I'm a trail rider, no more and no less than any other type of rider. - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 106 Old 04-03-2012, 04:44 PM
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Yes!!! A million times over!! I have to really bite my tongue when someone says a horse is "Only fit for trail riding" or that a horse is "Just" a trail horse. I've put 3 years so far into training my "trail horse", and know what? Not a single day of it was wasted. No, my horse cannot ride perfectly around a ring, do jumps, dressage, ect and I don't think she has the mentality to do ring work either; her and I both need more stimuli than that. And that's okay! There is a horse to do just about whatever one person wants.

But just because my horse was trained for trails from the git-go, doesn't make her any less worthy of a mount If anything she'll be a **** fine beginners horse in her older years because of all the things she's seen and been accustomed to dealing with. Trail horses take just as much training as any show horse, some take to it, some don't. I'm proud of my trail horse, and although she will probably never see a show in her life, that does not make her any less valuable.

On a side note, you guys have some very pretty trails! Now give me directions to them so I can join you
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post #22 of 106 Old 04-03-2012, 04:51 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
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Like someone already said, different strokes for different folks. We too are just "trail riders."

Some like the thrill of competition. Some like the rush of running at top speed around barrels. Some like the chase of the elusive trophy or ribbon. Some like getting special moves down perfect.

I have enough confinement in life being indoors. To me, working in an arena has benefits like escaping the weather or having containment for working a green horse. I think it's boring working in one all the time. I have enough repetition of the same old same old day in and day out. That's why I like trail riding. I can be outdoors with fresh air in my face. I don't have to have my horse in perfect form. I don't half to be better than the next person or go as fast as I can. I can feel freedom. It's my therapy, my aesthetic, my addiction, my pleasure, my drug, my serenity, or how ever you want to put it. It gets me away from feeling like a robot or a zombie. It gets me away from the hectic human rat race.

To those that think it's just trail riding, they haven't given or had the chance to enjoy the pleasure it truly offers.

Sorry for the long post but there's more I want to add. I'll just save it for later.
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Last edited by usandpets; 04-03-2012 at 04:54 PM.
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post #23 of 106 Old 04-03-2012, 05:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Palmyra, Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by Wallee View Post
I have been many places on my trail horses and let me tell you one of them cleaned up show horses would think twice about crossing a muddy and muggy swamp then up through the hills we have around here. Ever rode in timber country? I mean where its been cut? Its some rough land and the debris is everywhere crossing logs underbrush tangling up in their legs can make a horse kinda scared. So trail horses and trail riders are definatly a different breed and another thing to add is try hunting off of a trail horse and see how he reacts to a gun at first ha ha.
I could safely shoot a gun off my horse, as long as the first shot was aimed at her head
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post #24 of 106 Old 04-03-2012, 05:13 PM
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This is exactly why when I was looking and bought my current guy-he was a trail horse extraodinaire. Raised in Big South Fork in TN. He had never had any arena training at all. I knew I was comfortable doing that and had the ability. Training for the trails-not so much. I had no knowledge of camping with my horse, picket lining, etc.....no less the terrain they had there. So-I know he can do it, and can teach me!

He now knows the ring stuff too, so turning out to be an every day horse. Outside on the nice days-inside on the rainy ones.
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post #25 of 106 Old 04-03-2012, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Usandpets and everyone else beautiful.

I said my mare didn't take to arena activities, but really she did, just not to the point of being taken to higher levels. And that's my doing.
When I was last shopping for a trail horse for me I found "Mr. Perfect" an excellent WP, halter horse that had a higher price on him because he was bombproof and trail sound. (I 1,000 agree with you guys!) But really looking back on it he wasn't as athletic as I needed, why I chose Rick, my mutt. He has great movement, decent conformation (he's handsome in my eyes) and is tough as nails on the trails. The last one I took him on was a HARD 22 mile trek. That particular trail leads down to the bottom of a very gnarly valley where there are waterfalls, but we also had to encounter GIANT puddles with floating alligator logs, swift slippery deep streams, lots of ATV traffic, dogs, you name it and after working with him so hard he didn't bat an eye. After riding for hours he had enough stamina to climb out of the valley at a decent pace while hardly breaking a sweat! I'm so glad I looked past looks, and breeding (or lack thereof), and my other criteria and went for the HORSE that I felt could do the JOB. A luxury we trail riders have.

I'll never thumb my nose at a ewe necked, cow hocked, hammer headed horse that I know can run circles around me! As long as the horse is sound, sane, and safe he's worth his weight in GOLD!

Trail riding is also my medicine, my escape, my get back to nature.
I don't have to worry about impressing anyone, it's just me and the horse.

I'm sooooo very thankful I live out here! Any of you are welcome to come burn the trails with me! We got room! I'm glad we live out in the boonies but it does get lonely out here, BUT NOT SO LONELY THAT I'D MOVE! LOL!
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post #26 of 106 Old 04-03-2012, 07:10 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SE TN
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I competed in a lot of different things when I were a younger man. I learned that when in competition, things can get pretty serious and the seriousness often stole the fun from me.

My horse, nor I, need that kind of pressure anymore. I love her not because she can win a rodeo, dressage event, or horse race, but because she a safe, sane horse that tries to please me.

I am what I am as popeye says, and she is what she is, just a pretty darn good trail horse, trusted friend, and loved companion.

Now, you young whipper snappers, go and win some ribbons!

Fly gap, me and the wife might just take you up on your invitation.....be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.......so anyway, how do we get there?
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For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Last edited by gunslinger; 04-03-2012 at 07:13 PM.
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post #27 of 106 Old 04-03-2012, 11:04 PM
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I like to do it all. I like to show them halter as babies, then I like to pony them behind a made trail horse as they grow up. Then I like to teach them how to compete at SOMETHING, doesn't matter what whether it's WP, Hunter, jumping, dressage, penning, cow work or trail classes, I like to get that kind of start for them. Then I like to finish them on the trail. A show horse that is not sane enough for me to take out on a ride on our days off is no good for me.

I want sane, beautiful, athletic and totally human focused. If they aren't all of those, I don't want them. A horse that isn't brave enough to go camping and trail riding just isn't a horse I will keep around, no matter how good it is at the competition thing. It's great to have an awesome competitor but I demand more.

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post #28 of 106 Old 04-03-2012, 11:26 PM
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I get bored easy. If I hate seeing the same thing over and over again, I'm pretty sure my horses do too.
I think the arena is a great place to improve your riding and work on problems. You put those tools into effect by hitting the trails, and that's when you find out how really good you are.

So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.
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post #29 of 106 Old 04-03-2012, 11:52 PM
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Well you see, I'm a bit of a snob myself. I'm the one saying "Oh, so their just a show horse?" Well, not really but I think it!
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post #30 of 106 Old 04-04-2012, 03:16 AM
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I can relate to this totally. We don't have any extreme trails here in Latvia (as our terrain is mostly flat, though some trails go along steep river banks and such), so most people act as if trail riding is just hacking lazily on just any horse, and that even people without riding abilities can do it. Well, I don't agree. My horse has to tolerate loud, sudden noises, wildlife (moose, for example), traffic, change of environment (if I take him to the sea), loose dogs and everything else you could experience out in the forests, and do it all with patience; he has to have 100% of his attention and me, change gaits instantly (pits, barbed wire, hidden in moss in abandoned warsites, etc.), has to be endurant, work well with other horses, stay with me if I happen to hit the ground, and so on. I am lucky that his initial training included mostly trails, not arena work - he is a perfect trail horse for the trails we have here, besides, both of us get bored in the arena quite fast. As for myself - trail riding needs lots of fitness and the ability to react quickly to any changes or obstacles in the trails. It calls for lots of awareness and attention, which, to my mind, cannot be trained in an arena where everything is almost the same every day.

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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