Are you hankering to sit astride a horse and feel the outdoors? Are you ready to enjoy a ride? Here are nine ways to help you and your horse to enjoy a ride and day out in nature.
1. Are You and Your Horse Happy and Well?
Before starting out on a ride you both need to be feeling good. If you are not feeling well it’s not going to be a fun ride. So opt for another day. If your horse isn’t feeling good it’s not a good idea to go for a ride at all. He’ll be grumpy, stubborn, and will most likely be a struggle the whole ride. Who’s going to enjoy that?
Check the horse’s hooves, make sure they are clean of stones and any other objects he may have picked up around the barn. Give him a good brushing so he’s clean of debris before putting the saddle on. Look in his eyes and walk him around to see if there are any discomforts.
It only takes a moment. So take that moment. It would be better to stay at the barn then to be out on the trail and have a sick horse.
Here is more information on things to look for that your horse may be trying to tell you.
2. Are You the Leader In This Relationship?
The horse wants to be safe too and looks to the rider to keep him safe. If he knows your scared, and he will know, he’ll either take off on a gallop or take advantage of you, the rider. He’ll go where and when he wants to go and all you can do is hang on. Not much fun.
The horse understands the technique of pressure and release. Apply pressure with your leg or rein and when the horse moves or turns, release the pressure. He’ll know he’s done what you ask and he’ll feel safe knowing you know. You will both be happy.
This is when you can give him a little pat on the neck and a word or two of “good boy, or girl” as a reward. Horses are like people, they like to be rewarded and encouraged too.
3. Choose a Trail
It’s a good idea to pick a trail and let someone know which one you’re going on in case of an accident. The best is taking someone with you on the ride.
I’ve ridden a lot by myself, mainly because there wasn’t anyone else to ride with me. But I always let someone know where I was headed. And when I intended to be home.
4. Bring Water and Snacks
Packing water and snacks are just a fun part of a ride. Stop along the trail, let the horse rest and graze (take his bridle off). I want to sit on a rock or log and munch and gaze at the scenery, do a little daydreaming.
5. Dress For the Day
Of course, the best days to ride are those sunny, not too hot days with no rain in the air, but sometimes that can’t always be predicted. It’s nice to have a jacket or rain slicker just in case.
6. Pack the Essentials- Hoof Pick, Lasso, etc.
Your horse may pick up another stone so it’s a good idea to have that hoof pick close by. Bringing a lasso may be a good idea. The cowboys always had one tied to their saddles so why not. You may have to clear some brush away and can tie your rope around it and pull it off the trail.
7. Bring a Cell Phone
I’d only bring a cell phone as an emergency device.
8. Music is Optional
I like music as much as anyone, but being out in the wilderness, I think there is enough to hear. I personally like to ride with nature and listen to the outdoors. I want to be lost in my own thoughts leaving it open to whatever wants to enter.
9. Have Fun and Enjoy
The most important part of riding a horse is to have fun and enjoy the time with your equine friend. Relax and take in the wonders of being on a beautiful animal and sharing time together.
If You Don’t Own a Horse
If you are like me now and don’t have your own horse maybe visiting a dude ranch is an option. Click this page and to find a riding facility in your area.
Thank you for stopping by. Please leave a comment and share your rides.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.