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Glad I am just a low maintenance trail rider

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  • Glad I am just a low maintenance trail rider

    First of all it is a low cost horse hobby compared to show competitions. Most of my 'horse friends' are not trail riders they are show competitors, alot of them Eventers, and I really feel bad for them in this economy. They are really hurting $ wise. My board hasn't gone up and most likely won't and I am now able to keep my rig at the barn so I only have to trailer 6 miles if I want to ride at my favorite park. Or I can just access a few trails from my barn. Although it is their choice to spend alot of money on horses, lessons, board, equipment, travel (which alot of trail riders think is ridiculous) I still hope things turn around.
    Glad I am just a low maintenance trail rider....and yes Sublimequine HAIL THE MIGHTY TRAIL HORSE.

  • #2
    I think trail riding is the best sport in the world. You and your horse in the great outdoors. A ride on a sunny day with nice friends to ride and chat with just can't be beat. A really good trail horse is a true gem, and should be greatly treasured.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/

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    • #3
      Well, in one regard I can happily say "me to" but I disagree somewhat.

      Unless you are lucky enough to have adequate trails close to home, you can spend a fortune trailering out. For instance this weekend I shelled out about $80 in fuel just to go ride 13 miles.

      I bought a $90 breastcollar, a $90 girth (two of them), a $200 saddle pad, a $70 saddle pad, $200 hoof boots, and other expensive items to outfit my horse for endurance riding. Not including saddle, bridle, camping equipment, corral charger, etc. It can be very expensive. I have blankets and sheets of various weights for trailering. I'm about to invest in the Cool Medics stuff for me for summer riding. A new $99 helmet. A used, $100 GPS. I need a HRM so bad. That's another couple hundred.

      Okay, that's only for 1 horse! I have 3 that I trail ride, one endurance horse, and they all have their own gear! haaaa, yeeeeesh, it's scary.

      I just shelled out $25 for a state trail pass sticker, and then you average about $15 per state trail for an annual usage pass. $25 for a trails guidebook for this state. $30 for a Gazateer for finding my way around all the complicated, podunk back roads looking for campgrounds and trails. $100 for a tent because I don't have LQs in my trailer. $80 for a memory foam mattress so I can actually walk in the morning after sleeping in tent.

      Also when you're hauling your horses all over you should vaccinate for everything known to man. That's more expensive than if you don't leave your property.

      I've found this to be fairly expensive. Not really cheaper than showing at all. Way cheaper than lessons and clinics though, definitely. I don't know, I guess whatever you do with horses it's expensive until you get all your tack bought and paid for, and you trail ride around home.

      The fuel for hauling to places is the real kicker right now.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree. I have a show horse and an endurance horse, and the only reason I spend more on the show horse is because I compete him more often. I spend about the same on tack, upkeep, all that. I figured out that shows and endurance rides are pretty comparable cost wise, too, because I show as cheaply as possible and I have to drive pretty far to get to most rides while I've got a ton of shows in my area, so it about balances out.

        I guess if you're taking multiple lessons each week that would cost more, but I only take occasional lessons, which I think all riders should do regardless of discipline since we all pick up bad habits. My coach is really close to me, though, and while I've got a lot of land to ride on here if I want to haul into the mountains it is quite a drive, so my lessons and mountain rides balance out pretty closely, too. In fact I probably spend more on mountain rides than on lessons now that fuel is so expensive.

        I guess if all you do is hack around your neighborhood trail riding would be cheaper, but on the other hand I did dressage for years without competing and just riding at home or hacking around my neighborhood (and know plenty of others who have done that, too, or maybe go to one or two small shows a year), so even though I still considered myself a dressage rider the cost would still be comparable. You can't really compare the cost for a pleasure rider to that of a competitive rider in any discipline, IMO.

        I think horses are just expensive, period. I feel sorry for all of us. Think of all the cool stuff we could have if we didn't own these beasties.
        Last edited by CosMonster; Apr. 8, 2008, 01:35 PM. Reason: clarification
        exploring the relationship between horse and human

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        • #5
          Trail riding and endurance riding are completely different. For trail riding you usually do it close to home and no cost involved.
          With endurance it is all you say. The enterance fees for 50 miles has really gone up and easily runs 100's of dollars for a weekend ride.
          Even a coggins test has gone up .
          Once you have your gear sorted out there is no expense. I went 17 years without buying much for my old horse.
          My trailer is aluminum and 20 years old. I really keep it well manitained and will last another 20 years so no expense there.
          Board is my only big expense and runs about $3000 per year.
          Again I find the green belts in cities makes for great riding.
          I trailer about 5 miles to the edge of a large city and from there travel on the grass bullevards or parks.
          I have a 15 mile circuit that I really like with 2 watering holes where the horse can drink and I can give him a quick cool down bath.

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          • #6
            I haven't gotten into the thick of it yet, but I think horses in general are an expensive hobby I started out leasing, then decided to buy my own horse who would like the trails more. My hope is some day to do CTR, but right now I've got a "cheaper" horse with work needed. Boarding isn't cheap, but close so I don't waste $$ on gas, the hay price has driven up boarding cost too. We just did our spring shots as well, comparable to our vet costs for the dogs/cats so no biggy there.
            My cheap horse requires me to be in weekly lessons, so that's an added expense...but well worth it as I get to finish him to my liking and seeing how much he has changed has been amazing.
            Now, there's tack...which I went for broke with a treeless (Bandos), then bought a breast collar and bridle set. I'd like to get a good bareback pad, and better girth, but that is low on the list...My next HUGE purchase is a trailer. In order to avoid the trade in of my SUV, I plan to spend the extra $ on the Brenderup... With all that is happening right now tho, I'm putting it off a bit. We're not ready to trailer anywhere yet anyway
            RIP Traveler & Tesla <3

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            • #7
              I agree that pleasure trail riding is relatively inexpensive compared to any kind of competetive riding. No need for fancy tack, and it lasts for years. No search for "the perfect saddle pad" so your horse can last for 25 or more miles of trail in one shot. Never mind the search for the right saddle, or multiple saddles as your horse changed shape at different fitness levels. No search for the perfect boots that can handle mutliple miles without rubbing, etc.

              My horse expenses were minimal until I tried to get into endurance. And financially, it looks like I'm going to have to pass up yet another ride season for endurance. No biggie, since I can still trail ride my guy and have fun. Or, I can spend hours grooming him and the rest of the herd when I don't have time to ride.

              Yep, they are expensive all right. But they give back, unlike other expensive hobbies!
              "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

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              • #8
                I have one semi-retired show horse. He is retired from showing, and now he is one of the worlds greatest trail horses. But right now I need a new fly sheet for him. And his hooves are having a hard time holding up to road (dirt) riding, so he needs boots all around Farrier said NO MORE road riding until he has boots. So, I'll be spending some $$ on him. He's worth it

                I also have a young horse who is learning to be a show and a trail horse. He is equally scared and fascinated by both experiences. He's expensive right now with all the weekly lessons, saddle fitting, and other various stuff you gather up to make a new horse comfy
                My Dad's Site: http://www.horsecrazy.net

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by matryoshka View Post
                  Yep, they are expensive all right. But they give back, unlike other expensive hobbies!
                  I couldn't agree more! Not to get all Jerry Maguire, but my horses complete me
                  My Dad's Site: http://www.horsecrazy.net

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                  • #10
                    I am so jealous that you get to do trails!! I would LOVE to ride trail but it is just not safe where I board because we have no direct access and I have no truck and trailer. I board out in Contra Costa County, CA and have explored the Mt. Diablo trails around my barn but I find the endless roads, barking dogs, speeding motorcycles, honking vehicles, rude mountain bikers, the perils of riding by peoples backyards with kids on trampolines and splashing in pools too nerve racking especially for my horse who is green on the trails. It's too bad, just another example of urban sprawl and development taking away the trails. I bet 40 years ago Mt. Diablo was a wonderful place to ride. I am just to chicken to brave them in 2008.
                    http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f2...have/levil.jpg
                    [http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f283/kschave/bee.jpg
                    http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f2...ave/Levi-1.jpg

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                    • #11
                      I am definitely glad the place I board has some trail spots near by...makes the trailer purchase a bit further off! And gives me a place to get him settled and trail happy that I know already
                      JME-Can you PM where you board? I remember you saying you are sort of in my area from previous topics.
                      RIP Traveler & Tesla <3

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by matryoshka View Post
                        I agree that pleasure trail riding is relatively inexpensive compared to any kind of competetive riding. No need for fancy tack, and it lasts for years. No search for "the perfect saddle pad" so your horse can last for 25 or more miles of trail in one shot. Never mind the search for the right saddle, or multiple saddles as your horse changed shape at different fitness levels. No search for the perfect boots that can handle mutliple miles without rubbing, etc.

                        ah... but that's not all together true. Here in Michigan we have the shore-to-shore trails. Several planned rides are done and it's about 25 miles between camps. Get up early, feed horse, feed self, tack up horse, drive truck & trailer to next camp, ride association bus back to horse. Ride 25 miles, picket horse, yada yada.. next day do it again. A basic one-way ride lasts about 16 days, including 4 layover days. There are 10 camps along the main east-west route - with 12 stops (Lake Michigan on the West and Lake Huron on the East). Some folks have 2 saddles so that they can switch between them. And having the right gear can make a huge difference in completing the ride.

                        Expensive is having the rig to live out of for that long and carrying all the stuff to camp with. Arranging for enough hay at all the camps, doing some laundry "in town", etc.

                        I've never done the shore-to-shore, but I have used some of the camp sites.. hauling 3+ hours to some of them.
                        More info - go to mtra.org


                        <snip>
                        Yep, they are expensive all right. But they give back, unlike other expensive hobbies!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ya got me there, gabz. Though that isn't exactly what I picture "pleasure trail riding" to be. I think of that as camping, which requires a lot of gear. It sound like tons of fun!! Once I decided to try endurance, the expense went up. I'd love to camp, but again, the gear costs money. Don't even get me started about supplements, electrolytes, etc.

                          Hey, I've got an OTTB. There is nothing cheap about an OTTB, I can tell you, whether he's just on turn out or in competetion. But relative to trying to show that OTTB, keep him in shoes all the way around so he can stay sound in the ring, buy clothes for showing, pay a trainer to keep our skills sharp, etc, I'm thinking trails are still cheaper. Besides, on trails, I get to use bright tack that make people stare. In the show ring, we've got to buck to accopmplish that feat (and not in a good way).
                          "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

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                          • #14
                            We are trail riders and have had appy trail horses. None ever cost me over $1200.
                            The saddles each ran less than $300, and breast collars, bridles and reins are all working tack, not show. Saddle pads cost $100 bucks each. Helmets, $35. Horn and cantle bags to carry emergency supplies were bought 15 years ago. That's it. The horses live in their fur, not in sheets and blankets. The trails are down the road. If I had to trailer out to every trail ride we went on we would not be in horses. Way too much money for a joy ride.

                            Endurance riding sounds like a lot of fun, but it is too expensive for us to even consider getting into. We will stay as local trail riders, and love every minute of it.
                            Last edited by Chief2; Apr. 9, 2008, 01:27 AM.
                            "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

                            http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by matryoshka View Post
                              Ya got me there, gabz. Though that isn't exactly what I picture "pleasure trail riding" to be. I think of that as camping, which requires a lot of gear. It sound like tons of fun!! Once I decided to try endurance, the expense went up. I'd love to camp, but again, the gear costs money. Don't even get me started about supplements, electrolytes, etc.
                              I guess that's "camping" ... but don't tell the others that do 2 or 3 of these rides a year.
                              My "trail riding" is more like camping... I drive 3-4 hours, set up camp, *ride 3 - 4 hours, take a nap, cook something, drink something, take another nap, eat, drink, ... repeat from * for 3 days.
                              Of course, I do have places to trailer to within 30 minutes of the house. Now THAT's CHEAP... well, it USED to be cheap until gas went to $3.50 a gallon. That's why camping is more economical. Trailer in, ride 3 days, trailer home. : )

                              Hey, I've got an OTTB. There is nothing cheap about an OTTB, I can tell you, whether he's just on turn out or in competetion. But relative to trying to show that OTTB, keep him in shoes all the way around so he can stay sound in the ring, buy clothes for showing, pay a trainer to keep our skills sharp, etc, I'm thinking trails are still cheaper. Besides, on trails, I get to use bright tack that make people stare. In the show ring, we've got to buck to accopmplish that feat (and not in a good way).
                              Gotta love that bright tack - maybe you need some bling for the show ring and that way your horse won't have to "buck".... The tack stores DO have English stirrups with little "rhinestones" on them, and spurs too!!!

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