Fundamental traits of a trail horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 09-12-2013, 12:40 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Surry, Va
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lots can be fixed with wet saddle pads,
on the other hand lots of good can get flushed down the drain with a shortage of them. see that alot too. Decent trail horse, purchased, set out in field all winter spring and summer , fal rolls around time to ride and horse is nuts. Owner blames crazy horse, puts it on craigs list, buys another. does some fall rides. Repeat.
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post #12 of 14 Old 09-12-2013, 09:03 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Stafford, Va
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Originally Posted by Jolly Badger View Post
I agree on the "time" thing.

While you can go out and "buy a trail horse," and find a horse with a sound body and good temperament, you can't buy the partnership and trust that comes from lots of hours in the saddle with that horse.

They all have their quirks. Some are good, some are bad, some are just. . .quirky. And those quirky-quirks are the ones you may not know exist until you find yourself in unique situations.
I call that, "reaching an understanding" with your horse. He has his quirks, I have my quirks, and after a while together, we get our quirks together and we understand each other. I don't ask him to do stupid stuff and he doesn't act stupid and we do fine.
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Tony Henrie
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post #13 of 14 Old 09-12-2013, 10:59 PM
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Great article, agree agree agree.

I've said many times if I find something a horse buggers at, guess what? They are going to have to live with it, eat out of it, or wear it. I think mine know better by now!

I've also had horses that just weren't cut out for the trails when it comes to being sure footed. In an arena with soft even footing, ok, but try working them on the trail and they'd about kill you. Some just don't have it, even after working with them.

I'm gearing up for the fall rides, many wet blankets required before we go "out". I have 4 or so miles of trails on my property that we leg up on, it's up and down too. I can't stress enough how imperative it is to get a good handle before venturing out. But also there is the daily work I put in. I go out two or more times a day and really handle them. I cant ride as much as I'd like, but I move them, boss them, toss ropes around them, make them woah, back, respond to pressure nose and sides. Generally remind them on a daily basis that even though we are off for a bit, I still rule.
This really helps speed up any refresher course I may have to do.

Always enjoy! Thanks for sharing!
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post #14 of 14 Old 10-24-2013, 10:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Great article, I agree totally. Training in a round pen or arena is great, but I find the best "training" is done when riding on a trail. Get a good foundation in the arena then get out on the trail and ride.

Some of you know I work at a summer camp and I do lots of trail rides for kids. So trail riding is a big part of our horses daily job. It is common for camp horse programs to use 4 year olds in their horse programs. I find, IMO that 4 year olds are not the best horse for kids, I won't even think about using 4 year olds in my program because I feel they need more time working before I start putting Kids on them. Its not so much that they don't have the training at 4 years old, I just feel that they need more time being ridden. I have ridden some good 4 year olds but the good 4 year olds I have ridden are even better at 5 with really nothing more then just time in the saddle.

I know you had to keep it short. But, I would have added that a good trail horse should stand tied or hobbled. Also, able to pony or be ponied by another horse.
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