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cjessy 09-23-2008 12:17 PM

Taking my gelding on his first long trail ride
I purchased Vegas with 30 days on him. I rode him that day and was so comfortable because he acts like he is dead broke (sometimes :wink: ). What 2 year old can you tack up and ride without working out first? Well in October we are going to a paint horse trail ride. Its three days including camping out! I am so excited and a little nervous because Vegas is so young. He also has to be tied up at night, unsure how thats going to go...
Now I have been on multiple trail rides with Vegas but it is on the back of were I boards property. He has a nice pace and wants to lead the pack. He is alert and aware of his surroundings. Needless to say he has spooked more times in the round pen then out on the trail. I am trying to prepare him by riding him everyday and taking on the trails and doing basic ground work. I have been cracking branches (which do not even phase him) and crinkling pop cans and even attached my water bottle to his saddle and it was swinging around hitiing him and he was totally fine. I think he will be alright because we just had a wind storm here in Ohio and there are a lot of trees and branches down covering the trails. We walk up to a long and right next to the log is another branch, he gets his hoof stuck inbetween the two and doesn't panic (it took a lot for me not to panic, I stayed calm). He figures it out and carries on. Is there anything else that I should do to get him ready for this ride? I will be crossing a creek with him, but I had him walk through a deep avoidable large puddle at the barn and the water didn't seem to bother him. But I know that is not a creek.

iridehorses 09-23-2008 01:10 PM

I used to do a good deal of camping with my horses and the way I prepared them was to simulate the way they would be at the campsite. I would string out a high line and simply tie them to it for increasingly longer periods of time. I would feed them on the line and pretty much do everything that I would expect to do when camping.

Your colt sounds like a horse with a good attitude but I would be careful with him considering his age. I don't think I would take a two year old on an extended trail ride. If you needed to go then I would limit his riding to about 2 or 3 hours per day for the 2 days then give him a few days off. Sometimes, when they are in such good condition and so willing, we forget how young they are and how their bones are still forming.

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