Sadly, I am horseless, but soon I am attending a trail ride (I used to do lessons, and I am of an intermediate standard rider) and I was wondering how I can get the most out of my ride and how I can get the horse to be as responsive as possible? I would really like to enjoy the ride, and have some manner of control over my horse, so that it doesn't just plod along like other trail mounts. Any suggestions available?
If the trail ride operator/manager gives you the option of stating your "level of experience," take the opportunity to tell them what you have done. They may put you on a horse more suited to your experience level, or in a group that will go at a faster pace or take a more challenging trail.
Keep in mind that what you actually do
is more important than what you say
you can do, or what you say you have done in the past. The staff or people in charge of organizing the trail ride are likely experienced enough to be able to tell within the first few minutes who the real riders are just by the way they handle themselves around and on the horse.
They have "seen it all" when it comes to people who claim
to be experienced riders. Those visitors can be a nightmare to deal with because they think they know it all, do not take instruction, and may end up being a danger to themselves and the other riders.
For that reason, some ride operators may ask that the riders do not "mess with" the horses too much, and just go at the pace of the ride.