round pen. I think it would be fun for her and me to go on trail rides.
also to get to the cross country course you have to go down a trail!
ugh help please!
It can take lots of time, patience, and praise. Remember, it is very unnatural for a horse to be alone without the safety of the herd. If possible, ride (or pony) her with a seasoned trail horse. When introducing new environments, I always start our two young ones with our 14 yr old 'been there, done that' seasoned mare. They will go anywhere she does and learn from her....and this really makes the process faster, but you do want to get to the point where she trusts you like she would trust the lead horse. Once she's more comfortable (or if you can't do that), go out alone as you did...short distances at first, riding or in hand (I would saddle her, though), expanding her comfort zone slowly. It's OK to let her stop and look when she gets uncomfortable. If needed, turn back, circle, and try forward again. When she's reached her limit for the trip, though, praise, and go on to your other routines. Always end on a good note, take your time, have fun.
I always take the young horses out with an more experienced horse. I start by ponying them at yearlings. By time I ride them down the trail at 3-4 years old, the trail, water crossings, bridges etc are old hat.
Go for a ride with a friend. Let her horse lead. After your horse has been down the trail a time or two, let your horse begin to lead while you ride with a friend. Then when you go out by yourself. The horse is already comfortable with the trail.He will only be dealing with the issue of being alone and not worrying about things he's never seen before.
okay thanks for the advice! ill try it out today!
From reading most of the posts that you put up it really sounds like and your horse have some big trust problems. Your mare doesn't trust you and you don't have any faith in here either because of how she reacts to things (which really are typical horse things).
It's a vicious circle between the 2 of you. I think it might be a better idea for the 2 of you to work thru your technical issues before hitting the trails. If you do decide to still go on trails, you should go out with another horse, an experienced trail horse would be better.
if u read my other post we wont on a hour and a 1/2 long ttrail and we were perfect together and she does trust me because if she didnt she wouldnt follow me around everywhere in the arena with out my having to hold her she wouldnt relax around me when shes nervous.
sometimes she's just spooky and she becomes unglued.
and the trail horse we went with was only 3 yrs old.
Yeah, patience sounds like it is going to be the key here. I agree with ponying her with another solid horse that is used to everything and will provide some confidence for her. It sounds like she doesnt completly trust you if she gets nervous and tries to bolt. Horses are fight or flight animals, and it sounds like your mare wants to do the flight thing, which is only natural. My Curly gelding is ok on the trail, he just needs more time as in trail hours. I have done that by just taking it one step at a time and just introducing him to new things at a time. Ponying really helps though, or go trail riding with a buddy.
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