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Experience with Trail Riding Companies

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    04-16-2012, 08:14 AM
  #11
Banned
Offer english tack for customers who prefer it.

Offer the opportunity to do more than just nose to tail rides for customers who prefer that and can demonstrate acceptable (to you) competence at the trot, canter, and basic lateral work (i.e. Can turn a horse without reefing on its mouth).
     
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    04-16-2012, 12:04 PM
  #12
Weanling
As for the "riding in rope halter", we had that situation last year when my gelding got stung by a bee and he took it really well if you can say so, he took a step to the side but that's it... I know there are situations where the horse could freak and spook and such things but in my opionion they would do it with no matter what tack on... If your horse decides to buck or take off because of the bee sting they do it nomatter what gear you have.... and my job as a trail guide is to stop horses from doing that, I will be in front and do my best to keep control and not to let anybody take off - and again, it never happend and I have never been in the situation as the horses are really calm but you never know...
We make every single person filling out a waiver before they get on the horses, there are some statements about riding and e.g. How to safely bend a horse to a stop, how to do an emergency dismount and and and, each person has to initial each statement and we make sure to give each rider a proper demonstration before they get on the horses and they have to show us the bend and some other stuff before we start the ride to make sure that they know what we mean and understand! But thanks again for all the tips and your input! As for english and western tack, we have 9 horses and only offer western tack as it can get pretty expensive to provide both sorts of tack for the clients :0) There are so many english stables around here, that I see no need in offering that. But yes, we have some people from Britain coming in the summers and they always ask for english tack - so might be worth getting some at least for some of the horses.... thanks
     
    04-16-2012, 01:01 PM
  #13
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Horselover    
As for english and western tack, we have 9 horses and only offer western tack as it can get pretty expensive to provide both sorts of tack for the clients :0) There are so many english stables around here, that I see no need in offering that. But yes, we have some people from Britain coming in the summers and they always ask for english tack - so might be worth getting some at least for some of the horses.... thanks
I can see that it would be a huge up-front expense to get two sets of tack for every horse right off the bat. Just get it for two or three of your best horses and see how it goes. You already have customers asking for it; once it is known that you do offer a choice of tack, you may be surprised at how much more often european tack is requested.

In any case, while there may be english barns near you, if none of them offer trail rides to the public then they are not really relevant to your business as competitors.
     
    04-17-2012, 08:23 AM
  #14
Started
Regarding the English tack, we have 2 English saddles where I work for rides.. They only fit 2 of the horses. The main stables offers English lessons if people want it. But often the people that ask for English are the ones that act like they know what they're doing and what they're talking about but don't have a clue, so for us it's safer not to offer English up front or allow a guest to ride english unless we KNOW the guest can ride.
     
    04-17-2012, 10:24 AM
  #15
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by amp23    
But often the people that ask for English are the ones that act like they know what they're doing and what they're talking about but don't have a clue, so for us it's safer not to offer English up front or allow a guest to ride english unless we KNOW the guest can ride.
Circular logic at its finest.
     
    04-18-2012, 12:08 AM
  #16
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by mildot    
Circular logic at its finest.
Yeah... Lately we keep getting "experienced" riders that hold onto the horn the whole ride and/or can't keep their horses from eating :/ really frustrating when you match people and their experience with horses..
     
    04-18-2012, 01:30 AM
  #17
Green Broke
What I find amusing about this thread, as an experienced rider I have zero desire to ride on rental horses or go on a touristy guided ride. I do see some of the pictures of thsoe rides and think to myself "Just how much would it cost to ship my horse there with me?"
     
    04-18-2012, 04:41 AM
  #18
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by amp23    
Yeah... Lately we keep getting "experienced" riders that hold onto the horn the whole ride and/or can't keep their horses from eating :/ really frustrating when you match people and their experience with horses..
I understand how you can get many like that. I bet most are men who simply talk big and want to show the little lady how manly they are.

It wouldn't bother me whatsoever to have to give a demo of my ability to someone in the trail ride business if I ask for english tack.
     
    04-18-2012, 04:43 AM
  #19
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin    
What I find amusing about this thread, as an experienced rider I have zero desire to ride on rental horses or go on a touristy guided ride. I do see some of the pictures of thsoe rides and think to myself "Just how much would it cost to ship my horse there with me?"
Having access to one's horse does change things, doesn't it?

But sometimes you can't take her with you and you make do or don't ride, I guess.
     
    04-18-2012, 05:15 AM
  #20
Foal
There are a few here that I have gone to or worked at. There are always good and bad things about outfitters. One place I was at they set me on a horse with the wrong bit and when the horse tried to take off because it was getting pinched they said it was because I couldnt hold her back and every other mistake or incident with a horse was MY FAULT. Their horses were not properly trained or handled and they did not have sufficient equipment. I ended up riding in a 20" saddle because it was the only one left that didnt have dry rot or was a childs saddle and I ride in a 15". They also claimed that the horse I ended up riding most of the time I was there was a cow horse but she was terrified of cattle and I had to dig my heels in to get her into the herd then to top it off she decided that it was more fun to tear hide off the cattle then cut them. This same horse was "abused by the people they sold her to and then bought her back from" I was the ONLY one who could cinch her and supposedly the wrangler had breezed her before anyone got there even though the said wrangler couldnt even get near her. This place was pretty horrible they didnt even have cleared trails and one horse nearly rolled back trying to go up the side of a cliff (it was actually more the till slope at the base of a mountain).

HOWEVER do not get discouraged by all the horror stories. I have also been to a guest ranch as a counselor for the Girl Scouts that was phenomenal. Not only did they make sure that the kids had fun learning about what the horses if for and to not be scared of it but they took time with EACH rider to make sure the horse was right for them that they felt comfortable that the horse wasnt getting sores from the saddle that each horse on the property had its own bridle. They did not only provide a joyful ride on some very well trained horses, yes some thought it was necessary to run up the others tails, but it was also educational and relaxing. They told of the history of the property. We got to go to an old Indian camp and look at the tepee rings. We were told stories that the tribe had told. We got to learn old trail songs. They kept the pass faster for those who were comfortable with it but not so fast that anyone got left behind. They also set aside a day to teach everyone how to round up and cut cattle before going out to do the work. They had a couple extra riders along to take anyone back if they needed to quit the ride. It was a lot of fun, even for us rodeo girls.

Hope things work out for you.
     

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