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It's official -- I'm a trailrider...

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  • It's official -- I'm a trailrider...

    My horsey identity (and my COTH signature) has officially changed. I put my beautiful dressage saddle on Ebay today -- finally facing the fact that Jazz is never going to come back enough from his injury for us to continue on with our dressage aspirations (low as they were).

    Not sure how I feel about it. DH has been super -- actually discouraging me from selling it because he knows what it means to me. But here we are, three years past that fateful summer, and it feels right now. I took the first step by getting Luke, my TWH, two years ago (wow, time just flies!). Then riding Jazz lightly on the property, he's let me know his preferences are first to be bareback, second for my Circle Y western saddle, and third for the dressage saddle (I think he associates it with work!). That soft, new saddle in it's pretty custom cover has just been sitting in my tack room making me feel bad for both Jazz and I. So today I'm officially hanging up my backyard DQ identity, and when folks ask me what type of horsewoman I am, my answer will be "just a trailrider." But really, it's not a just. It's a good thing. Time to move along.

    Anyone else go through something similar?
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
    <>< I.I.

  • #2
    I left behind jumpers 20 years ago and never looked back.

    Soooo nice having no pressure to "perform" or be totally correct in position, etc. It's just you and your horse, enjoying God's creation and having fun.

    Once you start trailering out to ride the countryside, you'll ask yourself "What took me so long?!"

    Can't wait to see pictures of you out and about!
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Next go the britches and boots. No one cares what you wear on the trail. Hell, your horse doesn't even need to be all that clean!
      ********
      There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
        Soooo nice having no pressure to "perform" or be totally correct in position, etc. It's just you and your horse, enjoying God's creation and having fun.
        While I still love to jump cross country, but don't really like to nor can afford to compete, just school over fences... lately we have been doing lots and lots of trail rides to some great state and national parks, mostly for the reasons stated above by Chocomare! I love it!
        View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com

        Comment


        • #5
          And just because you are a trail rider doesn't mean you can't jump the occasional log or stream. Being comfortable at speed, or knowing how to jump, can save you in a tricky situation...like the time the skies opened with hail, horizontal rain, and lightning and we had to get off the mountain fast. Our horses all were ex-show horses, and they got us safely back to the trailers in record time.

          IMO, there's no such thing as "just" a trail horse or rider.

          But you know that already!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Bank of Dad View Post
            Next go the britches and boots. No one cares what you wear on the trail. Hell, your horse doesn't even need to be all that clean!
            Ugh, I have so many pairs of britches, and now I only ride in my favorite two or three. I may have to gift them to someone!

            Chocomare -- I'm always the one with the camera, so there's never pics of me. This one is about it -- DH took it this summer.
            Attached Files
            "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
            <>< I.I.

            Comment


            • #7
              Gawjus dahling!
              <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by saddleup View Post
                And just because you are a trail rider doesn't mean you can't jump the occasional log or stream.
                Ditto! Got to do just that this past Saturday (jumped two downed trees and a ditch )
                <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I love trail riding and camping. It is so relaxing and just being in nature alone or with your friends is great.

                  Also for dressage, I wonder how much does today's stuff actually represent what it was intended for? In the old days it was mostly to train war horses-hmmm I wonder if that is why they called it high school-you graduated and then went off to war?? But now there is no "graduation" per se. Skill of the rider and horse is not field tested , where you have people trying to kill you coming at you from all directions and death and injury and still have the horse listen to you, instead it is just ring tested with really no threat or distraction. Today you can use it generally in any type of riding-but not in war!

                  Trail riding isn't as easy as it seems-especially if you have a hot horse. You just encounter so much stuff and it takes time to build trust in each other and I love it. I think you can use dressage while riding the trails-not the strict ride every step kinda thing, but the principles.

                  But to me just to able to ride your partner out there and have a blast is great. Plus I go camping a lot and you just meet so many fascinating people of all kinds and get to ride in some pristine country. I love it and so does my horse!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Jazzrider

                    Hello, my name is rmh_rider, I am a trail rider now too. (you all say: hello rmh_rider)

                    After many many years of riding and training for endurance, I have come to the fact and conclusion I can't ride those hard miles any more. Health issues. May sound easy, and a no brainer, but hard for me.

                    To work up before admitting I can't handle the hard long miles any more, I bought a 1.5 yr old rocky filly. Then I broke her. Then I certified her. Now we are enjoying the miles at a more comfortable pace. Relaxed, nice. She is now 3.5 yrs now. I have always been a trotter, now I ride gaited. I am happy to be riding at all. She has made it so I can!

                    I *didn't* sell any of my tack. As a matter of fact, my saddle (a Solstice) fits her perfectly, and it has a new life as a trail horse rider saddle only. I have all my other stuff I used for endurance. I still have my endurance horse. He still loves trail and is still quiet. He isn't all go go go iow. He doesn't mind a slower pace, or not being ridden as much these days.

                    Hard to admit to having to go to a different lifestyle with horses. But at least you still have horses, and still enjoy them, and CAN still enjoy them. Look how much knowledge you have now as a trail rider. !!! You can apply all you have learned to the trail. I do/did. My dressage riding (yes did that) helps alot.

                    I am enjoying NOT having to race out at the crack of dawn or earlier to train. It was hard to meet folks at 10am, and not 5am (to beat the heat).

                    Enjoy trail riding. Life is more beautiful from atop a horse. You get to see landscape nobody else gets to!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Hello rmh_rider! Thanks for your post.

                      I've been out riding the trails for a long time now, but as many of you know your horsey-identity is often wrapped up in what eventing or competing you've done -- and for me that was dressage. But now I've unwrapped myself, no more explanations of what I used to do before my horse got injured. Now I'm a trailrider. And I'm hoping this proclamation will take away the guilt of not doing enough ring work, not using my expensive dressage saddle (crossing my fingers Ebay will do it's thing!), and not training and just let me embrace trail riding for what it is. Dressage, for me, was my base training and it's a part of the rider I am. So I use those skills every time I ride -- out there on the trails. Now jumping, saddleup, if I tried that I'm pretty sure my TWH would fall on his cute little face. But who knows?
                      "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                      <>< I.I.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Don't be too sure that you TWH can't jump. Both of mine are capable of jumping any log or ditch that gets in their way. The 4 year old will even hop over the electric fence if it isn't built to her ''high'' standards.

                        Anyway, have fun out on the trail and maybe we'll see you out there! Wear what's comfy, ride the horse that enjoys his job, and see the sights (and post what you see and where you have been).
                        Just cause you move to Texas, doesn't mean you are a Texan. After all, if a cat puts her kittens in the oven, It doesn't make them Bisquits.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's all I have ever done. I probably can't afford to show, don't have the time, nor the desire to ride around in a circle that much. I would like to try endurance or competetive trail or maybe the extreme cowboy competitions, but not enough time for that either. Stupid work!

                          You can probably get rid of those extra britches on Ebay too! I like being able to wear whatever, use whatever tack. Also, friends of ours have kids in 4H and when she complains about getting up super early to bathe horses and she still doesn't even get to ride, I think how glad I am that we don't do that. My horses don't know what a bath is.

                          Welcome to trail riding, full time!

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            ponygrl25, your sig made me laugh out loud.

                            My boy Luke is special. He seems to get his feet tangled up if he's doing anything but his flat walk or running walk. He's a marcher, and I can't even throw the reins away on the way home because he starts swirling his head around in confusion and bangs it on a tree. But you never know. We have yet to impulsively give it a try. I used to jump out on trail all the time with my OTTB, but Luke shows no aptitude or inclination for it. He just high steps it over things.

                            Where are you in VA? We're up north.
                            "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                            <>< I.I.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yay! Welcome I showed hunters for years and years before hanging up my show helmet and field boots for trail. Pretty soon was I pretty heavy into endurance. I absolutely adore it. Funny though, I recently started missing "formal" riding and took up dressage. PM me the link to your saddle, I'm looking I am not planning on being a full-time DQ but so far I am really enjoying it. Plus the benefits of dressage on the trail are far too many to name. You are lucky, many "just trail riders" have horrid equitation and no control of their horses. Congratulations!! And you can always buy another dressage saddle and more show breeches if you decide to get back into it after a few years!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by jazzrider View Post
                                ponygrl25, your sig made me laugh out loud.
                                Ditto! I like Billy Graham's similar version:

                                Going to church doesn't make you a Christian. Just like me living in a garage doesn't make me a car.

                                <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Eddy's Mom View Post
                                  Yay! Welcome I showed hunters for years and years before hanging up my show helmet and field boots for trail. Pretty soon was I pretty heavy into endurance. I absolutely adore it.
                                  I'm intrigued by endurance riding but just don't think I have the time to commit to it. Every year I think I'm going to go to a intro clinic about it (someone usually posts it here) but then I don't. For now trail riding will hopefully be enough!

                                  Sent you a PM on the saddle link.
                                  "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                                  <>< I.I.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Same situation for me happened 15 (gasp!) years ago. My 11-year-old warmblood cross, who I had bought to be an eventer, suffered a career-ending injury. After 18 months of rehab, we had 13 years of slow, rambling trail rides, until I had to put him down this past April.

                                    He was my only horse for a long time, until I finally adopted a rescue 3 years ago. I had no particular plans for the new guy, but he made it clear that he wanted to be an endurance horse. I was actually really happy about it, because after so long on the trail, somehow I couldn't contemplate returning to the arena...
                                    RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I was able to get back to trail riding this past summer, just bobbing along, watching nature go by, with the occasional long trot or bit of gallop thrown in. Nothing structured, nothing formal.

                                      But I'm having a hard time motivating myself to do much else!
                                      "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                      Spay and neuter. Please.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        BigHorseLittleHorse, are you aware that your post level right now is 666? Quick, post again!



                                        And on returning to the arena -- yeah, I'm not sure I'm going to miss it too much either. Jazz and I shared a mediocre work ethic, must to the frustration of our trainer.
                                        "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                                        <>< I.I.

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