relaxing on trails - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-08-2009, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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relaxing on trails

ok so in a month or so we r getting a trailer and western saddle and we r going to start doing trails! i am SUPER excited! but today we were tlking and this is what i think...i think that on trails it should be relaxing NOT work related worring about you or your horses position etc. (i am an english rider but think me and my horse need a fun place to relax) *ALSO* (this isnt really trail related) we r starting to do certain exercises like leg yields and all that stuff, and my horse gets frustrated sometimes and also gets bored in the ring...so do u have any ideas on how to make it fun, i am definitely NOT going to drill him, i will reward him frequently, but i need a way to jazz up the ride in the ring b/c i no if i was a horse i wouldnt like to go around and around and around (that is y i wanna trail so much ) so plz hlp! all input is welcome! thx!
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-08-2009, 10:03 PM
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Yes, trail rides can be relaxing. But they are also incredibly useful as well. You can get a lot of training done in one trail ride versus 3 rides in the arena. If your horse is bored in the ring, yet you still want to accomplish a leg yeild, practice yeilding from one side of the trail to the other. Open and closing gates will sharpen his maneuverability.
I think it is wonderful that you want to privilege your horse to a life full of trail riding. You will be able to go out for a nice relaxing ride, but just know that you can get a ton of training done in a fun environment. :)

In riding, a horse's energy is like a river- guided by the banks but not stopped by them.
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-08-2009, 10:12 PM
Green Broke
 
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Very well said Koomy! What ever you do in the arena can be put to practical use on the trail. Horses just seem to be more open to the same exercises you do in the arena out on the trail. Plus you have the element of the unknown that really tests how well your horse is listening to you! Have a great time, the more you ride the trails the better it gets.
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-08-2009, 10:15 PM
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I agree 100%

Quote:
Originally Posted by koomy56 View Post
Yes, trail rides can be relaxing. But they are also incredibly useful as well. You can get a lot of training done in one trail ride versus 3 rides in the arena. If your horse is bored in the ring, yet you still want to accomplish a leg yeild, practice yeilding from one side of the trail to the other. Open and closing gates will sharpen his maneuverability.
I think it is wonderful that you want to privilege your horse to a life full of trail riding. You will be able to go out for a nice relaxing ride, but just know that you can get a ton of training done in a fun environment. :)
There are so many things on a trail that expose your horse to different situations as well. There are many "arena great" horses that when taken out of that enviroment, fall apart from all the "outside stimulous". Bravo! To me "mixing things up" make for a more happier horse as well as the person as well!!!

Deanne
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-09-2009, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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wow that is really awesome! i did not no u could do those things on trails! i think i will do some of both, just trail riding with skipping around lookin at stuff and playing, and then trail riding with some exercises in it, whatever works! thanks everyone...and i will still take your input!
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-09-2009, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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i forgot to add this to the above^ lol i can see how leg yielding can be useful when u need to scooch over on a trail, and how it isnt always work, so thats pretty cool! and i just wanna make sure that my horse doesnt associate trails woth work, i want him to think of it as a fun exciting and relaxing place...and i think he will as well as me! and remember i wanna hear your input! thx in advance!
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-10-2009, 04:24 PM
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Believe me your horse will associate a trail ride with fun, EVEN if you are working him all day along the trai.

Yesterday I rode in Bryce Canyon. Narrow trails with Steep drop offs. I was constantly asking my horse to yeild off my leg and get away from the edge.



We had to cross blown down logs, streams, mud. We passed through tunnels, and narrow gaps.


We moved at walk, trot and canter. He had to be soft when i asked him to. I frequenty asked him to bend both verticle and laterially. I practice my one rein stop frequently during a trail ride. I want to know that my horse WILL do a One Rein Stop 100% of the time, no matter what excite him.

My horses have to learn not to rush obsticles, to be patient when we have to cross them. to listen and respond to the queues I give to get around trail obsticles. When I ride in the canyon country, I don't want a horse getting excited and jumping off a cliff with me. I ride my horse through places lots of folks get off and lead. But I've taught my horses, even my young ones, to behave.


Your horse will learn to neck rein as you ride down the trails. The horse is going to follow the trail, the slightest touch of the reins on his neck will
guide him down the trail, this become a habit for him that he will remember in the arena.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-10-2009, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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wow u r so lucky...that canyon is BEAUTIFUL! thanks for the input and please keep it comin! thx
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-13-2009, 07:52 AM
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All great advise! As for relaxing vs training, remember that any time you are on or near your horse you are training. It doesn't have to be drills but you are certainly giving him a lesson.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.


It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-13-2009, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iridehorses View Post
All great advise! As for relaxing vs training, remember that any time you are on or near your horse you are training. It doesn't have to be drills but you are certainly giving him a lesson.
Very true Iride. Around here we call that the difference between being a rider and a passenger.
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