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mustangcowgirl 04-03-2007 03:28 AM

The perfect trail horse
Hey everyone. I'm writing an article for one of my college classes, and it's going to be about the most desirable kind of trail horse. For part of the article I'm looking for opinions on what trail riding enthusiasts like in their trail horses. So whatever questions you could answer would be helpful. Some questions include:

-What breeds do you like for trail horse?
-Desirable conformation?
-Height and/or weight?
-Anything else about appearance?
-Personality traits you look for?
-Age of a good trail horse?
-What might a good trail horse cost in your area?
-Do different trail types in different areas of the country mean a different type of horse? Or is there a versatile kind of horse?
-Do you take other factors into consideration, like registration? Potential breeding ability? Suitability for other disciplines?

Also, for younger riders or those with children, or maybe when you were kids yourselves.
-What kind of horse, with the above factors in mind, is good for a youth trail horse?
-Do you find it's harder or easier to obtain trail horses for younger riders?
-Are these horses worth more?
-What might you like in a trail horse for an older, experienced rider that you wouldn't like in a trail horse for a younger rider and vice versa?

Anything else you can add would be appreciated. Thanks in advance to anyone who replies!

Desert Rat 04-03-2007 02:55 PM

First off i am 69 yrs. old and have been forking one kind of horse or mule most of those years along breaking and training. What makes a good trail animal? I would say temprement and training is 75% of the make up regardless of breed. I personally prefer mules.. Not that they are any that much better then a lot of horses I've ridden but they do have a few atributes you won't find in horses. They tend to have a narrower chest so their front legs are closer together thus enabiling them to walk a narrow trail easier. A mule will not hurt them selves or get in a position wher it may occure. I've had mine stop dead next to a boggy spot and refuse to take another step. Economy is another factor. mules can be maintained on less food and most do not need shod unless in real rocky ground. I spent the last 225 years rideing up in the olymic mountains of Wa. State and I just feel safer when looking down several hundred feet off a 12" wide trail rideing a mule. As to size here again to me the mules prevail. They will pack 1/3 theit own weight, thus a 900 lb. mule can easily pack 300 lbs. I prefer a shorter stocky type mainly for overhead clearnce purposes. Ehen you are in timber and brush the lower the better and these shorter animals makes it a lot easier for this old man to mount. Good luck with your artical and if you have any more questions that I can help you with please ask.

MyPersonalJester 04-12-2007 11:13 AM

It really depends on where your going and what kind of trails. If you want to do endurance, Arabians are really good, they've got a lot of stamina. Foxtrotters and Rocky Mountain Saddle horses are good too. If your doing Compatition Trails then your going to want good dependable horse that wont spook. Or maybe pleasure. Highstrung horses can be difficult on trails because of new sites. The ground can also be very rough, which is not good if they decide to flip out.
Shoes are VERY nice to have, unless your riding on a smooth trail with not a lot of rocks

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