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First trail ride on my horse. Galloping question? Also, tips please?

This is a discussion on First trail ride on my horse. Galloping question? Also, tips please? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Top 10 things to take on a trail ride
  • Question for galloped

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    05-08-2012, 06:31 PM
  #11
Foal
You've gotten some good advice, but it seems to me you need to know a lot more about trail riding. Basic Training for a Safe Trail Horse will give you innovative knowledge for an investment of about $10! Besides how to teach a horse to be safe and pay attention to your direction, it describes things to take with you and the best kind of tack for trail riding.
     
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    05-08-2012, 08:04 PM
  #12
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazey    
You've gotten some good advice, but it seems to me you need to know a lot more about trail riding. Basic Training for a Safe Trail Horse will give you innovative knowledge for an investment of about $10! Besides how to teach a horse to be safe and pay attention to your direction, it describes things to take with you and the best kind of tack for trail riding.
Um...she's an eventer. In case you don't know what that is, let me show you.


I'm sure she'll be fine.
     
    05-08-2012, 08:40 PM
  #13
Started
1. If she were to start galloping up the hill, should I let her continue? would a one-rein stop just be way to dangerous?
It depends on how you feel about it and how you think your mare would behave and how well she listens I will let my older mare and my six year old gelding canter up hills sometimes and sometimes we'll hit a gallop, but they both will stop well and know which hills they are allowed to run and they know when they are supposed to walk and do not fight me if I ask them to walk up a hill.

2. What do you take with you on trails?
It deends on how long I will be gone and whether or not there is a source of water near where i'm riding. On long rides, though, I usually take a sandwich, two drinks, a curry comb, a hoofpick, a hunting knife, extra leather strips or some sort of rope, and sometimes, if it's really hot, I'll take a sweat scraper for when I take breaks I can use it on my horses.

3. How often do you take breaks on a trail?
I'll ride five hours or more without taking a brek... it just depends on your horse... how long yur breaks are and all is up to you. I consider a break as stopping to my horses a drink of water... and that's usually only abut a five minute stop. On all day rides (ten to twelve hours or more) I'll usually take two or three breaks (bu those breaks are usually half an hour to 45 minutes in length and include water and food and relaxation for both me and my horse.

4. Any tips, warnings, etc.?
Just be careful and have fun!
     
    05-08-2012, 09:01 PM
  #14
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooves    
1. If she were to start galloping up the hill, should I let her continue?
Never let a horse pick the speed. You need to always own both the accelerator and brakes. Although it's common to trot up hills to carry some momentum, a horse should be able to walk up any reasonably steep hill that has good footing.
     
    05-08-2012, 09:07 PM
  #15
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooves    
So, my father said that there were a few steep hills to go up. Apparently, (Maybe he was exaggerating, never know...) one of the hills was so hard to go up, his horse actually had to lift up from a canter to a gallop to get up it. This wouldn't be a big deal, except for Zena is a greenie, and I've never galloped on her.
This makes no sense. The horse does not have to move from a canter to a gallop to get up a hill. I used to ride up and down a ski hill for heaven's sake. No galloping there unless we asked for it. Even a canter -- now maybe the horse will need to lunge a bit if there is a short steep step, but it still should be at the speed that YOU determine.

1. If she were to start galloping up the hill, should I let her continue? Don't let her start in the first place. Pay attention at the hills and tell your family (especially your Dad it sounds like), that you need to walk up the hills and please would they respect that. Since you already perceive this to be an issue, don't let it happen. Stop her at the bottom of the hill and maybe at the top of them too. Since you will be in the lead, you get to set the pace. :) would a one-rein stop just be way to dangerous? Yup, as indicated above. Not on a hill. Learn the pulley rein as well as it doesn't require as much trail width.

2. What do you take with you on trails? There are threads about this, but for the life of me I can't think of any search terms. Some ideas already above and remember keep your cell phone on YOU, not the horse. Doesn't do you any good if you're lying on the ground injured and your horse and cell phone have galloped off to Oz. Get your own saddle bags if this is going to be a new activity for you. It's nice to be able to reach around and get your bottle of water, or snack.

3. How often do you take breaks on a trail? Three hours isn't long for a decently in-shape horse. However, it also depends on the pace you set and the temperature. Play it by ear and ask the other riders to help you keep an eye on you and your horse. I did a 25 km/15 mile ride one afternoon on somewhat of a whim, without any prepatory training. Oh, and it was after a bush ride of about 2 hours. I did about 80% walk and 20% trot. No cantering because it was riding on busy roadways. We stopped once for about 15 minutes because I needed to stretch my legs. My horse was tired but not exhausted and not sore after the ride. The next morning she was ready to go again. Given a choice, I wouldn't have done it, but the situation at the time was, well... unique...

4. Any tips, warnings, etc.? Don't let the actions of the other riders influence your decisions if you feel iffy about something. You are only a novice trail rider, not a novice rider. And don't let your horse just do whatever the other horses do -- so often I see one rider go to a trot or a canter and the other horses will automatically do the same. They are herd animals after all. But I will ALWAYS hold my horse back and she is only allowed to catch up once she has settled down.

Have fun!
     
    05-08-2012, 09:53 PM
  #16
Showing
Um, Mildot, being an eventer does not automatically make one trail savvy...and judging from the questions the OP was asking, she doesn't sound like she knows a whole lot about trail riding, period.

Just because she may be able to ride a horse at a gallop on nice manicured ground between jumps doesn't mean that she knows how to handle rough terrain where you truly do have to take it slow and watch where you're going to avoid breaking a leg on a horse or killing the both of you.
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    05-09-2012, 06:06 PM
  #17
Foal
Milddot, Smrobs has made the statement on which I based my original post. I'm familiar with eventing and the kinds of sport horses most often used. Trail riding, especially competing at judged obstacle rides, is a discipline to rival eventing. What horse and rider will encounter on trails is much more unpredictable than what a horse trained for eventing will encounter. That's why a trail rider needs to know how to communicate with the horse with assurance the horse will trust the rider's leadership when under stress. Although seen as recreational riding, trail riding requires the highest form of team work between horse and rider.
     
    05-09-2012, 06:55 PM
  #18
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazey    
That's why a trail rider needs to know how to communicate with the horse with assurance the horse will trust the rider's leadership when under stress.
How is that any different from addressing a challenging cross country question? Many of which the horse can't see what's on the other side of the obstacle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dazey    
Although seen as recreational riding, trail riding requires the highest form of team work between horse and rider
It requires some form of team work for sure. The highest? I don't think so.
     
    05-10-2012, 05:41 AM
  #19
Started
In trail riding - say when a number of horses come together as a group for the first time there is always a risk of an interplay between the horses which can never be fully anticipated before the ride. One horse may challenge another horse for leadership of the group.

The risk is always that one horse will take off and that the others, perhaps in the hands of a less experienced rider will follow - which in turn might cause other horses to follow.

In a massed field out for a day's hunting, the risk of a rider new to trail riding losing control of his/her horses partially because of the excitement aroused in the horse is high. Elsewhere in the UK at this time of year we have 'pleasure' rides of maybe 100 riders along 15 miles or more of trails. To avoid accidents we try to group the riders according to competence. One 'breakway' horse can cause chaos. When we notice a novice rider out of control on a foamed up horse which otherwise is usually a calm cob, we split them off and send them back to the parking area by a separate route.

Riders new to hunting or pleasure rides must tack the horses up to provide brakes - ie martingales, stronger bits, nose bands. Also the protocols of riding in groups of strange riders must be taught.

Cross country competitions call for jumping skills but usually the horse runs the course as a lone horse - so herd (or hunt) fever as described above does not affect the horse.

Personally I see 'team chasing' - that is a team of four horses taking a cross country course as a group, to be one of the most challenging specialities in horse riding. The winning team is that in which three riders come home in the shortest time. Even with 4 horses, the herd instinct soon takes over.

Show jumping calls for skills in an enclosed arena with a flat surface,
whereas trail riding calls for other skills to keep control in rural environments.
Hacking out in the community amongst traffic calls for very tight control over the horse.
maura and Rascaholic like this.
     
    05-10-2012, 06:34 AM
  #20
Started
Out on the trails

As a holiday adventure I have ridden trails in both the UK and Spain. The best place to learn the skills required is in such riding centres because they have the horses to cope with the challenges presented by riding in open country as a group where probably the skill level of each rider varies. By riding out from a riding centre, at least the horses know each other.

I have watched competent dressage riders come to a country riding centre and be sat up on a common but fit cob. Such riders obviously have superior riding skills on well schooled horses in flat sandy arenas but when it comes to controlling a fit, spirited, sure footed cob oven uneven ground they are at a loss. Indeed only shortly into the ride they come to realise just how little fine control they have over the riding centre horses. Undoubtedly such riders look good in the saddle but they have to learn quickly a different style of riding.

The first lesson they have to learn is to ride ’forwards’ over the horses centre of gravity with shortened stirrup leathers. And then they have to let the horse have some control of its head - otherwise the horse will continually snatch the reins out of the rider’s hands. These working horses have never been taught to ride 'on the bit' in a rounded outline.

The trail leaders taking groups of experienced riders out, deserve medals because the visiting riders think they know how to ride over open country and at first they will resist following the trail leader’s instructions. The trail leader has a major problem, in that he /she has to keep the group together because much of the control over the ride lies within the dominant horse - usually that being ridden by the trail leader.
The horses will have ridden together before and one horse will be accepted by the others as the leader of the pack. One very simple rule is very, very important and that is for a visitor never to allow his/her horse to overtake the trail leader’s horse. Another rule is never ever to allow a race to develop between the horses by allowing the horses to ride side by side as against in a line behind the leader.

Low branches are a curse in woodlands; rabbit holes and bogs on moorland. And riders who can’t ride downhill at trot or canter are a liability.

It is an exhilarating sport but it is always wise to remember that a fall whilst out in the boonies in which a leg or arm is broken calls for a helicopter to come and get you to hospital. And in Britain the mobile phone doesn’t always have a signal up on the high moors.

Here's me and William crossing the Cambrian hills in Wales on a 5 day trail ride
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