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Your Favorite Thing about Being Out On Trail...

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  • Your Favorite Thing about Being Out On Trail...

    I'm always a little sad that this part of the forum isn't more active. Now that I've got a new horse, and he's Mr. Trailwalker (Luke!), I'm really falling in love with trail riding again. I particularly love it when we fall behind or move ahead and it's just him and me. He's just so happy to be out and walking big, I can almost hear him humming. He looks back at me periodically for assurance. It really gives me a sense of contentment and peace.

    Back when I was riding my hot OTTB out on trail, for some reason I absolutely loved riding in the rain. I think the sound of the rain calmed both of us.

    What do you love about being out on the trail?
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
    <>< I.I.

  • #2
    It would be difficult for me to pick just one thing... I've already thought of several in the last couple minutes!

    We don't just go for trail rides, we go on pack trips in the back country which emcompasses so much more than just a trail ride... I love planning the first trip of the year, digging out the pack saddles and planning the meals, seeing all our equipment again after a long winter. I love when we finally have all the packs tied on to the horses and when we get the string lined out and leave the trailhead, leaving civilization and heading back to the mountains, the first steep climb that takes all the steam out of our spring-fresh horses and makes them smell like sweat, love when we get into the timber and can smell the pines and warm dirt, love when we finally get to camp for the first time of the year and we can barely hold the horses back b/c they know where we are and want to run in, love the smell of the wild onions being stepped on by the horses in the meadow when we get to camp, love the smell of the dead pine needles burning when we start the first fire. Love waking up and hearing the "good morning" nickers from the hitching rail from the hungry horses... love full days of nothing but horses, dogs, friends, family and <beer>

    Dang spring is a long time away!
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


    • #3
      This is actually my favorite Forum I find everyone very helpful in a nice way, not snarky like some of the other forums can get.

      Wow, there is a lot I love about the trails. I've already mentioned it on another post, but I think the one on one trust between you and your horse is my most favorite thing. "We" both rely on each other to keep each other safe. And I love the way she puts her trust in me.

      The leaves are changing color and starting to fall here in New England. Love the sound and smell of the crunching leaves. And when it is breezy the falling leaves remind me of snow. (Without the cold)
      MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


      • #4
        Hhmmm, I think CM def. summed it up!

        I really enjoy the connection I have w my horse on the trails. It's so peaceful, no structure, no rules, just the sound of hooves crunching along in the soft forest floor.

        We camp a few times a month and trail ride every weekend.

        I think it mostly freedom that I love.
        All horses can go barefoot, but not all owners can - words of wisdom!


        • #5
          I love seeing things that everyone drives by and never notices. I ride along back roads and get to see different flowers in bloom in the spring, or the subtle changes in the leaves as fall comes and goes, a fox and her kits scurrying, all sorts of things people just rush on by and never take notice of.


          • #6
            I love that I see things and countryside I'd never see otherwise. I love how eager my horse is to get going, the spring in his step. I love stopping for lunch, tying them to a tree and sitting on a log, eating sandwiches and sharing an apple with the horses. I love seeing a moose and her baby, or a herd of bachelor elk, and having them be unconcerned about our presence, and the horses alert but unworried by the wildlife.

            But most of all I love the trust and partnership I feel with a really good trail horse. The feeling that even if we get into a sticky situation, we'll get out of it just fine.



            • #7
              There's a lot of things I love about trail riding.

              1. Getting out into nature, seeing new or different things, giving your horse a nice change of scenery. Looking down to see your horse with its head up not because it's being defiant, but because it's enjoying the scenery just as much as you are!

              2. The changing seasons seen on the trails. If you ride in an arena in August, it'll be the exact same as riding in the arena in Sepetember. Gets real boring real fast. I love seeing the flowers in the summer, the leaves in the fall, the snow in the winter.. no two rides are ever the same.

              3. Unexpected obstacles to have some fun and to learn with. Stepping over logs, going up and down little hills, going through creeks, etc. Horses can learn so much on trail, and they're learning in a really nice, low-pressure, no-hurry way. I hate to even call it 'training', they're just.. 'learning'!

              4. The space to just let your horse out and to just GO! I loooove finding a nice expanse of field, getting up into a two-point, and just letting my mare have at it. Whether it's her warp-speed trot that she does, or popping into a nice, big, strong canter that's flirting with crossing into a hand-gallop. Even if she throws a little buck, I know that's about the only time she's bucking because dangit, she's having a blast!
              Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


              • #8
                Going out west each summer to ride with CBM

                hey stranger!


                • #9
                  My favorite thing is the feeling of partnership I have with my horses when we're out on the trails. I also like "relaxing" and not feeling like I have to do something perfectly - I just need to go out and enjoy myself. I like facing challenges together and having trust in each other to get out of a sticky situation. I love galloping through the woods, just me and my horse. I love discovering new trails and seeing where they lead. I love the quiet solitude. I love it all!
                  "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


                  • #10
                    When I'm out on trails, my life disappears and all I can see is the world, full of possibilities around me. Stress from work, stress from home, stress from life melts away. It's as if I take the load off my shoulders before I get on my horse, and when I pick it back up again once I get back to the barn, somehow it seems a little lighter.


                    • #11
                      I too enjoy back country camping. But I also enjoy a quick ride around the suburbs after work- better than nothing! And, am fortunate to be able to leave the barn and ride up into the nearby wilderness area.

                      I guess I just like seeing everything from the back of a horse. And, in these parts, there are so many cool places to ride, it should be a crime!


                      • #12
                        I love the freedom of the trail, the beauty of the surroundings and the partnership between my horse and I.

                        Sadly, I find the ring utterly boring after one turn.


                        • #13
                          Not that I get to go trail-riding very much any more, but I love being outdoors and looking to see what is around the next bend or over the rise. The smells, seasonal changes, wildflowers, wildlife, grassy meadows, woods, riding a horse who can get his hocks under him going down a hill, picking out a good spot to cross a mudhole or a creek or whatever - it is just really, really enjoyable. Sure I've hiked and gone mountain biking too, but the horse adds just a little something.
                          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                          Incredible Invisible


                          • #14
                            * I love how the partnership with my horse shows up most on the trail, how I can put her in a steady canter and do the tinyest twistiest trails, how I can lean low on her neck and gallop full tilt, but slow back down just by shifting my position.

                            *I love how much my horse loves the trail. She relaxes so much, she is perky and interested in her suroundings and she just FEELS like a happy horse.

                            *I love the wildlife, one ride I followed a huge buck(Deer) all the way up a trail, ounce a doe with baby twins crossed my path, I've seen so many hawks and owls and much much more!

                            * I love the beauty of it.

                            *I love how the fact that I trail ride every time I ride (even my dressage work is on the trails) and it shows in my horse at events. I won Spring Bay because the footing was TERRIBLE there, but my horse just laped it up because she was so used to riding in the same stuff. I love hoe much of cross country machines my horses are from the wild hilly galloping I always do.

                            *I love the freedom of it. You and your horse and no one else.

                            *I love how when you trail ride alot, your horses are happier, better trained, healthier, more athletic, looser, quicker-thinking, problem solvers, pick up their knees, will go through "natural obsacles", couldn't care less about footing and are overall much better partners.
                            Team Awesome fo sho!


                            • #15
                              I like how close one can get to wildlife when on horseback. Butch and I often ride trails that aren't frequented very often, and we see tons of deer. Other, better used sections of the trail offer fewer glimpses of deer.

                              Oh, and surprising a fox or two is always fun!

                              I also love the sound of crunching leaves in the fall as my horse walks along.

                              The best things about trail riding: the abscence of fences, walls, and 20 meter circles!
                              "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                              • #16
                                All these comments remind me of how incredibly lucky I am to have a horse and to have trails nearby. The pleasure of my horse's company is what draws me to riding on the trail, watching him enjoy himself and his curiosity about what is around the next corner. Endurance riding is great as it's usually fresh country even when we have been there sometimes before. Lots of surprises for the both of us. We haven't been to an endurance ride for over a year, but we try and trail ride at least once a week.

                                Two other things are the changes where we usually ride, and the enjoyment I get out of riding with my daughter. We ride near Folsom Lake in northern California, and the lake rises and falls both with the seasons and with releases upstream. Right now it's back to being a river where we ride and it's fascinating to ride where ordinarily water is a cover. Yet in the spring the water was up over the trail, lots of fun too. Fish were on the trail and jumping out of the water! How cool is that?


                                • #17
                                  When I'm on the trail, it's just me and my horse. I don't worry about ordinary things. I concentrate on every flower, every leaf, every inch of trail as if it were some pathway leading to heaven. Every time I get on the trail I get a big smile thinking of those miserable years gone by stuck inside the arena attempting to perfect the 20 meter circle. Life is too danged short for that. The landscape is so magnificent and it beckons you to explore just a little bit more.

                                  I rode today and my young Arab was hot and fired up for 10 miles. The various spooks and bolts were a bit unsettling, but its something I'll look back on in 25 years and smile about when she's old and creaky and plugs along at a slow walk.

                                  Right now I'm thoroughly enjoying the unsolicited piaffes and aires above the ground because it just feels so good to be part of such a magnificent animal so full of life and vibrance. I try to soak in every moment with her because time is fleeting and I never want it to be said that I didn't enjoy life to the fullest with my best friend.

                                  So in summary I would say my favorite part of the trail is sharing it with a stunningly beautiful horse who thoroughly enjoys every moment of life, and never misses an opportunity to revel in the sheer joy of life.


                                  • #18
                                    Becoming one with my horse.


                                    • #19
                                      My trail horse is a 15 h QH mare --- alert, intelligent, sensible, willing (mostly -- we have to discuss mud occassionally ... it sucks off mare toes, don't you know.) With her, I can relax and enjoy the world as it goes by at a walking pace.

                                      My dressage horse is a 17 h bundle of nerves and energy -- she is a technical and mental challenge to ride. While I do occassionally take her out on small trail rides, there is much less relaxation in the program.

                                      "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                                      - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926


                                      • #20
                                        I love that I notice things I would never otherwise see.
                                        I love the partnership between myself and my horse.
                                        It's such an amazing feeling to pick up a ground covering trot or a rolling canter and be out on a beautiful day!
                                        "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                                        So you might as well have a good time"