I was wondering if it's ever okay for your horse to graze while out on the trails. Do you take a break and let them eat, expect their undivided attention the entire ride, or let them grab a mouthful here and there?
When I was trail riding with my friend in RI, we had western tack with grazing bits so yes we would stop in some of the fields with good safe eating and let the horses graze and rest for a while. A special bonding time too for us, the horses would relax and trust us to look out for them in a big open field.
But here in Sydney I use English tack with drop nose bands so grazing isn't too easy for my ponies, even though they try... plus we don;t have anywhere safe to take the ponies to graze on our trails, there is so much rubbish dumped in the bush :( I am always worried they will hurt themselves on a rusty old car piece of a hidden nail/screw in the grass etc.
I do a lot of distance rides and it's important to keep the horses get moving. So yes I let them grab a snatch here and there along the way. I always stop at water and give them a chance to drink, More often than not they will grab a bite of grass rather than drink.
The important point to remember, is that it's OK if you give them permission. It's not OK if they stop and do it on their own.
Here my daughter stretches while her filly grabs a mouthful