Trail Riding

Ilustre and I enjoy a ride on the 1/2 mile race track at Dover Stables

Ilustre and I enjoy a ride on the 1/2 mile race track at Dover Stables

It was a beautiful day the other day!  70 degrees and sunny and after an exceptionally long winter here in Southern Wisconsin  it was wonderful to be able to ride outside again!

What better way to celebrate such a great day than to go for a trail ride? Trail riding is so great for all horses. It’s easy to get burned out riding figures in the arena over and over again. But head outside and those same figures become new and exciting and also more challenging. Can you still do a shoulder- in on a straight line without a wall to guide you? Or a perfectly round circle in an open field? Maintain a steady rhythm on uneven ground? Challenge yourself and your horse by doing your regular work in different places. This will only improve the work that you do in the arena. Something that once seemed so difficult, will now seem easy when compared to doing it out on the trail. A good horse and rider should be able to perform anywhere, not just in an arena.

One of my training horses checks out this flock of wild turkeys on one of our trail rides.

One of my training horses checks out this flock of wild turkeys on one of our trail rides.

It is good for you and your horse to leave the arena and experience new things such as cars driving by, dogs, other horses, wildlife, uneven footing, and obstacles to go over and around. The more things you can expose your horse to, the more confident he will become. He will become more sure footed from riding on uneven ground. You can also build up muscle by going up and down hills.

Trail Riding is also a great way to let your horse relax and take a break from the routine arena work. I try to get my horse out of the arena as often as possible. It keeps things interesting and fresh for him and also for me. Trail riding can be a great mental break for both horse and rider! So let’s enjoy this nice weather and get out of the arena!

To learn more about how to achieve a better relationship with your horse, visit our website or blog, where we feature information about French Classical Dressage training, as well as care and maintenance of the horse!

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