Average trail ride length/distance?

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Average trail ride length/distance?

This is a discussion on Average trail ride length/distance? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Typical distance for trail ride
  • Lenght of ride for the average trail horse

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    05-14-2012, 02:16 PM
Green Broke
Average trail ride length/distance?

So I am just starting to trail ride as I have always been in the arena before. I am wondering how long everyones average trail ride lasts? When I think of going for a ride I think of being gone several hours, but it seems quite a few of the people at my barn are happy with an hour.

Saturday I went for a ride with my boyfriend and our barn manager. We went around 10 miles in total, we just guessed by the roads we traveled. Now we didn't have an amount of time planned out or even where we would go but we were gone about two and a half hours. We didn't plan on being gone that long as none of us had water or anything but a cell phone.

I was just surprised that when we got back people were surprised we went so far. To me it seemed like a good starting distance for my older mare who is just being brought into work. Now it was a little long for my boyfriend who hasn't ridden in a few years but the horses were fine. My ideal ride would be 4-6 hours depending on how hot it was.

So with longer rides what do you usually bring with? Other than water for us humans, what do you bring with for the horses?
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    05-14-2012, 02:23 PM
Green Broke
We start with hour rides in the beginning of the riding season until they fit up a bit and then rides can range from 1-8 hours. Anything over 6 hours tends to wear on my husband so we don't do that much. Just depends on where and who we are with.

If its a longer ride we bring phones, water, snacks, a few first aid supplies, hoof pick and an extra lead rope just incase. Shorter rides might be water and phone. The areas where we ride usually have at least one creek or water source if not more so the horses are good.
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    05-14-2012, 02:28 PM
Green Broke
I bring those items if its only two minutes around the pasture. Those items are always on my saddle along with a few other items.
What are you basing the 10 miles on ? When I started wearing a wrist GPS, I found people always over estimate the distance traveled.
Most WTC horses mosey along at a about 3.5 miles per hour that's steady not stopping. Before I got serious my typical rides were in the 8-12 mile range. Actually they still are I just do em faster.
    05-14-2012, 02:30 PM
Green Broke
Some of the horses get ridden year round in the arenas so they aren't completely out of shape. I have been riding my girl in the arenas for about a month now. The horses barely broke a sweat in the direct sunlight so they wern't working all to hard.

Do they ever get hungry? When we got back mine just stood in one spot and downed hay for an hour and a half before even drinking any water. Also what kind of water sources are ok for them? We have a lot of ponds or lakes around.
    05-14-2012, 02:33 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Joe4d    
I bring those items if its only two minutes around the pasture. Those items are always on my saddle along with a few other items.
What are you basing the 10 miles on ? When I started wearing a wrist GPS, I found people always over estimate the distance traveled.
Most WTC horses mosey along at a about 3.5 miles per hour that's steady not stopping. Before I got serious my typical rides were in the 8-12 mile range. Actually they still are I just do em faster.

We didn't stop at all and did some trotting through the more open areas. Also we rode on the road for a good part of it so the road part we know pretty good but we wandered around in a nature preserve for a while taking a "shortcut" home. Spent more time in the preserve then on the road as we took a bit to find our way out.
    05-14-2012, 02:38 PM
Green Broke
We almost always use running creeks/rivers for their water source. Maybe someone more local would know what is safe in your area?

When we are doing the longer rides especially with a group we tend to make a couple stops and they will munch on any grass/leaves they can get their lips on when tied. And my horse tends to get a bit of my granola bar as long as there is no chocolate in it. However with only a couple hour ride we don't stop and so they don't eat until they get home.

If they went right to eating instead of drinking then they weren't worked heavy. If they are worked heavy water will almost always be their number one priority.
    05-14-2012, 02:49 PM
Green Broke
Hehe yeap I have a little piggy, food is always her number one priority. Ok another question, how often do you do longer trail rides? Once a week for the longer ones then maybe some short arena work or a short trail ride during the week maybe?

I figured any running water source was safe but I need to find out where those are in my area.
    05-14-2012, 03:44 PM
Green Broke
We generally ride 8 miles in a local park. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. Other places we may ride more and go around 12-15 miles. Sometimes we ride two rides in a day if we are up at Ebenezer park. It just depends. Our 8 mile ride takes a little more than 2 hours at a walk - we do some trotting, some cantering. Depends on the people we are with and weather conditions. Last year when it was so dry we had to be careful because of the DEEP cracks that developed...deep enough to cause our horses to trip!
    05-14-2012, 05:46 PM
An average ride is usually about 4-6 hours. We may go 7-8 with a lunch break. I really enjoy the longer 8-12 hour trips, but most of the parks in this area just don't have enough trail to make it able to stay out that long without retracing a lot of steps.

There's one trail at a nearby park that has a 32 mile loop trail with plenty of variety, from creek/river crossings, fields, forests, rocky climbs and descents, etc. Really nice day-ride but it can get really sloppy with long sections of deep mud. I used to do that trail all the time - just pack a lunch and leave early, get back in the late afternoon. It really was a nice way to spend a day!
    05-14-2012, 10:22 PM
My first group trail ride was 7 hours with 30 minute break early morning then hour break at lunch. It was my horses first time too and he was tired at the end but not exhausted. I think I was more tired then him. We brought snacks and water but we stopped at our house then went up to another farm house so we didn't have to bring food. Now do I want to do that again? Not really. I'd prefer something shorter.

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