how to start trail riding - Page 2
   

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > Trail Riding

how to start trail riding

This is a discussion on how to start trail riding within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Start a trail riding club
  • How to start a horse riding club

Like Tree5Likes

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    09-07-2012, 10:48 PM
  #11
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeste    
I would go with one or two sane horses that have sane riders that don't want you dead. Keep it slow for starters.


I agree here; sane horses and riders who will be patient and help you step by step.

Also, tkaing him out for "walks" is a good way to get him used to things. Use a rope halter and a longer line, wear heavy shoes, maybe hiking boots incase he steps on your toes and work on good leading manners but let him see things and walk by them. Your attitude of "Whatever . . . No biggie" will carry over onto him, so if he jumps a bit, or spooks sidesways, unless he is running you over, let him move a bit, IGNORE it. Dont' try to calm him with a lot of sugary sweet nothings, nor do you try ti make him stand still . You keep walking and remind him he is to stay behind you and off to the side. Stop frequently and just stand around looking bored. It rubs off.
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    09-08-2012, 05:37 PM
  #12
Foal
Thanks for the replies :)
I haven't done alot of desensitizing but will definitely incorporate in now.
I do take him for walks lol always reminds me of walking a dog.
Now to line a few intelligent and calm friends. The trail riding club here does walks for green horses. Walk only but I did wonder since there would be few newbies and multiple horses. Will leave that one forca while :)
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    09-08-2012, 05:39 PM
  #13
Foal
Oh and will try to ignore him when he starts snorting. Think I may have turned the shed into something even scarier as I did everything I shouldn't do except I do some ground work with him to make sure he is listening . Thanks for the tips
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    09-09-2012, 10:43 PM
  #14
Weanling
Oops! Duplicate
     
    09-09-2012, 10:46 PM
  #15
Weanling
The posts about desensitizing in the arena or round pen are right on, however there are some other things that will help as well. Going with another horse or two who are experienced on the trail is a good idea. Get them to go through simple obstacles at first, such as crossing a small log, or crossing a small creek. Be very careful about choosing your battles at first, because if you can't get him /her to go through the obstacle, you have lost ground and the horse learns it can avoid things it doesn't like by balking and turning. Sometimes a horse will go through something it sees another horse go through, whereas you would never be able to get him/her to cross alone. Later, when you've taught him/her that you are in command here, he/she'll trust you more and will go through things alone. Pick you battles well at first, but once you have picked it, do not relent. Keep urging him/her forward until they do it.

You may need to learn how to use spurs (there is a break-in process with these for you and the horse, by the way) so you can get him/her to keep going forward. Horses (and consequently riders) almost always get hurt while going backwards. If you can keep them moving forward, you will likely come out ok in just about any situation.

Once you get the simple things out of the way, you can begin to do harder things, like wider, deeper water crossings, jumping logs, walking through fallen tree branches, jumping ditches, or jumping down drops, and steep grades up and down. Horses can do amazing things safely. Much more than most riders will ever have the guts to do.

I disagree with the advice on avoiding or riding past things that scare the horse. Whenever my horse finds something to shy at, I immediately turn her toward it and speak to her in a gentle high tone, like speaking to a child, and say, "What is that, girl?" I keep repeating that while urging her forward with my heels and keeping her head pointed at it with the reins. I keep her facing the object until she walks up to it (sometimes takes a while) and sniffs it and relaxes (licking lips is a good indication of relaxation). My mare has a high flight response, and occasionally I still get a surprise as she shys at something, but she doesn't bolt anymore. My mare has learned to trust me, to the degree that when she shys, she immediately turns toward the object, stops, and begins to cautiously move toward it, sometimes without my urging. Her fear is now turning to curiosity.
     
    09-11-2012, 08:07 PM
  #16
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenrie    
I disagree with the advice on avoiding or riding past things that scare the horse. Whenever my horse finds something to shy at, I immediately turn her toward it and speak to her in a gentle high tone, like speaking to a child, and say, "What is that, girl?" I keep repeating that while urging her forward with my heels and keeping her head pointed at it with the reins. I keep her facing the object until she walks up to it (sometimes takes a while) and sniffs it and relaxes (licking lips is a good indication of relaxation). My mare has a high flight response, and occasionally I still get a surprise as she shys at something, but she doesn't bolt anymore. My mare has learned to trust me, to the degree that when she shys, she immediately turns toward the object, stops, and begins to cautiously move toward it, sometimes without my urging. Her fear is now turning to curiosity.
I'm going to amend my advice above, I think. I just read a post by Cherie in the Training forum about training for the trail. Their method of training with regard to spooking and fear makes sense to me. Though I have not used their method before, because my method makes sense to me and works, I can see some benefits in their method that are lacking in mine. I like a horse to be interested in things. I like a horse that is curious. However the horse I have now spends most of her time looking around, rather than looking right down the trail. She wanders from one side of the trail to the other as she ambles down the trail. Bugs me to no end. Obviously something is lacking in my method of training her. Maybe Cherie has the answer. I won't waste space here rehashing their post, but I recommend it for good reading. It's in the Training forum.
     
    09-11-2012, 08:39 PM
  #17
Weanling
Thats why I took that advice. And then posted it. Proved it to myself. My mare is is continously looking back and forth from one side of the trail to the other. Esp. For the first couple of miles after hitting the trails. That advice came from a true horseman, and it works for me. Extremely well. Its not like she doesnt know something is there. It mainly just lets her know its not worth worrying about, and if we come back the same way we went. Most times she gives that scary ol rock or stump nothing more than an extra glance.

I will look at that post showing her training method.
     
    09-11-2012, 08:56 PM
  #18
Started
You already got most of this advice, but I'll repeat the parts that seem to work for me. :)

Some arena work may be useful, but out in the 'wide open' what wasn't scary in the arena may be scary once again, so I don't spend much time on it. I'd rather take my horse for walks so that a) he's out on the trail, seeing the things and b) learning to follow my guidance while doing so.

My horse's standard response (if not a dead bolt) is that he wants to stop and stare and snort and get himself worked up about the monsters. Because of that, if he's being boogery about something- I'd rather keep him doing the 'right thing' which to me is walking along wherever it was I had him pointed in the first place. If he tries to bolt he does get turned towards the scary thing though since that'll stop him immediately. So long as I can keep him moving at a walk rather than doing what he wants and stopping dead, I know I have at least part of his attention. And having his attention means I win and there is no bolting, spinning, or other stupidity. If I let him stop and focus on the scary thing, I am SOL and he's going to make some stupid horsey decision about what he thinks he should do.

Ride out with a nice sane horse and a rider who wants to help you train your trail green horse and isn't going to ask you to canter across the open field, jump logs, or take off and leave you when you're going slow and your horse is scared or misbehaving about something silly like a shadow across the path.

ETA: Make sure you're not making your horse more nervous by being tense, tightening your reins or legs, holding your breath, or in short, giving ANY sign that you're at all concerned your horse might do anything other than completely ignore the trolls. Much easier said than done, obviously. I am not a 'singing' person, just doesn't work for me or my horse, but I am a 'give him a hard time' sort of a person. So, if we're going up to, say, a bicycle covered in flashing LED lights rolling along the trail at us (his worst nightmare), I start telling my horse, "Oh hey, lookit that. Bet you're imaging all sorts of dragons there that are going to eat you. Yep. See those tiny lights- those are all the other lost souls of horses he's already gotten. Oooh, scary! He's riding at half a mile an hour. Yep, definitely no way you could escape that." Twisted? Maybe, but it works for me and keeps me from holding my breath unconsciously.
thenrie likes this.
     

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anyone want to help me organize a trail ride or start a riding club? :) texas hisangelonly Trail Riding 1 08-28-2012 02:30 PM
Please start new riding topics in the new riding forums! Mike_Admin Horse Riding 11 08-24-2011 01:07 AM
I want to start taking my dog on trail too, how best to introduce her and Cinny? Cinnys Whinny Trail Riding 2 06-04-2011 12:50 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0