Trail riding is one of my very favorite things to do – assuming, that is, that I have a good, trustworthy and fun horse to ride. We all know that riding a spooky or dangerous horse is not much fun at all.
Fortunately, most every horse I’ve owned has been good on the trail and we try to get out there when we can. It renews the soul and keep us both from going crazy.
There’s nothing like being out in nature and relaxing with your horse. It’s such a bonding thing! You have to trust each other.
The horse trusts its rider to provide leadership. He asks, “should I pass that scary looking fallen log? Will that dog (horse sees it as possible WOLF) attack me? Do I need to worry about that rustling in the bushes?” The rider has to radiate relaxed unconcern. It’s all cool, we can do this, horsie. You are big and brave. I will take care of you.
Sometimes I sing to my horse which seems to comfort her, and singing distracts me, too. CAUTION: You need to pick a soothing song, nothing with screechy notes. You’ll feel pretty quickly whether your horse likes the song…or not.
On a trail ride, I have to trust the horse. She will not bolt. She will not take me over the cliff. She will not jump off the bridge plunging me to certain death. She will not suddenly whirl causing me to fall off and be impaled on that stake over there…
Yes, you see how my mind sometimes works, this is why it’s a good idea for me to sing. Or talk, if I have a friend with me. And so, we all relax and enjoy the ride and I stop thinking, “what if…”
Trail riding builds our relationship because we have an adventure together and trust each other more deeply. We come back from the trail feeling even better friends, refreshed, relaxed, and happy.
Below is a 30 second trail video from several years ago. At the time, I was lucky enough to own TWO gorgeous haflinger trail horses. My husband was riding behind on Ellie, taking a trail movie with his iPhone when he should have been minding the horse. I’m in the front on Amadeo. At the time I was annoyed at him for fooling with his iPhone, but I’m glad now to have the memory of a ride on such gorgeous golden ponies. Look at that Haflinger tail in the video! We are in Carmel Valley, California, for this ride, at Jack’s Peak County Park.