The NEW Dozer's first trail ride - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-08-2009, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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The NEW Dozer's first trail ride

As much as I hate to admit it, I have to say, I am glad my trainer's husband is going to be the one riding Dozer instead of me. I am so comfortable on him in the arena but when we go outside it, I just get nervous. I feel I have less control and I hate that feeling. Dozer is an 18.2hh draft and he is 6 or 7yo. I'm not very strong and when he doesnt want to stop its super hard for me to make him. Luckily he doesn't bolt with me that often. I think he has only bolted with me once or twice the whole time ive had him. I have been working with him since the end of march and so far he has gotten light, better brakes, and has quit his bad habit of running up and down hills. I am nervous that he will bolt with me and I wont be able to control it because I dont know the area and if he gets too excited he takes off and there is no stopping him. I don't understand why I am so scared of him out on trails? Maybe because the only trail I have gone on with him was before I worked with him? I just don't get it! I use to own Bucking Tater and I wasnt afraid of him at all! I would take him places, he would buck, I'd stick it out, then I'd punish him by taking him in circles, and itd be over. What can I do to not be so... scared? Has anyone else been like this?

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post #2 of 7 Old 11-08-2009, 08:52 PM
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I'm just like you! I'm perfectly comfortable when I'm in the arena with Thumper, but on my first trail ride with him he spooked twice and then spooked AGAIN and bolted for a short distance. I'm hoping that once I start riding on trails more often with him, I'll get over my completely irrational fears! All I can suggest is to go more often on trails with him and possibly going with a responsible person who could help you out if you two run into trouble. Also, just try to enjoy yourself and take a couple deep breaths :). If you go with your trainer or someone else responsible, maybe you could start on Dozer, and if you start to feel really uncomfortable or afraid, you could switch horses for a while and then try again. I can totally relate because I'm the same way about trails with Thumper! Except that he's not an 18.2 hh draft :).

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post #3 of 7 Old 11-08-2009, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Well today my horse trainer's hubby rode Dozer and I rode his horse and there was like seven other horses with us and Dozer did great! I couldn't believe it was still him! If you could have seen him a few months ago on trail and today on a trail you wouldn't believe it was him! I think that alone was a major confidence boost!

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post #4 of 7 Old 11-09-2009, 08:15 AM
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That's a lot of horse your trying to control. I think you are wise to let someone stronger take him out the first few times on a trail. There are a lot more horse eating monsters on a trail than in an arena
Once you are more comfortable with him, and he with trail riding, you'll be the one riding him on the trail .

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-09-2009, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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^That was what I was thinking!

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post #6 of 7 Old 12-13-2009, 09:46 PM
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I was the same after my first trail on my 3 year old. Granted he was 2 and 10 months. I ponied him and he was good, only spooked at a bus coming past and apart from that he just kept tring to play with the horse I was riding! Cheeky bugger
The first time I rode him was like a week after that ride and he was doing great. Until I stopped to wait for someone that was riding bareback to remount and the rest of the group got really far ahead. He got upset and I wouldn't let him canter and catch up, I just made him walk. He settled and started to walk nicely so I decided to try and trot a few steps. A bus came past and he bucked. 3 times. I stayed on, but now I'm really nervous that he's going to do it again. I rode him to pony club a month ago and he was great when we were walking but when we started trotting, he lost it and was jumping and spooking at everything.
I'm going to start ponying him again and then next year we'll be able to start trail riding again. We're just going to start by going around the little block and then the bigger block and then when he has that down, try extending it a bit more.
You're lucky you have someone else that can trail safe your horse for you.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-14-2009, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I pony my young horses a lot. By time I actually get on their back for a trail ride, the trails are old hat. They have been across the bridges, crossed the creeks, had mountain bikers go past, seen the dogs etc. I make sure the first couple of trail rides are on the same trails that I ponied them on.

So the new experience for them is not being on the trail. But rather learning to balance my weight while on the trail.

I think some of the most memorable trail rides were when I've turned a yearling or two year old loose and let them run alongside me with no lead while on a trail. They explore everything, just like a hunting dog. They hesitate to cross the streams until they realize they are getting left behind, then they get bold and crash across. They learn to pick their feet up. to jump fallen logs. It's great experience for a young horse.
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