Do you let your horse graze on the trails?

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Do you let your horse graze on the trails?

This is a discussion on Do you let your horse graze on the trails? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    08-10-2008, 08:00 PM
Green Broke
Do you let your horse graze on the trails?

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?
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    08-10-2008, 08:25 PM
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.

So I guess it depends on the situation.
    08-10-2008, 08:54 PM
I don't like or let my horse grab a mouthful as we ride along but if we stop and I dismount, then I let him. I feel that if it's OK for me then it should be OK for him as well.

Depending on how long we stop I may take his bridle off and put on a halter if I'm carrying one. Some times I'll have a rope halter under his bridle but not too often.
    08-10-2008, 08:59 PM
If we have to stop for any reason (even if I don't get off) I usually let them, but if we're walking along and they dive down/into a bush for a snack, that's a big no-no.
    08-10-2008, 09:48 PM
Green Broke
I do. My horse is really good at the grab and go.
    08-11-2008, 12:34 AM
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
    08-11-2008, 12:56 AM
Erm, once in awhile I let the horse have a snack, hehe! :P But usually it's a no-no. I mean it depends on the situation of course.
    08-11-2008, 01:02 AM
Oh, Willy is **** good at gettin a grab! But, I usually catch him before hand. Anytime we stop for lunch/beer break, he gets a chance to fill his gut with some goodness.
    08-11-2008, 11:53 AM
We take short breaks and let the horses munch a little. It helps keep them hydrated (live in desert) I do not let them snag any snacks while we are on the move, work is work and rest is for munchin.
    08-11-2008, 01:11 PM
Green Broke
If I ride on my own property and there is a bite that they "just have to eat" then I usually let them.

I don't let them eat when we are gone on other people's property or at parks because I never know if they spray for weeds and stuff.

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