FOUR TIPS FOR ALL RIDERS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN CONQUERING LONG TRAILS ON HORSEBACK
There are all levels of trail riders out there who want to simply hit a long trail and ride into the wilderness in search of some tranquillity far away from technology and its hubbub. Be it the Yellow Stone, Rockies or the Black Range Mountains, riders of all expert levels need a little bit of advice from the experts to be safe and have fun at the same time!
Horseback riding is NOT always about fun. It is also about technique, monotony and a lot of practice as we watch during any TVG racing schedule. Take time to understand these basic few principles of long trail riding before you hit the outdoors –
1. Your horse is your partner
You cannot see your horse as your vehicle. Horses are very smart and intuitive animals, who get a whiff of your attitude after you spend some time with them. Therefore, you need to pay attention to their needs, behaviour, and movements. Each flick of the ear, a twitch of the nose and movements of their eyes is trying to tell you something. See your trail ride as teamwork, and you will find it much easier to ride your horse until the end of the trail without any incidents.
2. Lead your horse
Horses are prey animals in nature. They can sniff out fear, no matter where it lurks. If you are afraid of riding the horse, the horse will not know the reason, just the fear. They can either become too scared and throw you off during a frenzied run, or they can simply take advantage of your fear to dominate you. You cannot have either one of those situations, so you need to start by respecting your horse and not fearing him or her. The horse is likely to reciprocate the feeling.
3. Establish a rewarding system
Your horse will be much happier once you establish a system of positive reinforcement with them. They perform much better and behave calmly even in tense situations when they find a good leader in their rider. A gentle rub on the neck and whisper of a few appreciative words can take your relationship with your trail horse quite a long way. However, some horses, much like humans, have strange pet peeves. Find out about the quirks in their behaviour and their dislikes before you start the rewarding system.
4. Learn to relax
While you are riding a horse of any size, the way you sit and orient your bodyweight tells a lot about your comfort level as a rider. Some people are too tense, and they fail to distribute and adjust their weight according to the horse’s gait. You should try not doing that since it is going to be uncomfortable for you and your horse. Feeling relaxed often gives you complete control, so your horse simply cannot trot off the trail to munch on some grass or drink water from a stream. Additionally, it is so much easier to have fun when you are truly relaxed!
Horse riding is not rocket science, but it is a huge part of behavioural science. Your behaviour along with your horses can determine the fate of your journey long before you have started.