This Article is About
horse trail
going round in circles
dangerous things
bird watchers
important things
laid back
My Horse Training Stories : Horse Trail Riding Good And The Bad
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My Horse Training Stories : Horse Trail Riding Good And the Bad

Horse Trail Riding as laid back as it seems can be one of the most dangerous things you do with a horse especially if you are alone.

Horses are unpredictable flight animals and when you combine an environment where anything can happen and does … things can and do go wrong very fast.

In saying that… I horse trail ride alone almost every week … One of the most important things of riding alone it to always be aware of your surroundings… things pop up when your least expecting it .. a branch will fall or a sheep appear.

Why do I ride alone ? … makes for a bold horse and builds trust .. if you can safely guide a horse over a fallen tree or a full creek then they feel more confident on your guidance that you are not going to let anything happens too them.

Plus the fact that being a single mum my time is very limited … I have to ride when I get a chance and if I missed the opportunity that’s one less day I get to ride and work my horses.. so riding alone has become common place… but I always make sure I carry a mobile phone, wear a helmet and make sure my gear is safe and not going to break.

I would have to say the biggest plus is that both the horses and I love going out on the trails … not only do we enjoy the scenery … but we do a lot of training .. everything from leg yielding to neck reining … transitions to head set. If you can keep your horse round, light and focused on the trail then you really know he is concentrating on you . Trail Riding also eliminates boredom … going round in circles all day is like some form of torture if you ask me and I believe a lot of the worlds top dressage rider don’t just do dressage and will take their horse out for a trail … in order to keep them sane.

I recently took my mare Flick out for a trail ride in the national park … about 1000 acres of trails but no motorbikes … though in saying that I have to say bird watchers are the most dangerous thing out there … they sit quietly off the track usually a couple of meters where you cant see them and always like to say hi just as your passing give both you and the horse a heart attack !!

But on this particular ride there had been a huge amount of rain for a few days before hand so the ground was extremely wet and the trials huge puddles .. Flick hates water so a perfect day for a ride where she was able to get heaps of practice!!

We headed off to the left .. intending to circle back right and do a loop avoiding what I thought would be the wettest place … I certainly got it half wrong … we headed up the hill which was surprisingly dry asked for trot she decided slow canter … I was naughty and let her go …

Before I go on .. I have to say it is much easier to un-train your horse than train it in the first place … esp on the trails … every time you do something like I did you are telling the horses they can do what they want … give the horse enough of these un-training lessons and they will start trying to do what they want all if the time and you will have a fight on your hands …

In saying that I let her go of course she wanted to go faster then .. and gave me a bit of a fight … which prob wouldn’t have happened if I had stopped her in the beginning !! …. But instead I decided if she didn’t want to listen then was time for some flat work … so we came to the top and took a right along a straight track the width of a car which runs under the big power awning and makes a charming ticking sound when its wet you can feel the electricity in the air …

We have ridden here many times before and so I know it doesn’t worry her .. she also doesn’t have steel shoes … if these had been new trails and I didn’t know the trails I would be reluctant to ask a worried horse through here alone as its not fair .. its quite unnatural.

But flick and I have been down here many many times ….. we did our flat work up and down the awning hills .. took another right thinking I was pretty smart to have picked a dry trail …. And then we came to this ….

Now firstly I must say this is not a creek!! …this is usually dry … often some puddles but crikey … is was about 30cm or a foot deep and was for about 200m of trail …

Flick didn’t blink and eye … there was no way out … for a horse that would normal rather avoid water she was a total champ … happily walked through … not that she had much choice

Now I have to say if I had chosen to go the other way and had circled to the left I would have met this on the other side going out on the trails and I bet my bottom dollar that she would have fought me and not wanted to go .. but because by the time we came upon the water we were heading home she was more than happy to plunge in … and off we went happily home … past lots of fallen branches as well … just to keep life interesting … though better than the 2m long goanna we had come upon the week before!!

That’s the trick to making horses go where we want .. out smart them … pick your battles … we will never win physically but our brains will!! … but in saying that of you treat the horse like their stupid you have already lost ..

I hope u enjoyed my article … I am no expert and am just sharing my own experiences as I try to follow my dream of becoming a horse trainer … Thanks Nic

Street Talk


You're on your way to becoming a horse trainer. I like to call it teaching because of the incredible intelligence of a horse. Have you read Basic Training for a Safe Trail Horse? It's a small paperback available at Amazon for less than $10. I think the information in it will add to the knowledge you already have, and some of it is truly innovative.

  about 8 years ago

Hey Thanks for the encouragement .. def teaching ... but them teaching us ! .. will check out the book thanks ... please check out my other stories .. Nic

  about 8 years ago
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