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hberrie 07-08-2012 02:10 PM

Downed trees blocking trails
What do you do if you are following a trail and there is a tree blocking the way and no way to go around? The last time I tried to jump a fallen tree in a western saddle I ended up wrapped around my horses neck on the landing. I am not a good jumper, but I hate having to turn around. i know this is a stupid question, but I was just wondering if everyone else would jump it or turn around and take a different route?

cakemom 07-08-2012 02:15 PM

If it were jump able I'd go for it, or get down and lead the horse to jump it in hand.
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PaintHorseMares 07-08-2012 02:16 PM

Typically we would jump it. You're right to be careful, though, as many horses that are not used to jumping will jump a tree trunk like it's 10' tall and give you a big jolt.
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DancingArabian 07-08-2012 02:29 PM

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Depends on how big it is and who Im with. Alone I'd jump iit. However I really doubt you're crossing anything 3' tall. Probably not even 2' tall. I'd make my horse wall over it if I'm with people in western saddles. Those horns can jab you pretty good and I wouldn't want to force that "fun" on someone! Your horse should be able to walk over an obstacle without defaulting to jumping.
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Endiku 07-08-2012 03:09 PM

If I can, I'll ride my horse at a walk over it. Thats the first option. Most of our animals will confidently step over anything a few inches lower than their belly. Sometimes I'll dismount and let them creep over it without my added weight. If its too tall, and I'm confident that I can jump it- I will- but I do not jump as a rule very often (western rider) and will advoid it if at all possible.

NorthernMama 07-08-2012 03:15 PM

I rarely jump on the trails because there are too many unknowns on my trails. Footing changes from day to day and what if an animal decided to make a burrow right where my horse is going to land? Nah, no jumping for me. If it's too tall for my horse to walk over and too big to move either on or off the horse, I will find a way around. Look harder for a way around. Unless there are cliffs on both sides, there's just gotta be a way! :)

I sometimes go on trails where the downed trees never seem to get moved, so instead the trail gets moved around them!

gunslinger 07-08-2012 05:46 PM

The Cohutta wilderness area combined with the Big Frog Wilderness area makes up the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi river. While the mountains are not nearly as high as out west, they are steep.

My wife and I ride a lot in the rugged southern Appalachian mountains and on one occasion we had a tree that was across the trail and cliffs on both sides.

A 12 mile ride turned into a 22 mile ride, as we rode the same way out rather than making the loop and we got back right at dark.

We take small hand saws, but this tree was huge.

Every time we ride in the wilderness, we take enough equipment to be comfortable should we need to spend the night.

So, yes, it can happen, and in fact, has happened to me.

Amlalriiee 07-08-2012 07:10 PM

assuming you can't just step over it or around it, I would get off and try to move it. (You'd be amazed how easily you can unblock a trail sometimes just by picking up one end and swinging it around to the side) If its not budging, I blaze a path around it. That can be hard here as the Maine woods are very thick in parts and it can be hard to fit through anywhere that is not directly trail. Sometimes I get off and walk her for that part so that I can move things out of the way and not worry about losing a knee cap on a tree.

NorthernMama 07-08-2012 07:34 PM


Originally Posted by gunslinger (Post 1587357)
cliffs on both sides.

Yup, them nasty dual-sided cliff trails must be a real downer. :lol: I don't have those around here!

Saddlebag 07-08-2012 07:44 PM

My trail horse was a big stout horse which I rode with a roping saddle. I always carried a rope for just such occasions. Carried one in the truck too as sometimes trees were across the main road.

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