Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeastern PA
Being a British transplant, I am a firm lover of riding on the roads. At first with a green spooky horse, it's wonderful to ride out with a seasoned horse. Your horse gets used to everything, and you will rarely see a spook.
I have no science to back it up, but it's just personal belief that it makes all the leg muscles stronger riding on a tougher surface.
I used to spend all day on Sat hacking out on the roads in England, I'd be gone for 5 hours sometimes more. I grew up with the British Horse Society where we were taught to ride in the road and to take up the space of a vehicle and ride 2 abreast, thereby forcing a car to give you the same respect that they would another car and only pass wide and safe. In fact when riding alone, if I was coming to a corner, I would trot, pull out further towards the middle of the road to block them and put out my arm to suggest that an approaching car wait and pass after the turn.
There is a small tractor path now that goes around where I board. It meets up with the road, but you could stay on the path. I always choose the road. I want my horse to get used to things. Unless I hear a motorcycle and then I move back to the path, as they are apparently horse eating, rear inducing beasts to my stupid animal.
My mare in England was in a parade in Manchester, England's 3rd largest city. The city center didn't close down, but we got one lane of traffic and were passed by NYC style congestion, semi's and everything else. Because my mare had had a million road miles, she didn't give a hoot and was wonderful.
I wish more people rode out on the roads here, so I would have a seasoned horse to go along with my guy.