First trail ride...what to expect? Tips?
   

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First trail ride...what to expect? Tips?

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    02-20-2013, 10:03 AM
  #1
Weanling
First trail ride...what to expect? Tips?

I plan on going on our first trail ride this summer with my friend and her horse. My family owns 12 acres about an hour from the barn so we were thinking of taking our horses and walking the perimeter of the property and through the woods and creek after we clear it out this spring, and get our path uncovered lol. I don't know if this is considered a trail ride, but I want to get him use to being away from the barn in a safe quiet place, rather and jump into a hilly, rocky trail for his first trail ride. I was told my horse has been on trails...but from the stories the owner shared, it sounded like he never left his property with the horses and would just walk around outside the couple times Apollo was ridden. Therefore, my horse has only been trailered 2 times in his life (hes 12), once to his previous owners house, with his mom at 4 months old, and once in December coming to my barn. He is not use to being hauled around and being in new places so I don't know how he will react. Is there any tips I should know before hauling a green horse out to be trail ridden? That is what I plan to mainly do with him, so I gotta get him introduced to it at some point...right?!
     
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    02-20-2013, 10:05 AM
  #2
Showing
Just take it slow and easy, and don't rush him. He'll probably be looky and alert, but if he used to be a trail horse he should remember.
     
    02-20-2013, 11:00 AM
  #3
Weanling
It's also good to ride with someone who will be on a confident horse, a horse that has been out on the trail before, that way your horse can feed off of the others confidence. You also need to be confident and observant. Be prepared for spooking and maybe some anxiety if your horse has never left the barn before. Remember, anything can happen on the trail. So be cautious and take it slow. Maybe only go out for 30 minutes the first time, and then work your way up to an hour or more.

I'm sure you'll be fine. And don't forget to HAVE FUN!
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    02-20-2013, 11:03 AM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
Just take it slow and easy, and don't rush him. He'll probably be looky and alert, but if he used to be a trail horse he should remember.
Good advice, he might by looky and alert, biggest thing is for you not for him. Keep you head, remember this is no big deal. You do this everyday, nothing new here. Don't get yourself all worked up over this.

I help a lady once how couldn't fly spray her horse everytime she got tried to spray the horse it got all worked up. I drove over to her house she had the horse in her yard haltered. I walked up to the horse talk to him and petted him a little walked him around took the spray bottle and sprayed him down. He didn't ever flinch once. The lady was dumbfounded, The different, The lady would get all kinds of worked up knowing her horse was going to be scared of the spray.

So all that to say, keep your head he is going to do fine. Nothing new relaxes and enjoy your ride. Its the best thing you can do for him.
     
    02-25-2013, 09:55 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by dashygirl    
It's also good to ride with someone who will be on a confident horse, a horse that has been out on the trail before, that way your horse can feed off of the others confidence.
Thats a good tip. The few rides I have been on my horse is a bit afraid of anything out of the ordinary. He doesnt like to be first over wooden bridges and such, so having another horse go first often helps.
     
    02-25-2013, 12:20 PM
  #6
Weanling
Slow and easy is a great way to get into trouble. The more time they have to look for spooks, etc, the more likely he will be to give you problems. A good swift walk, asking him to do a lot of different things, will keep his mind on you. If you can control his mind, he will be less likely to do anything you don't ask of him. Following an experienced rider that has a seasoned trail horse, that has a good swift walk, is a very good idea. BUT, following someone that goes slow and easy would be the worst think you could do. If they get bored and start thinking for themself, they can think up all kinds of things they'd rather be doing.
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    02-25-2013, 01:15 PM
  #7
Started
This is going to be good experience for both of you...trailer and trail experience.
Is your friend and her horse trail savy? And when you complete the trail one direction, turn around and go the opposite way. The scenery will be different. : )
A nice easy trail is a good place to start. Beats steep climbs and drop-offs.
     
    02-25-2013, 01:50 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by shellybean    
ITherefore, my horse has only been trailered 2 times in his life (hes 12), once to his previous owners house, with his mom at 4 months old, and once in December coming to my barn.
First things first! Work on the trailering. You should be able to easily & safely load & unload him before you take him anywhere - and especially don't plan for your friend to just drive up with a trailer one day and say "Let's go!"

Second, what I found with my horse is that whenever we ran into something new/scary on a trail (like crossing a small creek), it was far easier for me to get off and lead her across, and then back & forth several times, so that she could learn that there's nothing to be afraid of, than to try riding her. I wouldn't even think it was a bad idea to start by leading him around your property on foot a couple of times.
     
    02-25-2013, 04:20 PM
  #9
Weanling
Good gravy, are we trying to get her hurt. "Take it slow and easy", "get off and walk".

First we teach the horse to get bored and act out, then we teach the horse that it can get rid of you if it sees something it doesn't like.

If the horse and rider are not ready to handle a spook or two, don't take it to the trials, but that doesn't sound like the case. The rider needs to be confident in what she is doing(whether she is scared to death or not). The horse picks up on that. If the horse will not go past a spook, by all means ONLY get off as the LAST resort. Stay on and at first just tell the horse to go on by as if nothing is there. If that doesn't work then ride the horse back and forth getting closer to the spook all the time. Once he stops paying attention to the spook, ride on.

Act confident, whether you are or not. It will build your confidence and let the horse know you are in control.
     
    02-25-2013, 04:36 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf    
Second, what I found with my horse is that whenever we ran into something new/scary on a trail (like crossing a small creek), it was far easier for me to get off and lead her across, and then back & forth several times, so that she could learn that there's nothing to be afraid of, than to try riding her.
This is one of the many reasons why it's good to go out the first few times with a (or a couple) of trail savvy horse(s)/rider(s). Horses are herd animals, and they follow. Plain and simple. If you're with a confident and well rounded trail horse that will plow through anything, the spooked horse will feed off of that confident horse, and in turn, will follow that horse. Therefore, if the confident horse crosses the creek, the spooked horse will most likely follow. Just don't let your horse's nerves get the best of you, and visa versa.

You have to be a confident rider, have faith that you can cross over, go around, and go through anything.
     

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