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How to prepare for a horse's first trail ride?

This is a discussion on How to prepare for a horse's first trail ride? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        10-30-2012, 09:49 AM
      #11
    Weanling
    If your horse Is broke to ride and you have a handle of her in the arena, it should transfer right out anywhere else. Walk your horse out there one evening, take her on a ride in the same place the next. What I would do but then again I have been trail riding alone for 8 years so I don't get worried much anymore. Just make sure you can handle your horse first.
         
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        10-30-2012, 11:41 AM
      #12
    Trained
    Arena riding and riding in the open are not the same. Lots of horses look to the walls of an arena for safety. I would start by walking her out on a lead line. If that goes well, ride with another horse (and no loose horses).

    The first month we took my mare out with another horse, she didn't want to get more than 3 feet from the other horse. We had to work on opening up the distance. After that, she decided she wanted to be in front, and eventually she started opening up a gap (her legs are longer than the other horse's). We are now working on going out alone. That began with going out a few hundred yards and then back, repeated 6-12 times a ride. We've worked our way up to going out about a mile. I think she is close to going out for multiple miles, but we're working up to it gradually. I'm 54, and my bones don't heal like they used to...
         
        10-30-2012, 02:27 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    The first month we took my mare out with another horse, she didn't want to get more than 3 feet from the other horse. We had to work on opening up the distance. After that, she decided she wanted to be in front, and eventually she started opening up a gap...
    Sounds just like Ellie. At first she wanted to keep her nose just about on the other horse's tail - I'd work at keeping a proper distance, but any time my attention was distracted by something for a few seconds, she'd be right back. Then she'd get ahead for a few yards, and on a winding road suddenly realize that she couldn't see her buddy and would try to turn around and go back. Now she's gotten fairly comfortable about being a good ways ahead, and even out of sight, though we're still working on the 'left behind' thing.
    bsms likes this.
         
        10-30-2012, 04:02 PM
      #14
    Yearling
    When I first got my mare when she was 3, she would be so wound up if she wasn't really close to the other horse with us. It took alot of work on my part to convince her that she would be fine with me and not the other horse. We did alot of circling to slow her down and stopping and letting them get ahead of us, now she daudles along behind and I have to keep her going to just keep up LOL she is now 10 and rides out well by herself.
         
        10-30-2012, 11:43 PM
      #15
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    Arena riding and riding in the open are not the same. Lots of horses look to the walls of an arena for safety. I would start by walking her out on a lead line. If that goes well, ride with another horse (and no loose horses).
    My boy had exclusively been ridden/trained on trails and was 5 the first time he stepped into an arena. Nothing on the trail scared him but that arena was one big scary area with monsters hididng in all 4 corners..
    bsms and Thunderspark like this.
         
        10-30-2012, 11:58 PM
      #16
    Yearling
    My mare is also a trail horse, I have taken her to indoor arenas but not often, she gets real nervous there and takes a long time for her to settle down......
         
        11-07-2012, 10:31 PM
      #17
    Foal
    I would take someone along with you for your first time out with her, and just keep in mind that she may need some time to adjust. I don't think it's about readying her, though, because you can't exactly tell a horse "we're going on a trail now," right? She will rely on your own feelings in order to decide how she, herself, should feel, so keep that in mind--if you're nervous, she will have every reason to be, too. All I would say is to prepare yourself. Be ready for everything and anything, and though I won't say expect the worst (too much of an optimist :P ) try and read the surroundings as you approach them to pick out anything that might be scary to her. Give her time to adapt, and be sure to reassure her if she does get worked up. And, if you can, return home on a positive note! You need to make sure it's a good experience for her, not a bad one!

    I'm sure you'll do great. C:
    Thunderspark likes this.
         

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