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Gosh this looks scary!

This is a discussion on Gosh this looks scary! within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        02-19-2013, 02:09 PM
      #11
    Foal
    I agree that it's a little extreme and hard on the mules, but referring to BigBen's comment, a shod hoof loses 60 to 80% of the hoof's natural shock absorption, so it's much better that they aren't shod as long as their hooves are well taken care of.
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        02-19-2013, 03:34 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    Sometimes trails are rough like that. I'm pretty sure those riders aren't riding like that all the time. IT's just to show the versatility of mules and how well they do under situations like the ones pictured. It doesn't happen often but I've asked my horse to jump into a sheer walled ravine or down from rocks before. If it's safe we'll do it, if not we look for other ways to go, just like anyone would. Some trails require it in order to get where you're going.
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        02-19-2013, 03:34 PM
      #13
    QOS
    Green Broke
    Mules are pretty dang amazing. They say if you ride a great mule you will never again ride a horse!

    Shoeless would be better in this case. More shock absorption when they land.

    Thanks for sharing!
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        02-19-2013, 03:55 PM
      #14
    Weanling
    Mule or horse, it's more a matter of training. I see nothing difficult about anything they are doing. Many of the obstacles are encountered on a lot of trails. Very good idea to have them trained for it before they have to do it real life with no practice. As amazing as it might seem, once a horse or mule does a few of these, they seem to handle new, different ones the first time without any problems. These obstacles are a whole lot less scarey than some of the horse shows I've seen, where the horses were terrified of the surrounds, and acted out accordingly.


    Shoes vs no shoes? Don't know how anyone would figure the concussion would be any different either way. Concussion is a result of weight on to a surface, a shoe in between the foot and the ground makes no difference. I'd prefer a drill tech shoe, to help with the slipping.

    What would be scarey, is having to do this and never practiced. Been there, done that. Not a good idea.
         
        02-20-2013, 06:24 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    I haven't seen anything to fully convince me that mules are more sure-footed than a horse. I am convinced that mules tend to "think" a little more than a horse, but a horse that has been through that kind of country and been exposed to that kind of stuff can handle it pretty well.

    Until you actually do some of that kind of riding, you simply have no concept of what a horse can really do. Problem with horses is that they panic when they get into a tight situation they can't see their way out of (a lot of that has to do with the rider, as well, in my opinion). Mules tend to stop and think and won't move until they see their way out. After a horse has been exposed to that kind of terrain and has had a rider who understands what a horse can and cannot do, they settle down and pick their steps very well.

    I have also found that riding a horse barefoot on the trail during training teaches the horse to watch where it puts its feet. My mare will now watch where she puts every hoof in any king of rough terrain. She will walk through rocks, deadfalls, over logs, etc, watching very carefully where she places her hooves.

    As for harm to the horses, in my experience, you see far fewer serious injuries to man/woman and beast doing stuff like this than you will in the show circuit performance competitions, western or English.

    There used to be a video on the Extreme Mules youtube channel where they took horses along for the ride, doing all the same things. You can also look at the channel for Extreme Outlaw Rides. He does all that stuff with mustangs.
         
        02-20-2013, 07:37 PM
      #16
    Yearling
    There is a group of guys here in Utah that do that stuff on their horses. Its the group Tony was talking about above. It doesn't take a mule. I keep saying I'm going to go down and join them for a ride. (I'll just go around the really big stuff). But I have gone off a lot of 3' ledges and the occasional 4'


    I can't see that this has any more impact than show jumpers going over the high bars
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        02-20-2013, 08:55 PM
      #17
    Yearling
    I would absoltely love to do those things. I think it'd be a lot of fun.

    I got a little worried when that horse was swimming though. Seems like he wasn't the best swimmer and the guy wouldn't let go of his head.
         
        02-20-2013, 10:39 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    At one time or other in my life I have taken my horses over everything those mules went over. We used to take 2 or 3 ten day hunting trips up into Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming's high country. You have to go where the big deer and big elk go. Although, on the really big dropoffs, we would dismount and allow the horse to go down by themselves and then mount up again.

    Dang (edit to fix language) I hate Kentucky...
         
        02-20-2013, 10:54 PM
      #19
    Weanling
    And I won't think about the custom Bona Allen saddle I lost in the Willamette River because my horse leapt off a 15 foot embankment into the water half way through a formal trail ride. He swam into a bunch of scrub growing at the edge of the river and got the saddle hung up and couldn't swim away. I climbed down the bank and got into the river with him. I had gotten the rear girth and breast collar undone and just as I pulled the front girth loose he started to thrash and I had to get away from him. As he got free of the brush and swam out into the river I watched as my saddle...now completely ungirthed and just sitting on his back...slipped off into the current and disappear downstream as it sank under the surface...

    Oh well, at least I was able to save Kyowa, he was a wonderful horse...the bonehead!
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        02-21-2013, 06:21 AM
      #20
    Weanling
    The thing is, just like any athlete, you can't ask your horse to be doing stuff like this if he isn't in shape and if he hasn't worked up to it. These guys do this stuff all the time and their horses are in shape for it. Occasionally, when you're out on a trail you come up to an obstacle that you need your horse to get through and not hesitate or question it. There are times when you can't just turn around and go back. Those are the times when you thank the Lord, and your horse, that you did some of these obstacles in training and for fun when it really didn't matter.
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