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All hail the almighty TRAIL HORSE!!!

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  • All hail the almighty TRAIL HORSE!!!

    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 ), 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.

    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! ).
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!
  • Original Poster

    #2
    Originally posted by Auventera Two
    Those big poops why didn't they want to ride outside?!? It was BEAUTIFUL today!!! 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!

    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.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh come on girlfriend, you can't be a trail rider without a trailer! I'm just teasing you. Well, have them haul you north about 5 hours, okay?

      Comment


      • #4
        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
        www.jumping-percheron.blogspot.com

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
          Oh come on girlfriend, you can't be a trail rider without a trailer! I'm just teasing you. Well, have them haul you north about 5 hours, okay?
          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.

          diamond; Sounds awesome! I betcha a 3 year old Dressage horse couldn't do that.
          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

          Comment


          • #6
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              Please don't take this the wrong way, but..

              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.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by horselips View Post
                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?
                Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by horselips View Post
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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! )....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!
                    ayrabz
                    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                    --Jimmy Buffett

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by ayrabz View Post
                      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! )....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.
                      Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Does anyone else catch themselves saying that they "just" trail ride? I do that all the time.
                        Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

                        Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cashela View Post
                          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
                          I recognized with despair that I was about to be compelled to buy a horse ~
                          Edith Somerville and "Martin Ross"

                          "Momma" to Tiempo, Tucker and Puff, RIP my beautiful Norman 8/2012

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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"!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hay

                              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!
                              Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
                              One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
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                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Auventera Two
                                Those big poops why didn't they want to ride outside?!? It was BEAUTIFUL today!!! 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!

                                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. 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. 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?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    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
                                    "There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." ~Edith Wharton

                                    Crayola Posse ~ RedViolet

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      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.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        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.
                                        "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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