"just" a trail rider? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 25 Old 11-08-2008, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Ottakee View Post
I am considering trying a judged trail ride where they have various obstacles for you to go over, around, through, etc. I don't think we would place but I think it would be fun to see how he does and expose him to more things.
Go for it!
The more experience the better, and with a 15 yr QH, you may be surprised at how well you do (us Paints love our QH/Appy 'cousins', too ).

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On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #12 of 25 Old 11-08-2008, 09:00 AM
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I think most trail riders (myself included) like to challenge themselves too.
We are always looking for things to go down over or through.
You also have to keep your horse in shape just as any discipline would. I wouldn't think of taking my horse on an all day ride without working up to it first.
I think trail riding is a growing interest. I know in our part of the world its very popular. More so than any english type. I don't think there is even an English tack shop within 300 miles of me but western or trail/endurance shops are easy to find.
I know what you mean though, I sometime feel like I need to apologize for being "just" a trail rider.

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post #13 of 25 Old 11-08-2008, 08:01 PM
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Maybe we are just lucky and got a couple goofball horses that trust us enough to know what we are doing.But being new to riding again I just love trail riding and there are always new challenges.
Today was crossing the creek that was maybe 15' across and 1' deep BUT today w/ all the rain we got was 30' across and up past their knees and it was swift.Our dogs had a time crossing in one part.They sniffed and gawked for a second but went w/ no problems. They go about anywhere we ask and it is a workout for both of us. We make mistakes and just get better each time we go out.
I think being a trail rider w/ trails right out my backdoor I get way more riding time than most.In the woods you can ride for hours, in an arena I'd get bored in 30 minutes.But Im not knocking he gamers, I know they put in ALOT of hours to per-fect their game.
I am proud to be a trail rider
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post #14 of 25 Old 11-08-2008, 08:26 PM
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I think it's funny that you bring this up... I started out riding western, just at my cousins and in riding camps with no formal training and then I moved to Germany where I took Dressage (I was trying to make it look fancy and snooty... My first lesson people kind of laughed because I told them I had tons of experience... which was a lie... anyway then I was like, I don't post because I ride WESTERN... Well then they were like...OH so you don't really know what you are doing... huh? It was true but... that carries over because when I moved back here to the states I was like... I am an ENGLISH rider... western is for people that are untrained... Well I spent YEARS in the hunt saddle riding, local hunt style. I call it local hunt style because if you watch the really fancy hunters they are collected and on the bit where as at a local show they are on their forehand, heads high and not necessarily collected...

Well... I got board so... I geuss it's been about 5 years now, I decided to try western... I always thought that western was going to be SO EASY... I went to my first lesson KNOWING that I was going to blow this trainers mind with my superior horse knowledge... Wow... i was shocked.... I actually pretty much was knocked back down to beginner status. IN ENGLISH also, this lady was a QH teacher... They ride COMPLETELY different then local hunt... On the bit, collected, in a frame... What the freak was headset???? I am STILL struggling to get things right 5 years later and I feel like I have learned more in the past 5 years than I did in 20 of riding under other types of instructors... and you know the funny thing? Some of those... backyard trail horse owners... taught me things that I use in the show ring everyday... it's amazing...

I dont think anyone should ever "belittle" any horse owner for style of riding or type of horse or even where they live because it's all about knowledge...and experience and learned skills... Horse people can be amazing and in my experience... we should never... EVER judge someone on looks, money, breed, type of riding... etc... great thread guys... I know I'm rambling... sorry about that...

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post #15 of 25 Old 11-08-2008, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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I am REALLY new to riding. As a teen I rode maybe 2 or 3 times on those nose to tail type rides--basically sitting on a horse type ride.

Then at 36 and 260 pounds I bought my first horse and started riding. We did some riding but he had some holes in his training and we found out too late (after I got bucked off twice) some back problems.

I am now down to 185 and bought a new horse in late February. Spy and I are still figuring each other out but we do quite well on the trails. I am rebuilding my confidence---after coming off my horse 5 times in less than a year, I had a lot of confidence building to work on.

I take lessons 1-2 times a week but Spy HATES the arena so much of our lesson time is out on the trails. I am still working on learning about head set, a back or forward seat, quiet hands (easy at a walk, hard at a fast lope), collection, etc. I did learn to post on the right diagonal though--easy when you have a horse that has a big trot---not so easy to SIT the trot like you are supposed to in Western Pleasure.

While I know that I have a lot to learn in those areas, I can now climb steep hills, wade into the creek, blaze our own trail through the woods when we lose the trail, handle deer popping out at us, etc. I figure that it counts for something.

15 15hh QH/Arab gelding Spy--my horse
30 16hh Qh gelding BJ--my girls' horse
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post #16 of 25 Old 11-08-2008, 08:57 PM
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I often say I "just" ride in my backyard or I "just" trail ride... For me, it's a more laid back kind of attitude that I'm very happy with. No one critiques where my legs are, where my hands are, whether we're "on the bit" or any of that stuff. I have enough stress at work and with my kids... the outdoors and esp. the bush have always been my "recharger". Most days, I want my horse to be a part of that "recharge" and nothing more. I do recognize, however, that since I don't ride everyday or do regular training challenges that I can't expect my horses to be any kind of a "perfect" trail horse, but so long as they are calm, I'm happy. Still the laid back attitude.
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post #17 of 25 Old 11-08-2008, 10:58 PM
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I also thought to add that i taught my 8 yr old cousin for a couple years how to ride. Now because my Boo hates the arena ......( he also doesnt really like riding in just a paddock odd animal, lol ).
i taught my cousin the basics from the saftey of the paddock of course. But then started to lead her out on trails down the beach and such soon after. In the end at about 9 she was learning to canter off the lead down the beach ( me watching closely of course )

I honelty think it really helped teach her balance over different obsticals and uneven ground, of course she fell off a couple times but she always got back on no problem. And it gave her ALOT of confidence, she seemed more confident jumping out on trails than in the paddock....maby it was more her element i dont know. I did mix it up .....paddock rides one day then the next trails/ beach.
On occasion i rode foxy, she rode Boo and we would go through water past there knees, through sand , mud , a bit of road riding, up hills...and alot more. But yea..... riding out i really do think helped her gain a good broud foundation. As i think it brought in more elements for her as she was learning to ride.

So i say trail riding is a key ingredient when learning to ride, as is arena work. a bit of both works wonders no doubt.

Last edited by Bitless; 11-08-2008 at 11:00 PM.
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post #18 of 25 Old 11-09-2008, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Ottakee View Post

I am considering trying a judged trail ride where they have various obstacles for you to go over, around, through, etc. I don't think we would place but I think it would be fun to see how he does and expose him to more things.
I LOVE competitive trail riding. The showmanship and vet judge both give excellent feedback about you and your horse's trail skill and condition. It also judges how well you work as a team. It is a totally rewarding thing. I didn't think we would place the first time I ever did it either, I actually had no clue about any of the rules, but my horse and I got high point horse, high point rider, and high point team. I was awesome!

I think to have a good trail horse takes a lot of practice and a lot of trail miles. I also think trail is key to keeping show horses sane. I like practicing all sorts of crazy stuff on trail. I like to work on my horse not being the leader, crossing any obstacle I request, I also like practicing my seat, hands, posture, and horse's frame and gait quality on trail...just because there is great new scenery does not mean you can't work on these things.

Last edited by AKPaintLover; 11-09-2008 at 04:22 AM.
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post #19 of 25 Old 11-09-2008, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Ottakee View Post
Do you consider trail riding to be "easier" than arena showing, etc. or a discipline that is different but requires good training for the horse and good riding skills?
Guess it all depends on the level you are working at.

A complete novice/newbie can walk up to a barn and pay to go on a guided trail ride. That kind of trail riding is, of course, much easier than someone who, for example, does jumping at the national level.

There are also riders who compete in various trail competitions, or just ride difficult trails (for work or pleasure). That is much more difficult and requires a higher skill level than a "walk/trot" class at a school show.

Neither should look down on the other. If you are doing what you want/like with your horse, who cares which is "better" or easier?

That is one of the nice things about recreation equestrian activities. You can pick virtually any discipline and participate at the level of your choosing (or ability). You can jump poles on the ground, or 6ft fences. You can ride a safe quiet trail on a quiet hack horse, or you can pack into the back country of Yellowstone for a week. It is all how far, or what level of difficulty you want to take it.
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post #20 of 25 Old 11-16-2008, 11:03 AM
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bomb proofing a trail horse is a whole lot harder than navagating a horse through a barrel pattern , a hunter course or a jumper course . ive trained , ridden and placed in all three of those ridding styles . . . and i still had a harder time making my gelding bomb proof . . . but im verry proud that i did because getting a good foundation on my gelding is what now makes him so good at shows . . . there is pretty much nothing except chasing me down with a lounge whip that will get him to even twitch . . . ballons, flags, extreame rain, hail, sleet (banging on the roof) . . . birds , cats, dogs , little kids, loud speakers, crowds, plastic bags, tin foil, and anything else that might show up . . . none of that bothers him any more

-L'eggo My Eggo "Eggo" - 9 yr Belgian Draft X Quarter Horse Gelding
-Frequent Flyer "Jett"- 9yr Belgian Sporthorse
-Dusty Doc Lou "Dusty" - R.I.P
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