In our previous blog, Essential Tips For Taking Your Horse On A Trail Ride: Part 1, we talked about ensuring that your horse is fit enough for the trail you’re doing, working with your horse, and packing your bags properly. Head on over there to learn more about those points, then come back here for some more helpful trail riding tips to keep you and your horse safe out there.
That said, here are some more trail riding tips to ensure that everyone is prepared and to help reduce the risk of something happening away from the stables. Let’s get into it.
#1. Have At Least One Friend To Ride With
Safety in numbers, as they say. While you certainly can go on a trail ride with just your horse, should something happen, you don’t want to be stranded out there with no one to help. It’s always better to go on a trail ride in a group. The more of you there are, the less you have to worry about predators, and the more help people have should something happen.
If you go on a trail ride alone, you risk something happen to you and/or your horse, being out of cell-service, and being truly stuck in a predicament.
#2. Ensure That Your Horse Behaves In A Group
This is just common decency, but sometimes people need reminding. Since it’s safer to go on trail rides in groups, make sure that your horse can behave itself in a group. Some horses may not play well with others, which puts everyone’s safety at risk.
If your horse doesn’t play well with others or doesn’t have much experience being ridden around other horses, make sure that you practice before you go on a trail ride. Only hit the trails when your horse can behave in a group.
#3. Know The Territory And Check The Weather
The last thing you want is to be caught in a horrible storm while you’re out in the middle of nowhere, especially not if there is treacherous terrain. Before you go on a trail, make sure that you check the weather and you know what the terrain is like. Stick to trails that are appropriate for you and your horse’s level.
Different trails vary in difficulty, the same as different hiking trails vary in difficulty. Don’t overestimate your ability. Pick something appropriate for everyone in your group so that you all can have the best experience possible.
#4. Know Trail Etiquette
Trail etiquette involves keeping at least a horse’s length between your horse and the horse in front of you. You shouldn’t trot or gallop past another rider. You shouldn’t leave a water source until all the horses have gotten their fill. You must ensure that you have complete control of your horse prior to even loading your horse up in the trailer for the ride.
You must also know who has the right of way. Typically, livestock (aka, you and your horse) do, but don’t assume that everyone on the trails will know this. If someone, like a hiker or a biker, yields the right of way to you and your horse, make sure that you exercise common human decency and thank them.
#5. Understand The Reason For Horse Behaviors
Some people say that horses are being “bad” when they act up. It’s important to remember that when horses act up, there’s usually a valid reason behind their behavior. They’re not trying to be “naughty” or to hurt you. This is important to remember all the time, but especially when you’re out on the trails.
If your horse starts acting up, pay attention. They have sharper senses than you do. There may be something putting them on edge. If all the horses in the group are upset or your horse won’t calm down, listen to them and turn around. As the age-old saying goes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Safe Trail Riding Necessitates Healthy, Hydrated Horses
Bar Bar A is here to ensure that whether you’re prepping for a trail ride while at the barn or whether you just got back, your horse has easy access to fresh, clean, temperate water all year round with our automatic horse waterers. Contact us today to learn more about our horse waterers, or any of the other waterers we have available, such as llama waterers, hog waterers, and more.