Safely Introduce Your Horse To Trail Riding

Ride Solo. When I take a horse on the trail for the first time, I prefer to ride him out by myself so that it’s just the two of us.

When you get two or more horses on the trail, they have a tendency to want to race one another and get reactive. And, when you do ride your horse outside the first time, you want to give him a job to do and do a lot of cantering. Your goal is to put some miles under his feet. You don’t want to be held up by other riders who only want to walk. The slower you let a horse’s feet go, the more he’ll start looking for things to spook at. You want to give your horse a job and get him moving his feet. Remember something, sticky feet will get you into trouble every single time.

If you don’t feel comfortable riding out by yourself and would rather have someone ride with you, make sure it’s someone who is on a well-broke horse. They can ride their horse ahead of you, and your horse can follow. What you don’t want to do is take the horse out for his first time in a group of horses that are reactive and bad-behaved on the trail. Whatever attitude the other horses have is the same attitude your horse will develop. So if you’re not comfortable heading out by yourself, be sure you choose a partner with a quiet, safe and dependable horse that will act as a good role model for your horse.

About Clinton Anderson
Born and raised in Australia, Clinton grew up with a love of horses. Although he lived in the city with his father, Rob, mother, Cheryl, and sister, Andrea, he looked forward to the weekends he got to spend on his grandparent’s farm where his grandmother would give him rides on her old Thoroughbred mare. By the age of 12, he began playing polocrosse and was eventually chosen for a national team representing his state.
In 2001, he became the first clinician to create a made-for-TV horse training program that aired on RFD-TV. The use of untrained horses and a variety of topics covering common problems faced by horse owners quickly made Downunder Horsemanship the network’s number one equine program. Nearly 15 years after establishing Downunder Horsemanship, Clinton continues to instruct horsemanship clinics, presents Walkabout Tours across the country, produces two television shows, hosts an internet TV website and is constantly creating comprehensive study kits and training tools to make learning horsemanship as accessible and easy as possible. Clinton and Downunder Horsemanship are recognized as world leaders in the equestrian industry and continue to offer the very best in innovation, inspiration and instruction.