Trail Riding — Top 5 Things to Keep in Mind

Trail riding is a lot more enjoyable if you put safety first. You should always keep in mind the safe practices and always exercise a good common sense. These are important because your instructor will not be by your side to guide and help you all the time. Also, you would want to ride on your own eventually, which is a fulfilling experience.

Here are the top 5 rules all riders must follow the trail.

1. If you go trail riding, always inform someone where you plan to go and when you plan to return. On a trail ride, it is not surprising if you or your horse becomes ill, lame, injured, get lost, or get stuck. Anything can happen on a trail ride and when it does, at least, one person will notice that you still have not returned. If something unexpected happens, help will come, and you will be found because you have told someone where you planned to go.

It is always advisable that you ride with someone else if you are an inexperienced rider, and you want to go to an unfamiliar place. A child should always be accompanied by an adult rider in trail riding. If you are an experienced rider, and you want to go trail riding alone, always bring with you a communication device as a fully charged cell phone. This way you can call someone in case of emergency.

2. Always bring with you a hoof pick and a pocket knife. A hoof pick is used when your horse gets a stone lodged into its frog. If you don’t get the stone off its hoof and let it continue to walk, its hoof will get very sore. The pocket knife is very useful in cutting off vines or thick brush that can get wrapped around your horse’s leg or hoof, which usually happens if your horse has shoes on.

3. Horses cannot discern playtime from work time, so do not teach them to become lax. As much as trail riding is relaxing, you do not want your horse to relax as it may do it even during work. This will cause for you to lose control over your horse, which you do not want, especially when trail riding.

For example, you allow your horse to grab bites of grass as you walk along the trail. Next time when it will be on the way to a show ring gate, it will get aggressive and plunge its head down at every blade of grass. You will be left momentarily without any control, and you do not want that.

4. Without creating unnecessary anxiety among the horses, always ride a respectful distance from the other riders. Horses always communicate with each other, which can sometimes lead to violence. This is why you have to keep at least one horse length between you and the next rider in front of you. But, because of their herd instincts, you should not do anything that will cause them to think that the herd is getting split up.

5. Be careful when trail riding on a terrain you are unfamiliar with. Do not run through an open field that is not familiar to you. You never know when you are walking on an overgrown ditch or a covered up hole that your horse could stumble or, worse, get its leg broken.

There are several other rules a rider must follow when trail riding. But, these are the top 5 rules to keep you safe, so you get the most out of your horseback riding experience.

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