How well do you really get along with your horse when you’re out on the trail? Is he herd bound? Is he spooky?
A big variety of problems can show up when you get your horse away from home. However sometimes out on the trail isn’t the best place to try and fix some of these problems.
How well broke is your horse? I don’t just mean does he buck you off or not.
I hear a lot of people say they don’t like to ride in the arena, but that’s the best place to make sure your horse is safe to take out on the trail. When you’re in an arena or round corral, you’re in a controlled environment. When you’re out on the trail there are many things you can’t control.
While I’m in a controlled environment I’m going to check my horse out to see what thing might bother him, or what kind of things he may be afraid of. I’m also going to make sure I have control of all the parts of my horse.
Too many people don’t think they need their horse very well trained just to go trail riding. I think your horse should be very well trained to be a trail horse. You never know what you might encounter out on the trail. You should make sure you can still control your horse if he is afraid.
I also like to make sure my horse and I have a connection. Make sure he’s listening to me. The best remedy for a horse that might get herd bound or have separation anxiety is to make sure my horse and I have a good connection.
I can also check him out to see how he responds to things that might scare him. There is no end to the possibilities of things you can set up in the arena or round pen that can help you and your horse once you get out on the trail. Use your imagination, see what you can come up with.
Teach your horse to trust you. You need to be consistent in the way you respond when your horse reacts to something. You need to learn to control your emotions when your horse reacts. This is better when learned in a controlled environment.
If you have a new horse, or maybe you’re a green rider, don’t be afraid to start on the ground to see how your horse reacts to things that might scare him. When you do find thing that bother your horse give him plenty of time to process things in his mind. Don’t try to make him get used to something. Let him learn.
I hope I’ve shared some ideas that can help you and your horse. With a little preparation you can make your experience out on the trail more enjoyable for you and your horse.