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Piaffe56
Feb. 10, 2005, 09:14 AM
I am a dressage rider who also does competitive trail. Because I know alot of trail riders, I constantly get asked to help sell horses that wash out as hunter/jumper or dressage show horses. What I try to explain to these people is that a "trail" horse needs to have specific skills just as a hunter/jumper or a dressage horse. Not every horse can transition to this career. Skills that I think are necessary are the ability to stand tied,ability to handle varied terrain, bombproofness (not spooking at every leaf), a good loader in the trailer, must be able to cross water and bridges, not kick in close quarters and travel quietly in a group situation. Some of these ex-show horses cannot handle life outside the ring. Sorry to vent, it is just seems that some of the other riding disciplines don't take trail riding seriously.

Piaffe56
Feb. 10, 2005, 09:14 AM
I am a dressage rider who also does competitive trail. Because I know alot of trail riders, I constantly get asked to help sell horses that wash out as hunter/jumper or dressage show horses. What I try to explain to these people is that a "trail" horse needs to have specific skills just as a hunter/jumper or a dressage horse. Not every horse can transition to this career. Skills that I think are necessary are the ability to stand tied,ability to handle varied terrain, bombproofness (not spooking at every leaf), a good loader in the trailer, must be able to cross water and bridges, not kick in close quarters and travel quietly in a group situation. Some of these ex-show horses cannot handle life outside the ring. Sorry to vent, it is just seems that some of the other riding disciplines don't take trail riding seriously.

prudence
Feb. 10, 2005, 09:45 AM
I think some people feel that a trail ride is once around the back 40. I have known horses that are not initially capable of even that but most can be brought to that point. Going further requires training and repetition, just like any other sport. Once your horse has mastered such things as Piaffe described, you can be really proud of him, just as if he mastered the skills of another sport. But I agree that alot of people talk about trail as if any horse can just have the reins dropped on his neck and go on a trail ride (can't seem to fix the English here - sorry!).

arabhorse2
Feb. 10, 2005, 11:13 AM
You are absolutely correct, Piaffe. A lot of people don't think that trail riding is a "valid" discipline.

I remember when Conny and I stopped showing and started trail riding exclusively. I got the smirks, the looking down the nose, the catty comments about how he obviously couldn't do anything else, so may as well make him a trail nag.

Conny was bred for performance, and with the crowd I was in at the time, that meant SHOWING. Oh we tried it, but he absolutely hated the show ring, and although we did our share of winning it was a constant battle with him. He'd pin his ears as soon as he saw the trailer pull up, and then be a nasty, no-ears horse the whole time. Stressful and difficult for us both.

The first time I tried trail riding, he was a completely different horse. Ears up, eyes bright, and always looking to see what was around the next bend in the road.

He's a champ at water and bridge crossings, and we always take him out as the lead horse when we're trying a new youngster. If he does spook, it's usually in place and he'll just stand and look at the object, then blow at it. It takes a lot to make him bolt and run.

He trusts me implicitly, which is a must in a good trail partner. We were in one situation where I had to get off and ask him to back UPHILL.

There are many other examples of what makes him a good trail mount, but I think you get the picture. Not every horse is cut out to do trail riding; only the best! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

lawndart
Feb. 10, 2005, 11:49 AM
Some ex-show horses can't, but a lot of them can, and seem to relish their new job. I have taken a dressage horse, a former show jumper, and a former barrel horse, all three have easily made the transition into great trail mounts. But-I take a close look at their temperament before I trust my aging body miles from home!

On the flip side, we purchased a QH mare who was supposed to be a seasoned trail horse. Gak, worst trail ride I have ever had was on her. Tried showing her English because of her movement, she HATED that. After watching her blow easily past TB's and another QH in the pasture, and checking deeper into her bloodlines, we decided to try Barrel Racing with her. She LOVES it! And is pretty darn good at it so far, with only three real competitions under her girth. Can't wait to see how she does this season.

KarenC
Feb. 10, 2005, 12:59 PM
I agree completely. "Trail Horse" in advertising tends to mean "he can't do anything else, so I guess he'll make a good trail horse."

Regardless of whether you are competing (distance riding) or simply trail riding for pleasure, a good trail horse requires a specific disposition and set of skills just like any good show horse.

Of course, I'm sure you've all witnessed some of the yahoos on public trails... I suppose it isn't suprising what some people think makes a good trail horse.

paint hunter
Feb. 10, 2005, 03:50 PM
I couldn't agree more with the OP. A solid trail horse is just as highly trained for his discipline as is a FEI level dressage horse.

I remember many years ago at the barn where I was boarding, there was a wanna-be BNT dressage/event rider trainer. He kept carrying on how he had trained all these horses and had jumped all these cross-country fences. He then proceeded to make a snaide comment about my late paint gelding to the effect, "well, he's just a trail horse, nothing fancy to that." So, one day he wanted to go trail riding with me. I picked what I considered to be an intermediate level trail, single track, no bicycles allowed, with a few hills. Well, he made it all of about 10 minutes and his "fancy, highly trained" mount was just quaking in her shoes, dancing, jigging, and unable to keep her feet on the trail. The trainer was rather white in the face, got off, and led the horse home. Never heard another snotty word about my "POS trail horse."

Darn, I miss my old gelding.

OldLadyOnATB
Feb. 10, 2005, 04:30 PM
I have nerver competed in trail or endurance, but have to agree that a good trail horse is worth it's weight in gold.

I am actually thinking of giving up my dreams of comptetitve dressage and trade my Ansur for a Circle Y! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Elizabeth

prudence
Feb. 10, 2005, 04:45 PM
Dressage and endurance can go hand in hand and in fact complement one another. And I ride endurance in my Passier Baum dressage saddle - with a big sheepskin cover on it of course!

shiloh
Feb. 11, 2005, 01:59 AM
It's just like those folks that advertise any horse that runs off or can't be controlled as an "endurance prospect." Yeah, that's what I want - a horse that runs like a maniac for miles on end and can only be stopped when he gets tired. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif I have to agree that just because the horse isn't successful anywhere else doesn't automatically make it a trail prospect.

Hannahsmom
Feb. 11, 2005, 05:32 AM
I agree it's all about training, just like anything else. My very good event horse used to be terrified of riding on trails in the woods. He hated the fact that he couldn't see 'forever'. This is a horse that gallops XC and leaps Prelim jumps like a machine! But I enjoy it so I spent years working with him with the help of friends. Now he is really fairly brave, but more for quiet rides in the woods than anything serious or with the really good trail horses. Fortunately he's always been one that if I get off he'll follow me over anything. "You first mom!" http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

FairWeather
Feb. 11, 2005, 08:34 AM
Um, folks there is a huge difference between a "trail horse" and a competitive athlete that can cover 30 miles at a go.

Yes, there are some people who just like to go take a stroll through the woods, and unless you have a psycho animal, almost all of them can do it. I would think it is more about fitness and temperment, not training.

situpandride
Feb. 11, 2005, 08:48 AM
I think top endurance horses are special and not every horse can reach that level, as in dressage or jumpers etc, it takes a combination of a variety of things to make a top endurance horse
but...
i think any horse that is trained should be able to trail ride, jump a course, do a maybe 1st or 2nd level test, maybe not brilliantly but under control
i don't think that's a lot to ask
i do agree that for some reason some people that present a horse as a trail horse mean it can't do anything else, but to me that's not a trail horse, it's a poorly trained horse
most conditioned horse i know who have been ridden consistently can handle 10-20 miles of trail riding, but probably not be competitive in ctr or limited endurance ride
most horse's can wtc, lengthen shorten stride and do half passes
most horse's can get over a 3 ft fence
i think generally it's the rider holding them back from any of this

FairWeather
Feb. 11, 2005, 09:28 AM
I wouldnt consider a horse being advertised as a "trail horse" as a badly trained one. Typically I think of a horse listed as a "trail" would have limited soundness to do anything else.

I often sell 'trail' horses who had some soundness issue that will prevent them from jumping.

arabhorse2
Feb. 11, 2005, 09:51 AM
Fairweather, are you talking about horses that are only recommended for light trail riding, as opposed to endurance and competitive?

Since I do 25 miles and up, over some pretty rough terrain, I need a horse that's completely sound in every way regardless of whether or not I want or need him/her to jump.

I see a lot of ads similar to what I think you're referring to, where the horse is only recommended for light/weekend/husband type riding.

Hannahsmom
Feb. 11, 2005, 10:49 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by FairWeather:
Um, folks there is a huge difference between a "trail horse" and a competitive athlete that can cover 30 miles at a go. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I know, but I did mean just the simple little 'trail' riding. And maybe my horse is 'psycho' but it wasn't easy for him. I am considering trying a CTR of the lowest possible level but I think even that will be a huge challenge for my horse's brain and I'm reading this forum to try to learn more before I try one.

gabz
Feb. 11, 2005, 12:11 PM
Thank you gothedistance...
Fairweather - perhaps you might want to reconsider your not quite sound horses as "pleasure horses" rather than trail horses, although I understand where many will advertise a "trail horse" as one that may not be trained for arena-type competition (whether dressage, jumping, western pleasure, reining, etc.).

As another thread discusses - there are trail horses that have to be completely fit, fully trained, and SOUND to do trail work - even if it IS NOT competitive.

Friends and I go out with our "square-wheeled" horses (not gaited) for 3, 4, 5 hours at a time. Some walking, much trotting, and some cantering. This equates to 15 - 20 miles or more depending on speed and terrain. I prefer to NOT have to walk back ... Those who participate in the Michigan shore-to-shore scheduled rides routinely ride 25 or more miles each day - there's even a "criss-cross" where you start on one side of Michigan ride across and then return. The horses AND RIDERS have to be fit and be prepared for all sorts of strange activity and conditions. And you might be surprised to find that a large percentage are in their 40s & 50s, while many are retired and are in their 60s or later years. These riders ESPECIALLY need their horse to stay sound and take care of them the distance between camps.

FairWeather
Feb. 11, 2005, 02:47 PM
Hey folks, before you try handing me my ass in a hat again, read my posts.

Arabhorse--Yes, that is why I made the above post of "trail riding" versus a competitive trail/endurance horse. Sorry folks, to me a 'trail ride' is a leisurely wander thru nice scenery. Obviously a sound horse is needed in any competitive (tho not necessarily one who competes) discipline.


And Gothedistance, thats funny. I've only come across a handful of horses that didnt take to trail riding like a fish to water, or with very little training. There are definately the odd few who simply dont enjoy it, but for the most part the majority of horses will adjust fine to it. Are you suggesting that I believe horses leave the ring and trail ride and act perfect the first time they do it? Sorry dear, I never said that. Trail riding takes training just like any other discipline. I dont trail ride my fresh off the track TB's by themselves the first time, and I dont expect them to cross water without a minor freak out. Does this mean they cannot learn? Not in my book, and not in my experience. The topic is "Why do people think any horse CAN BE a trail horse", not "Why do people think every horse IS a trail horse. Any horse can trail ride. And most of them can be nice trail horses with the right training.
And again Captain aggressive, I didnt say UNSOUND horses. I said horses unsound to jump. Funny, My horse with an arthritic knee and fused hocks can withstand the rigors of any trail i've put him on. Would I put him in the A/O jumpers? Nope.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Kinder all around to sell your unsound horses as pasture ornaments or family pets for light riding around the barn. You do no service selling them otherwise. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Point out to me where I say I sold unsound horses?? Cause i'm pretty darn sure I didnt. Now, read carefully dear, cause these posts can be pretty confusing. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif


edited bc i cant spell. grr.

FairWeather
Feb. 11, 2005, 02:49 PM
what we have here is a difference of terms.

Just to clarify,
To me, a 'trail horse' is the same thing as a 'pleasure horse'.
Backyard rides, fun walk through the woods.
An endurance horse, or CTR horse, is one who i consider an 'athelete'.

RTM Anglo's
Feb. 11, 2005, 02:50 PM
OK,

A lame horse is a lame horse! Pure and Simple and not a use to anyone in any type of discipline period.

Good Lord, am I hearing this stuff right? Generalizations are being made about trail riders. So, I ride 100 miles and my horse is lame, and that's ok because I compete on trail?

Oh my!

In the equation of competition on any trail, the first and foremost is your mounts legs! Holey Moley. Why would I spend $200 on a ride for entry, trailer there another $200 for one weekend and take a horse that is lame? AHahhahhaa

Maybe I am not reading this thread correctly, but I don't think a lame horse is EVER remotely EVER acceptable for trail riding of ANY kind. Retire it to field or put it down. Why would a trail rider ever think of riding a lame horse, but a show person wouldn't?

My goodness, we have this thing called vet checks and it prohibits lame horses from competing! Ohhhhhh

http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gifI guess "us" silly trail ridden fools are just too stupid to understand the dat-burn horse is lame? Ahahhahaaa Hay, Arnie…it’s only got three legs. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Please, I have known show people, and I have know trail competitors…two separate folks here. My experiences have shown me, that show people don’t know how to take care of their horses, trailer them, or even how to schedule vets. On the other hand, trail competitors know everything about their horses. What they like to eat, were they like to be scratched, when they don’t feel right, how to backup a trailer, and when to schedule a vet. They notice their horses. Show people pay someone else to do that, or hope they do.

Generalizations are hurtful…as the one I provided above. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

FairWeather
Feb. 11, 2005, 03:06 PM
Uh, RTM, I'm not sure if you were directing that post at me or not, http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/uhoh.gif but um,

Who said they were riding lame horses? Cuz thats um....oogy. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/dead.gif

FairWeather
Feb. 11, 2005, 03:26 PM
I think we are on the same page here folks, we're just reading from different ends of the book.

Let me clarify. I did not say "sell unsound horses" I said "horses with limited soundness" meaning, horses with that are perfectly suited to just about anything out there, but would not hold up to constant jumping. Not sure where this is confusing to people. Am I not saying this correctly?

A horse with a soundness issue does not equal a lame horse, because if that were the case, every horse in the world would be considered lame. There is no 'one' horse out there with perfect health. Again, I have 5 horses. Every one of them has at least one 'issue' but they are not lame.

And yes, we have a differenc in perception. Using your definition of a 'trail horse' (meaning one that is "competitive animal trained and conditioned to go distances over natural terrain, including mountains, either for the owner's private pleasure or for competition") than no, I do not believe any old horse can do this.
Splitting hairs at this point?
FYI, 'fused hocks' does not mean 'bad hocks'.

FairWeather
Feb. 11, 2005, 03:31 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">PS. I alway feel so sorry for people who try to ride their beautifully show-trained horses out, and just have an awful time with the spooks and misbehaving. I see it too much in my neck of the woods. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I dont. I feel sorry for the horse that is expected to behave impeccably to a situation its never been exposed to.

I dont begin any type of ring work until I've 'broken' my horses to trails. I think it keeps them happier, healthier and sounder.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">an event horse can also be a trail horse, but a horse with a soundness issue .. however limiting or limited ... is just that -- an unsound horse. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Then we got a whole lotta unsound horses out there http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

sonata
Feb. 12, 2005, 05:15 AM
Hi, I am a lurker, but thought that I would put my 2 cents in. A good trail horse will take care of his rider, not run from hot air ballons, bikes, 4 wheelers, battery operated airplanes and real ones that are swooping down to attack. He won't just put his feet anywhere, he will check out the terrain, go with other horses and teach the younger horses how to cross mud, streams and wooden bridges. I am lucky, I have one of those horses and have been riding him for 20 years. I am now starting to ride his younger sister as he will go into semi retirement at the age of 23.By the time he is in full retirement, I hope that she will be half as good as he is.

War Admiral
Feb. 12, 2005, 05:26 AM
FW, I think the reason ppl were jumping on your case originally was because the way your original post was worded, it *seemed* to imply that any horse can be a trail horse WITHOUT any training.

I think we're really on the same page, it just wasn't clear at first. I train my OTTB's just as intensively for trail work as I do for anything else. I don't consider my OTTB's to be trail wise until they have learned not to spook... not to jump over the legendary white lines on the road... water, bridges, how to handle themselves on hills, in mud, thru gulleys, bad footing, and will hack out alone or in company without trying to "do the TB thing" and get their noses out in front! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I do agree that any horse can be *trained* to be a good trail horse for weekend pleasure riding... but not every horse has what it takes to be an endurance horse. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Hannahsmom
Feb. 12, 2005, 05:32 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by gothedistance:
You should do it, H. Take a friend with you and ride as a pair just for the experience. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif CTRs are inexpensive and super fun with great dinners, lots of friendly people, and lovely trails to enjoy for the day. You will learn TONS about your horse, his fitness and readiness, his metabolics and his abilities,... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree, which is why this appeals to me. I got a taste when I was competing my old three day event horse where I had to condition for the endurance day. I really enjoyed all the training time, the gallop sets, the extra work and knowledge needed to condition for the full endurance day. The partnership was unbelievable as well as I knew my horse so much better.

I have no illusions about my horse and I being able to do more than a 25 miler. That's our goal. I have been eventing this horse for about 6 years at the Preliminary level and just moved up to Intermediate (so he's sound!), but I've been reading up on this forum as I've always been a bit intrigued with the thought even though I know he's not really the right 'type' of horse http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I'm hoping that my horse will figure out not to be a looney tune mentally just like he has realized that gallop sets are WORK, so settles into them without a lot of fuss and pulling. I'm just not so sure *I'M* sound enough! There's a lot I have to learn but I have a lot of years left to do it.

And to the original poster, I guess you are hearing the same things we eventers hear! "Oh, the horse isn't good enough to be a hunter or dressage horse, sell him as an eventer." http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

saratoga
Feb. 12, 2005, 08:13 AM
"Trail horses" and "endurance horses" are two completely different things. Around here it does seem that horses advertised for trail do tend to be horses that may be older, have soundness issues, just "generic" horses that have no specific talents. I think that *most* horses are capable of being decent trail horses, with the exception of maybe horses that are very hot and/or very spooky.
Endurance horses have to be extremely sound to compete- I agree that many horses have some little issues that would prevent them from being considered 100% sound in a pre-purchase vet check, but an endurance horse has to pretty darn close to 100% or you just wouldn't be able to complete. It is still always amazing to me how my horse can go for so long, sometimes over such incredibly rough terrain and come back looking great.

FairWeather
Feb. 12, 2005, 08:32 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by War Admiral:
FW, I think the reason ppl were jumping on your case originally was because the way your original post was worded, it *seemed* to imply that any horse can be a trail horse WITHOUT any training.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I guess i believe that people shouldnt read between the lines and assume I mean something I didnt say. Silly me I guess. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/uhoh.gif

situpandride
Feb. 12, 2005, 04:36 PM
for some people trail horse means a horse that can routinely go out for 25+ mile rides over all kinds of terrian, I have to say the trail riders in my riding club go out for 4-6 hour rides, they don't compete or show, they think of themselves as pleasure riders. The first time I went with them it was like a ctr ride, luckily I did do distances before. They go on overnight rides, they go to the mountains, they ride on spretty rough terrai. I have another group of friends that think an hour out on the trail is a typical trail ride.
so even when you're talking about a trail horse i think you have to be pretty clear especially if you're selling or buying one.
For me a trail horse should be one that can keep up with my friends, that's the kind of trail riding I do, we don't go as fast as a competition but we do go far and we ride all over. On the other hand I'm looking for a trail horse for my husband, it can be the kind that is not sound enough to hold up to other more intense riding as my husband typically only rides about an hour or 2 and rarely does more than walk. But we want a trailwise horse, not one that failed at everything else and might make a trail horse with years of training. so for each of us a trail horse would be 2 entirely different animals.
I do remember a few times the show people at barns where i used to board thought of me as less a rider and my horse barely trained because i was a trail rider, until they went trail riding with me, a few vowed to never do it again, i did warn them we would be going far, for a long time and fast but I quess that means something different to diferrent folks
as far as training, i have vary little experince training horses but the handful i have trained always went trail riding as soon as i could get them to stop and turn in the ring. the one i raised from a baby had done many trail miles before she was 2 as i would pony her from my other horse, by the time i got on her she had crossed roads, gone up and down banks, met dogs, cars, farm equipment etc, crossed water. I also hand walked her out there by herself ever since she was weaned and learned to lead. i wanted a trail horse first and found that teaching her to jump or go in a frame was easier after we had done trail riding for a year or so, i spent very little time in the ring with her until she was in her 5th year.
the first serious trail ride i took her on undersaddle was about 15 miles, it was about 2 weeks after i got on her the first time and it took a long time because she was too young to do anyting but walk and we had to work out a few things but she was no worse for wear. i also found that unless you had a hard case or a horse that was older and needed retraining to make a trail horse, it's easier to take them out alone than in a group for the first rides.

RTM Anglo's
Feb. 13, 2005, 07:07 AM
I think the phrase pleasure horse says it all. If you are just tooling around for fun, couple of miles, or an hour...this is a pleasure horse.

http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gifSeems to be confusion on what training is involved with regard to the pleasure horse and the trail horse.

Pleasure horse knows how to please its owners, and no really hard training.

So making that distinction I will now discuss the trail horse. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif A trail horse in my opinion is a horse capable of going 25+ miles, and in 2 to 3 hours...not walking folks...this is a pleasure horse. Then there is the endurance horse that is 50 -100 miles...we would never say "gee, it was a pleasure to do that 50-100 miles" Ahahhahaaha No, we would say we knocked it out.

Our horses are Not lame! Pure and simple...or we don't get to compete, and nothing is more maddening than to do the whole ride, and not get your completion. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/dead.gif

These horses can do 15 mph for an hour! Easy, I have done it! That is NOT pleasure...that is pure hard work, and ONLY a true athlete of a horse can do that! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif This is trail!

OK, there is also a niche of people that wish to do trail riding all day long...at a walk.... pleasure riding. OK, maybe they do 30 miles...still pleasure riding. I am not knocking this. I wouldn't do it. To long and too slow for me, talk about saddle sore. But these folks usually ride gaited horses and love it. Again, it is trail riding, but it is not "competition" so not really trail riding. Here is a very thin line between pleasure and trail.

I believe it is all on how hard you work your horse and yourself. If it is easy, obviously your pleasure riding, if it is hard, trail riding.

My good ole gelding was amazing; he would put his foot exactly where I said...when I said. And by god it was important sometimes. I have gone up mountain ranges that would make many of you puke! I have gone through water sources and mud that strictly required the correct step all the way through. My horses are trained, yes, they know, do it my way when I say. This is sometimes a life and death issue. No time for a rebellion.

Endurance is a race people! I have ran down mountians in the dark, depending on my horse! That ain't a pleasure...its a heart attack. I must rely on my mount, and I do...because I trained her.

Yes, I take offense when someone says...well this horse is stupid or lame, or unable to jump, maybe it can do trail. Please...you people get my rejects...not the other way around! My horses have to be close to perfect, with NO problems! I can't have a neurotic horse who is afraid of a loud voice or a sudden touch. Please.

Yes, I deal with other things...like keeping proper weight, proper fit, proper saddle, shoes...things of that nature. I don't deal with negative attitudes from horses...they can move down the road.

So, I do pleasure riding with my friends, I do trail competition with my mom. These are two different worlds, and two separate types of horses. Yes, I use my endurance horse for pleasure, but she really doesn't get into it. Too slow and boring for her. I usually take a greenbroke horse.

http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gifBottom-line…they way you ride trail distinguishes you from either being a pleasure rider or a trail rider. If you walk it…pleasure. If you trot-canter….trail rider. Believe me, even your silly horse knows the difference!

lawndart
Feb. 13, 2005, 07:53 AM
"Bottom-line…they way you ride trail distinguishes you from either being a pleasure rider or a trail rider. If you walk it…pleasure. If you trot-canter….trail rider. Believe me, even your silly horse knows the difference!"

And then there are those of us who are both. My usual riding buddy has asthma and various other physical problems, we always ride at a walk. I don't mind, she has been a good friend and its good for my horses to learn to do the gait I ask for, not the one they would really like to be doing. For this, the 23 year old former show horse is well suited. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

If I ride alone, or with my daughter, I take my younger horse because we trot or canter wherever the footing is good enough, and even occasionally jump small obstacles. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I no longer ride in large groups because its slower than I want to go, and mostly socializing. I want to ride and enjoy nature, not the chatter of many voices.

Dalriada
Feb. 13, 2005, 08:55 AM
My "distance" horses are all show horses and my show horses are all "distance" horses. We cross ours over and TRAIN for each and every discipline. Doing many disciplines is what keeps our horses fresh and happy and doing it well.

I don't expect my horses to be able to go down the trail when I have never trained or conditioned them to do so. It takes effort to make a horse go down the trail properly same as it does to make that perfect hunter round or dressage test or follow the specs of a specific class.

My horses are all sound with no "limited" or "limiting" soundness issues - those are the ones we sell as PLEASURE horses or retire to broodmare status.

We can go out for strolls with friends but I tell you my butt hurts from me sitting in the saddle for a couple of hours just walking along (and I bet my horse's back does too). Personally I prefer to go a tad bit faster and to vary it up a bit.

Trail horses to me are those that can do an obstacle class in the showring under western tack. Competitive trail horses are those athletes that compete 25+ miles at 5-8mph. Endurance horses are those that race 50+ miles against others in order to get to the finish line first before the clock stops. Pleasure horses are those that people keep in their backyard and ride out occassionally with their buddies. It's all a difference of semantics.

KarenC
Feb. 13, 2005, 03:45 PM
Fairweather - you are correct that the majority of horses, properly introduced to the wide open spaces and "hazards" (water crossings, logs, etc.) can eventually become good trail horses.

However, I have found that many people ADVERTISE horses as "good trail horses" simply because the horse has no formal training in ANY discipline. My husband and I went to try tons of horses advertised as good trail horses who I wouldn't trust within the four walls of an arena, let alone out on the trail!

When a horse is advertised as a good trail horse, I expect that horse to have basic manners (standing tied at the trailer is a biggy), walk/trot/canter (unless soundness issues prevent canter), and at least some experience on the trail where he has not acted like a fruitcake http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

If the horse has no experience on the trail, I would expect him to be advertised as a prospect.

I also do not make the assumption that even an experienced trail horse would make a good distance riding mount. A lot of times, a truly good pleasure trail horse would be miserable traveling the distance and pace required for even the shorter distances (a horse who is happiest to walk on a loose rein for 4/5 mile rides is often NOT going to be happy going at a brisk trot for 25 miles, esp. if he has any even minor soundness issues).

FairWeather
Feb. 13, 2005, 05:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Yes, I take offense when someone says...well this horse is stupid or lame, or unable to jump, maybe it can do trail. Please...you people get my rejects...not the other way around! My horses have to be close to perfect, with NO problems! I can't have a neurotic horse who is afraid of a loud voice or a sudden touch. Please. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


The animosity on this thread is unreal.

Please dont try to shove your terms down my throat either. We have different terms for what a "trail ride" is. When I call my friends up to see if they want to join me on a leisurely w/t/c through the woods I actually say.....Get ready for this.....


"Wanna go for a trail ride?"

Give me a break. Obviously my posts arent referring to your 15MPH for billions of miles trails.
And no, I dont just "walk" on my trail rides.

Starting to smell like the Hunter/Jumper board. Are we going to start picking on one anothers choice of helmet now?

silver
Feb. 13, 2005, 06:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If the horse has no experience on the trail, I would expect him to be advertised as a prospect. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
When I lived Southern CA that was an issue b/c people don't get off the property much. You would see all these horses advertised as "retired from show ring, suitable for light trail riding" and when you talked to the owner it turned out the horse had never been on a trail ride in the 10 years they'd had it! Basically it was just too lame to show anymore.

I helped a fairly novice friend buy a trail horse years ago in LA and the horses people were trying to sell her were 3yo fresh OTTBs, lame show horses (like navicular, lame at the walk, lame), horses that "didn't like ring work", ie flipped over when you asked them to go past the gate. The main qualification all these horses had for being a trail horse was that they were cheap.

We found her a great little horse of indeterminate breeding for about $3000 (who has never put a foot wrong with her or her kid) and all people could say was "you paid too much for such a small horse". Craziness. Many pleasure riders are novice or older riders without a lot of time on their hands to be retraining something. That $3K was money WELL spent.

gabz
Feb. 14, 2005, 02:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">do remember a few times the show people at barns where i used to board thought of me as less a rider and my horse barely trained because i was a trail rider, until they went trail riding with me, </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh yeah! As in another boarder (did not even SHOW) who told me and another rider "I can't trail ride with you two, you don't stay on the trails!"

I understand the different perception of "trail riding" (going out for 60 - 90 minutes around the fields and farm) versus TRAIL RIDING (going out for 4 or more hours, at varied paces, up and down hills.

FairWeather
Feb. 15, 2005, 06:36 AM
Thanks GTD http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I definately dont consider myself a hard core trail rider, but I do carry a sponge in the summer http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

I definately have my 'serious' ride friends and my pleasure ride friends. Now that i've gotten a taste of the 'go four hours, hop off and have lunch, then go 4 more' I go out for my hour long jaunts and always feel disappointed.

RTM Anglo's
Feb. 16, 2005, 06:17 AM
Glad I could return the favor! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Ahahaaaa

At least in my posts I state it is my opinion, http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif and not the way of the world.

Ahahhahaaa http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Learn to take what you give...my motto in life.

Reginapony
Feb. 17, 2005, 09:43 AM
I agree with FairWeather's post.

The phrase she should have used is "serviceably sound for the job intended." This phrase would have cut out most of the uglyness in this thread.

My QH was serviceably sound. He had a career ending accident as a five year old when he damaged his stifle by falling on the road when spooked by a motorcyclist. The stupid motorcyclist spooked my QH on purpose. I only had my QH for three months at the time. Deep footing, jumping and tight circles were out of the question for him.

My QH became my best friend and trail buddy. I guess you can classify me as a "pleasure rider," because we used to go out for hours to enjoy the country side. And, yes we did a lot of trotting and cantering, as well as walking.

Over the years I became disabled due to advanced cancer, and I ride with a crooked, unstable fractured pelvic bone. Walking can be a nightmare at times, due to the pain of the cancer, but my trusty, "serviceably sound" QH has taken me many comfortable miles over trails that I would not be able to traverse on my own two feet.

I finally retired my QH when the hills got to be too hard on him, and he started to loose his vision due to cataracts in both eyes.

mustangrider
Mar. 14, 2005, 03:22 PM
"OK, there is also a niche of people that wish to do trail riding all day long...at a walk.... pleasure riding. OK, maybe they do 30 miles...still pleasure riding. I am not knocking this. I wouldn't do it. To long and too slow for me, talk about saddle sore. But these folks usually ride gaited horses and love it. Again, it is trail riding, but it is not "competition" so not really trail riding. Here is a very thin line between pleasure and trail.

I believe it is all on how hard you work your horse and yourself. If it is easy, obviously your pleasure riding, if it is hard, trail riding."


I'm not sure which side you are on with the statement above. Are you saying if it's hard, it's trail riding, or unless it's a competition and there's someone judging at the end, you're not really trail riding? I do strictly trails and my horses are atheletes in every sense of the word. They have to be to climb some of the mountains I point them at. I ride in the Cascade mountains all summer long and there are some areas I've been that the general public will never have the opportunity to see. Have you ever ridden on the open side of a mountain on a trail that is about two feet wide looking down 1,000 feet over your toe? These horses are steadfast and true and will save your life. They have to walk for safety's sake and in doing so you get the benefit of seeing all the country has to offer rather than speeding by on a gaited horse. Boring? Hardly.

Pleasure rider brings to mind someone who rides down the road with a friend talking with a beer in one hand and the reins in the other. Not that there's anything wrong with that. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Also, trail horses are made not born. I had a appy filly whose mom was the best mountain horse I had ever ridden in my life. In fact that was her job description - Professional Mountain Horse. Unfortunately, her baby did not have the temperment to be a trail/mountain horse and I spent 6 years trying to make her one. Fortunately, I found her niche as an arena horse and she is now enjoying a successful show career.

Some can do a passable job at being a trail horse but I wouldn't trust them to carry me safely out of the wilderness when needed. But then there are others who are worth their weight in gold that will do the job and do it willingly. Those are the true trail horses.

Dalriada
Mar. 15, 2005, 07:18 AM
I think the biggest confusion is the subject title of this forum "Endurance and Trail Riding". For most people who do Endurance and ilk think that Trail Riding must mean Competitive Trail.

Those who do "pleasure riding" think that Trail Riding is what they do.

Then there are those in the world who think that going for a hack outside of the confines of a ring or arena consitutes trail riding.

So we have the people who do "competitive" trail riding, those that do "non-competitive" trail riding and some who realy don't the difference all talking at cross purposes.

Words taken out of context often change meaning depending upon your point of reference.

CanterQueen
Mar. 16, 2005, 06:48 AM
Hmmm. Well, I'm a Trail Rider. But, I consider it pleasure riding, not competitive. We always ride to the "weakest" rider's level (big barn, and lots of different people to ride with). Some days we walk, some days we go all out at break-neck speed for the entire ride. Up mountains, through rivers, etc. And Mustangrider: we NEVER drink beer while on the trail, even when all we do is walk -- we are serious and safe riders. We all do ride for the pure pleasure of it. But, fast is fun too!!

mustangrider
Mar. 16, 2005, 01:33 PM
I didn't mean to offend but that is the picture I got as I know people who do just that. In my opinion, a cold brew tastes best after the ride sitting around the camp.

Fast is definitely fun when it's done at the right time and place.

I ride with Backcountry Horsemen of America and our ride schedule for the year includes some pretty agressive trails as well as easy conditioning trails. People who are unfamiliar with our style of riding and show a sincere desire to learn and taken under wing and given whatever guidance they need. If they are green riders on green horses, we would recommend what rides to attend appropriate to their experience level. However, if they choose to attend a ride beyond their level, they have to understand that if they find themselves overfaced after being warned, they shouldn't expect special treatment (i.e. babysitting). Of course, if they get into trouble we're not just going to abandon them and will help them out.

Critters Everywhere
Mar. 16, 2005, 02:09 PM
From Dictionary.com:

trail ridingn : riding along a roughly blazed path

can
1a) Used to indicate physical or mental ability: I can carry both suitcases. Can you remember the war?
1b) Used to indicate possession of a specified power, right, or privilege: The President can veto congressional bills.
1c) Used to indicate possession of a specified capability or skill: I can tune the harpsichord as well as play it.

2a) <span class="ev_code_GREEN">Used to indicate possibility or probability</span>: I wonder if my long lost neighbor can still be alive. Such things can and do happen.
2b) Used to indicate that which is permitted, as by conscience or feelings: One can hardly blame you for being upset.
2c) Used to indicate probability or possibility under the specified circumstances: They can hardly have intended to do that.


Thus
"any horse can be used for trail riding"
equals to people not doing competetive trail
"any horse has the potential to be ridden along a roughly blazed trail"

gdolapp
Mar. 19, 2005, 06:59 AM
THe makeing of a good trail horse or endurance
horse is what the rider and the horse put into
it as a team. How much they have worked together. What has the owner exposed the horse
to. It is my belief that sacking them out and
exposing them to certain issues while they
are young helps them as they age. For instance
I got my appy at 3 1/2 green. I immediatly
started to sack him out. the old owner had said
he had been ridden on roads, on the trail,
threw fields ect. well out came the tarp
he not only walks trots over it with me or
with out me on his back I can take the tarp and completely cover him with it pick up a corner and ask him to walk out from under I took beach
balls and threw them at his legs and feet then
bounced them off his body lit fire crackers by
him played radio really loud walked him over to
my truck opened the door got in it started it
turned the radio on and beeped the horn. I took
a lunge whip tied a plastic bag to the end of it
made like it was blowing in the wind. This horse is 8 this year and I have yet to find something that he spooks at. Not only does
his trainning have a lot to do with it but
our TRUST in EACH OTHER has everything to do with it. while some say ex show horses can't
competitive ride or trail ride it is all in what
they are expoosed to. If a show horse has done
nothing but ring work all it's life then yaeh
chances of it not spooking on a trail are nill
to none because it hasn't been worked with and
probably thinks that everything out there has
teeth and will eat it up. Though I don't competive ride or show anymore I do have a horse
that I can road ride parade ride trail ride
work cattle on pole bend and barrel race
the cool part is that when I do any of the above
such as barrels my horse will drop his head
and walk right off for me. This horse has
been exposed to rough terain and has swam rivers
all I am saying is you get what you put into it

prudence
Mar. 19, 2005, 07:32 AM
What you say is so true! Also the part about working with your horse is so important. When I ride my trail horse I know him so well I can tell where his feet are and I know his moods, his muscles, and pretty much how he is going to react in situations. He spooks sometimes which is absolutely part of being him but they are little happy spooks. We are partners and I hope he enjoys it as much as I do. Time is needed to develop such a partnership; we've been working for two years on trail and sometimes when I think about it I realize how amazingly better we are than when we started or even a year ago.

gdolapp
Mar. 19, 2005, 07:10 PM
Prudance
the cool part with my gelding is we are still
working on diffrent things. I look at each
ride as a bonding adventure because we
don't really know what we will come across.
one of the things I like about him is that
when he goes down a very steep incline
wether a ditch or hill he will put his head
down a bit I lean back and he feels with his
feet before he puts his foot on the ground and
is so carefull doing this. We have accomplished
alot TOGETHER and we are proud of one another
He is a one person horse he really gets nervouse
if I even allow someone to just sit on him

beausgirl
Mar. 20, 2005, 03:21 AM
I retired my ASB show horse a number of years ago as I was getting into TWH's, and he is not that happy on the trail, plus he is tall, long and narrow so his lung capacity is just not up there. Even when physically fit, he just didn't have the cardio pulmonary necessary to do long hilly rides. Now we putter, and he loves being a pasture ornament.

mustangrider
Mar. 21, 2005, 11:07 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by gdolapp:
Prudance
the cool part with my gelding is we are still
working on diffrent things. I look at each
ride as a bonding adventure because we
don't really know what we will come across.
one of the things I like about him is that
when he goes down a very steep incline
wether a ditch or hill he will put his head
down a bit I lean back and he feels with his
feet before he puts his foot on the ground and
is so carefull doing this. We have accomplished
alot TOGETHER and we are proud of one another
He is a one person horse he really gets nervouse
if I even allow someone to just sit on him </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

My 18 year old QH is just about the best mountain horse I know. He and I know each other so well that sometimes we think alike and make the same decisions on where to go and what to do. There was one trail we were on last year that was pretty narly and hard to negotiate. I spotted what looked like an abandoned logging road up on top of a steep hillside that looked as if it would be easier on him. I even picked out the route I would take to get up there. I didn't even tell my horse what to do when he spotted the same thing, and picked the exact same route I picked. I hadn't even motioned at all for him to go for it, he just blew me away. If that's not a true partnership, I don't know what is.

Feenikks
Mar. 29, 2005, 02:23 PM
- Well well.. My horse is a H/J and learned some dressage, he is competivelty conditioned for a good 25 mile trail...

But the people who know me and my horse say:
What a waste of talent, she is 'just trail riding' her horse... Trail riding takes skill too, it is a dicipiline and if I hear one more time that if someone sees an advertisement for a horse classified as a "trail horse" they consider it unsound for the h/j world I just might scream!

Trail riding can be brutal, I would NEVER ride my guy out there without complete soundness. And just because I choose the trails over the jumper world does not mean my horse is not sound, is sour and a good for nothing POS.

http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif P.S. I cannot spell today ..

mustangrider
Mar. 31, 2005, 01:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Feenikks:
- Well well.. My horse is a H/J and learned some dressage, he is competivelty conditioned for a good 25 mile trail...

But the people who know me and my horse say:
What a waste of talent, she is 'just trail riding' her horse... Trail riding takes skill too, it is a dicipiline and if I hear one more time that if someone sees an advertisement for a horse classified as a "trail horse" they consider it unsound for the h/j world I just might scream!

Trail riding can be brutal, I would NEVER ride my guy out there without complete soundness. And just because I choose the trails over the jumper world does not mean my horse is not sound, is sour and a good for nothing POS.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well Said! Your comment reminded me of a ride our trail club had 2 years ago. It was the annual women's ride which I was leading and the trail led down to a pond where we stopped for lunch. The approach to the water was very tricky and none of the horses were willing to get close. Here comes this one gal on an Appendix stating "my horse is an athelete, so he can do this." Well, after 20 minutes of trying to convince him he was an athelete and could do this, she admitted defeat. LUckily a few of us had collapsable buckets and watered that way.

Anyhow, the point is, my trail horses are atheletes in every sense of the word just like that one gal claimed. But being trail horses they must not be although they'll still be going when her big arena horse has quit.

Sparks5
Mar. 31, 2005, 02:04 PM
One of the hardest rides of my life was a trail ride. It was about 30 miles over unthinkable terrain, through hornet nests, up the side of a tennessee mountain, through a river we had to SWIM, jumping logs 3 feet high, galloping, trotting till I had bruises and water blisters....

Serious trail riding is for serious riders with a VERY ATHLETIC horse!

Trust me - I NEVER needed that kind of athleticism, wind, or power in the dressage ring! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

TripleRipple
Apr. 19, 2005, 06:59 AM
Gothedistance/hannah - what is CTR?

DH and I were discussing this thread. We think we'd like endurance as a competitive sport. But its interesting to see the difference of opinion on what trail riding is. I have a friend who trail rides, which to her means riding around her flat to slightly sloping 12 acres. Maybe out for an hour max, more typically 30 minutes after ring work. Usually at a walk, maybe some trotting, not much. Definitely not done daily.

For us, an hour ride would mean we don't have much time or is for a specific reason for a specific horse. More typically ours are no less than a couple of hours, with other rides being 3-6 hours done at intervals, depending on who we are riding and where they are at physically. The terrain goes from flat to mildly sloping to steep to horrendously steep, from dirt to rocks to water crossing to traversing rocky box canyons, rides where we take food for everyone and gear. The horses must be cool to accidental flushing of deer in quantity (sometimes 20+), jack rabbits popping out and keen to avoid cougars, mellow re atvs and the like. Sometimes going with others, or just the two of us, or out on solo trips.

wendy
Apr. 20, 2005, 12:56 PM
I think it's horrible that people think a horse of limited soundness is suitable for trail riding. Most horse trails I've ridden on are rough, poorly maintained, and difficult. Even if you're out there just for a half an hour of walking, it is much more physically demanding on the horse than riding around in an arena.

One barn I was at, many of the folks who showed hunter/jumper refused to ride out on the trails even at a walk because they were afraid of injuring their horses on the rough footing.

witherbee
Apr. 20, 2005, 01:43 PM
Wow, this thread should be titled "What is trail" and "What is sound". I think it's whatever you define it as, and you should be darn sure to discuss that with the person who is advertizing the horse. We all run into that in any discipline - horses advertized as dressage prospects are sometimes mistakenly thought to be able to do dressage because they have a tendon injury that prevents jumping. We all know that at the top levels of any equine sport, any major limitation will not allow the horse to be competitive. At the much lower levels if the horse is used very lightly, they may be able to remain sound and perform fine. I don't think we should attack eachother just because some say trail ride for a hack around the property and some mean a 20 mile ride in death defying mountains - as long as we explain what we mean by trail ride, it should be okay.
I do think that FW has been slammed on teh soundness issue and some have not clearly read her posts - she never said lame, she said "soundness issues for jumping". Horses like that can often have great careers doing other things, but the particular effort needed for repeatedly jumping is not for them. Those of you that compete and do rough terrain would never look at a horse that was advertized as such, even if it did say "trail riding" somewhere in the ad. We all have to read the whole ad, and sellers should be careful to include any limitations. I know it's a pain to have to expalin it each time, but you'll save a trip out to see a horse that's not for you if you explain up front what you are looking for. Sometimes, no matter how well you artuculate your needs, the seller will still not get it and tou will waste a trip, but that happens with buyers too (just like the whole "What is an Experienced Rider" debate lol!).
Anyway, I agree with the posters who talk about how they are just starting out with their young horses and trying to teach them to be good trail mounts (in my case I mean a 2 or 3 hour ride through varied footing and winding trails done once a week or so) - it can really be a bonding experience. My guy is a tad clumsy, but is enthusiastic and learning. He is also my show horse, but he loves the trails and doesn't have a spook in him. We always broke out young TBs that were destined for the racetrack with a little trail riding through the woods back home - was good for their minds and got them thinking independently - most seemed to really enjoy it.

mustangrider
Apr. 21, 2005, 01:55 PM
Yes, trail riding (no matter how you classify it lol) is so good for their minds. A friend of mine had a beautiful young warmblood that she mainly jumped and did a little dressage. She started trail riding him on ocassion and his jumping improved dramatically. He was more careful with his feet, was able to make sharper turns with better balance, etc. Just made a huge difference for the better.

Tory Relic
May. 29, 2005, 07:51 AM
Exactly. When I was a kid, trail riding meant going out and camping overnight (but not necessarily getting where we were going fast). Now it means (to me) get the horse out of the area before she goes nuts in there. It can be:

a ride through the woods on the hunt club property (got to trailer there)

a ride around the back 40 as someone put it -- good way to check those fences

a ride around the dirt roads in our neighborhood

It's not competitive, it's pleasure. And it's pleasure for me and the horse. I am interested in competitive trail riding and endurance. I'm happy to say the people I know who do it in real time aren't as uptight and defensive as some of you are. Sheesh. As FW, with whom I agree completely, and who should not have walk on eggs with her phrasing, this is sounding a lot like the H/J forum. Chill, folks!