...to introduce a green horse to the trails? What are good trail prep exercises and good things to expose a horse to before actually going on a trail? Should another more experienced horse accompany him? Should he be lead? Etc..
I like to take young horses along with experienced horses. I often pony my youngster alongside if I'm out by myself. Once comfortable and IF the area is safe, I let them loose and let them run along side with complete freedom. The herd instinct kicks in and they won't wonder very far from the herd companions. ( I do this with horses too young to ride, yearling and two year olds)
By time they are 3 and we start light rides on them, they are already comfortable with most trail obsticles.
New horses that I'm not sure about. I like to go with a seasoned horse and just follow them down the trail a couple of times. After they have seen the trail a couple of trips, it's time for them to do it alone and develope some confidence.
I have started many young horses over the years and just take them out alone. I don't like another horse along, someone he can lean on. I want it just me and him, one on one and I do it within the same week I start him. As soon as I can stop and turn him I head right out on the trails, no prep and it works out fine.
It depends on the horse. If he's young and spooky, pony him a few times and then take him out with another horse a few times. If he's a sensible horse generally, introducing him to trails shouldn't be a big deal, just hop on and head out. If he needs a friend to help settle his nerves, by all means make it easier for him rather than harder till he gets familiar with the new sights and sounds and footing. There's nothing better for trail prep than actually being on the trail, it's not necessarily much different than pasture life, depending where your horse lives.
He's not spooky by nature, and doesnt look for things to be afraid of, but when he does get spooked, he's genuinely afraid. I think I'll take him out through the trails in hand, then undersaddle with another horse with him, then by himself. Hows that sound?
Yup sounds like a good plan! I would always recommend taking them out with a seasoned horse a few times...I never have to trail brake horses...just road brake them...cars an large trucks are not your best friend with a green horse lol I doubt large rocks an stumps would be your friend on the trails with a green horse lol