The Joys of a Good Trail Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-08-2011, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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The Joys of a Good Trail Horse

I actually know what it feels like now. I can really, truly enjoy trail riding, and it feels great.

I find arena work quite boring, unless I'm actually trying to teach a horse something and need peace, quiet, and a confined area. We don't have access to an arena at our place, anyways. A few years ago we had an old, broken down, tiny old pony gelding that would go anywhere without a pulse, but I was getting much too big for him, so we gave him to a family that could actually use him and I got my first riding horse.

The mare is a sweetheart. Willing, respectful, obedient, not spooky, incredibly sane, but for the first year she was half green and very hot, and I was nervous and scared of her, and it lead to some less than fun trail rides. She never did anything to hurt me, but she was far from a fun ride. Since then, I've actually learned how to ride and the mare is a dream to be around. I've trailered her around to big group rides (and a couple where she was the only horse there) all over the place and she has been a superstar at all of them. But last year's trail experiences have always made me wary of trying to ride away from our property. I know she can do it-before we got her, even, the trainer put quite a few miles of trail experience on her. It's not her at all-it's just this complex I have.

My new pony (second horse, lucky me ) has changed my entire perspective on trail riding. She is cheeky, headstrong, independent and couldn't care less about me, but she spent the first 15 years of her life trail riding, and that is what she does best. She is an amazingly fantastic trail horse, go anywhere, any speed, doesn't call for the other horses, has yet to have a big spook, and just is everything I ever dreamed of having. I know my mare is the exact same way and wouldn't do any of that stuff either, but with the pony, I am actually experiencing it. Already, I can feel my confidence skyrocketing. I am no longer tense or nervous. I can ride down the road without fear. I can go the places I wouldn't have dared before.

And now that I am on my way to fixing myself, I have a good feeling about the trail future of me and my first mare. She can and will willingly do it, I just need to have confidence in myself, and this pony is giving it to me.

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post #2 of 9 Old 05-08-2011, 10:45 PM
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Congrats! Trail riding is what I ride for. Heck, I've never ridden in an arena. Don't even have a round pen.

To me it's kind of like going for a hike on the high school track or in the woods. Kind of a no brainer!


"Don't just feed it! Ride it!" And the People said "AMEN!"
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-08-2011, 11:21 PM
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A good trail horse is worth it's weight in gold! I've had a lot of good trail horses, but I have one that's GREAT. That's my Mustang John Henry. Totally honest and reliable, but he has a pulse when you want it. He's got more good sense than I knew a horse could have.

He almost makes me a lazy rider though, because he would take good care of a sack of potatoes!

Now Isabelle, she keeps me alert and actually riding because she is more spooky and high energy.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-09-2011, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
A good trail horse is worth it's weight in gold!
Agree! It feels kind of like we ripped off the seller, seeing how awesome she is.

My other mare isn't spooky or terribly high energy, but she is extremely sensitive. I guess that's what happens when you buy a young horse and are the only one to ride it for two years of its life, huh? This mare can practically read my mind-I pretty much only have to think about doing something, and she does it. Being as unconfident as I was, though, such sensitivity is not good for trail riding. If I tense even a tiny bit, she'll feel it and start getting wary, and then I start getting tense because she was getting nervous, and on and on in a vicious cycle.

I really like having an older, been there done that type of horse, like this pony is. On one hand, I love showing off my mare. Everyone knows that she's so quiet and responsive and docile because I made her that way, and I can't say that with the pony. But on the other hand, with this pony that...responsibility isn't there. I can just have fun on her, and not have to worry about teaching her bad habits or "ruining" her. She's the fun little child's pony I never had.

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post #5 of 9 Old 05-09-2011, 03:06 PM
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I'm glad you're liking the new horse.
Could you possibly pony the mare to get more calm experiences for her?
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-09-2011, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by natisha View Post
Could you possibly pony the mare to get more calm experiences for her?
I was going to get a friend to come over and we could ride together once or twice (me on my mare, friend on the pony) just to give me more confidence on the trail when riding the horse, but that's going to have to wait a couple weeks until her latest injury heals up (:roll: a whole other long story; topic of my latest thread). I feel confident about the future at this point. Now I can actually get out and RIDE both my horses, and go places, not be forced to stay around the farm because I'm too scared to go out.

Last edited by AllThePrettyHorses; 05-09-2011 at 03:20 PM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-09-2011, 03:31 PM
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I TOTALLY get this.

My old Walkers were trail horse extrodonaire's (sp?), go anywhere, do anything type of horses.

Soda is not that. He is high energy, nervous, and a bit spooky. He reads me very well too.... Unfortunately we've had some bad experiences on the roads so it's a very nerve racking experience for both of us.. Slowly getting better, but still not the best ride ever.

Lily is a flipping rockstar on the trail. She doesn't really spook, just looks. But still has get up and go when you want it. She is a lot more relaxing to ride out then Soda is and it's helping me relax while out on the road.

Soda will never be like Lily, but he is getting better. It's nice to have two wonderful horses even if they're wonderful in different ways!
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-09-2011, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I did a bit of road riding with my mare, MN Tigerstripes, and I did not handle it very well at all when she started getting upset, and that seriously screwed her up. For the longest time after that, she was TERRIFIED of traffic-would actually try to bolt every time a car passed, but I slowly -tried- to work her through it. I think mostly what helped was going on a charity walk/ride down the busiest highway in the township on a foggy day with cars, trucks, vans, and transports honking at us. If she's not bombproof after that, I don't know what else I can possibly do Still, I think a lot of road riding beside the pony will contribute to helping her chill out.

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post #9 of 9 Old 05-09-2011, 07:46 PM
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congrats on finding the right horse to help you regain your confidence!! having the right partner means everything.

There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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