The important thing is that you and your horse stay safe. If you don't have control of your horse or you aren't confident, then you may want to consider riding with a buddy until you do become confident or able.
IMost trail riders describe setting the goals for the horse - down this trail this way, up the hill at this point, etc. And then the horse is expected to figure out how to get the job done.
That's exactly it!
..how we got up some small but steep spots was totally up to her.
Yeah, because I'm completely occupied with hanging on for dear life One of the perils of riding with someone who has maybe half a century of experience: what looks easy to her is sometimes more than a little nerve-wracking to me.
I don't even know the names of most maneuvers. I have no idea how to signal 'put a foot there'.
Same here, or maybe even more so. I guess I learned to ride (to the extent I have learned) in the same way I learned how to swim: by being tossed into a deep hole in the creek. I survived, now I can learn some of the fancy strokes
I have to admit- I go out on trail alone a lot. A lot a lot more than it sounds like some, maybe many of the folks on here might think was safe or a good idea. Unfortunately, I am not really an arena person, and my training and schedule doesn't really match up with others' so it's go out alone or don't ride. I choose to ride.
My horse is (was?) green broke, and I am (was?) hardly past green myself, but we go out and ride past scary stuff all the time. The key is that my horse is honest and willing and I'm brave (stupid). So he trusts that I have everything in hand and will choose the safe choices for us both and I pretend that I know what is going on and have any idea what I'm doing. I let him choose the how, and I choose the where and how fast. Sometimes this involves mud or slippery rock or steep grades- I give him his head and trust him to keep himself between me and the ground. He trusts that there's an end to the madness and I'll eventually get him back to the nice safe barn. We both recognize that falling off cliffs or running into barbed wire is probably something we'd rather avoid.
I wouldn't say that I control every part of him, though I can now proudly say we do have side-passing and lateral skills well in hand, including working gates. But, we do have a relationship, a habit as someone else put it, where I am in charge and I will let him look if he likes, but his feet can't stop or change from the speed I previously asked for. He knows it, I know it, and though he has surprised me with skills previously unknown (trotting sideways, for example) when something startled him, he is in the habit of obeying and following our established agreement despite all the new (potentially scary) things we see on a regular basis.
You've gotta put miles in on the trail to get a good trail horse, no two ways about it IMO.
I have to remember to take pics on my little tramples down through the neighborhood. I got Trusty out for another ride yesterday evening for 3 miles. One of the roads we went on is dirt and ends at the highway. Apparently the county has been building drain offs out of concrete on either side of the road and had the bales of hay staked down to halt erosion.
Trusty has seen sq bales before, but apparently none with short sticks rising up out of them. He did not want to go between the horse eaters which gave me an opportunity to work on him trusting me. Every time he would try to back or turn then circles was what he got then release when he was facing the bales. After about 5 minutes he finally stutter stepped his way up between them all while heavy traffic was going by on the highway. None of which bothered him in the least.
Once we got past them I had him go past them a couple times each and then sent him right over the top of them without even so much as a huff. Proud I tell you!
Here he is when we got back and let my 12 year old have a go around the yard him. He is amazing to me and I must be honest that I teared up as I watched my itty bitty baby girl looking so grown up on him.
Haha,,yeah, no doubt. She adores him to pieces as she says. She sits at the gate to wait til I'm ready to head out for a ride and sits there waiting for me to come back hoping she can ride before putting him back out with his herd.
I think I will saddle him up and walk along side her on him around part of the neighborhood tomorrow just to give me the walking exercise I need. Lol I could stand to lose a pound or 20. I've got other plans already this evening so I will miss out today and the wife doesn't have enough trust in herself or the horses to do it.
I'm not sure how but my first post in here was originally typed while reading the 2013 riding log thread. I don't know how it got put in here and my apologies as I read my comment and frankandbeans posts I immediately thought I was was, again, in the other thread and typed my second response.. I did not mean to post like this in your thread.
P.S. I tried to dislike your post frankandbeans..lol I don't want to find another horse...<walks away stomping feet>
Achhh... all this talk about control and precise movements on the trail. Bah humbug!
I go out, flip the proverbial coin and head in a direction. If there is something in the way, we figure out how to get around, go over, under or through. If the horse can't figure out where to put her feet on the trail, then she'd better figure it out for herself because I'm watching the trail up ahead, the wildlife, the scenery and generally enjoying myself. And if she goes to close to a tree, she finds out very quickly how much I don't like getting my knee whacked. She doesn't do that as often anymore. LOL.
I trail ride precisely for the reason that neither I nor my horse have to be precise. If I wanted to do precision, I'd do something else.
Not everyone is like me, but not everyone is like you (generic). What works for you, doesn't work for me. And that's OK.
Speaking of behaving on the trail, took Mr. Scotty Too Hotty on his favvy trail that he will take every opportunity to prancey dancey around on. I usually do his flexing & circling to sort him out, takes about 5 or 10 mins to get him to Mr. Scotty Too Smoothy again. This time I just took him off the trail and right into the bush through the brush & deadfalsl and made him do a loop through that. Worked like a charm, hot to smooth, record time.