Hand walking on the trail. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 10-02-2011, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oregon
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Expect a few smartass remarks about how you are suppose to ride them not lead them but I doubt you'll hear much more. That's about all I've recieved when hoping out of the saddle to lead them past a tricky area or just to stretch my legs for a bit.

Don't know if you were planning to saddle and bit up or not but I would. Saddles make a different sound when brush hits them vs your legs. Bitted up just to help them get a bit more used to being led around for a long period of time that way.
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Last edited by Darrin; 10-02-2011 at 02:31 PM.
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post #12 of 18 Old 10-02-2011, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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No ATVs allowed on the horse trails. No dogs either, although that sometimes does happen. Well i long lined him in the arena first and then took him over to the park as his cool down exercise. He was superb. Crossed the road like a champ and even squeezed through the stupidly tiny trail entrance to get to the main trail.

I had so much fun, Phoenix was so unconcerned that he was in the park, it was like he does it every day. Didn't spook, was completely relaxed and even stopped to have a bite to eat right next to the road for a bit of car de-sensitization.

The only real issue i had was that it was muddier than i though so i kept having to get him to pull me out of the mud, bless his heart he kept stopping and letting me hold onto his neck/back to get me through the deep parts. Also, when i go again i'll wear different boots, the ones i had on started to rub the back of my heels so i had to turn back sooner than i'd have liked.

I also didn't encounter any other riders which was slightly disappointing, i was hoping it would be good practice for Phoenix to see other unfamiliar horses and get used to passing without stopping. Oh well, next time!

Can't wait until my back is feeling better then i can ride him over now i know he's going to be quite calm. He surprises me, what i think he will find scary he really doesn't. Yet when i was long lining one of the horses outside swished it's muddy tail against the side of the barn and i'd swear my horse thought the world was coming to an end, silly horse.

All in all an excellent day.

Darrin, i didn't tack up this time but i definitely will next time. The tight squeeze trail entrance might prove more tricky with a saddle on so i'd like to see how he reacts. Although i doubt it would bother him. He definitely had fun, there's a part of the trail which is like a tiny creek, he waited until i'd gotten over it and out of the way before jumping it. He'll definitely enjoy his new trail job.

Last edited by phoenix; 10-02-2011 at 03:49 PM.
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post #13 of 18 Old 10-02-2011, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Florida
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When I first bought my horse as a 2 yo I took him for trail walks all the time. He really got bored with groundwork in the arena and it was good exposure pre-riding. I am happy to say that now as a 3 yo I took him for his first official group trail ride and he was a champ, even leading the pack. I have also taken him for solo rides with little issue. Go for it and have fun!
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post #14 of 18 Old 10-02-2011, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
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Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
It's so beautiful out today and i really want to do something with my horse but my back is killing me (i don't get to see my chiro until the 10th) so the plan was to walk my horse on the trails today near his new house.
I did it quite a bit of trail walking "in hand" in past with my paint. Especially when I couldn't ride due to some health issues. She obviously enjoyed it, and I think it's still a good desensitizing. Never did it with my qh though because she doesn't care for trails (and would be like "huh? Are you crazy here?").
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post #15 of 18 Old 10-02-2011, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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I walk my horse on the trail all the time. It's a great way to stretch my legs and gives him a break as well.
Enjoy the walk!

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post #16 of 18 Old 10-02-2011, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Solo, good to hear your boy is doing well on rides.

I'm glad to know lots of other people walk on the trails too, i thoroughly enjoyed my walk with Phoenix, he's a bit like walking a huge dog. When we were crossing the road to get back to the barn an suv had to slow down because my slow poke horse was plodding across after me with this huge leafy branch dangling out of his mouth. We must look so funny when we're out together :) (he's 16.1 i'm barely touching 5ft)
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post #17 of 18 Old 10-02-2011, 08:28 PM
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Location: Southeast Texas
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Glad you had a good time - and I wouldn't care if I passed someone on the trails leading there horse! Sounds like good practice to me and no different than someone ponying their young horses to desensitize them to the trails.

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post #18 of 18 Old 10-02-2011, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, i'm definitely going to do it more often; i hope it makes a world of difference to his confidence.
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