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Trails 02-06-2013 09:59 AM

Why do we ride the trails?
Greetings and salutations,

It's been awhile since my last post, we've been terribly busy wiht our seminars and trying to get a ride or two in. At any rate I thought that the gang here might enjoy this piece that I wrote on why we trail ride. It was published in Western Mule magazine this month.

Why do we ride the trails? Feed is expensive, fuel even worse, and tack, well we’ll just avoid how much good equipment costs. So why do we ride? And more to the point why do we trail ride over questionable terrain, through poor weather, and at great expense, when there are.....

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goneriding 02-06-2013 11:15 AM

Great article!

jamesqf 02-06-2013 01:42 PM


...when there are perfectly good arenas with excellent footing scattered across the country?
Why on earth would anyone want to ride in an arena? To me, it'd be like those people who do mall-walking as exercise, instead of going for a hike. Heck, you could put your horse on a treadmill...

The point is that for me "trail" is the important word, "riding" is just the incidental consequence of me having gotten suckered into adopting a horse, who I then got attached to.

JeepnGirl 02-06-2013 07:06 PM

It's about fresh air, friends, and well.... GOING someplace!
4 dusty arena walls going in circles looses it's fun fast.
Arenas are great for teaching, but I know when I was in school, I was always looking out the window. Wonder how some of those arena only horses feel?


Jolly Badger 02-07-2013 02:07 PM

If you're lucky enough to be riding a horse, you're lucky enough. . .

But you're really, really lucky if you're riding that horse through beautiful scenery.

And if you're on a good-minded, thinking horse that will go through anything you ask him to.

To me, it's the best way to see the world. I can go out on trail all day by myself without ever feeling "alone" because I'm with my horse.

Trail riders are also some of the best "horse folk" I've ever known. They're helpful and friendly, they'll stop and chat or let you know if there's something on the trail ahead to be aware of. If they see someone else stopped at the side of the trail - especially dismounted - they will stop and check if everything is okay, or ask if you need help.

I was an "arena rider" for many of my early riding years, and I don't discredit any of the lessons I learned there. The arena still has an important place in developing a good foundation of horsemanship and riding skills that come in very handy out on the trail.

But I just prefer the trail.:-)

Joe4d 02-07-2013 03:06 PM

cause walking sucks,
Creed of the mechanized infantry, Why walk when you can ride ?

Celeste 02-07-2013 06:27 PM

Great article!

jamesqf 02-07-2013 07:00 PM


Originally Posted by Joe4d (Post 1882701)
cause walking sucks,

Hey, I LIKE walking, and on most trail rides will get off and walk or jog for a while. I actually enjoy trotting along with Ellie, keeping pace with each other. It's sort of... well, friendly is the best I can describe it, in a way that's not quite the same as riding.

Foxtail Ranch 02-07-2013 07:11 PM

I love horses. I love riding horses. I love the outdoors. I used to love running trails too, but I was in a nasty motorcycle accident 2 years ago and now I can't run or walk for long because my foot didn't heal back to full usefulness. I'm thankful my horses carry me into the places I love.
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Painted Horse 02-07-2013 08:51 PM

I ride so that I can see more. The horse watches his feet and I watch the scenery. For me, Horses are way to cover distance in rough country.

My daughter came home to visit recently, Said a boy she is dating asked her "What her favorite memories of growing up were" I expect to hear her say dancing in the Nutcracker to a live orchestra, or trips to Paris or Rome with her mother. Nope, she said you can't tell mom, but her best favorite memories are horse camping with her dad. I tried hard to make tom boys out of my 5 daughters. And I guess a little of it stuck.

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