Are you someone who is considering horse trail riding for quite some time now? Why hesitate at all, now is the right time. With every season comes its own spectacular views and fun elements, so it is always a good time to ride your equine partner. The horse riding experience of the arena and on the trail are at two different poles altogether. With the addition of a new environment, the climate of geographical location, trail riding is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. You do not have to fret for we have got some trail riding tips for the rider in you. Let us dive right in, shall we?
1. Grasp basic horse riding ethos and lessons
If you are a novice to horseback riding in itself, it is highly recommended that you have an experienced guide by your side for this adventure. It isn’t necessarily the situation where the guide can ride for you, but facilitate the necessary knowledge and principles of horseback riding. Understanding everything from the basic level is extremely important. Something as simple as mounting might look difficult for the first few times. Getting hold of techniques and principles to follow while you are riding reduces the chances of any accidents and increases the level of fun in the journey. The basic principle with horse riding is the right understanding of pressure as horses are very receptive to pressure changes. The pressure you exert on the side of the horse with your leg is the basic setting for directing the horse in a new direction. The tugging of reins a bit helps them slow down. So the right grasp of these basic principles, and way of doing things is necessary before catapulting to trails.
2. Check and prep for the season accordingly
Horse trail riding is usually a very common phenomenon during the summer months but it isn’t a fast-paced rule or anything. You could take a trail ride anytime around the year until and unless you have the necessary knowledge and idea to tread through the region with safety in mind. The weather check on the day of trail riding is necessary as this information helps you to prep for the right gear and equipment that the environment demands of you. A rain jacket during the rain or having an extra set of clothes if crossing rivers is part of the trail will leave you feel prepared and add to lessen the overall anxiety. Preparing an extra set of tack could also help with the smooth journey ahead.
3. Choosing the right attire
Dressing up for the trail is as important as dressing up to check on the environment. Do not opt for jeggings, Capri pants, or anything that is non-riding pants category as this could lead to severe chaffing after the trail ride. Opt for long pants that are either jeans or breeches made of breathable fabric. Wearing multiple layers of clothes is always the trick. If it is winter, bundle up with a very thick top layer and a thin inner layer as horseback riding sure heats you. For summer, a light outer layer could suffice and do the job. It is very tempting especially in summers to avoid long plaid shirts but this could help with avoiding sunburns and dehydration at the most. The shoes could be anything that closes off the toes but the most preferred option is boots that are of low heels. These help with the right placement in the stirrups and avoid any slip up if at all. The helmet is a non-compromising part of the trail ride. Be sure to guard your legs with breathable socks before putting in the boots s as to avoid any blisters after a long ride.
4. Use apt sunblock for you and your partner
With arena horseback riding, this need not be a huge concern, but with trails, the wild nature is indulgent. with it comes sunburns, flies, mosquitoes other insects. SO make sure to check the locale of the trail and understand any pests or exposure before setting off on the trail. Using sunblock for yourself and the horse is necessary. The bug spray could help with all the bugs in nature. Horses could get easily bothered by these small flies causing them to people over and because accidents, so make sure to take extra care of your equine partner. Use horse-friendly bug spray so neither of you is invaded off of any fun on the trail.
5. Prepare the right snacks and hydration for the trail
Understanding the geographical condition and climate of the trail will help you in packing snacks and water. Non-perishable snacks like protein bars and nuts are all very great as they are instant sources of energy and keep you full for a very long time. Saddle up enough bags with water for the entire ride. For your equine partner be sure to carry some snacks if the climate is dry and humid. If on the trail there are green patches, let them stray and have a meal for themselves. Hydration pouches are very handy if the area is extremely dry and hot.
6. Carry First Aid
Prepping yourself for any emergency on the trail is extremely important. Usually, these trails are away from any habitation and hence any sort of emergency services are sure out of the way. Carry a compass, GPS, and a basic version of a first aid kit that could help with any unfortunate incidents. Experienced trail riders also recommend carrying a whistle just so you don’t get lost from the rest of the riders at any time. Carrying a durable phone could also help and be sure to either strap them in your saddle or a closed jean pocket as there is a high chance of losing them on the ride.
7. Look out for your partner
The trail adventures are only fun if both the parties involved are calm and taking in the experience. Always make sure to look out for your partner. Understand and feel their nerves. If they are fidgety or scared of something on the trail, make sure to calm their nerves, giving them time to grasp the environment and then move forward. When you are off on the trail, there are multiple perspectives at play. Yours, your horse’s, and then the real one. So make sure to chill and look out for each other as both of you are in this together.
8. Just have fun
Last but not least, just have fun. Trail riding indeed needs more prep and safety than arena horse riding, but do not lose sight of what is truly important- to have fun. Just chill whenever you can and soak in the entire experience as you go. You and your feelings will be permeated by your equine partner, so keep a great face and energy for the horse also to enjoy the adventure.
So for the next horse trail riding adventure, make sure to go through these tips and enjoy the adventure with your partner. As tedious as trail horse riding might sound, it indeed is a valuable experience on its whole.