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View Full Version : All hail the almighty TRAIL HORSE!!!



sublimequine
Apr. 5, 2008, 06:57 PM
So, today it was GORGEOUS out here. 61F, sunny, light breeze, a few scattered clouds. The horses were playful and full of energy, and the property was just milling with activity. There were neighbors mowing lawns, burning scrap wood/branches, horses in pastures running around, lots of stuff going on everywhere!

Out of the 4 people there to ride (excluding myself), I was the ONLY one to ride outside! The most gorgeous day we've had yet, and everyone is clammed up in the indoor arena, I couldn't believe it! Then as I'm tacking up to head outside, I overhear the other folks talking about how with all the lawnmowers, smoke from fire, energetic horses, etc, there's no WAY they were risking the wide open outdoors. One lady rode in the outdoor arena for about 30 seconds, but her high-strung Saddlebred couldn't handle it, and she took him inside.

And there I was, riding miss maresie with my aussie saddle and her wearing her hackamore. I was holding the rein buckle the entire ride, and it was a completely relaxed and AWESOME ride. Her head was down between her knees (the way she goes when she's relaxed.. she's a QH :lol: ), and she plodded through the lawnmower sounds, the smoke, the running horses, without even blinking an eye as her reins literally flopped in the wind. :D

After I finished up my non-eventful, relaxing, nature-stroll-in-the-great-outdoors ride, I realized that trail horses truly are their own entity. My mare might not apply to any specific discipline, she may never be an FEI Dressage horse, or a Congress-winning WP horse, or an award-winning Cross Country horse. But you know what? I can ride my mare through smoke, lawnmowers, and crazy horses without an ounce of worry... because I have a real, bona-fied TRAIL HORSE. And I wouldn't trade that for anything else in the world. :)

So come on, let's gloat about our trail horses! They're the most level-headed horses out there, in my oh so humble opinion (NOT! :lol: ).

sublimequine
Apr. 5, 2008, 07:15 PM
Those big poops why didn't they want to ride outside?!? It was BEAUTIFUL today!!! :eek: I'm so glad you got a great ride in, that's wonderful!!

Sweets and I got a crash course on "riding to win" today. We did a training ride with our local LD champion. Holy crap. I've never galloped and cantered for 13 miles before but I did today! Wow, I have never ridden so fast. I'm gonna hurt for a week. He was so complimentary of my horse and that really felt good. It was a superb day in the horse world for me too! :D

Bonnie, did you ride with him last weekend - that's Michael.

Sublime - you should drive up to the southern Kettles to ride with me! What a nice trail. It was a 3 hour drive for me to get there but totally worth every minute of it.

Oh trust me, if I could, I'd be there in a minute! I don't even have a trailer though. Hopefully this summer though one of my mom's friends is going to trailer us out a few times to hit some outside trails. :D

Auventera Two
Apr. 5, 2008, 07:19 PM
Oh come on girlfriend, you can't be a trail rider without a trailer! :eek: :lol: I'm just teasing you. Well, have them haul you north about 5 hours, okay? :D :lol:

jumpingpercheron
Apr. 5, 2008, 07:20 PM
Today was a work day at the barn (all members have to do atleast 4 work hours a month or else your board goes up and eventually they will just evict you)...anyway...so, I already have my work hours for this month and decided to just go for a little ride. I rode bareback in just a halter and some clip reins with a forklift going by us, traffic, and a ton of lawn mowers and Klein didn't even care. She never does. I love my draftie! She's such a good baby! She'll be 4 in June and I've already rode her through a small town with traffic, dumptrucks going by us, then through a gas station, by a car dealer with barking guard dogs, traffic lights, etc...and she was Miss Manners every time :):D

sublimequine
Apr. 5, 2008, 07:24 PM
Oh come on girlfriend, you can't be a trail rider without a trailer! :eek: :lol: I'm just teasing you. Well, have them haul you north about 5 hours, okay? :D :lol:

I knowww, I think a trailer is going to be one of my first 'big purchases'.. even though it'll be at LEAST a couple years before I can afford one! Not mention I also will need something to pull it.. somehow I think my Honda Civic just can't do that. :lol:

diamond; Sounds awesome! I betcha a 3 year old Dressage horse couldn't do that. ;)

SmokenMirrors
Apr. 5, 2008, 08:35 PM
This past fall my buddy Chuck and I were out trail riding some trails we found half hidden on the back area of a friends property. Chuck rides a wide bodied line back dun QH, Hank, who is a great horse and I was on my tall leggy QH Terry. We decided when the trail ended abruptly to turn and weave our way through the trees and leaves, talking as we did. As we saw the clearing I let Chuck and Hank lead the way, when suddenly Terry stopped.

I thought at first he had to go pee so I patted him and he flicked an ear back then I cued him to move forward. I felt Terry shift to lift his leg and he set it back and shifted his weight, I looked down but because we were in high brush I didn't see anything so I called for Chuck to wait up and I got off. Stepping on the high brush I saw that Terry was standing in the middle of down barbed wire, one piece was wrapped around his foreleg, hence why he wouldn't step. I patted him, telling him what a great boy he was and Chuck held him while I untangled him and asking for him to give me his leg, which he did, freed him from it and led him out.

Another time my friend Peter and his TWH mare Bella went with us riding, he went down to the river, it had rained a week before but the dirt around the river was still muddy and slick in some areas. Peter took Bella down the embankment, played in the water some while Terry and I stayed on firm ground. When he came back up he went off down the trail and cut across some unknown area. We got half way in and when Terry suddenly sunk we realized he took is through a big boggy and very bad area. So, I took a deep breath, dropped my reins, gave Terry his head and told him to get me out of that mess..and damn if he didn't too!

Terry has saved my bacon a few times, I could tell several other tales of him being way more alert when I really should be. He is a wonderful trail horse, has so much go and heart, I can always count on him to get me home safely. He got kicked by Chuck's other mare we took a green rider out on once, about 5 miles from home I felt him stumble and looked down and noticed blood droplets on him, as I had been kicked too and my foot was numb. I immediately stopped, got off, we both stumbled to the edge of the road and he had been kicked on the inside of his back leg about an inch above the joint of his hock! So Chuck and our friend went to my house, got his trailer and came back to get us, but Terry was so stoic and I never noticed that he got kicked too as we checked him over.

So hug those awesome trail horses. As with you all, he may never be a world class pleasure horse, have the most trophies, but he has more go and smarts than most horses.

horselips
Apr. 5, 2008, 09:02 PM
Getting on my soapbox to rant a bit. PLEASE LOOK AWAY NOW!


"FEI Dressage horse, or a Congress-winning WP"

The very idea that you place these 2 very opposing things in 1 sentence...

You may as well have said:

"My son might not be honor student, or trailer trash, but he.."


And before any of you get your knickers in a twist, YES I very much DO know WTF I'm talking about.

And yes, my trail horses, which are trained with dressage standards, also go about their business with tractors, smoke from brush burning (today), dogs barking, cows doing weird cow things.

WP is a ring fantasy for idiots. Artificial gaits, artificial head-set, people dressed like crazed pimps on acid. Weirdness on parade.

And: Exactly what IS "western pleasure"?? A contradiction in terms. A western horse = a working horse. Has nothing to do with the silliness in the ring.


I do agree with the trail horse thing. A good one is the best kind of horse in the world. ;)

sublimequine
Apr. 5, 2008, 09:05 PM
Getting on my soapbox to rant a bit. PLEASE LOOK AWAY NOW!


"FEI Dressage horse, or a Congress-winning WP"

The very idea that you place these 2 very opposing things in 1 sentence...

You may as well have said:

"My son might not be honor student, or trailer trash, but he.."


And before any of you get your knickers in a twist, YES I very much DO know WTF I'm talking about.

And yes, my trail horses, which are trained with dressage standards, also go about their business with tractors, smoke from brush burning (today), dogs barking, cows doing weird cow things.

WP is a ring fantasy for idiots. Artificial gaits, artificial head-set, people dressed like crazed pimps on acid. Weirdness on parade.

And: Exactly what IS "western pleasure"?? A contradiction in terms. A western horse = a working horse. Has nothing to do with the silliness in the ring.


I do agree with the trail horse thing. A good one is the best kind of horse in the world. ;)

This isn't a thread on whether or not you like WP. Please don't try and incite a fight. Sheesh. What is it with COTH and confrontational people lately? :(

SmokenMirrors
Apr. 5, 2008, 10:15 PM
Getting on my soapbox to rant a bit. PLEASE LOOK AWAY NOW!


"FEI Dressage horse, or a Congress-winning WP"

The very idea that you place these 2 very opposing things in 1 sentence...

You may as well have said:

"My son might not be honor student, or trailer trash, but he.."


And before any of you get your knickers in a twist, YES I very much DO know WTF I'm talking about.

And yes, my trail horses, which are trained with dressage standards, also go about their business with tractors, smoke from brush burning (today), dogs barking, cows doing weird cow things.

WP is a ring fantasy for idiots. Artificial gaits, artificial head-set, people dressed like crazed pimps on acid. Weirdness on parade.

And: Exactly what IS "western pleasure"?? A contradiction in terms. A western horse = a working horse. Has nothing to do with the silliness in the ring.


I do agree with the trail horse thing. A good one is the best kind of horse in the world. ;)

Sorry hon..but my gelding AND his sister, whom I also own, were shown in western pleasure and now that they are both retired and I ride my gelding on trails mostly, he can whip pretty much any horse on a trail hands down for stamina and a smooth as silk trot. A western horse is not always a working horse...it is more on how the horse is trained and handled by the rider.

You also appearantly don't know what the AQHA is trying to do, they are getting more and more away from all the artificial things, peanut pushing head set, slow as molasses gates, etc. for a more natural looking animal. They are also realizing how detrimental it is for the horse to be made to do things that are hard on their joints, the training too early and young, all the things that some die hard people are still doing.

I think the OP was making a generalized comparison to show an example, not bringing something to be taken literally like you appearantly did. So, instead of getting your knickers in a bunch, relax, take the posting in humor and go hug your horse.

ayrabz
Apr. 6, 2008, 08:13 AM
WOW horselips...where did THAT come from??

OP, I very much enjoyed your post! (And, sigh...I do NOT have a 'almighty trail horse' !---He's stressful, jumpy and difficult but he's the only boy we have, so we keep trying! :o)....I truuuuly know what you mean, and I can often 'envy' those riding buddies on the type of horse you're describing (!) for those soft, simple NO DRAMA rides!

sublimequine
Apr. 6, 2008, 09:51 AM
WOW horselips...where did THAT come from??

OP, I very much enjoyed your post! (And, sigh...I do NOT have a 'almighty trail horse' !---He's stressful, jumpy and difficult but he's the only boy we have, so we keep trying! :o)....I truuuuly know what you mean, and I can often 'envy' those riding buddies on the type of horse you're describing (!) for those soft, simple NO DRAMA rides!

Aw, I'm sure he'll become a good trail horse in time; my mare used to be a little nutcase on trail as well. Come to think of it, now she's still a nutcase everywhere BUT the trail. I guess she knows her job, but is her usual dramatic self everywhere else. :lol::lol::lol:

Cashela
Apr. 6, 2008, 10:17 AM
Does anyone else catch themselves saying that they "just" trail ride? I do that all the time.

Tiempo
Apr. 6, 2008, 10:40 AM
Does anyone else catch themselves saying that they "just" trail ride? I do that all the time.

Yes, I do it all the time, and I really have to stop. I need to carry around a big stick to wack myself with every time it leaves my lips :)

Yesterday was our first trail ride of the season since this crazy winter's treacherous ice finally melted and the woods were amazing.

Tiempo was his usually lively self, but not too much considering he's been standing around for a couple of months. We had a blast..hoping to get out today too.

There were quite a few riders on the trails yesterday, and there are a bunch of campers at the horsemen's campground down the road, how fun to see all those happy horses doing what they love and the big beaming smiles of the riders after a very long, hard winter :D:D:D

saddleup
Apr. 6, 2008, 01:32 PM
We took a woman from my old barn on a three hour trail ride in a nearby canyon. She's an eventer, on a very hot TB mare, but had never ventured out on a trail ride. This is an easy ride for our seasoned horses. We put her in the middle of the line, and proceeded on our way. The mare was worried, but proved to be a real trooper.

The interesting part was at the end this mare was exhausted, mentally and physically. Her owner was flabbergasted because she was in the middle of her season and this mare had been competing for several months. The light dawned as she realized there is a whole different type of physical and mental strength required for "just a trail horse". Her mare literally stood at the trailer and assured us all she didn't have enough strength to hop back in the trailer and go home. When she got home she went in her stall and took a flat-on-her-side nap. We were all a little bit worried! Our horses had not even broken a sweat, by the way.

It was clear that most of the drain had been mental. All those sights to see...lions and tigers and ...... well, you know the rest.

As the OP said, "all hail the almighty trail horse"!

pines4equines
Apr. 6, 2008, 02:08 PM
Yeah, to the almighty trail horse. Just the other day I got off my horse (I'm riding bareback because I'm in between saddles) and could not get back on because there were no tall enough logs (he's 16 hands). When I did find a tall log, I got on the log, angled my sweet horse near enough for these old bones to struggle back on and CRASH!!!!<<>>> went the rotted logs. He hardly took a misstep. Trail horses ARE the best! In fact, I'm off!

Romantic Rider
Apr. 6, 2008, 03:22 PM
Those big poops why didn't they want to ride outside?!? It was BEAUTIFUL today!!! :eek: I'm so glad you got a great ride in, that's wonderful!!

Sweets and I got a crash course on "riding to win" today. We did a training ride with our local LD champion. Holy crap. I've never galloped and cantered for 13 miles before but I did today! Wow, I have never ridden so fast. I'm gonna hurt for a week. He was so complimentary of my horse and that really felt good. It was a superb day in the horse world for me too! :D

Bonnie, did you ride with him last weekend - that's Michael.

Sublime - you should drive up to the southern Kettles to ride with me! What a nice trail. It was a 3 hour drive for me to get there but totally worth every minute of it.

Michael who? I know the names of the top riders in our region. That must have been fun. I'm really jealous that you got to go thirteen miles already. How did your mare handle it? The farthest we've been is 7 miles. :cry: But it's nasty up here, soppy, muddy, no where to ride. Our poor mares had better come into shape really quickly. Oh yeah, it's great to have a horse fit enough to gallop and canter 13 - 25 miles. Even 50 miles eventually. To ride that much horse is incredible. I love it.:cool: They aren't there yet, but in a couple of months our mares will be again. Cantering is more fun than trotting anyways. ;)How are the South Kettle trails, BTW?? At the ride last fall there were some really sandy places. I'm hoping this spring they'll be more packed.

On the OT. I don't know that I have an Almighty Trail Horse. She's a goosy, temperamental little Arabian and can definitely be a nutcase. But I can't think of a horse I'd rather ride on trails. And who says trail horses can't be a little bouncy? :D

Simbalism
Apr. 7, 2008, 01:49 AM
I went camping this past weekend with my TB mare. Arrived Friday late afternoon, met up with my friend and her husband. We set up camp and then rode for about an hour. As we were heading back to camp, I realized the chicago screw had come out of the side of the bridle. My mare was behaving fine, hackamore staying in place, so I just rode her back to camp. Next morning(poker ride) we got up and were ready to head out by 9am. The trails were pretty muddy due to rain for the last few days. We wanted to have the best conditions possible. We took a new trail that had been made as directed by ride manager. There were a fair amount of hills and creek crossings. Many areas you were riding along the edge of bluffs overlooking the river. Got to one area were the trail dropped fairly steeply to the bottom of the hill. Trail was narrow with up hill on one side, about 50 + feet steep hill on down side. My mare started sliding, front and rear feet. I was afraid I was going to wipe out my friend's horse and take us both off the edge of the trail. I was ready to kick my feet out of stirrups and bail if need be. I kept talking calmly to my mare and we made it down without any mishaps. She got lots of pats for saving my butt. We ended up riding 8.5 miles in about 1hour and 55 min. Not too bad considering it was pretty muddy and we had to walk alot. I love my trail horse!

Giomanach
Apr. 7, 2008, 02:51 AM
praise the Almighty Trail Horse!!


I love being able to ride my gelding through/past things that some other horses might freak out about and he doesn't even bat an eyelash.


if there isn't already there needs to be an Almighty Trail Horse clique...for all of us with those amazing trail horses.



regards,
Giomanach

TwoArabs
Apr. 7, 2008, 04:53 AM
Awhile back I had arranged to meet a group and ride the trais on a neighbors 135 acres. My farrier came to ride my black horse and I was on the grey. On the way we enountered three attacking pit bulls. My farrrier started to dismount and I stopped him. Dice, mu black, first showed the most aggressive dog the bottom of his right rear foot. Stupid dog, did not take the hint. He shortly was sent whimpering home with his mates. Next, we cut across a fallow field. The farrier, who was leading cut off to meet up with some other riders so I took the lead. The grass was about a foot high so no one saw the irrigation ditch until my horse went down on both front knees. Because of a neuological condition, I have very limited movement on my right side. My crazy ayrab somehow managed to get out of that ditch and twisted to keep me on board. The people watching were speechless. Wewnt on to ride about 7 miles. Not a word was said about how flighty arabs are during the entire ride.

SarahandSam
Apr. 7, 2008, 06:30 AM
I just moved temporarily to my friend's place, which has lots of gorgeous trails. At my old barn, which was beautiful, we had a lovely indoor but not much space to ride outside--I don't like to trail ride alone, and didn't have anyone to ride with most days, so spent a lot of time inside. But now I've been going out on trail every weekend. I bought Sam from this same friend, and what sold me was when we went for a trail ride that day and how awesome he was about water, rocks, hills, barking dogs, mud, etc. And this from a 4-year-old that had only recently had a saddle slapped on him. On a gorgeous spring day like we had Saturday, he gets "looky," but he clearly enjoys being out there and is unfazed by spooky things. I still want to do more formal stuff with him, like lessons and showing and dressage, but nothing's better than standing in a sparkling cold stream on your horse under the first spring rays of sunlight.

jeano
Apr. 7, 2008, 07:58 AM
We have been riding all winter here in the Deep South, of course, where fine spring days are the norm from February on...Yesterday we decided to tackle a stream crossing in a local powerline right of way--knew it might be a bust, since there had been several inches of rain the day before.

First booger of the day was an ATV appearing out of nowhere behind us on the dirt road we use to access the powerline. Hawk, the gelding, ridden by Susan, my riding buddy, took exception but did not do anything stupid. He just didnt like the noisy thing. He went past it sideways and averting his gaze but very controllable.
Sadie eats ATVs for breakfast, so no problem from her.

On to the powerline, got to the stream, approach was via a lot of squelchy hoof sucking muck. Stream itself flowing swiftly, about 10 feet across, too deep to see the bottom, but I knew it wasnt too awful deep even with the rain. Straight drop down into the water, then a hop up, then more muck on the other side. Neither horse was interested in the attempt. Fine, there's more than one way to deal with this. We back track.

We were closeish to the RR tracks and knew a train was coming, so we waited about a 1/4 mile away from the tracks. Train comes, hooting and roaring. Heese did not approve, bugged their eyes, both made a couple of attempts to run toward home--which would have taken them right to the tracks, so we discouraged them. They accepted that they had to stand and put up with the racket. Train left.

Back to road adjacent to tracks, then on and off road in a big cross country arc, through no-trail thickets, trees vines brambles (all leafing out, mind you) to top of ridge and back to the powerline, but now on the other side of the stream.

Now the stream is between heese and home, giving them that extra motivation to deal with it, and deal with it they did. Sadie took the lead, moseyed up to the crossing, put her head down, then one front foot, then the other, then plunged into swifty flowing water up to her belly, through and up the other side. Hawk, who a year ago when I got him wouldnt LOOK at a stream, went in, started to demonstrate that he was not afraid by pawing and playing, and was finally booted out before he could roll.

And a good time was had by all. Normal, low key, Sunday AM ride for us.

Auventera Two
Apr. 7, 2008, 09:51 AM
Does anyone else catch themselves saying that they "just" trail ride? I do that all the time.

I hate it when people say that. It takes a lot of gutts and balls and whatever else you got to get out there and gallop through rocks and brush and climb hills and ford rivers.

Give me my scrappy little, git'r done Arab any day over some shmancy show horse.

sublimequine
Apr. 7, 2008, 11:55 AM
Went out for another ride yesterday.. found out the trails are finally open at my barn! Woohoo! They've been closed due to mud and real slick conditions, and some folks at my barn don't have the sense to not gallop their horses through icey slick muddy stuff, so they had to officially 'close' the trails. :rolleyes:

But yesterday it was nice and dry, good footing! We went out to one grassy stretch.. and I couldn't resist, I let out the reins and we went for a bit of a hand-gallop. Maresie was adoreable about it, too. We were cantering along, and I let out the reins and got up into a two-point. She actually slowed up first, and kinda was like, "..really? Faster? Are you sure?" Once I gave her a nudge with my legs and assured her that yes, she was allowed to move out, she put that big butt to work and we really got goin. It was fun. :D

Best part was once we turned the corner from the grassy part and I began to pull her down to a canter, then trot, some horses in a nearby pasture TOOK OFF away from Joy, bucking and rearing and carrying on. Joy looked up and got tall for a minute, then stayed in her trot like a good girl. The whole 'herd' runs away from her and she stays cool and collected.. I love my horse. ;)

Diamond Jake
Apr. 7, 2008, 01:50 PM
My favorite part is when someone else's horse will not go forward on the trail because of some spooky thing, while mine just walks on and brings them through.

A2- that happened to me at Wildcat last year- you know, all the bridges?

But... you know how equine karma is- once you brag about it, you lose it forever! So I will just leave it at that, and say thanks to the trail gods when I need trail 'rescuing'!

:yes:

Corbyville283
Apr. 7, 2008, 02:18 PM
Four of us went out this weekend - riding a quarterhorse (14 yrs), an arab (13 years), a percheron (3 yrs), a fjordx (5 yrs). We met horses, cars, deer and 4wheelers. Crossed streams, highways and mucky messy footing. It was the Percheron's first outside ride under saddle (she's been driving since late last summer) with a novice rider aboard and she was wonderful. All the horses had looky loo moments but all went forward, took turns either leading or trailing and were absolutely wonderful. After being inside in an indoor arena all winter doing circles over and over again this was absolutely wonderful. Can't wait for next weekend to do it all again.

Auventera Two
Apr. 7, 2008, 02:54 PM
A2- that happened to me at Wildcat last year- you know, all the bridges?

I don't remember any bridges on Wildcat??? :confused:

SEE! I'm telling you - I just know I got off on the trail for the 100 milers. I was so fudged up in those woods I didn't know if I was coming or going. And every trail I came to was full of tracks because there were so many rides going on at the same time. So it's not like you could just follow the hoof prints. Ahhh well gotta have some blond moments and embarassment in your life right? :lol:

Huntertwo
Apr. 7, 2008, 05:36 PM
I'm not trying to bust anyones arse..but.... I boarded at an upscale facility about a year or so ago. Miles and miles of State Forest to ride through...

Out of the whole barn, I was the only person who *dared* go trail riding.
The show horses, yes, gorgeous and can do their thing nicely, couldn't hack the trails.

I asked a number of people if they wanted to go for a trail ride and they all looked at me like :eek:. According to them, their horses went berserk on the trails. Bucking, bolting etc.
Seriously, these people didn't even ride in the outdoor arena. :no:

Huntertwo
Apr. 7, 2008, 05:39 PM
light breeze,

There ya go...the operative word - light breeze..:D

ayrabz
Apr. 7, 2008, 06:08 PM
I have already posted on the thread, admitting (!!) I envy 'the almighty trail horse'....and also admitting I DON'T HAVE ONE!!!!:(-----
but the thread has led me to want to interject a thought: "ALL HAIL THE ALMIGHTY RIDER WHO WON'T GIVE UP":lol:
As previously stated, my guy ISNT an almighty trail horse. He's an arab, (yes, one who does live up to the less than kind hype of that breed)...he is goosey, lookey, and will put a rider/handler in 'danger' to an extent when HE is afraid. But he's a brilliant horse. His intelligence is what gets him in trouble everytime...so, of course on the days/moments when its all going well, it is also what I love most about him. When that lightbulb goes off, its intense, and progressive and always humbles me. When he's TOO intelligent, and anticipating, and reacting too strong, it reminds me its a double edged sword.
Situation is: he's my / our only horse. I do love the arab breed. Daughter and I have home trained this horse...she's ridden him to his Legion of Honor at shows, and I've enjoyed all the schooling/training along the way. Now...I'm the 'show mom', who loves riding but not showing (I LOVE showing...but not my own butt in the saddle...I love the shows, the grounds, the competition---I love the schooling for it, but not the 'enter the gate' showing part of it) So, its worked well....but now, I'm finding with her off at college, I want the trail riding for myself (!) even more in the off times.
Anyway...I've ALWAYS believed in the all around horse. While we love showing, I love a horse that can share it all with you.
I have, for the last 4 (?) (I think) years, taken this guy on a wonderful organized trail ride on the Eastern Shore of Virginia....where you ride out on the BEACH of the Chesapeake Bay. Its a LONG ride, but SOOOOO much fun. Beautiful fields, forests, and finally...opening up onto the bay, where you can ride OUT (and I mean OUT) into the water, Waaaay out, onto sandbars, and play and splash quite awhile. This ride benefits a local fire dept..and all the land owners grant access, and its wonderfully organized and ALWAYS fills up early. (They take 200 riders....lunch on trail on Sat...nice barbeque dinner on Sat night, option to ride on Sunday, primitive camping...) A wonderful ride put on by the best people.
Its my 'little badge of courage' and MY yearly 'goal' with my guy, just for myself....I'll be heading out for this ride this coming weekend, so wish me luck.
Off I go again...with my 'not so 'almighty' trail horse'...but loving the horse, the trail, the memory...nonetheless.

Romantic Rider
Apr. 7, 2008, 08:22 PM
Oh, I know about Liang. He's a fast rider all right. I remember the first time I saw him was at Louise Riedel Memorial in 2006. He was on a huge, very rambunctious chestnut the first day, got bucked off and got a concussion or some such thing. But you can't keep an endurance rider down for long. Again, your horse sounds like a doll. Whenever we take our mares somewhere to go for a training ride and tie them to the trailer, the last thing on their minds is eating. Speaking of Wildcat, we got off the trail too there, but just for a bit. Unfortunately, that little bit was up this ginormous hill, (part of the 100 mi. trail, which I will hopefully be riding this year). We made it clear to the top before we realized our mistake. Everyone gets lost. I have heard so many stories about it. I'm not sure you would have crossed the bridges. If I remember correctly they were on the last loop of the 50 mile ride.


Liang. Here's the record: http://www.doublejoy.com/erol/Individual%5CRiderHistory.asp

Yes, we did 13 miles. I am so sore. Tylenol every 4 hours. LOL! Galloping in a treeless saddle, around corners, and down hills. Sheesh. I used muscles I didn't even know I had.

Sweets was perfect. We got to the campground before Michael and she stood there at the trailer eating, totally unconcerned that we were the only horse there. Then other trailers pulled in with other horses, and she didn't say a peep. Just looked around, and kept eating. Of course horses will be horses, and who knows - the next time she might not be so well behaved. :lol: But she was perfect on Saturday.

Her heartrate was down to 56 within about 5 minutes once we got back to camp. I thought that was really really great. I did a trot out with her, like normal and she sprung off in a huge trot. She was truly enjoying herself.

The trail was ugly in places. We trotted over the icey/snow patches, but thankfully that was only "maybe" 10% of the whole ride. There was some deep sand, yes. I sucked off Easyboots. First time that has ever happened to me. I was really depressed about that. But I've never galloped that horse before, and certainly never in deep footing. That's going to be a problem for me.

I like the northern trail better, but this was great too. Not as hilly.

Don't worry RR, you're a lot farther north than me and I can trailer to south WI to ride. You can't do that so it's going to be harder. But spring is coming, I promise. :sadsmile: But remember, I have to get the riding in during the winter and spring because I cannot tolerate the heat. When you're winning 50 milers in July and August, I'll be crewing for somebody else, sipping lemonade and pouring cold water down my neck. haha!

Christa P
Apr. 7, 2008, 08:32 PM
I'm not trying to bust anyones arse..but.... I boarded at an upscale facility about a year or so ago. Miles and miles of State Forest to ride through...

Out of the whole barn, I was the only person who *dared* go trail riding.
The show horses, yes, gorgeous and can do their thing nicely, couldn't hack the trails.

I asked a number of people if they wanted to go for a trail ride and they all looked at me like :eek:. According to them, their horses went berserk on the trails. Bucking, bolting etc.
Seriously, these people didn't even ride in the outdoor arena. :no:


This reminds of peoples comments when I sent my then 4 yr old WB out for trail training. I had people ask why I was "wasting" such a nice horse as a trail horse. I explained it was just PART of his education - I don't believe in having a horse I can't trail ride :D.

I sold him the following year as a show horse, though I recently found out he developed some kind of neurological problems PTS sometime since then - he would only have been 9 this year :cry:.

CP

Auventera Two
Apr. 7, 2008, 10:56 PM
Oh, I know about Liang. He's a fast rider all right. I remember the first time I saw him was at Louise Riedel Memorial in 2006. He was on a huge, very rambunctious chestnut the first day, got bucked off and got a concussion or some such thing. But you can't keep an endurance rider down for long. Again, your horse sounds like a doll. Whenever we take our mares somewhere to go for a training ride and tie them to the trailer, the last thing on their minds is eating. Speaking of Wildcat, we got off the trail too there, but just for a bit. Unfortunately, that little bit was up this ginormous hill, (part of the 100 mi. trail, which I will hopefully be riding this year). We made it clear to the top before we realized our mistake. Everyone gets lost. I have heard so many stories about it. I'm not sure you would have crossed the bridges. If I remember correctly they were on the last loop of the 50 mile ride.

Yes, that's him. I think he said it broke his neck or something??? He said he still has problems. Boy does he ever ride fast. Wow. I hung on to some mane and prayed. :lol: Seriously, he was very considerate and kept making sure I was fine, and she was fine. We were. It was kind of exhilerating. But definitely faster than I'd ever thought about riding previous to that day. I'll honestly say that's the first time I ever galloped on that horse. And gallop we did. :eek:

Auventera Two
Apr. 8, 2008, 08:51 AM
Unfortunately, that little bit was up this ginormous hill, (part of the 100 mi. trail, which I will hopefully be riding this year). We made it clear to the top before we realized our mistake.

We went up a huge hill also that was extremely skinny trail, full of huge rocks, and straight up. It was scary. My heart was pounding when we got to the top. There were 2 girls in front of us, and they went up too. We all got to the top and realized we were kind of nowhere. Like there was no trail??? We had to turn around and go back down and I don't know which was scarier, the up or the down.

Why the ride management doesn't stick to the already marked and groom trails? I printed out a DNR map of the Wildcat trails but couldn't use it because they have different trails they use just for the endurance rides. I asked Mona if their red trail was the same as the red trail on my map and she said " No NONONO you can't use THAT! We don't go by that map. We make our own trails!"

I've heard about so many people lost at Wildcat every year, I cannot imagine why the RMs don't just use the state horse trails. Do some loops and let people come back to camp. 3 checks out of camp was a real PITA.