Possible first trail ride since moving, a few questions
So i moved my horse just over a month ago and things have been going great. Last weekend i took him walking on the trails right next to the new barn and he did wonderfully.
Last night one of the other boarders asked if i wanted to go on a trail ride with him on Sunday. The whole reason i moved was to give my horse a new job as a trail horse; he has a few issues on trail that i really wanted to address before going out riding with the other boarders. I had the trainer out and Phoenix did great in the arena with him but i really wanted to get the trainer back out for a trail lesson. I don't want to upset the other boarder with my badly behaved horse, then they might not ask me to ride with them again.
So the question is, do i go? or do i stay home and have the trainer out to address Phoenix's issues before taking the plunge and riding with the boarders?
Oh, the guy who wants to ride with me wants to take his blind horse out, the horse is 30 and a seasoned trail horse who is apparently incredibly calm on trail which could be good for Phoenix, but then again if my spooky horse runs into the back of hawk what kind of issues could i be creating for this poor old horse?
What are the issues you've been working on?
I'd ask the guy who you were gonna ride with what he thinks. Explain to him that your horse is working on some trail issues right now, and then let the boarder decide if he wants to put up with it.
He mostly has confidence issues, he gets a little spooky.
He tends to be right up on the horse in front of him, i wanted the trainer to help me deal with this by stopping his horse and backing up into phoenix to show him that the other horses don't appreciate his face in their ass, i might be able to handle this on trail by flexing him and turning him in a circle to put space between us and the horse in front, but i'm not sure as i haven't tested this yet.
He jigs if he gets left too far behind, this isn't so much an issue for him as it is for me as his jigging really hurts my back.
Good idea Tianimalz, i'll call him or maybe i'll see him tonight and see what he thinks.
I don't understand your skill levels or your ability to control your horse.
I've never used a trainer, My horses know what I've taught them. So it's always been a matter of if I want them to do something, I just needed to take them out and do it.
I found that myhorse took to the trails very naturally. Yes there was the occassional spook, and some horses do better with spooking than others. Some were a little on edge when I took them out alone, Others listen and responded better when they were alone.
Trail riding is how I break a horse. A couple of rides in the round pen, and then take them for a trail ride. They learn all the command sub conciously as we travel down the trail.
Give your horse a chance and as the Nike ad say, "Just Do it"
But only you know your skill levels and your horse.
I wouldn't consider myself a fantastic rider, I have taken lessons for about 9 years, i was doing dressage lessons a few years back but it all got a little too costly. Phoenix might have had a trainer before i bought him but hasn't had since i got him 5 years ago. The first time a trainer saw him was maybe 2 weeks ago and the guy said that Phoenix had a really good basis for learning other things, he has good basic knowledge.
I've been "training" him or re-training him for the past 2 years to do basic things. He's not an easy horse to ride, tends to think too much for himself and if he doesn't want to do something there is the occasional hissy fit (nothing too bad). He used to buck a lot due to back/hip issues but those are mostly under control, he gets regular chiro.
He's getting pretty good at listening to tiny cues from my seat and sometimes hands, he's good at following body language.
I do want to go as i think that getting out there and letting him get the experience would be great for him, i just don't want him to annoy the other rider, also i have a few confidence issues with him from the past. We used to ride trails a lot so it's not new for him, a few times (before i knew about his back issues) he would buck like a fiend and that shook my confidence in his trail ability.
I'll talk to the guy and see what he says, if he's willing to help me and accommodate my horse and help with training him to be a better trail horse then i'll definitely go.
If I were you I would inform the other boarder the issues he has and see if it would be a problem. I know I would be happy to assist someone in improving their horse if I thought my mount was experienced enough, and many others feel the same way. However if I felt my horse would only be a detriment to the situation I would opt against it, and maybe that is the case. Either way you won't find out til you ask, and if it were me who had invited the new guy/gal out for a trail ride and they ended up never giving me a definite answer I would wonder. Good luck and let us know it goes!
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I learned something this fall that has made my trail riding so much more enjoyable. It is a simple statement, " Please dont wait on me or come back for me or worry about keeping up with me, I just gotta kinda do my own thing."
I used to get all stressed out rushing trying to get ready, Or sitting on a horse waiting for other people, usually with a horse getting wound up cause he wants to move, or he ses other horses riding out. Then I get stressed and he gets stressed etc etc. FInally get the horse moving then the person in front keeps stopping, or they do the we gotta wait on jane, thing. Or you get a dozen "are you ready are you ready, hey your pad is wrong, hey is that the bit your using etc etc etc,,, see I am getting stressed just typing.
Soooo, I would answer sure I will see you on the trail I am gonna ride out at 9am, not sure how slow or fast I'll be moving just depends on how we feel I guess. Gonna stop at the creek and water, etc etc, Then ride aout a 9 or therabouts when ever you are ready, maybe meet up at a lunch stop, or wave on the trail or ride together if it suits you and your horse. Posting here kinda tells me you are already stressed out about it. Just agree on a ride out time, and if you stay together great and if not meet up at the end or at a break spot.
You're right i am totally stressed out about it. It's funny but last weekend i didn't make any plans on what i was doing with Phoenix, i just decided "hey, we're going to go over to the trails and have a walk, it'll be fun and maybe i'll let you stop and eat" so i went. It was fun, he stopped and ate and totally helped me out of the mud.
Not sure how he'd do actually riding on the trails alone, maybe good, maybe not so good.
I'll see the guy tomorrow and talk to him about it, if i do go out on sunday i'm just not going to make a big deal out of it, if i decide to stay at the barn and work on other things then that'll be fine too.
I had a similar issue with a very spooky horse. The best advice I can give is as follows:
Wait until YOU and HE are both ready. Try to be as relaxed as you can be. Keep breathing...deep breaths.
Go with people who have calm, trail experienced horses.
This is what I did, and our first trail ride was a success. My horse spooked once, but he got smacked in the butt with a branch. :) He actually had a good time and seemed to really enjoy himself.
Best of luck!
"If you act like you've only got fifteen minutes, it will take all day. Act like you've got all day, it will take fifteen minutes."
— Monty Roberts
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