Guiding Young Horses: Trail Riding Tips for the Inexperienced

Horses are wired to run from danger, not stay and fight. Because of this ingrained tendency, horses prefer to run away from something they find frightening or uncertain rather than face it head on.

If you are riding an inexperienced horse out on the trail, here are a few tips to make the experience a little easier on you both.

Pre-flight checks can be lifesaving with a fresh or young horse. When you are working him on the ground before a ride, pay attention to his mood. If he is ignoring you and is rushing about, or behaving irrationally, it may not be the right time to take him out. Consider working him in the school or lunging him first.

On the trail, don’t rush. Take your time to introduce a horse to a new situation – rushing or bullying a horse will only set your training backward. Let your riding friends know your horse is inexperienced so that you don’t feel pushed into rushing him into potentially dangerous situations.

If your horse is spooking, use his energy positively by flexing his head and moving his shoulders towards and then away from an unfamiliar object.
By taking control of your horses’ movement, you can give him the confidence he needs to get past the scary event safely.

It is often a great idea to ride with an experienced horse that will lead the way for your less experienced mount.

Do you know Equus Note has a GPS tracking feature that records your rides in real-time so that you can remember exactly where you rode? You can also use the buddy feature with friends and family so that they can follow along too.

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