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jazzrider
Nov. 2, 2007, 03:28 PM
I'm always a little sad that this part of the forum isn't more active. Now that I've got a new horse, and he's Mr. Trailwalker (Luke!), I'm really falling in love with trail riding again. I particularly love it when we fall behind or move ahead and it's just him and me. He's just so happy to be out and walking big, I can almost hear him humming. He looks back at me periodically for assurance. It really gives me a sense of contentment and peace.

Back when I was riding my hot OTTB out on trail, for some reason I absolutely loved riding in the rain. I think the sound of the rain calmed both of us.

What do you love about being out on the trail?

cowboymom
Nov. 2, 2007, 03:55 PM
It would be difficult for me to pick just one thing... I've already thought of several in the last couple minutes!

We don't just go for trail rides, we go on pack trips in the back country which emcompasses so much more than just a trail ride... I love planning the first trip of the year, digging out the pack saddles and planning the meals, seeing all our equipment again after a long winter. I love when we finally have all the packs tied on to the horses and when we get the string lined out and leave the trailhead, leaving civilization and heading back to the mountains, the first steep climb that takes all the steam out of our spring-fresh horses and makes them smell like sweat, love when we get into the timber and can smell the pines and warm dirt, love when we finally get to camp for the first time of the year and we can barely hold the horses back b/c they know where we are and want to run in, love the smell of the wild onions being stepped on by the horses in the meadow when we get to camp, love the smell of the dead pine needles burning when we start the first fire. Love waking up and hearing the "good morning" nickers from the hitching rail from the hungry horses... love full days of nothing but horses, dogs, friends, family and <beer> :winkgrin:

Dang spring is a long time away!

Huntertwo
Nov. 2, 2007, 04:12 PM
This is actually my favorite Forum ;) I find everyone very helpful in a nice way, not snarky like some of the other forums can get.

Wow, there is a lot I love about the trails. I've already mentioned it on another post, but I think the one on one trust between you and your horse is my most favorite thing. "We" both rely on each other to keep each other safe. And I love the way she puts her trust in me.

The leaves are changing color and starting to fall here in New England. Love the sound and smell of the crunching leaves. And when it is breezy the falling leaves remind me of snow. (Without the cold:))

NC Trail Girl
Nov. 2, 2007, 04:27 PM
Hhmmm, I think CM def. summed it up!

I really enjoy the connection I have w my horse on the trails. It's so peaceful, no structure, no rules, just the sound of hooves crunching along in the soft forest floor.

We camp a few times a month and trail ride every weekend.

I think it mostly freedom that I love.

Orn1218
Nov. 2, 2007, 04:59 PM
I love seeing things that everyone drives by and never notices. I ride along back roads and get to see different flowers in bloom in the spring, or the subtle changes in the leaves as fall comes and goes, a fox and her kits scurrying, all sorts of things people just rush on by and never take notice of.

saddleup
Nov. 2, 2007, 05:12 PM
I love that I see things and countryside I'd never see otherwise. I love how eager my horse is to get going, the spring in his step. I love stopping for lunch, tying them to a tree and sitting on a log, eating sandwiches and sharing an apple with the horses. I love seeing a moose and her baby, or a herd of bachelor elk, and having them be unconcerned about our presence, and the horses alert but unworried by the wildlife.

But most of all I love the trust and partnership I feel with a really good trail horse. The feeling that even if we get into a sticky situation, we'll get out of it just fine.

Priceless.

sublimequine
Nov. 2, 2007, 05:49 PM
There's a lot of things I love about trail riding. :)

1. Getting out into nature, seeing new or different things, giving your horse a nice change of scenery. Looking down to see your horse with its head up not because it's being defiant, but because it's enjoying the scenery just as much as you are!

2. The changing seasons seen on the trails. If you ride in an arena in August, it'll be the exact same as riding in the arena in Sepetember. Gets real boring real fast. I love seeing the flowers in the summer, the leaves in the fall, the snow in the winter.. no two rides are ever the same.

3. Unexpected obstacles to have some fun and to learn with. Stepping over logs, going up and down little hills, going through creeks, etc. Horses can learn so much on trail, and they're learning in a really nice, low-pressure, no-hurry way. I hate to even call it 'training', they're just.. 'learning'! :winkgrin:

4. The space to just let your horse out and to just GO! I loooove finding a nice expanse of field, getting up into a two-point, and just letting my mare have at it. Whether it's her warp-speed trot that she does, or popping into a nice, big, strong canter that's flirting with crossing into a hand-gallop. Even if she throws a little buck, I know that's about the only time she's bucking because dangit, she's having a blast! :D

katarine
Nov. 2, 2007, 05:59 PM
Going out west each summer to ride with CBM ;)

hey stranger! :D

Pocket Pony
Nov. 2, 2007, 06:06 PM
My favorite thing is the feeling of partnership I have with my horses when we're out on the trails. I also like "relaxing" and not feeling like I have to do something perfectly - I just need to go out and enjoy myself. I like facing challenges together and having trust in each other to get out of a sticky situation. I love galloping through the woods, just me and my horse. I love discovering new trails and seeing where they lead. I love the quiet solitude. I love it all!

GallopGirl
Nov. 2, 2007, 10:13 PM
When I'm out on trails, my life disappears and all I can see is the world, full of possibilities around me. Stress from work, stress from home, stress from life melts away. It's as if I take the load off my shoulders before I get on my horse, and when I pick it back up again once I get back to the barn, somehow it seems a little lighter.

Beverley
Nov. 2, 2007, 11:02 PM
I too enjoy back country camping. But I also enjoy a quick ride around the suburbs after work- better than nothing! And, am fortunate to be able to leave the barn and ride up into the nearby wilderness area.

I guess I just like seeing everything from the back of a horse. And, in these parts, there are so many cool places to ride, it should be a crime!

pandorasboxx
Nov. 3, 2007, 01:13 AM
I love the freedom of the trail, the beauty of the surroundings and the partnership between my horse and I.

Sadly, I find the ring utterly boring after one turn.

ReSomething
Nov. 3, 2007, 01:46 AM
Not that I get to go trail-riding very much any more, but I love being outdoors and looking to see what is around the next bend or over the rise. The smells, seasonal changes, wildflowers, wildlife, grassy meadows, woods, riding a horse who can get his hocks under him going down a hill, picking out a good spot to cross a mudhole or a creek or whatever - it is just really, really enjoyable. Sure I've hiked and gone mountain biking too, but the horse adds just a little something.

Kcisawesome
Nov. 3, 2007, 07:35 AM
* I love how the partnership with my horse shows up most on the trail, how I can put her in a steady canter and do the tinyest twistiest trails, how I can lean low on her neck and gallop full tilt, but slow back down just by shifting my position.

*I love how much my horse loves the trail. She relaxes so much, she is perky and interested in her suroundings and she just FEELS like a happy horse.

*I love the wildlife, one ride I followed a huge buck(Deer) all the way up a trail, ounce a doe with baby twins crossed my path, I've seen so many hawks and owls and much much more!

* I love the beauty of it.

*I love how the fact that I trail ride every time I ride (even my dressage work is on the trails) and it shows in my horse at events. I won Spring Bay because the footing was TERRIBLE there, but my horse just laped it up because she was so used to riding in the same stuff. I love hoe much of cross country machines my horses are from the wild hilly galloping I always do.

*I love the freedom of it. You and your horse and no one else.

*I love how when you trail ride alot, your horses are happier, better trained, healthier, more athletic, looser, quicker-thinking, problem solvers, pick up their knees, will go through "natural obsacles", couldn't care less about footing and are overall much better partners.

matryoshka
Nov. 3, 2007, 08:03 PM
I like how close one can get to wildlife when on horseback. Butch and I often ride trails that aren't frequented very often, and we see tons of deer. Other, better used sections of the trail offer fewer glimpses of deer.

Oh, and surprising a fox or two is always fun!

I also love the sound of crunching leaves in the fall as my horse walks along.

The best things about trail riding: the abscence of fences, walls, and 20 meter circles!

prudence
Nov. 3, 2007, 09:09 PM
All these comments remind me of how incredibly lucky I am to have a horse and to have trails nearby. The pleasure of my horse's company is what draws me to riding on the trail, watching him enjoy himself and his curiosity about what is around the next corner. Endurance riding is great as it's usually fresh country even when we have been there sometimes before. Lots of surprises for the both of us. We haven't been to an endurance ride for over a year, but we try and trail ride at least once a week.

Two other things are the changes where we usually ride, and the enjoyment I get out of riding with my daughter. We ride near Folsom Lake in northern California, and the lake rises and falls both with the seasons and with releases upstream. Right now it's back to being a river where we ride and it's fascinating to ride where ordinarily water is a cover. Yet in the spring the water was up over the trail, lots of fun too. Fish were on the trail and jumping out of the water! How cool is that?

Auventera Two
Nov. 3, 2007, 10:59 PM
When I'm on the trail, it's just me and my horse. I don't worry about ordinary things. I concentrate on every flower, every leaf, every inch of trail as if it were some pathway leading to heaven. Every time I get on the trail I get a big smile thinking of those miserable years gone by stuck inside the arena attempting to perfect the 20 meter circle. Life is too danged short for that. The landscape is so magnificent and it beckons you to explore just a little bit more.

I rode today and my young Arab was hot and fired up for 10 miles. The various spooks and bolts were a bit unsettling, but its something I'll look back on in 25 years and smile about when she's old and creaky and plugs along at a slow walk.

Right now I'm thoroughly enjoying the unsolicited piaffes and aires above the ground because it just feels so good to be part of such a magnificent animal so full of life and vibrance. I try to soak in every moment with her because time is fleeting and I never want it to be said that I didn't enjoy life to the fullest with my best friend. :)

So in summary I would say my favorite part of the trail is sharing it with a stunningly beautiful horse who thoroughly enjoys every moment of life, and never misses an opportunity to revel in the sheer joy of life.

sunridge1
Nov. 4, 2007, 09:47 AM
Becoming one with my horse.
Mary

ShotenStar
Nov. 4, 2007, 11:46 AM
My trail horse is a 15 h QH mare --- alert, intelligent, sensible, willing (mostly -- we have to discuss mud occassionally ... it sucks off mare toes, don't you know.) With her, I can relax and enjoy the world as it goes by at a walking pace.

My dressage horse is a 17 h bundle of nerves and energy -- she is a technical and mental challenge to ride. While I do occassionally take her out on small trail rides, there is much less relaxation in the program. :lol:

*star*

tabula rashah
Nov. 5, 2007, 03:18 PM
I love that I notice things I would never otherwise see.
I love the partnership between myself and my horse.
It's such an amazing feeling to pick up a ground covering trot or a rolling canter and be out on a beautiful day!

Bank of Dad
Nov. 5, 2007, 10:21 PM
I love everything except having it end.

mbd
Nov. 6, 2007, 12:46 AM
Love reading everyone's responses! Mine:

Fresh fallen snow, when we're the first ones to make tracks in it.

Seeing a moose and knowing they're not afraid since we're not making any motorized noise and are not a threat.

Fall leaves, the colors are spectacular.

Spring time, the first green leaves poking out, even if it means the trails are a mucky mess.

Summer, that smell of hot sun, vegetation, whatever it is. You don't smell it except on horseback!

My horse stopping with ears up to tell me there's a critter of some species out there somewhere.

My stress level from life in general dropping proportionate to the miles I'm away from the barn ....

Sharing with the DH (who doesn't ride often) the sounds, smells, and sights of trail riding with horses.

Sharing with a good friend, who does ride often, the sounds, smells and sights!

Camping in the backcountry, when I'm remembering I'm worried about bears, then remembering the horses have spent how-many-thousand years paying attention to those predators so I don't have to. They'll let me know if it's a problem.

Riding in the backcountry, no human sounds for days on end, just a good friend, good horses and good scenery. Whatever the effort to put it together and get out there is worth the reward.

ChocoMare
Nov. 6, 2007, 08:58 AM
The pure joy of riding a horse that's mine. Took me 30 years to buy my own horse. I savor every second.

No RULES

No Trainer yelling at me "Hands together, heels down, sit up, shoulders back, yadda yadda yadda :rolleyes:

Rancher
Nov. 7, 2007, 12:33 AM
No talking and the feel of the horse. I like it quiet. I wanted to ride a horse SO bad when I was a kid. Never got a real chance. Now when I do ride I get taken back to the way I used to imagine it would feel and realize the real thing is so much better.

Serigraph
Nov. 7, 2007, 09:48 AM
Feeling my horse stretch out (after he relaxes, that is) and have a big, ground covering stride.

Seeing his ears up and forward the entire time.

Barely having to use an aid to trot or canter, b/c he is so ready to go on the trails.

No rules, no worrying about your eq, no one else giving unsolicited critiques on you or your horse.

No going in circle after circle after circle

Nature, beauty, scenery

The list is endless...

RydArab
Nov. 7, 2007, 10:15 PM
I love the way my horse's demeanor changes the moment we set foot onto a wooded trail.She steps just a little livelier and her ears tip straight forward as she looks around with interest.She seems almost to vibrate with anticipation, and yet is very calm and hardly ever spooks.

I love the way the sunlight filters through the layers of beech, tulip tree and oak leaves and how it falls on the beautifully diverse textures of each of these lovely old trees.

I love the two smells of horse and of "green" in the air. That green smell that seems nearly the same color as the club mosses and ferns and of the greenbrier vines twisting their way up the trunks of hawthorns and through the shrubby dogroses that we often pass.

I love the crunching sound of fallen leaves and of last year's shedded twigs beneath the hooves of my best friend.

I love the sound of my own breathing synchronized with hers.

I love to be at eye level with some of the autumn wild mushrooms like the orangey sulfur shelf and oyster mushrooms that spiral up tall dead stumps in pale lilac frills.

I love to find myself and my horse in a group of Does who don't run when we pass but only stand and look curiously before resuming the business of nibbling on the redbud leaves.

I love the feeling of insulation from other parts of my life that stay behind, almost forgotten when we head out onto the trails. I adore the peace found in this equine/nature therapy that combines some of the things that I love the most.

I even feel better now- just from thinking so much about it.

:)S.

debbienc
Nov. 10, 2007, 11:09 PM
Definantly the scenery. I love to ride the trials near my home. Look at the scenery, and the only way to get there is by 4 wheeler, or horseback.

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m61/debbienc/Horses/Trails8.jpg

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m61/debbienc/Horses/Trails13.jpg

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m61/debbienc/Horses/Trails11.jpg

matryoshka
Nov. 11, 2007, 11:44 AM
Absolutely gorgeous pics!

debbienc
Nov. 11, 2007, 02:37 PM
Thank-you, and it's free-no leader, no helmets, no cost at all. We don't even have to take the horse trailer; we just ride right down the road onto an off-road that is paved, and then onto unpaved gravel road, that then turns into just trails. It is great. :)

imaginique
Nov. 11, 2007, 08:29 PM
I've always loved being in the woods. When I was little my mom said I used to cry to live in the woods. I love being in the woods with my horse. The horse I have now is a real weenie about going out alone. It's a bit annoying because the two horses I had before him were always willing to go wherever I asked. I've been working on getting him used to splitting up from the others by taking trails that ran parallel or wound away from the main trail for a short distance. A few weeks ago a friend and I were riding and I took the trail to the left and she went right. We both thought the trails would meet up again a short distance away. I wound up at a place I'd never been before so rather than get lost on my own, I decided to backtrack and catch up with my friend on a trail I knew. I never did catch up to her but both my horse and I thoroughly enjoyed our solo ride through fields and trails. It was probably an hour and a half and my horse never once got nervous or excited. We finally met my friend back at the horseman's camp. It was one of the most enjoyable rides I've had this year.:)

Chief2
Dec. 26, 2007, 01:19 AM
I love:

the scenery and changes around the calendar in nature.
companionship with a few select friends
the smells
being with the horses
being away from my home telephone so I don't even think of it ringing

MSP
Dec. 27, 2007, 05:13 PM
Ditto what everyone else said! Thats why we trail ride right? Quiet, peaceful, go places others don't get to see unless they are lucky enough to do what we do.

I think the smells and sounds of nature are my favorite even if I am riding behind houses! Escaping! :cool: