Trail Riding for Spring
Now that the calendar says its spring out its time to start thinking and daydreaming about all those great trail rides your going to go on. Trails and trail riding is a great hobby, a wonderful way for rider and horse to bond as well as other friends who might ride with you out on trail. As with anything in life there are rules and precautions to take before you set out for your day on the trails. Knowing how to handle anything that might come up makes your ride more enjoyable and safer. Remember to check with your local forest preserve and police for additional rules, regulations and requirements.
Nothing beats a good trail ride. You and your horse get to see the world a little bit, and it is training as well. A horse needs to be behaved on trail just like in the ring. Being out in nature give you the opportunity to continue training and working towards bettering your horse. A horse that is out of control or difficult to control can endanger not only its rider but other pedestrians bikers and motor vehicles. Make sure you address any issues with your personal trainer, coach or whom ever handles and trains your horse. Even the calmest horse can spook at the funny tree stump or the plastic bag. Being a confident rider with a good basic seat and basic skills can help keep you in the saddle when the unexpected happens.
When getting ready to head out on trail, bring the essentials with you. Is it going to be a long ride, short ride? Even on a hour or less trail ride I always carry a extra piece of leather cording. Its just attached to my saddle should I ever need it. Remember if you horse has been off all winter that you need to build up his or her endurance again. Check all your gear and tack for signs of wear, replace anything that need it. Check the weather and dress appropriately.
Many local and state agency’s now have online the information you need if you plan on trail riding in that area. Make sure trails are open and that you don't need a special permit or license. Also keep tabs on current outbreak of any Equine Flu or EHV Crossing state lines means you have to have all the proper veterinarian paper work with you. If you trip includes over nights, as always bring enough food and water for your horses to last till you get back home. Spring is also the time to check over your trailers and hitch connections. Ensuring everything is working when you leave minimizes the chance it will not work when you get to your destination.
When your out on the trail, remember the basic rules:
Carry out what you brought in.
Keep on the trails.
Let someone know if you are going out alone.
Follow the rules set forth by the local authority.
There are more rules that could be added and most of them are common sense.
Spring is a time to get out and enjoy the few short temperate days we get. With minimal bugs (depending where in the US you are) and a nice temperature out side the trails are calling. Why not get out and enjoy spring from the back of a horse safely walking down the trail. Just by taking a few precautions and knowing what to expect you can surely enjoy many hours of trail riding to continue.