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Finding people to ride with

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    Finding people to ride with

    I'm starting to think a lot of people don't actually ride their horses. I recently moved to a new barn that is not discipline specific. In 3 months time, I have yet to find a single rider who I can ride with. Even if I'm lucky enough to find someone with the same work schedule as me, I have yet to find a rider who even leaves the ring no less trail ride, wants to go at the same pace, terrain, location, etc. It's getting very frustrating. I can't afford to board at barns in my discipline which I'm sure would give me more options, so I'm stuck between having to attempt to ride out alone on a horse who is not good alone, or go at a crawl which is annoying for both me and my horse. As I get older, it gets harder and harder to find anyone who just wants to tear around on an open field. I'm reluctant to reach out on social media since people are very prone to not mentioning critical details such as, "oh I haven't ridden him in 3 years", "he's a little nutty around other horses" or show up with a bareback pad and ask to just walk since they rode for 3 hours the day before after you've made the one hour trailer trip to meet up. Does anyone have similar problems finding people to ride with? It's really starting to seep into the fun of riding.
    "Do what you can't do"

    #2
    Three months is a good while to be at a facilty and learn your barnmates focus with their horses, but without more info? on what you've made clear you are wanting in your own experience may be the issue, I don't know. I'd say first: Do you want to haul out and meet up with people that will understand you want to walk / trot/ canter on your rides? Can you be more giving in details where ever you share it with or ask? If what you're looking for (and I get it!) is specific, I'd look into local horse boards, or horse trail rider hook ups, or whatever, but yeah...someone who would enjoy a trail ride walk would not (seems) be your cup of tea. Maybe even look into endurance clubs local who will want what you want, some more giddy up? I do hope you find a good group, but you're gonna have to reach out I think?
    ayrabz
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett

    Comment


      #3
      I’m not sure of your location OP, but could covid be a consideration? My comfort level is ok on trails and being outdoors in general, but I do tend to make myself less available to those wanting to ride that I know care less about exposure than I do.

      Comment

        Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Fjordboycharlie View Post
        I’m not sure of your location OP, but could covid be a consideration? My comfort level is ok on trails and being outdoors in general, but I do tend to make myself less available to those wanting to ride that I know care less about exposure than I do.
        Good point. I actually did turn down a ride recently with someone who likes to go at sort of the same pace I do simply because she continually posts pictures of herself on social media dining indoors and going to casinos, pretty much every place congested and indoors. Totally beyond my current comfort level.
        "Do what you can't do"

        Comment


          #5
          Does your barn have a group text or FB group or something? My last barn had a group of folks who trail rode 4 or 5 times a day. There was a text chain that allowed everyone to coordinate times & such. My new barn has a private FB group. Communication helps. There may be someone who wants to do what you like, but hasn't been brave enough to do it alone.
          A proud friend of bar.ka.

          Comment


            #6
            tbchick84 Ive only been at my barn for 2 months and the BO is pretty strict about having masks on in the barn. Some people are definitely more compliant than others! Some of the groups are very social and they tend to be the ones that are out and about and traveling; I don’t feel totally comfortable being downwind from that if I’m not leading. I’m also quite introverted so I don’t mind riding alone but I do like to get out with others just for Charlie to have experience with both.

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              Original Poster

              #7
              If my horse was fine alone, this would not remotely be a problem. We'd be out on the trails hauling ass every day. That's not reality for me. Alone, he's a spooky mess. It's not fun or remotely safe. I envy people who can ride out alone on horses who don't bat an eyelash to anything. I'm not getting the uneasy covid vibe from anyone. We are in a state that has an extremely low infection rate. We wore our mask and did our jobs staying home months ago, so it's not a big issue for the most part.
              "Do what you can't do"

              Comment


                #8
                It may just be that you are at a barn where that isn't what people do. Most barns have some sort of general focus/feel to them, even if it isn't organized or lead by a trainer.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think it just sounds like that’s not most people’s focus at this barn. I agree with what others have said, can you haul out? Or are there neighbors in the area? I find that at boarding barns, the nicer the facilities, the less people like to trail ride. I have a good friend that moved to a super nice boarding place with a gorgeous indoor and outdoor arena and she was kind of surprised how nobody likes to trail ride.

                  Honestly though I think it’s possible to teach any horse to go out alone and be confident and not spooky. Almost no horses will do that naturally so I wouldn’t be so convinced that it can’t be done. If you’ve only ever ridden with people I wouldn’t expect him to be good alone because he’s probably never had to do that very much and the times he has done it have been really negative and scary for him which would make him like it less, and make your problem worse.

                  When I first bought my mare as a 2YO I couldn’t even bring her out of the pasture to groom her without her spooking and screaming her head off to her friends in her field. Now she’s 4 and I take her out alone all the time and she’s pretty bombproof. And she’s a warmblood.

                  So if it were me, I’d just take it as a new challenge and something to work on.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Benn there, done that. Our horses must be brothers. I have ridden with someone for years. Trails on Sundays 20 years ago with an excellent rider who started eventing when she was young and was team penning. Nice QH gelding and my horse found him an acceptable protector and companion. She was perfectly content to accommodate my level of comfort. She moved, my Sunday rides were alone for a while. New rider at the barn leasing a school horse joined me. Same success. I always rode before work. When she retired she continued Sundays and came several mornings. We kept the same schedule when i retired. That all changed in April. BO closed the barn when she did not have to. I have no living blood relatives (well, estranged sister w/Alzheimer's) and do have mental health issues. It's me and my horse. It was tough and I was supposed to just suck it all up. She was rude and not supportive. When everything opened up she decided to ride at 7 a.m. I won't set my alarm for 6 a.m. to ride. Takes the fun out. Now I make the best of it, but a couple of people are starting to hook up with us. I'm hoping, there are times it is boring and frustrating. My horse is 26, I'm 72, I try to focus on us and not worry about the rest.
                    "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by tbchick84 View Post
                      As I get older, it gets harder and harder to find anyone who just wants to tear around on an open field. .
                      Originally posted by tbchick84 View Post
                      We'd be out on the trails hauling ass every day.
                      I think you may have a faster-paced sense of adventure than many adults have. I love a good trail ride myself, with a good walk/trot/canter, but your posts make me hesitant. Good luck in your search. Post an honest "in search of" ad and I'm sure someone similar will answer eventually!
                      My hopeful road to the 2021 RRP TB Makeover: https://paradoxfarm.blog/

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Yes. Same problem, but I’ve come to like it! Worked a lot with my horse to be good alone, so on those days we can run around and be silly. If I’m actually feeling social/tolerant I’ll plan for a mostly walking ride, it’s good practice (for me and horse both!), or ride with the crazy horse (and deal with the antics). Definitely have to be in the mindset to deal with others. I say look to some local endurance groups, we’re used to some speed on the trails!
                        "Do your best, and leave the rest, twill all come right, some day or night" -Black Beauty

                        http://trails-and-trials-with-major.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I totally understand what you mean. I got very, very tired of everyone telling me to let them know when I was riding out (which is like every day haha) and they'd come with me. And, surprise, surprise- I'd call people and there was always every excuse in the book. So I gave up- if you want to ride with me, you can contact me and I am NOT babysitting (not saying I'm going ride like a fool or go over someone's ability but I'm not out there to give lessons or be a bounce off for a horse you can't handle).

                          OP- if you're anywhere near me, feel free to contact and we can go out!
                          But also, contact people in your local endurance groups- generally we have well behaved been there, done that trail horses who go at a decent pace and we know how to move out on trail
                          No mourners, no funerals

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I have a horse who is not good alone on the trails. He can be OK and fine and then all of a sudden a runaway mess for some stupid thing. So he can be unpredictable on the trail alone. After working him in a snaffle, if I want ride a little trail with him and I can't find someone to go with I take the boy back and put him in a kimberwick bit and we are good to go. Yes, he is spooky too and prone to occasionally acting out on the trail, but I'm just proactive now and don't drop my guard, stirrups or reins when alone. You do what you have to to get by, at least I think that's what I do. He's much more respectful of a kimberwick bit and that gives me the confidence I need to go alone.

                            As far as finding people to ride with, I kind of fly by the seat of my pants and am in the moment, search anyone out and ask people from different disciplines, ages or whatever if they want to trail ride who are either working their horses or riding around the ranch. Some do, some don't or say "after I'm done schooling" or whatever... It's cool. Move on and have fun. I can walk/trot/canter my horse on the trail, but if someone is only comfortable walking most of the time I'm flexible. I have friends who ride in my style, but they aren't always available. Such is life.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by tbchick84 View Post
                              I'm reluctant to reach out on social media since people are very prone to not mentioning critical details such as, "oh I haven't ridden him in 3 years", "he's a little nutty around other horses"
                              I think you need to try reaching out to horse groups in your area again to look for like-minded riders, and ask the important questions yourself. Other people can't read your mind and know what type of riding partner you're looking for, so you need to make it very clear and specific what exactly you want to do on the trail ride.

                              Originally posted by tbchick84 View Post
                              I'm starting to think a lot of people don't actually ride their horses. I recently moved to a new barn that is not discipline specific. In 3 months time, I have yet to find a single rider who I can ride with. Even if I'm lucky enough to find someone with the same work schedule as me, I have yet to find a rider who even leaves the ring
                              Originally posted by tbchick84 View Post
                              I'm stuck between having to attempt to ride out alone on a horse who is not good alone, or go at a crawl which is annoying for both me and my horse.
                              I'm sure it wasn't on purpose, but your OP comes off pretty judgmental to me. ::shrug::

                              I hate trail rides. They have never been my thing. In my early twenties, a few barn-mates invited me on a haul-out trail ride. It had all these steep hills and stuff, and they wanted to gallop around everywhere while my horse is jigging sideways because I did NOT want to gallop down these hills, and I'm there like omg he's about to slide down the side of a hill if he goes another inch to the right. Sorry not sorry, not at all my idea of a good time, and I was obviously holding them back from fully enjoying their endurance ride disguised as a trail ride. They invited me again, most likely just to be nice, and I declined. I did not have fun, and did not want to hold them back. I love my ring time. I love working on specific goals. My riding is, in fact, “actual riding.” Your definition of "riding" is not the same as everyone else's. Instead of saying people "don't actually ride" just because they're not doing the type of riding you want to do, spread out your search for people who want to ride the way you do.
                              Last edited by mmeqcenter; Sep. 18, 2020, 11:14 AM.

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post

                                I think you need to try reaching out to horse groups in your area again to look for like-minded riders, and ask the important questions yourself. Other people can't read your mind and know what type of riding partner you're looking for, so you need to make it very clear and specific what exactly you want to do on the trail ride.





                                I'm sure it wasn't on purpose, but your OP comes off pretty judgmental to me. ::shrug::

                                I hate trail rides. They have never been my thing. In my early twenties, a few barn-mates invited me on a haul-out trail ride. It had all these steep hills and stuff, and they wanted to gallop around everywhere while my horse is jigging sideways because I did NOT want to gallop down these hills, and I'm there like omg he's about to slide down the side of a hill if he goes another inch to the right. Sorry not sorry, not at all my idea of a good time, and I was obviously holding them back from fully enjoying their endurance ride disguised as a trail ride. They invited me again, most likely just to be nice, and I declined. I did not have fun, and did not want to hold them back. I love my ring time. I love working on specific goals. Your definition of "riding" is not the same as everyone else's. Instead of saying people "don't actually ride" just because they're not doing the type of riding you want to do, spread out your search for people who want to ride the way you do.
                                While I realize this not disclosed in my initial post, this particular barn directly borders a large trail system. It's one of the few barns in my area where you don't have to trailer out to ride, so it tends to appeal to people to who like trails.

                                The rest of your post confirms my point exactly. That trail riding does not mean the same thing to everyone. I did a hunter pace once, where it was just one massive hill after another. I actually got off my horse to walk him down the hills because it was absolutely ridiculous terrain for such an event and never went back. I chose the barn I am at because it was directly on a trail system. It seemed logical to me, that if you choose to board at one of the few barns with direct trail access, you actually like to ride trails. Apparently that was incorrect.

                                I do try to be very clear about what my horse and I like to do, but either people are not listening or not understanding what I am saying. Who the hell knows. It's just getting old. Am I really the only one who sees a big open field and thinks run??

                                "Do what you can't do"

                                Comment

                                  Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by walktrot View Post
                                  Benn there, done that. Our horses must be brothers. I have ridden with someone for years. Trails on Sundays 20 years ago with an excellent rider who started eventing when she was young and was team penning. Nice QH gelding and my horse found him an acceptable protector and companion. She was perfectly content to accommodate my level of comfort. She moved, my Sunday rides were alone for a while. New rider at the barn leasing a school horse joined me. Same success. I always rode before work. When she retired she continued Sundays and came several mornings. We kept the same schedule when i retired. That all changed in April. BO closed the barn when she did not have to. I have no living blood relatives (well, estranged sister w/Alzheimer's) and do have mental health issues. It's me and my horse. It was tough and I was supposed to just suck it all up. She was rude and not supportive. When everything opened up she decided to ride at 7 a.m. I won't set my alarm for 6 a.m. to ride. Takes the fun out. Now I make the best of it, but a couple of people are starting to hook up with us. I'm hoping, there are times it is boring and frustrating. My horse is 26, I'm 72, I try to focus on us and not worry about the rest.
                                  Wow, I could have written this myself. Our horse are brothers and we might be long lost sisters. Maine is on my list for retirement states. How's the horse scene up there? Will I have the same problem or do people up there like to hit the gas once in awhile out on the trails?
                                  "Do what you can't do"

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    You could work on your horse's spookiness too. It's not something that improves quickly, but if you're willing to put some time into it progress can be made.

                                    I have spent a couple of years working with mine. I started in November and spent that first winter working on it. I saw some encouraging results but I was surprised at how much had changed when we got outside in the spring. I kept working his exercises as needed and did a lot more work last winter, and he has just impressed me over and over again this year. I recently did a five hour solo trail ride off property and he was great. He still looks, he still spooks (half a step sideways, or halts) but he settled a couple of miles into that long ride and I really enjoyed it. I would have laughed if anyone had told me I'd be doing that ride three years ago.

                                    My other horse I can take anywhere and do anything alone. I never thought I'd be able to do that with the spooky horse, but now I think it's a possibility.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Yes I had this problem so 2 years ago started a localised horse riding Facebook group. And now there’s a core group of about 20 of us, so can always find someone to ride with.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        I have to agree, when I read the OP I had the same thought as mmeqcenter . Your comment about people actually riding makes you sound very judgmental and if others hear you that way too, that might be why it is harder for you to find someone to ride with.


                                        Originally posted by tbchick84 View Post
                                        I chose the barn I am at because it was directly on a trail system. It seemed logical to me, that if you choose to board at one of the few barns with direct trail access, you actually like to ride trails. Apparently that was incorrect.
                                        Or maybe they like the culture at this barn. Or maybe they like the price at this barn. Or maybe they like the care at this barn. Or maybe this barn is close to where they live so they picked it and have stayed there.
                                        The list could go on and on.

                                        I think (just my opinion) you might find it easier to find riding buddies if you did not make broad sweeping assumptions about people.


                                        ​​​​​​​
                                        Originally posted by tbchick84 View Post
                                        Am I really the only one who sees a big open field and thinks run??
                                        I think - that is likely someone's crop so I need to stay off of it.

                                        ​​​​​​​

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