Horse enthusiastic about trails? Do I need to fix something? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-26-2020, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Horse enthusiastic about trails? Do I need to fix something?

I'd like to take my green horse out on trails this fall. He's not a spooky sort, but he hasn't done much off property work, so I've been trying to take baby steps out onto the trails. I've started by taking walks and ground driving out on the trails and roads. Whenever we're off property his ears are up, he investigates anything I'll allow him to, but he also doesn't seem scared. He goes down the trail with a good forward, marching walk. Traffic, even big trucks and honking horns, is a non issue.

The weird thing happens when we turn around to go home. He slows right down, drifts left, drifts right, and will try to turn back around if given the chance. I was really betting on him wanting to go home, but that definitely isn't the case. I don't work him hard as soon as we're home either, I usually just turn him straight out with his buddies. That doesn't stop him from waiting by the gate until I leave.

So... Should I treat this as a problem? So far I haven't, but I don't know if there's potential for his enthusiasm to come back and bite me. I've never had this happen before. I haven't gotten around to actually riding down a trail (hurt my back in an unrelated incident) but I suspect he'd act the same, if not more forward.
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-26-2020, 08:02 PM
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Doesn't sound like a bad thing to me at all! I used to have one who was keen to head out. She was always a ton of fun to take our for adventures!
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-27-2020, 03:20 AM
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One of the most difficult fillies I ever started loved,to go out and about. She was one of the boldest I have ever ridden. I had so many great adventures on her.

She didn't slow down coming home - most of our rides were circular but she would spook and buck!

One day imwasmriding her out at 5 a.m. I had a short distance along a road. A big truck met us on a corner. The driver hit the brakes to slow down and they hissed. Filly swung her butt towards the truck and double barrelled at it, not at all afraid, just telling it off for hissing at her.

I loved that filly.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-27-2020, 06:26 AM
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Sure doesn't sound like a problem to me...
A thinking, adventuresome horse who isn't a spook and likes to be out on trails...bring him on.
Sounds like a great trail partner...
Reluctance to head home...obviously he enjoys being out on trails..a natural sounds pretty darn nice instead of the one who spins, wheels, starts and bolts at every little thing.
A mind and a willing partner to explore with...bring on the trails!!

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-27-2020, 08:02 AM
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Yep, sounds like my Rusty. He is disappointed when I turn him for home and always wants to keep going. Arena work is boring to him, but take him out on the trail, and he's a different horse. He can be a bit overeager and has actually taken off on me at a canter, so I like to remind him I'm there once in a while. Transitions, halts, etc. work well. I have had him stop in front of the padock gate and not want to go in. I laugh, and just nudge him in, then give him a reward once we're in (I always give something at the end of a ride). We avoid roads and traffic, but he also likes to investigate. If he sees deer, he'll want to go make friends with them. He tried to follow some turkeys into the woods. Our beekeper was visiting, wearing his beekeeper outfit, and Rusty walked right up to him to say hello (not near the beehives, luckily). I will let him look at, and sniff new things (when it's safe) and it seems to satisfy him.

So no, it's not a provlem, but you will want to remind him that you make the decisions ultimately. I would vary it with him to reinforce this. Some days you might do the loop backwards, or twice, or make the ride longer or shorter. If he resists going home, just keep the pressure on until he gives in. What you don't want is to just be a passenger while he goes out for a walk. But if he still listens to you, then you're fine.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-27-2020, 09:12 AM
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I've had three like that. I like it!
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-27-2020, 09:53 AM
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I had one horse that loved to go out on trails and was disappointed when we turned back for home, He was one of the smartest horses that i ever had, always looking ahead to what was there waiting for him, never spooked or refused anything. A pleasure to go hacking on alone or in a group.
He was the only horse that i can remember riding out solo on trails after only about three times on his back
I think it's a great thing to have a horse like this, they are far and few between
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-28-2020, 12:10 PM
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Love a horse that wants to head on down the trail!!!!!!
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If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-29-2020, 01:10 AM
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@Ratlady . . I think this will become clear to you, whether or not it is a problem or not. For now . . keep an open mind and ride on!
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-30-2020, 03:54 PM
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Oh no, not a problem at ALL! My mare is the same way - well, she's my 'trail horse' but still, from day one, she always loved exploring. It's fun! I'd say that's a great thing, enjoy it! I always ride solo & it's nice to just be able to take her really anywhere. I love that!
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