Originally Posted by luke4275
I;ve been riding just 9 months and went on my 2nd trail ride today. We were 3.. the instructor, me and one other rider. So, teacher is first then, the other guy bec his horse wanted to be in front then me.. I don't like being in the back. I don't like worrying about getting kicked from the middle horse if we get too close, ( horses like to be close) and I don't like it when the middle rider is going too slow as a big gap is evident between him and the first rider. I'd prefer a trail where 3 of us are all riding side by side, equal pace.. etc.. Does this exist? Am I a bad trail rider for being annoyed by all this? ( It does cost a lot of money to go out on a trailride ) this trail had some people and dogs too.. Horses are ok but certainly froze when they saw an object.. that ok for trailride?
I'm guessing the 3rd rider is also a student, probably more of a beginner than you which is why he's in the middle, and doesn't know that good trail etiquette would ask him to keep his horse up with the trainer's. Maybe ask your trainer to go over Trail Etiquette with both of you.
It's up to you to keep your horse's nose out of the next horse's bum. You can do several different things to stop that, from stopping repeatedly to circling repeatedly. One thing I like to do with my horses is what I call the "conveyor belt". Each horse gets a turn out in front, in the middle and in the back, "riding drag'. Everyone lines up, moves out at a nice pace and the first horse leads for 20-30 feet and then peels off to the back of the line and the 2nd horse moves up for 20-30 feet and then peels off and moves back. Repeat as often and as long as necessary. It's a good way to build confidence in a horse who doesn't like to lead or be last, gives those in the middle time to learn to hold their pace and stay out of the horse in front of them and helps maintain a good pace for the ride. Maybe your trainer would be open to something like that?
The person in the front is responsible for calling out hazards (low branch) and/or avoiding them so is usually the most experienced person on the ride. Any beginners or less experienced riders are put in the middle of the group for safety. The person in the back, riding drag, is also responsible for calling out any problems from behind (rider off or broken tack, etc). I like to ride drag the best, I can pretty much set my own pace and do my own thing while watching out for the middle folks, and I don't have to listen to incessant chatter. Some folks on a ride love to yak and I prefer to stay quiet. Trail Riding Etiquette: 20 Courtesy Tips for Equestrians - Yahoo Voices - voices.yahoo.com Trail Etiquette – America’s Horse Daily Trail Etiquette