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Zakima

Just a trail horse - Vent

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Well I heard it again today..well its just a trail horse, not like they were looking for a "performance" horse.

I sometimes wonder what the arena disicipline riders believe it is we and our horses do out there. My horse is on varied terrain, ever changing scenery, obstacles, the sometime idioic actions of others, to name a few. Like you horse he is expected to do and deal with all in a clam and sensible manner. Have I missed something or does that not make him a performance horse.

We are starting trail trials. Someone remarked that there would be no challenge as it was just essential a trail ride.

Ugh! - Ok thank you I'm a little better now.

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I personally think that trail riding can be the toughest riding any horse will do. Even if it is only walking, still the up and down and varied terrain is tough on horses. I think my horses were the most fit when I rode them on the trail every day, and then competed in the arena on them.

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I agree with you on the subject of trail horses. My mare was a little out of shape and to get her back into shape I slowly started on short trail rides with her. Now mind you she is a Tb who was once at the racetrack and could be a little ok.. extremely anxious and jittery. So to cut to the chase by going opn trail rides longer and longer each time and every time going on a more advanced trail, for one my mares muscles have developed beautifully and she is fit as a fiddle, and two she is now wonderful to work with and very level-headed and calm in all situations now..imagine that my Tb mare calm and fit all due to trail riding! People that say those things do so because they all think the only performance lies in 4-foot jumps or galloping towards a barrel, in reality athletisim and performance are seen in every form of riding if done with a goal in mind.

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I have JUST a trail horse and I'm darned proud of it! I love him just the way he is! I would just ignore the ignorant comment from an obviously narrow minded person.

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Guest

My horses are all TRAIL horses too and i also am very proud to own a TRAIL horse, i just don't prefer to take my horses to the shows when i can enjoy my them in the great outdoors.

HAVE YOU [Huggy] YOUR TRAIL HORSE TODAY.

[ 10-23-2005, 06:52 AM: Message edited by: PALOMINOLADY ]

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Nothing against straight arena riders here, some have no choice as there aren't any trails to ride on by them. BUT, I have seen horses that do only arena work and they seem to be bored out of their skulls! A good all around horse in my opinion can do both. My mare is and has always been just a trail horse. She will work in a arena if necessary but the trails are where she is happyiest. even die hard show horses benefit from a trail ride now and then. I worked with a guy who had a horse that did jumping for many years than switched to dressage. His horse was amazing and worked very hard 6 days a week in the arena for these disaplines. Every few months or so he had to go out of town and I would take his horse out on the trails. Man did this guy love it! He wasn't asked to do shoulder ins any thing esle, except walk and an occasional trot, loose rein. When the owner came back and started work again, his horse was fit and had a fresh outlook on things. The owner was always amazed on how much better of an attitude his horse had after these "breaks" in training. Horses need to occupy their minds with other things all the time. And what better place that out on a trail with nature!

Trail horses ROCK [big Grin]

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I am guilty of using the phrase "just a trail horse" when refering to most of my horses, because that is what they are. I use the phrase proudly, though. I have to admit most my horses have a glitch, such as Mystie the wonder trail horse has an old injury which causes her to short stride on her hind. The Appy mare has a bad shoulder so only one lead. While these horses would not preform well in a show ring, they got it going on when it comes to trails.

While they do get ridden' in my arena to keep in shape, where they really shine is out on the trail. I guess an outsider watching them work in the arena would think they need further training, they don't have no fancy moves. They know everything they need to be loaded up for camping out and trailriding. of course I do like to add to the phrase mine are "just GREAT trail horses". [Jump]

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I call my own horses trail bums. sloppy trail bums at best..lol No really I am new to a boarding place and there are horses that just live in stalls, and of courece perfect manners, perfect riding dispostitions, perfect head sets ect. When you put one of thost dessage horses next to my chico, may we look like sloppy riders, but hey we love to ride they way we do.

I dont wannna worry about where his head it, weather it is a perfect straight line or weather I make dust..lol

There are some nice people at my barn who are very interested in my trail bums.. They even said you really seem to have fun on your horses.. and I do! [big Grin]

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I call my horses "professional trail horses." They know their job and do it well and professionally. I trust them with my life and they trust me with theirs. They give me everything they've got and then give more and do so without complaint.

I love my "just trail horses."

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Most people don't understand what they don't know.

And most people that say this have never been on a true trail ride. They may have been on a rent-a-horse ride when they were little....we all know the type. One horse files in directly behind another, and they know their job so well it would take an act of God to make them move out of line. Or they've been on a flat groomed trail.....either way, not anything challenging.

I know it's irritating, right now I have "just" a trail horse myself, but think of it as an opportunity to educate.

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I almost used the term "Just a Trail Horse" the other day. But I caught myself, she is a great riding horse with a wonderful handle. She just isn't one of my barrel/rope horses. Thanks for reminding us about this!

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I've never shown any of my horses in an arena event, heck come to think of it I've never shown any of my horses anywhere, lol.

Love to ride them just outdoors and half the fun and challenge is to get them used to different obstacles! I also for some reason like it better if my horse has a higher head set, just makes it look more dignified! I can't stand seeing a horse hanging their head almost down to their knees it seems like their saying:" Yes Master"!

But...keeping in mind that different people have different opinions, I can't knock the arena performers, but would appreciate the same in return! I don't think my horses are less of an athlete because they don't compete in shows!

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I'd like to see some of those "fancy" jumpers or dressage horses handle the trails our horses handle with the same calmness and level of aptitude. Just like I'm sure they'd like to see a "trail" horse master a jump like they have...

I look at trail riding as a discipline that requires the same amount of training and discipline as any other. Just as not every horse is cut out to be a dressage horse or a grandprix jumper, not all horses can handle the stress of a "simple trail ride".

For example: just because I don't have my own show on the food network or own my own resturant, doesn't mean I can't cook or set a fancy table when the need arises...

[ 10-24-2005, 03:42 PM: Message edited by: mehpenn ]

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I am also guilty of the phrase, but in a good way. My dad was recently(2 yrs ago) looking at buying a new horse. We went and looked at 3 or 4 horses before he got bored and settled on Canyon. Now he is not by any means my favorite horse but my dad loves him. Once we got him home and had him on the trails around the house he is awesome, on a trail I love him. Then my dad got bored seeing as we have "performance" horses. My mom and I do poles and barrels. I took over his barrel horse 8 years before he retired and he is my love!!! Well now my dad tried to get Canyon to do arena work and a little of barrels and such. Canyon is bored in an arena, has no coordination(he has fallen on me while trotting a barrel turn) and just doesn't pay attention. We almost sold him when I reminded my dad he went looking for "just a trail horse" and he got the PERFECT trail horse so why is he complaining. Every horse is different and I love all 3 of my boys but just as in humans some are made to be trail horses some are made to be arena boys. Each is special in their own way.

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Pshaww... don't let them get you down.

Let me tell you... I have a (youngish) mare that has been a pasture and arena horse only. That is fine, I'm doing Dressage w/her and don't really have access to trails currently. Let me tell you though... I decided to cool her off by riding the 'loop' in my semi-rural neighborhood (bunch'a mini 5 acre lots) and all I could do was sit and roll my eyes. She was scared of everything. BIGGEST wussy I have ever laid eyes on. And we were walking down a PAVED road people! The culverts, the driveways, the change in dirt color. She was scared of it all. [Crazy] Obviously, she is getting to cool off on the loop a little more frequently now.

It all went to making me appreciate my old guy all the more. When we were both youngsters, we did it all... showing English, Western, Jumping, parades... you name it... we did it.

What we did the most... trails in the BLM lands behind my chilhood home in Oregon. NOTHING can beat a tried and true trail horse for the pure, unadulterated relaxation and enjoyment of HORSE.

When they know to stop when you are trying to snap a twig that is hanging in the trail... but you misjudged and it didn't break when you thought it would... but you held on anyway... and you are either going to get a NASTY twig burn on your hand or be lifted right out of the saddle... it is a special horse that feels your weight start to get pulled off and knows he oughtt'a stop and maybe even take a step back for you.

Or one that will let you lead a wayward dog home using god knows what materials you have on hand. Or will save your BUTT when you have gone exploring and have forgotten where you are. Or will manuver his way through a Paul Bunyon sized game of pick-up-sticks, going over logs that are above his knees from a standstill... front first, crab forward and then hop over it with his backend... becuase as soon as he does that you have a 90 degree turn to the right to make.

I'd keep going... because the real trail horses out their deserve a book about the amazing feats that they perform.

I ignore people who have anything but praise for a real trail horse. They clearly have no idea what they are talking about.

Zakima... you know what you have! [big Grin] Don't let people get you down.

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This is a good thread. My horse Quincy is a great trail horse and had been ridden on almost all types of terrain. Now though he is also a performance horse. Everyone always used to think of him as just a trail horse (in their eyes lazy and slow) and now hes both. Good at each discipline. So I guess I get the best of both worlds. [big Grin] But obviously people who say its just a trail horse have never given a thought to what you and your horse experience out on a trail.

Happy Trails!

Lisa

[ 10-24-2005, 05:13 PM: Message edited by: LisaQuincy ]

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I so agree with all of you. Trail horses are amazing. Where I ride, it can get pretty scary for them. Deer, wild boar and flocks of quail are always, suddenly appearing out of bushes. The horses have learned to "spook in place" to most of these events and then go "ho hum - it was just a deer" and walk calmly on. It really amazes me they are so smart. I've ridden the arena with friends and can't wait to get out on the trail. Also, I so agree with Skippen that horses deserve dignity and I feel so sorry when I see them walking with their heads hanging down to the floor. [Frown]

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LisaQuincy: My Quincy sounds the same waht breeding does he have? Our boy is out of Quincy Dan and does barrels, poles, western show, english show, and absolutely loves the trails. He just gets to easily distracted on the trails with all that brush to try and eat.

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There's something about trail riding that is very special. I love to jump and dressage, but I'd rather hop on my mare bareback with a halter anyday than ride in circles in a ring for an hour. I think you can connect with your horse more on the trail; it takes a heck of a lot of trust to try a new trail, just as it does to jump a new jump. A trail horse has to be as physicaly fit and just as or more mentaly fit as any "performance" horse.

I got a lot of negative feedback from people who I used to ride with when I said I would primarily trail ride my horse. My trail horse is more fit than their dressage and jumping horses, thats what hills can do! I'd like to see some of the ring bound horses out on the trail, it may be too much for them at first, but, as you all know; becoming a good trail horse takes time!

[smiley Wavey]

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quote:

Originally posted by brlracr624:

LisaQuincy: My Quincy sounds the same waht breeding does he have? Our boy is out of Quincy Dan and does barrels, poles, western show, english show, and absolutely loves the trails. He just gets to easily distracted on the trails with all that brush to try and eat.

Hey

He is the great grandson of sir quincy dan. His name full name is Quincys Jet Deck. Look him up on all breed pedigree.com He looks at everything we walk on on the trails hes great. My Quincy should have been born in an english area lol. He has the most perfect trot you could imagine. He rounds more than you should for wp though. Hes doin pretty decent on barrels too. He started them in June and is running 17's on regular patterns and on indoor patterns he runs about 16.6. So hes slowly but surely getting there.

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funny how its the people who spend their whole life in an arena who call aa horse JUST A TRAIL HORSE. If they actually got out on something other than a nose to tail little kiddy ride, they'd realize just how hard it is. Varying weather, terrain, TONS to spook at. Some arena people only ever spend 1 hr in the saddle. Try 10. Try having a horse that can go for 10 hrs. NOw that is an athelete.

I know how you feel

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We love our trail horses. I was glad to see all the posts here. It is encouraging to hear I'm not the only one who feels that way at times.

We tried the showing route for awhile. It was just too much of a demand on time, $$$$ and sanity level. Now don't get me wrong on that statement, I think for anyone who is into showing and loves it - That is great. Just wasn't my cup of tea.

We own 3 Arabs and recently acquired our very 1st Quarter Horse. We love them all and I look forward to getting out in the woods when we can. My Arab gelding really loves to get out. You can just tell by the way they look around, are relaxed and they just want to keep on going. I'm truly blessed to live where I live and have public access lands (approx 5,000 acres) to ride on just about 3/4 of a mile from my house.

Last Sat we rode for about 4 hours and saw some of the most beautiful fall flowers Florida has to offer. There was a little valley type area filled with purple, white and a pale yellow flowers that we just had to stop at and marvel at the beauty of God's creation. Just plain old trail horses can take you places some people can never even imagine.

When people ask me what I do with my horses I just smile and say "Enjoy being around them."

Ya'll just keep riding and loving life. [bat Eyelashes]

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This reminds me of a story. I was leading our trail club's womens' ride one year and most everyone was mounted on a savvy trail horse and were doing just fine negotiating the usual trail obstacles. This particular ride led down to a pond that was a natural spot for taking a break and watering the horses. Unfortunately, the pond bank was very difficult for the horses to manage and they didn't want to chance it being experienced with this stuff. A few of us had collapsable buckets so we watered from them.

One gal in the group was mounted on an appendix gelding who announced (the gal, not the horse) that her horse was an athelete and could get down to the water just fine. I think this gal did a lot of showing and jumping with her horse so thought her horse was more of an athelete than our lowly "just trail horses." Well after about 20 minutes of trying to convince her horse he was an athelete and could get down to the water, she gave up and bucket watered her horse instead.

Moral of the story - don't over estimate your show horse's abilities when pitted against trail horses.

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Thank you all. I'm gald to see the support for the Trail horse as a performance horse and trail riding as a discipline. [Not Worthy]

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Hi..my name is chelsae. I havent really posted under here beore but i was bord and this looked like an interesting post so i hope you guys dont mind if i post my opinion.

I have a show horse which means way more arena riding than trail riding. I like doing trails though too. Anyways I think that any task a horse has to do is performance. I ride mostly western...i would never think that someone riding english was not asking their horse to perform. Wy shuld it be any different with trail rding horses. I think it is amazing what some trail horses have to do. I mean i ahve done a few trails before but nothing big and there are some major obsticles that they have to over come. SO i agree with all you people. Any kind of riding you do is some kind of performance and anyone who seriously thinks otherwise needs to look again. lol

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I totally Agree With all tghe above. I ride trails and when we ride we RIDE! I have lots of freinds with performance horses and they cant keep up, they cant handle it. And My ''MEAR TRAIL HORSE'' ( [Mad] ) handles it day after day like a champion.

And When i say 'we RIDE!' i mean the only time our horses walk is a few minutes of recouperation betweensome of the toughest terrain we can find. I dont know about you but, id like to see some of thoseperformance horses come out and to what our horses do, with half as much class, control, and style.

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I think some people equate trail riding with plodding around the back yard on grandpa's old nag. There are those that are re-thinking that stereotype, though. My friend (we'll call her Jane [Wink] ) does dressage primarily. She is very good at it, but had a very superior attitude about my "just" trail horses. She came to trail ride with me last fall and got a serious wake-up call. I live in the Ozarks in some really rough country, and she was amazed at the skill required to deal with the varying terrain, obstacles, etc. And she actually admitted that her dressage horse couldn't do it without further training.

So I think that the people who view trail riding as less than its own discipline just haven't done it right. [Wink]

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LOL, oh would my "girls (equestrian team)" love to read this thread. We live in a rural area that's being "urbanized", and has lots of big homes and rich folks moving in.

Around here it's very common for a parent to spend $25,000 on a pony so their little darling can go out there and win those ribbons. Kid can't ride but the horse is awesome.

The girls on our high school equestrian team say there are "riders" and "horse women", and their bylaws say they have to be horse women.

When we find one of the ring riders...we invite them to ride with us. When we hear that they don't have a trailer...we offer to pick them up...when that doesn't work we offer to let them ride one of our horses......when we bring them back home, we NEVER hear the phrase "just a trail horse" again.

In all honesty, we use trail riding to prepare our young horses (3 and ups), for cross country, eventing, and fox hunting. We live in an area with great parks, great trails, and great hunt clubs. We ride the same trails that the clubs do when they're hunting so there's lots of jumps and difficult terrain. Give me my "trail horse" with his common sense and sense of direction any day...and we can still go in a ring and kick butt!

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We just had a trail ride on Saturday at Fair Hills in MD (first time I've been there, it was great!). Our horses had to deal with tunnels, bridges (over water AND over traffic), water crossings, hills, bikes, dogs, cars, runners, mud, deer, you name it. The only horse that had a problem was a 3yr old at a tunnel, but he did eventually go. My horse dealt with every obstacle that was new to her with interest, yet willingness to press on. If I had fallen off of her (it has happened, but not this time [Roll Eyes] !) she would stand right there by me! My horse is not JUST a trail horse, she's an AWESOME [Yay] trail horse.

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