Am I ready?

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Am I ready?

This is a discussion on Am I ready? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    11-21-2008, 12:15 AM
Am I ready?

So, when I was younger I used to take English lessons, but never got past the trot. This was over 10 years ago.

I just started taking English lessons again. I have had 4 lessons. The first lesson I just went over being reminded how to groom and tack, mount, hold reigns, walk, stop, and post while walking. Very basic, but important.

After my second lesson I began to trot. I am very comfortable with it. It's all coming back to me!

My friend rides at a stable that does trail rides. She is allowed to take the trails by herself and has asked me to go with her.

I am not really afraid of controlling the horse. I remember the basics, and these horses are pretty much bomb proof.

If she wanted to canter, would I be able to do it? I haven't ever cantered in an English saddle. Or should I ask my trainer to go over it with me before I hit a trail??
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    11-21-2008, 12:41 AM
I would not do anything new on a trail...IMO it's best to perfect a canter when someone is watching you to make sure you are doing it correctly.
    11-21-2008, 12:55 AM
I know that is probably the smart thing to do. Doesn't mean I am not mighty tempted!
    11-21-2008, 01:37 AM
Originally Posted by wanderlust    
I know that is probably the smart thing to do. Doesn't mean I am not mighty tempted!

Have you ever ridden western? I've always appreciated that little comfort the horn brings. Especially at faster gaits such as a canter ;)
    11-21-2008, 01:54 AM
Yes, I have ridden western, but not seriously for over 12 years.
    11-21-2008, 02:43 AM
Is there anyone at the stable that you could borrow a western saddle from for the trail ride. Even though you are comfortable in an arena, things can be a lot different on the trail. Go over it with your trainer before you try it on the trail to ensure that you are doing it correctly and also in the extreme case that you should fall off, you are still at the stable and not 3 miles from it. Like sonny said, don't try anything new on the trail that you have never done before. Take it slow.
    11-21-2008, 11:58 AM
I wouldn't go trail riding until you're really good at emergency stop, controlling your horse when it's startled, going over obstacles, etc. I would think it might be better to trail ride with your instructor, at least the first time.
    11-21-2008, 12:15 PM
How dare you all give logical advice and ruin my fun!
    11-21-2008, 01:46 PM
Originally Posted by wanderlust    
how dare you all give logical advice and ruin my fun!
I had been taking riding lessons once or twice a month for about six months before my first trail ride. I went on my all time favorite horse, an utterly stubborn (but fun) Arabian mare named Jewel. I had booked a lesson, but they had to do some emergency show training or something in the ring so it was off to the trails with me. We just walked, but the views were amazing. There was one moment one I got a little behind and she cantered for a moment to catch up. It was unexpected, but quite fun, and she slowed the moment she got caught up with the other horse. I had full trust and confidence in her so it wasn't at all a scary situation

I'd say so long as you wear a helmet, know and trust your horse, and are positive your friend is experienced and familiar with the trails you should be fine. Just go over whatever your not comfortable with (such as trotting or cantering) before you leave. ANYTHING can happen on a trail ride, even with the most absolute experienced rider and horse, but that's just how life goes. Remember, you don't have to go fast to have fun!

And keep the opinion of using a western saddle over an English in mind. I frequently use the horn at the beginning of my gelding's foxtrot or canter to balance before I really get into the rhythm.
    11-21-2008, 02:33 PM

The first time I cantered I was nervous b/c I didn't know what it would be like, but you just have to make sure that you shorten the reins a little before you do it so you'll have control over your horse if he decides he wants to speed up or act up or anything.....cantering is really fun, depending on the horse it can be smooth or a little rocky......but it's really fun!!!! I think you can definitely do it :)

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