How to prepare for a horse's first trail ride?
I'm thinking about taking Indie out in the back field some afternoon if the weather is as mild as it was this weekend.. however, I'm not too sure if she's ever been in such an open space before. I know that the other riders at my barn take their horses up there, usually walk/trot with a canter or gallop thrown in.. so I know that it's horse friendly.
I'm just wondering if there's anything I could do to prepare her for it? It might not even end up being until next spring, but I think it'd be fun. I'd probably get my mom to just walk with us, just in case something manages to go wrong.
Should I take her up around the area on a lead rope first, just to get her used to it?
How long have you had your horse and how experienced are you?
I've had my mare for 7yrs. now and I took her out on her own for the first time when she was 4 by ourselves.......we now ride out by ourselves but I hadn't ridden in 30+ yrs. and it took me that long to gain my confidence to go out by myself.
I have ridden her in groups from 2-20 riders/horses since I've had it but being in my 40's at the time it did take a while to get my confidence good enough where I felt confortable with taking her out herself.....
I've had her since the start of September and I've been riding for almost eight years now. I started out with one lesson a week, moved to two and I leased a few years before I got my mare. As of right now, I ride her at least five times a week and she's been improving greatly each week.
I'm pretty confident and my trust in her is growing.. she's a relatively chill mare, despite being a Thoroughbred. The seller had told me that she's rarely spooky and so far she hasn't batted an eyelid at anything.. not even when my instructor's dog came tearing down through the arena, while we were walking, and killed a pigeon.
I'm just wondering if getting another rider to come with me on their horse might be of benefit. She's at the bottom of the pecking order in the group of mares so I don't know if that will impact how she reacts. She seems really confident by herself but put in the pasture, she's very submissive and avoids conflict.
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Well you are....
ahead of me LOL I have never had lessons!!
My mare was real spooky when I first got her, anything moved and she spun/ran for the hills! Me just working with her in the round pen for a couple months benifited for both her and I with confidence in each other.
Maybe you should have one person come along for the first couple of times, it's all up to you whether you and her both trust each other. I know I rode with others for the first 3 or 4 yrs. and then I finally ventured out on my own.
Sounds like you have confidence in her and you.......
I would take someone else along, "just in case". The other horse should be a calming influence (obviously, you want a seasoned trail horse for the second horse) and if something did happen, you have help at hand. At 53, I never trail ride alone just as a safety issue.
Can you ride your horse in its pasture first. It will allow you to ride your horse in the open, but its familiar and enclosed.
you could hand walk her into the woods...
that's worked well for me.
I'll see if I can ride in one of the empty pastures.. since the mares are out 24/7 and Indie is frequently picked on, so I don't want to take the risk of them running over at us. Indie is quite calm around them and avoids confrontation by just walking/trotting away, but I don't want that extra worry.
If not, I'll just lead her around the field and likely keep her in the areas where she can see the barn and pastures. I'll get my mom to venture up with me, and get her to take a few pictures even if all goes well. :-)
I sure wouldn't ride in a pasture that has horses in it. If you can get somebody to go along on another horse, she will probably do well. I try to ride slow and easy until I get a feel for how a new horse is going to do.
Yeah, definitely not.. my instructor wouldn't allow it to begin with probably. I'm sure most of the horses would just continue grazing, but I could imagine miss Mirabelle cantering over.
I'll have to see if maybe I could tag along with someone.. although there's only one who rides out in the field regularly and she's not too open, so to speak.. although she's pretty nice. I'll convince somebody.. or try to. :-)
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