Side pass, other skills for the trail?

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Side pass, other skills for the trail?

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    02-13-2010, 12:25 AM
Green Broke
Side pass, other skills for the trail?

Hi all! I got a new trail horse at the end of October and she is 15 years old and didn't know how to side pass (!), so everytime I ride her, I have been working on getting her to side pass both directions. The ultimate goal being that we side pass up to gates and work them with ease. So she is starting to get really good at it and I am very pleased.

It just go me to thinking, what other skills do you like to teach your horses for the trail?

I also like my horses to neck rein, back well, and of course stand while I mount, from both sides. So those are things I like to practice. Oh, and to ride alone. Any horse I own must be able to ride alone.

What skills do you like to teach and practice with your trail horses? What do you think it is important for them to know?
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    02-13-2010, 12:35 AM
Green Broke
Haunch turns and forehand turns have come in super handy for me. We don't go on many 'actual' trails because I can't get under the branches.
    02-13-2010, 12:45 AM
Years ago, I did NATRC competative trail riding. Those judges always asked for something I couldn't get my horse to do. And some times I came home thinking, Wow that judge was petty. But after a few years, I started seeing where IF my horse could do what that judge had asked me that day long ago, it would have made my ride better or safer.

Side passing, backing ( especially uphill or when bumping their heels against something) Circling close to an object. Pulling out a slicker and shaking it out and putting it on while horse back. Being able to drag a log ( or a calf) back to the fire, to cross water, to cross bridges, tarps, and other things that cover the ground. I need to be able to load things on my horses back. I pack my camp, I haul deer and elk that I've shot, I pack hay and salt blocks, and all these things are often covered in a tarp or canvas mante.
    02-13-2010, 12:50 AM
Green Broke
I was a judge on one of the events. The rider to come up to a hitching post, get off, tie the horse off, walk away for a few minutes, get back on and continue to the next place. I was told specifically to mark down everyone that tied the horse with their reins. I was back with the judges later that evening and I heard a guy just flipping out. He'd missed out by one point - the point I docked because he tied his horse with his reins.

The other judges didn't say I was the one that did it, thankfully, but they did explain to him why he was docked.

Those events are so much fun.

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