JUST Trail Riding???
I don't know about the rest of you but the word JUST irritates me to no end. We go into a restaurant and the hostess say, "Just the two of you?" What? Do we need more to get into the place?
And too often when asked what type of riding we do, we reply, "Oh, I just trail ride." Like it's an apology. Or someone will ask if we show or just trail ride. Like that takes no skill and we go along like a sack of potatoes perched atop 1000 pounds of pure energy.
Trail riding is a pretty complex activity to my way of thinking. Most of the people here seem incredibly knowledgeable with diverse backgrounds and the desire to improve their skills and to help others along the way.
One thing is for certain with horses...you never stop learning. I can't think of a better arena for education of horse and rider than a trail with all it's obstacles and challenges.
Prepare yourself...prepare you horse...and have a great ride.
You really need to simmer down about the hostess/waitress asking if it's just the two of you. They need to know in order to determine best where to seat you. It's not a personal slap in the face, it's about giving you the best seat for the number in your party. I take it you've never worked any kind of customer service job with that attitude. :?
If you're apologizing for 'just' trail riding, that's on you. You don't need to say it that way. When someone asks tell them, 'We trail ride. It's a lot of fun.' If they disparage your choice of discipline, that's their problem.
I've spent 12 months now working on turning Mia into "just a trail horse", including hiring a professional trainer. She is 12 now, and a year ago wouldn't lift her foot up to clear a rock, because she didn't understand that sometimes the ground isn't smooth. We are currently working on short solo trips into the desert. Maybe by next summer, she'll be an OK trail horse.
And if someone asks, I'll say, "She's just a trail horse!" And only I, and my immediate family and good friends, will understand the pride in my voice...
Trial riding can involve much more than just riding a horse down a trail. Sometimes that saw that hangs under the saddle is put into use to clear the trail for example.
If it's a flat well groomed and maintained trail that's one thing.....many of the trails we ride aren't and you never know what the trail conditions might be or what we'll have to do to continue along the trail.
Then there's "off trail" trail riding....or cross country.
Just ask the Utah fellows how easy that is....
We understand exactly where you're coming from.....
Id take a good reliable trail horse over a herd of dancing show ponies any day.
I guess it is all in perspective. If someone just ambles down a straight flat wide, groomed path that goes out a 1/2 a mile and comes back without:
crossing a deep moving stream
crossing a stream with sand that is melting under the horses hooves
encountered a little litter of young pigs that explode out from under horses feet
stepped over knee high logs
got their horses feet tangled in vines
ran into alligators
had to go around a fence gate with a narrow path that hairpins around it with a 6 ft drop all all around
up a steep hill
down a slippery steep hill
step around a huge downed tree by going on the the edge of a ledge and stepping over the end of said tree when you are scared of heights
encountered a run away horse
had a horse run away with YOU
medical emergency 8 miles out in the bayou
been walking along in the woods and suddenly be belly deep in mud and your horse is galloping in place to get out!
and that is just a tiny part of trail riding....it is way more fun than anything I have ever done (well, scuba diving is pretty dang awesome) so I don't apologize for just "trail riding". There is nothing more fun to me than loading up my horse and going to somewhere to camp out and ride. A good trail horse is worth their weight in gold and while all horses can't be champion barrel, halter, reining, jumping, eventing, endurance, driving horses, not all horses make great trail horses either.
Love the outdoors, love the fellowship, love the campouts/cookouts, love tracking the trails with my Garmin and dreaming of ONE DAY riding and finishing an endurance ride. It may not be for everyone but it is the right discipline for me. I would love to have had show horses too, so certainly not knocking anyone's passion but for me...happy trails is where I want to be. My boy Biscuit is working on becoming a great trail horse. He is good but he has a long way to go to be great!
"Ran into alligators"
I refuse to ride my horse in a zoo!
Sorry...the Arizona boy in me got a laugh out of that!
Oh yeah...or go down a trail and get not lost but too far away to ride back before dark...go down through a park, get up to the highway and be "locked in" by fences. That is when your trail buddy kicks a board down and we flag down someone to rescue our butts!!! Good times!!!
LOL yeah but in Southeast Texas in Tyrrell Park out by Willow and Hildebrandt Bayou you are going to run right into alligators!!! ahahahahahahaha I guess no worse than running into a bear or moose!!!
I find it way more fun to tell people I get on, hold on and see if I come back alive. Their facial expressions are way better that way lol. Or I just let my friends kid answer for me, "she rides the crazy, wild horse". Ahh the kid is such a great advocate for the Arab.
Guess I've never told people I "just" trail ride as I don't do "just" anything. My horse is green so "just" trail riding usually means some sort of unplanned situation. Much more fun than "just" trail riding.
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