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Does your trail horse take you back to the trailer?

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  • Does your trail horse take you back to the trailer?

    My mare has been going all over Aiken county with me. Our most favorite spot is Hitchcock Woods. With all of the hills and greenery, we have lots to see and do.

    Usually, with a trail horse, you can give them their head, and they will find their way back to the trailer.

    How many of you have horses that turn in the Opposite direction?

    My mare does. I had to MAKE her go back in the direction of the trailer. The other horse I was riding with said, nope not going further, and went in the direction of the trailer. My mare I had to make.....fun little gil I have.

    Yes I love my mare. After about 1.5 hours, she got the cobwebs out of her ears and wouldn't go back....we finally did, but what a fun little girl! I am so proud of her.
    Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

    Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!

  • #2
    to the trailer? never. Had one that LOVED trails and always wanted to go away from HOME. Have had others who have tried to go HOME (as the crow flies), but not back to the trailer.


    • #3
      My old palomino is an excellent trail horse, but as a retired ranch horse, I don't think he finds getting out "fun" in the same way pleasure horses do; he spent too many years where it was work, or just a long, hard routine. He will always take me back to the trailer given the chance; he never forgets where "he" parked, LOL. Once we were on a group ride and stopped atop a very high hill, overlooking the trailer parking area waaaaaay in the distance. He had his ears pricked at the spec of the trailers on the horizon, and let out a huge sigh. I don't think that was a coincidence. I've taken him out hilltopping with a hunt club, and even though he has a blast doing that, if we lose the hunt after a while and I let him pick his way, he will always decide we should just head back to the trailer, and he knows exactly where that is. On the other hand, when we first start out, if we lose the pack, he knows exactly where they went (by smell? super horsey hearing?) and will take us directly toward the rest of the hunt. But when he thinks he's "done" playing hunt pony, I don't let him pick his own way anymore.

      My last gelding would drag his heels all the way home, on the other hand. He walked out eagerly away fom the barn, and was always a slug going back. He loved being out on the roads or the trails. Sometimes I would let him pick the direction, and he would often decide to take me bushwhacking somewhere we hadn't been before. He liked to see whatever there was to see.
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      • Original Poster

        Lisa w-b, my mare seems to be like that. I have only had her for 4.5 months. She keeps getting better and better about it. Once she blows the cobwebs from her ears, she is very eager to go forward. She is turning into a fun little horse. Yours sounds like a hoot. They certainly are fun.
        Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

        Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


        • #5
          Yeah it is always fun to have a horse that enjoys the trails as much as you do. Mine always knows when we are heading back and her pace slows-going out she is very forward. You can train a horse all you wan't and you can aspire to be the greatest rider, but I think it is a gift if you get a horse that enjoys the activity that you are doing as much as you do. For one you never will have a hard to catch horse even in a huge pasture!


          • #6
            It's a joy to finally have a riding partner that absolutely loves to be out there on the trails and is focused on me. My boy Luke is a live-in-the-moment kind of horse, and he just loves to be out there. My DH will tell you he's too dumb to know he's headed back to the trailer , but I don't think that's it. Even when the trailer is in sight, he's still all about the ride and waiting for me to tell him what to do. Could he find his way back to the trailer if I gave him his head? Uh, probably not. If I throw away the reins, he usually starts swinging his head around in confusion and konks it on a tree. But that's ok. I love him anyway!

            Jazz, in riding days, could find his way back and draw you a map!
            "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
            <>< I.I.


            • #7
              Jake would happily bring me back home or to the trailer, but anyone can tell when they see him on the trail that he is happy to be there.

              Especially now that he is an only horse. He does love getting out, but now to him it means possibly seeing other horses.

              But even before that, he would start on the trail with ears up and very forward.
              I am with you guys- there is nothing like a happy trail horse!


              • #8
                Red loves to trail ride and is very forward moving - especially it if involves hills. But he certainly knows where the trailer is. We went riding at my cousin's ranch a few months ago. We had gone back to the house twice and rode out again. We were crossing one set of pastures to another and I let Red have his head. My friend was on Red's former stablemate and my huband were both up ahead of me. Red didn't follow them...he turned right. I know he was yelling at Cub and Sarge telling them, "hey dumb dumbs, the trailer is THAT way". LOL he is a funny boy! He cracks me up.
                Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


                • #9
                  My horses love to be tourist. I can open the gate and and trailer doors and they just load themselves.

                  On the trail, they've got lots of energy going away from the trailer. It may wane 7-8-9 miles later, But always returns when we turn and head back toward the trailer.

                  In september, I was up helping a friend with a Moose tag. He shot the moose late in the day, by time I got the horses to the kill and we buttcherd the moose and loaded it on the horses it was very dark. I could not see at all where we were going. I just had to let my gelding that I was riding lead out and the two horse I had packed with meat just followed. It was 5 miles back to the trailer down a mountain trail that the horses had only been on once, on the trip out. They made all the right turns and got me back to the trailer safe and sound.

                  Once while riding up in the Wind River Wilderness. I returned to an area that I had visited 3 years earlier. The trail that went into that lake was barely a whisper of a trail. As we rode along the main trail, I was kinda watching for the turn off. I didn't see it, but my horse just turned off the trail and headed in the correct direction. The mare I was riding, remembered going that way 3 years earlier. She left a beaten path to follow her memory down something that wasn't visible to me.

                  So yes horses do remember their way. Whether it's back to the trailer, to a water hole or a good pasture.


                  • #10
                    Actually yes! And surprisingly he is a warmblood, you would expect him to be very unsavvy about that stuff!
                    But a couple weeks ago we crossed through the woods not on a trail and ended up on an old dirt road. When we got to the clearing we rode off. And when we came back I went "oh cr*p!" because I didnt know where we had come out (it all looked the same!) Eventually we found our way.
                    But the next time I went out I marked the tree with a string, but I guess I didn't need to because I gave Todd his head and he found the EXACT tree we came out from! I was really quite impressed. He must have known from smell or something. Which is just incredible if you think about it. He isnt familiar with the area at all.

                    All my horses at home know exactly where they are-even miles out, but for a new place, they are amazing


                    • #11

                      At one park, my horse knows exactly where the trailer is even if we're on a trail we've never been on. But at this other park, he gets so lost no matter how many times we go there and I have to make sure I know where I am because he sure as heck doesn't.
                      Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
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                      • #12
                        I've been "training" mine to bring me back to it. Everytime we are headed back I say"trailer" as a command and try to give the head. I WANT my horse to bring me back "home" if I need help. Usually they will bring you back regardless, but I also feel like if train them with a command it will help.

                        My trailer means, food, relax, snacks, rest etc....


                        • #13
                          My TB mare loves trails, but she always seems to know the way back to the trailer too. I don't mind, I can only tell because she walks a little quicker and she knows which way she should turn without my help.
                          I actually like it especially when I don't know the way back!


                          • Original Poster

                            That is what I was hoping for.....a little help when I don't know which way is back to the trailer.....I was hoping for my mare to tell me. Ha!

                            My mustang in a heartbeat, will tell me which way is his personal trainsport container. He loves going out, but he is more than willing to go back home as well.

                            I will have to work on it with her....So the training begins.
                            Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

                            Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


                            • #15
                              My boyfriend has a TWH gelding who likes to think that he knows the way home. He told me that he was riding at East Fork Stables in Jamestown, TN last year (before he and I started dating) and he let his horse "find" the way home. At one point, the horse made a wrong turn but my boyfriend didn't correct him. . .he let him walk a little farther until they came to another intersection. The horse then stopped and looked both ways, looking totally baffled. That's when my boyfriend asked him "now, are you going to let ME steer this time?"

                              When we first started dating, he trailered his horse over to my barn to go trail riding for the day. The barn sits right on the boarder of a local state park, so it was easier for him to just meet me there. However, there is also a horseman's lot in another area of the park, which is where my boyfriend usually would go when riding for the day. He and I were out on trail for a few hours, and we happened to ride through the horseman's parking area. The horse apparently expected "his" trailer to be there, because he picked up the pace as we got closer and stopped and looked kind of confused when it wasn't there.

                              My own horse is really good about finding the way home, whether we're at our "home" park or somewhere new. If it wasn't for all the low-hanging branches and the fact that I ride with split reins, I could probably doze off and let him take me home.
                              Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.


                              • #16
                                Not only will my horse take me back to the trailer (if I let him), he knows which trailer is his and walks right to it and stops. What a guy!
                                Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


                                • #17
                                  H is awesome If it's less than 3 hours he's full steam ahead away from home, if it's past 3 hours and theres a big clearing, he'll take me back to the trailer.
                                  chaque pas est fait ensemble