Getting on your horse and navigating the trails is a good way for both you and your horse to get a good workout and further strengthen the bond between animal and human. If you’re fairly new to riding the trails, however, these tips and tricks may help the experience go a little smoother:
Master the basics
Before you even head out on the trails, a bit of preparation is necessary. Make sure you and your horse are familiar with simple skills like stopping and turning, as these motions will come in handy while you’re horse riding on the trail.
Have the appropriate gear
Staying safe on the trail means wearing all of the appropriate gear. Make sure you have protective leg wear, polo wraps or boots, a helmet, etc.
Check the weather
You don’t want to be caught on the trail in the middle of a thunderstorm, as this could scare your horse and pose a potential safety hazard for you. Always be sure to check the weather so you know when the best times are to ride with your horse. Keep in mind that just because it’s raining outside doesn’t mean you can’t hit the trails. This just means that you have to wear the right gear. Pack a heavy-duty poncho in your bag in case it starts to rain.
Bringing water along for your ride is especially important during the summer, when it’s easy for you and your horse to overheat. Be sure to carry water for the both of you to stay hydrated, healthy and comfortable throughout the duration of your trail ride. You can keep your water bottle ice cold by freezing it before you head out. As you ride, the ice will gradually melt.
Before hopping on your horse, do a few stretching exercises so that your arms and legs are as loose and limber as possible. You may also want to warm up your horse as well, by riding him for 10 minutes or so before going on the trail.
Ease him in
If your horse is new to the trails, make sure that his first trail ride isn’t a long one. You don’t want him getting tired halfway through the ride. As he becomes more experienced, you can lengthen the distance you travel on the trail
Ride with another horse
Ride the trails with a friend, another horse that’s experienced with the trails. Your horse may feel a bit more secure having a horse to model his behavior after.