Letting the horse make a decision about where you go? - Page 2
 
 

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Letting the horse make a decision about where you go?

This is a discussion on Letting the horse make a decision about where you go? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        12-07-2010, 01:23 PM
      #11
    Weanling
    Haha! I used to ride this mare named Daisy and my friend would ride her sister Dixie. Both horses were trail horses primarily, so the opportunity to "do what they wanted" was often unavailable on the trail. But I do remember one day when we took the two mares out bareback and let them choose what they wanted to do. We spent about an hour and a half grazing in a meadow before Dixie suddenly lifted her head and decided it was time to go home... straight through the thicket of pine trees! There was NO way to steer through those trees, so I just kinda ducked and held tight to Daisy's mane as we went through.

    Then, on the way back to the barn we got into the main yard stretch and Daisy started sniffing at the ground. I shoulda known what was coming, but it still was kinda surprising when she suddenly dropped to her belly and began to roll. I jumped off, laughing as I did only to look up and see Dixie lowering onto her belly as well, my friend kicking desperately to get the mare to stand back up. Dixie just to say touched her belly to the ground before getting back up, and I hopped on Daisy as she finished her roll and got back to her feet.

    It was one of the best rides of my life :) I loved those mares
         
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        12-07-2010, 01:55 PM
      #12
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WalkerLady    

    Mostly I just let her do these things, because I figure she usually has a better idea about the best footing for her than I do, but I have to pay careful attention because sometimes (in her infinite wisdom ) she'll run my leg into a tree, or try to cross the creek where it's deepest and soaks my feet.
    I could swear a certain mare from the trail ride center I used to go to was deliberately choosing the lowest branched trees whenever given the opportunity just to bump my head in them
         
        12-07-2010, 02:17 PM
      #13
    Showing
    I do. We have a few trails with lots of logs for jumping, and if the horses are in an energetic mood they sometimes wanna go that way just to go fast and jump the logs!
         
        12-07-2010, 02:53 PM
      #14
    Yearling
    I do with Rose every so often. If we're with other horses, she'll just stay with the herd. If we're crossing some difficult terrain, I'll give her her head and let her choose the best way...because of the footing. In the ring, she mainly just stays on the rail at a slow walk.

    With Rook though, the only time that it's half-way safe is when we're riding alone. It is fun when I can do it with him, I've never had him stop to eat or wander off of the trail. When we're just in the ring getting some exercise, he normally just stops waiting for me to tell him what to do. He's funny when we're in there and I'm on the phone while riding him. If he feels that I'm getting upset by the person on the other end of the line, he'll stop and put his head around to my foot as if he's saying "are you ok?". When I hang the phone up, he goes on about his way.
         
        12-07-2010, 02:57 PM
      #15
    Trained
    The last time I let Soda decide where we should walk through the little marshy spot in the trail he chose the edge after I said middle. I let it go, figuring like most of you that he probably knows the safest spot to walk..... Yeah right, I forgot this is the horse that thinks jumping in front of semis is a good way to get home faster. :roll: Right after that we came upon another little marshy spot, he dove into the tall grass to avoid the spot. In the process he went about 10 feet into an even marshier/wetter spot full of fallen logs and trees. He did it so fast that it completely took me by surprise. Fortunately we came a third marshy spot after that, that's where he learned (again) that where I point he goes. Unfortunately if you give him an inch he'll take a mile, considering that he has put us into dangerous footing/situations more than once I can't let him decide our route.
         
        12-19-2010, 10:04 PM
      #16
    Weanling
    If I let my horse Dolly chose the way she wants, its always the way home lol. She will turn alll the way around lol
         
        12-20-2010, 02:35 AM
      #17
    Foal
    I do, sometimes... If i'm on the trail with my midget pony, I give him his head most of the time and he picks his own way through the rocks and stuff. On our ride the other day, we were walking along a track lined with trees and every so often, he'd find an opening and do a complete circle :) it was hilarious! If we're cantering calmly I give him his head so he can slow when he gets to tired (he's quite old)

    I could never let my other horse completly have his head because if something spooked him he'd spin and take off, but he wouldn't do it if I had contact....

    I can give my new horse her head but I don't often because we're still getting used to each other.

    This is a good thread :)
         
        12-20-2010, 06:47 AM
      #18
    Trained
    Our mares are always ridden on a loose rein, and when I'm riding off the trail through the woods, I just choose the destination and let them pick the path...they've kept me out of a lot of old barbed wire fences that I couldn't see. I typically don't worry about low branches, but do steer them away from those 'horse width' gaps between two trees that will kill your knees.
         
        12-20-2010, 10:18 AM
      #19
    Weanling
    I couldn't let Lottie choose the way because it would always always be home, even to the extent that when we're just riding in the field and I have to stop and loosen my reins to adjust my stirrups, she'll attempt to turn round and go back to the stable! She's better than she was though :')
         
        12-23-2010, 12:22 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    Aww that's so cute! I let Mocha choose where we go sometimes & one day she took me & my friend off our property ( which we have permission to trail back there) & my friend decided to let her horse choose where we went. I knew it wasnt a good idea since my friend had never rode back there before & only mocha & I knew the way.. I tried to tell her it wasn't a good idea. I was right. Her horse ran her through a bunch of low lying branches & my friend got cut up :/ so moral of the story, know your horse & know where your going too! Lol
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