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When you trail ride....

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  • When you trail ride....

    Do you walk only? Jog at all? Lope? Go faster? Just curious. Of course I am assuming that you aren't jogging or loping unless the conditions are appropriate for that. Thanks.

  • #2
    Depends on the horse and what type of ride I'm doing that day. I do jog and lope frequently however.


    • #3
      It depends on the pony. I ride alone because my pony is the only equine on the dairy farm. My old pony could w/t/c on trails safely, but he is in WV with a COTHer family. My POA greenie is at the walk with maybe a short trot only outside of the arena. We are still working on the gremlins in the bushes thing.
      Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
      Takaupas Top Gold
      Gifts Black Gold Knight


      • #4
        I usually ride alone and will do alot of trotting as I use my trail time usually for conditioning. When I ride with others, we mostly just walk, occasionally a short trot, but not often. I rarely lope, although my horses would be fine with that. Never go faster; don't see a need.


        • #5
          On my now retired Arab I loved loping on the trails by myself and going out with just the two of us. Many times I would let him run flat out and it was exhilarating. He could go forever and loved trail riding as much as I did. He was always alert and interested in everything around us. He'd be the first one to spot other riders or deer long before I'd notice. I'd see him looking off in the distance and sure enough, there would be something where he was looking.

          I owned his Mom and foaled him myself 28 1/2 years ago. I would go anywhere on him and he took great care of me for the 20+ years I rode him. He is retired now.

          My current Arab is 4 1/2 ys. old and is just about to be put under saddle. Time will tell if we have a good partnership.

          I spend lots of time with them (working/training, hanging out, grooming, etc.) and being Arabs they do seem to bond incredibly well with their person.

          On the other hand, I have my husband's fully trained Paint horse to ride on trail. I will trot and lope him but we do not have the same bond and so far I haven't grabbed a handful of his mane and let him go flat out. We do not have the same partnership and trust that I had riding my Arab but we've only had him a few years.

          I still take my retired boy out for hand walks along the trail and he still flags his tails and arches his neck when he sees other riders. I would love to be able to ride him across the hills once again but we enjoy our walks.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Macimage View Post
            On my now retired Arab I loved loping on the trails by myself and going out with just the two of us. * * * He'd be the first one to spot other riders or deer long before I'd notice. I'd see him looking off in the distance and sure enough, there would be something where he was looking.
            That's my 1/2 Arab mare as well; she has totally spoiled me, LOL. Very alert & always knows what's going on. My little QH filly, not so much, but she has her good points too!.


            • #7
              Lol, I get this question all the time from our guests. People who are not around horses very much assume people who do a lot of riding must gallop the entire time while trail riding... I guess because that's typically what you see in westerns...

              When I'm trail riding with friends or DH, I mainly walk. If I'm specifically conditioning a horse I will trot fairly often. However, there are times when I get a wild hair up my rear and let loose . I'm one of those lucky people who has a horse that can go from a gallop to a walk and not get jazzed up at all. He can go from dead gallop, stop on a dime, and then walk off like it never happened


              • #8
                My mare: whatever we feel like, including wide open if that's the choice. She's my old reliable and never presents me with any funny business, ever.

                My gelding: No way in hell is he going fast than a trot, until he has proven to me a million times that he can canter without bucking me off or being as asshole. He has a lot of proving to do!
                "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                • #9
                  I like to mix it up. I will walk, jog, lope, and go faster. This time of year I use the fields to my full advantage and make them one big arena.


                  • #10
                    Most of the time I will walk / trot / canter – and even hand gallop out on the trail (I head out a few times a week).

                    About once a week or so I will consciously do a “walk” ride – which will be much longer than our usual rides, and include many hills (but even then I will usually do a little trot – but not allow the horse to get winded) – long slow miles to add fitness and muscle.

                    Luckily my mare is quite a star, and can go from galloping to walking on the buckle with no issues at all.
                    APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                    • #11
                      I'd rather die than do a walking only trail ride. I find it hard on the hips to grind along at the walk ad nauseum.

                      And it raises financial/existential questions: I paid how much for this day of walking on 4 legs rather than 2? What, at bottom, was the horse-cum-mode-of-transportation for? Damn, it I can't do something better on the back of a horse than I can on my own legs, then I need my head examined.

                      Oh, and horses have ruined hiking and nature for me. It's an affront to have anyone suggest that I'd like walking around outside on my own legs. That's what horses are for.
                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat


                      • #12
                        Depends on who I am riding with and how busy the trail is. I typically ride at one place (HUGE tree farm) and have met too many people ripping down trails only to almost wipe someone out. On trails that I can see for a long ways I will trot and lope. Remy enjoys it and I do as well. But for me, the trail ride is as much for my horse as for me so I'm not going to ask him to work his butt off either.


                        • #13
                          I do mostly walking, especially on the rocky stretches, but once it gets less rockier, we let our horses open up and lope and gallop.
                          There's one section of a trail we ride on that's a long stretch of grassy old logging road, and that place is really fun for 'racing'. This trail is hardly every busy and we're usually the only ones out there when we go. Plus it's such a huge property, MILES and miles of trails, that even if it is busy, your chances of seeing other riders are slim.
                          Originally posted by katarine
                          I don't want your prayers, tiny cow.
                          Originally posted by Pat9
                          When it's time for a horse to go to a new person, that person will appear. It's pony magic.


                          • #14
                            hee hee hee

                            and that's on my 'dresssssaggge horse'

                            we plain old dog walk a lot, flat walk a lot, gait (running walk) some, if the ground is good enough ...and we rack a little...and we canter and occasionally gallop.

                            My favorite story was my DH trying to get the jump on me at East Fork on his tall but slow mare. I took off on Chippy and left them- and kept going on the bullet until his ears said I'm outta gas, mom. So we eased up and stopped and walked on slack waiting on Maggie.

                            And we waited.

                            and finally Maggie and DH emerged from behind the pines, legs flapping, arms flapping, shirt tail flapping. She galloped so poorly her white legs looked like two long sleeved shirts on a clothesline, flapping.

                            Oh, we laughed at poor Maggs


                            • #15
                              I often trail ride with lots of gaited horses so we are always moving out. I don't know what all their gaits are called but we keep up. My favorite gaits are slow, lope and mosey. We always let each other know before picking it up so no one is caught off guard.


                              • #16
                                Pony doesn't think it's right to do anything but walk or rack under saddle but on the right trail you can get to racking pretty fast. The old guy still thinks trees eat horses.
                                Back when I rode my own horse or a trusty friend's horse a nice canter or even a blowout down the beach at the surf line was generally in order. When I rode my own mare to get somewhere, lessons or horseshows, we always moved out, walking on pavement and trotting or cantering on grass or dirt verges. Having to do that does get old though and teaches your horse bad habits.

                                I don't mind walking for an hour, if the scenery is pretty it gives you lots of time to appreciate it.
                                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                Incredible Invisible


                                • Original Poster

                                  What inspired this post for me was going on a ride with two of my western friends.... they walked the whole time. Except for my friend with the mule who had the mule lope a bit here and there. I was so bored walking the whole time- OK to be honest I did cut off and do some trotting and cantering and galloping. Maybe it's because I have a TB? When I ride by myself or with my friend who also has a TB we do a fairly even amount of walking and trotting (sometimes more trotting) and several canters or faster : ). Is it just that when you have a TB and you like speed walking is too boring? My mare seems to love moving out. She walks fast. If she could have her way she would be galloping the whole way but that's not allowed!


                                  • #18
                                    Walk trot lope let 'er rip depending on the conditions! All of my guys are up for that (one not so reliable but reliable enough), fun! I have also gone on walk only rides with people who didn't want to go faster and if the company is good, thats fine too!
                                    IfI had not had them out in a while, great to review the ground basics so I have some safety! Not fun waiting till I am out on a trail to find out I have aproblem BTDT


                                    • #19
                                      On a related note, never sure of the ettiquette about fast walkers. Mine is, not gaited but two of them have nice, forward, ground eating walks. WHen I go out with slooooooow walkers, I find I have to wait a lot, slow them down, and I am never sure if it is rude of me to not do this more often or rude of them to get their horse to gear up.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by lilitiger2 View Post
                                        On a related note, never sure of the ettiquette about fast walkers. Mine is, not gaited but two of them have nice, forward, ground eating walks. WHen I go out with slooooooow walkers, I find I have to wait a lot, slow them down, and I am never sure if it is rude of me to not do this more often or rude of them to get their horse to gear up.

                                        There's no great solution, ya know? My DH's first horse was the perfect first horse for a 43 YO beginner. but he had one walk, and it was slow. He got nervous if asked to walk in out a bit, it really did worry him LOL. We've had a variety of trail horses over the years and my current 15.1 hand TWH has a huge 'normal' walk= easily a foot of overstride w/o asking for anything. We finally bought DH a horse whose walk matches Chip's- I took Chip along when we tried horses, those strides needed to match.

                                        Sometimes it is just hard to ride a goer with a slower.