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NOT trail riding? EVER?!

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    05-20-2013, 04:32 PM
  #81
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvr2many    
Thank you, I would love to!!! Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm road trip???

You'll have to take a detour to NC so I can go too!
     
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    05-20-2013, 07:20 PM
  #82
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares    
Want to keep your horse sharp and light? Go off trail and weave through the trees at a trot like a slalom course...just watch your knees!
Oh, I've done that. Not always intentionally, I admit

Thing is, most of the forest around here is second-growth pine, with lots of deadfall (and/or logging slash), and I worry about the critter tripping over it, maybe breaking a leg or something. I mean, rationally I know that she's a fairly good-sized horse (16.2 hands, I think), but emotionally she's this delicate little thing with leg bones about as thick as my wrists...
     
    05-20-2013, 07:34 PM
  #83
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf    
Oh, I've done that. Not always intentionally, I admit

Thing is, most of the forest around here is second-growth pine, with lots of deadfall (and/or logging slash), and I worry about the critter tripping over it, maybe breaking a leg or something. I mean, rationally I know that she's a fairly good-sized horse (16.2 hands, I think), but emotionally she's this delicate little thing with leg bones about as thick as my wrists...
Footing is my biggest concern when I do this, especially critter holes. They're just the right size to fit a hoof in and are very hard to see.
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    05-20-2013, 08:05 PM
  #84
Trained
My biggest concerns off trail are these:



I figure one brush against one of those, and Mia would be a buckin' & a snortin' & a fartin' to the Mexico border and beyond...

They also lie in chunks on the ground, waiting for a horse's foot. I automatically scan the trail ahead...years of jogging taught me the hard way that stepping on one of these ruins your afternoon!

     
    05-20-2013, 09:32 PM
  #85
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
What is 'better training'? Are you speaking of exposure to different sights and sounds? Of course a horse who is USED to trail riding will be less reactive than one who isn't.
Getting them so that they are less reactive on the trail is training them.

I love to trail ride. Getting out in nature, seeing wildlife, streams, trees, flowers, etc. To me, it is the whole point.

If I want to show my horse, she will need that type of training as will I.
     
    05-25-2013, 10:49 PM
  #86
Weanling
Some arena people simply aren't interested in trail riding, and that's fine.

I can't help but think they're missing out, especially if they think they couldn't possibly learn anything from it, or that it's just "walking along in the woods."

Maybe that's been their past experience with "trail riding" - going on some guided trail ride on vacation where the horses are nose-to-tail and just plod along a well-worn path. If that's the case. . .then yeah, I find that kind of trail riding a bit boring as well.

Some don't do it because they keep their horse at a facility without trail access and don't own a trailer to get them to nearby parks with a trail system. Or, they'd like to do it but some personal fears, or not having a horse suited to the task, prevents them from trying it.

But I do notice an attitude among some "strictly trail" riders who have never taken any formal lessons, they don't think they need lessons, and they think they're much better riders than they really are.
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    05-25-2013, 11:12 PM
  #87
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Badger    
Some arena people simply aren't interested in trail riding, and that's fine.

I can't help but think they're missing out, especially if they think they couldn't possibly learn anything from it, or that it's just "walking along in the woods."

Maybe that's been their past experience with "trail riding" - going on some guided trail ride on vacation where the horses are nose-to-tail and just plod along a well-worn path. If that's the case. . .then yeah, I find that kind of trail riding a bit boring as well.

Some don't do it because they keep their horse at a facility without trail access and don't own a trailer to get them to nearby parks with a trail system. Or, they'd like to do it but some personal fears, or not having a horse suited to the task, prevents them from trying it.

But I do notice an attitude among some "strictly trail" riders who have never taken any formal lessons, they don't think they need lessons, and they think they're much better riders than they really are.
I don't see why arena riders wouldn't want to broaden their horizons though. I guess in a way I am one of those "strictly trail" riders you are talking about, because I have never had more than a couple formal lessons but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want to. I would love to learn more about English riding for instance (I am a western trail rider). I would love to learn more finesse in the western disciplines. I am fascinated by all areas of horses really. I dabbled in showing once or twice and it was a disaster, but it was still fun.

I still consider myself a decent rider though. I may not be textbook pretty but I have managed to stay on pretty well over the years. I like to think years of riding and being open to new things have taught me a thing or two.

Here's what I guess I have trouble with......say someone rides dressage, jumpers, even western pleasure. They must be pretty good riders, right? They should be better riders than me. They've had lessons and trainers and have probably gotten to be darn good riders. So not leaving the confines of a fence sort of baffles me. Like you have all this training and no where to use it except inside a fence. Weird, right? I know what folks will say....it's by choice. But if you are that well trained, why would you not want to leave the arena?

I guess I see arena work as training for the "real world" and other people see the arena as the end goal. I guess that's the difference.
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    05-26-2013, 12:02 AM
  #88
Weanling
I've done both. I rodeod all my teen years and just lost the taste for it and the people. I love exploring on horseback, but my competitive nature has me shooting for endurance riding.
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    05-26-2013, 10:02 AM
  #89
Foal
Everyone should be able to enjoy riding their way. I'm a trail rider because I love nature. On a hot day, Dixie's favorite place is in the river in a shady spot and I think she'd stand there all day if I let her. People can come and go and she won't try to follow.

One day an island we were riding on was covered with TINY frogs - some so small you wouldn't see until they moved they were so small. We've stood in almost reaching distance of deer - if you stay close to your horse's neck, some deer aren't very scared of the horse and don't realize you're there too. Watched twin fox kits play for 45 minutes, and seen some beautiful scenery, flowers and met some nice folks along the way both on horses, walking, biking or out in their yards near a trail.

Just a note to those going off trail (and I do it at times too), be careful and try to "leave no trace". We as trail riders MUST be responsible and take care of the land so that parks, private landowners or whoever "owns" the land doesn't decide we're tearing things up and close the trails. Don't tear up ground and if you carried it in (drinks, food, etc) carry it back out.

If you ride where bikes share trails, try and educate politely even when the rider may be a jerk. Bike riders can generally generate a lot larger number of supporters if it becomes a "horse use vs. bike use" fight . I've found most bike riders to be very respectful of horses and those who don't know best safety policies to be receptive to educating them.
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    05-26-2013, 04:39 PM
  #90
Weanling
I got Rio in October without any knowledge of his past. I was told he was healthy enough to ride, but no one knew if he was trained to ride. I'd been on horseback twice in my life in my 28 years. Sounds like a good match, right? Well, there's only one way to find things out so I borrowed tack and a helmet and climbed on. Over the last six months we've had our issues, primarily because he's a big horse and has a very dominant personality. I'm a small and quite meek person.

I bring this up because during this time I've read everything I can find online about horses. I've been talking to horsey people and making horsey friends here and there and whenever I mention that I'm having an issue or something the main response I get is that he needs to be lunged in a round pen and we need to ride in an arena to work on specific things. I do not have a round pen and what I've learned is that I have a horse that gets extraordinarily bored and frustrated being asked to ride with no purpose. We were getting nowhere fast when I was riding him in enclosed spaces. What I got was head tossing and attitude.

So I decided one day to get a change of scenery and we just walked down the dirt road for maybe 1/4 mile if that far. And you know what? My horse turned into a totally different animal. His hears were forward, he was attentive to my cues, and he became pleasant to be around. Instead of raising his head up out of my reach he will basically bridle himself now.

While I understand there are pros to arena riding, that type of a situation was just not working for us. And that's ok. I have made friends with horses that absolutely hate going out on the trail for various reasons. And that's ok. This is a hobby that's supposed to be enjoyable for the horse and rider. So do what you like and like what you do. The relationship that grows between horse and rider is, in my opinion, the most important aspect of anything we're doing as riders.


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