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teaching alone trail riding

This is a discussion on teaching alone trail riding within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        04-19-2013, 12:00 PM
      #21
    Yearling
    First and foremost, you have to have 100% control over your horse's body parts before you ever go out on a trail. Secondly, you have to be 100% OK within yourself before you ask your horse to be 100% OK with what you are doing to it. Thirdly, you need to know the moment your horse loses focus on you and get that attention back immediately. I am guessing your horse "loses it" way before you notice anything is wrong. By the time you notice, he is already in over his head without any help from you. So, pay attention to his breathing. This is a huge indicator that he is getting uncomfortable. If he starts holding his breath stay where you are and ask for a circle or a leg yield, anything really, that gets the focus back on you and his breathing returns to normal. Then proceed. You might only make it one foot before he starts holding his breath. That's fine, just repeat the process.

    And it isn't that they aren't scared or nervous going home, they just have all their focus on home, so less chance of noticing the scary bush or horse-eating log. Same thing, though. Don't let them rush, or pick the way. You make all the decisions for them. If it feels like they are anticipating a left turn, take them right.
    Corporal, BellaIris and beachluvr like this.
         
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        04-19-2013, 12:24 PM
      #22
    Foal
    Sahara and all, thank you!! I do notice her breathing difference, I will circle her to get her back paying attention to me, all wonderful thoughts and suggestions. She is great as she is not a bolting horse, just stops with her feet planted...loose my balance at times but not enough to fall off......yet:)
    This has been helpful because, at my barn there are not a lot of trail riders 6 months of the year, and I love to/have to go out alone. I want to get to the point where we do it second nature...within reason!
    AnitaAnne likes this.
         
        04-19-2013, 12:50 PM
      #23
    Trained
    I assume this is a picture of you and your horse. I am not trying to be a know-it-all. I want you to know that I write sincerely, thinking of your safety. I am 55yo, and have NO DESIRE to fall off riding anymore. I used to have stone-broke horses, than have all passed on now, and they lived well into their 20's. Two of them were with me for 23 years of their lives. (I used them for 10 years of riding lessons and DH & I did CW Reenacting/trailriding for 26 years, and nothing would spook these horses.) It takes a LOT of training to make a reliable trail horse. It is NOT "This horse can ALWAYS be a trail horse, if the other training doesn't work out."
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beachluvr    
    She is great as she is not a bolting horse, just stops with her feet planted...loose my balance at times but not enough to fall off......yet:)
    This has been helpful because, at my barn there are not a lot of trail riders 6 months of the year, and I love to/have to go out alone.
    You have a very spooky horse who is not ready to be trail ridden. Are your barn facilities boring for you? Find some friends to play horse games with you and further train your horse to obedience.
    I don't ride alone, or when my family is gone. (My horses are in my back 5 acres.) And, I've been training my horses since 1985.
    NO tack is 100% effective to keep you from getting dragged in the saddle. (Have you seen the drag the rider scene in "Seabiscuit?") My arm was broken when my gelding, who wasn't ready for our hobby, spooked and bucked me 9 ft. In the air. (My friends gave me after action reports.)
    ANY TIME a horse plants his/her feet, they are frightened and considering running away. YOU on the back could keep your horse from running, so your horse will probably throw you. On the trail, there is no guarantee that your cell phone will be available for you to call for help. If your arms are both broken, how will you dial? You say that few people at your barn trail ride. How LONG would it be before somebody notices that you are missing?
         
        04-19-2013, 12:51 PM
      #24
    Trained
    I own three horses right now, all getting one year older. My 15yo KMHSA mare is a CW Reenacting Veteran. She and my 7yo KMH gelding are trail ready and can handle most things, like when he flushed a clutch of wild turkeys and didn't flinch. My 7yo QH isn't quite ready for trail riding, but we have minimal trail riding available, mostly bc the RR spur 1/4 mile south of us was closed and is used by ATV riders--we're ridden it before, and will be good for practice. I would'nt even THINK of riding any of them SOLO, like you want to do, out on these trails, even though all three of my horses are a more reliable ride than yours.
    PLEASE get some training help, and take your time. I'd rather see you post about what other activities you and your horse should do, instead of your injury photos.
         
        04-19-2013, 01:04 PM
      #25
    Trained
    This is all purely my opinion because I don't know the horse or rider involved.

    It's not about teaching her to ride out alone, its about her trusting you as the leader and looking to you for guidance and about giving her the confidence in herself and you.

    In other words, groundwork groundwork groundwork. Control her feet and her body. Make her understand that her brain can do whatever the heck it wants as long as she doesn't move a hoof out of line. Des Sofia's her to scary things, noises, colors, textures. Put the tools in her toolbox so that she can draw on them when you're asking her to do something that's actually pretty unnatural for a horse.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        04-19-2013, 01:48 PM
      #26
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sahara    
    First and foremost, you have to have 100% control over your horse's body parts before you ever go out on a trail.
    If that were true, would anyone ever be able to trail ride?

    Maybe a bit off topic (and gawd knows I'm no expert), but some of the posters here just seem to live in a different world. Like everyone has ready access to an arena, and thinks it's normal to spend countless hours riding around one before ever venturing out...
    NorthernMama, cebee, bsms and 5 others like this.
         
        04-19-2013, 02:09 PM
      #27
    Trained
    Jamesqf, you are misunderstanding our advice. It takes an experienced trainer probably 18 months 5 days/week/at LEAST one hour training to produce a finished horse.
    (Please don't split hairs on this thread about your definition of "finished." My reasons for giving advice is the welfare of the OP, NOT to win an argument.)
    I have been been hurt misjudging a horse's behavior. So have two of my DD's, and my DH. Would you prefer that we say nothing? Maybe I should wait for the graphic injury photos, and then say, "I could have told you so."
    Start doing some SERIOUS study about horse training. There used to be very little, but now there is an explosion of information available to help you. We have threads every week with good advice. We also threads here every week that shows that somebody should have known better and not gotten hurt.
    IF you suffer a concussion, and have an additional concussion within 6 months you could suffer permanent head injuries. This happens when you are thrown from your horse.
    Don't be proud. We all know that too many unfinished horses get sold to people you don't know how to fix the problems. It is an emotional high to own and ride a horse, so people make excuses for their horse's bad behavior.
         
        04-19-2013, 02:46 PM
      #28
    Trained
    Hah stupid auto correct. Des Sophia should be desensitize her.
    Posted via Mobile Device
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        04-19-2013, 04:47 PM
      #29
    Foal
    Thanks dancing and james! My barn has indoor and outdoor arenas and two round pens all of which I use and love. I feel I do have her respect on the ground. Maybe I exaggerated when I was describing my horse and me riding alone. We have been riding alone for a year now off and on depending who is around. I ride her to the beach alone and she will even put her front hooves in the water.
    I am one that takes calculated, safe risks, but nothing is a given.
    That is my picture, I will be 60, my first horse and she is 5! I love every minute I am around her.
         
        04-19-2013, 05:50 PM
      #30
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jamesqf    
    If that were true, would anyone ever be able to trail ride?

    Maybe a bit off topic (and gawd knows I'm no expert), but some of the posters here just seem to live in a different world. Like everyone has ready access to an arena, and thinks it's normal to spend countless hours riding around one before ever venturing out...
    Well, I don't know where you trail ride, but if I don't have 100% control of my horse's shoulder or rib cage or hind end, we might go right over a bluff should something unexpected happen. If she spooks at a wild turkey or we flush out some pheasants, I'd like to know I can disengage her hind end before she decides to bolt or buck. So, yeah, I want to be able to control my horse's body parts. It is called preparation. Setting up for success. Whatever. I will spend as many countless hours as it takes to make sure my horse and I will be safe no matter where we ride. You say it like there is something wrong with that??

    I didn't say you needed an arena. You can work with your horse anywhere it is feasibly possible. Even on the trail.
    Corporal and beachluvr like this.
         

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