Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northern Nevada
I dunno... To me it seems as though there's quite a bit of "can't get there from here" in that list. Sure, a perfect trail horse should be all of those things, but how do you get there without taking the horse out on trails to get experience? Some things you can arrange, or simulate, but how do you desensitize a horse to bears, mountain lions, low-flying military aircraft (all of which we've encountered in the last year), or other unpredictable stuff in a controlled environment?
Take trailering for instance. When I first started riding Ellie, a bit over a year ago, she did NOT want to get into the trailer. Had to have her on a lunge line running through the tie bracket inside the first few times. Gradually she got better, 'til now I almost think I could just say "Ellie, get in the trailer", and she would. But if I had waited until she was at that point before trailering out, she never would have learned that riding is fun, and I would have missed a lot of rides, and opportunities for training (both of us) on other trail stuff.
And how do I train her to load in any trailer, when we only have the one?