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How to Overcome Behavioral Issues with Your Horse When Trail Riding

trail ridingTrail riding for pleasure can be one of the most relaxing activities you can do with your horse to get away from it all.  However, sometimes a horse will have behavioral issues on the trail that he does not have at home.  Here is a look at a few common problems that your horse may be having on the trail.

  1. A horse has the tendency to run at the first indication of anything that frightens him.  Before you even begin trail riding with your horse, you need to work on his inclination for flight.  Slowly get the horse used to being in wide open spaces like the trail.  Also, get him used to loud, moving objects like automobiles that he might meet up with on the trail, especially if the trail will take him along or across a highway.

  2. Have some sort of physical conduct on your part that reassures the horse when he is afraid and lets him know that you have confidence in the situation.  A soft pat is a good example of something you can do to make your horse more assured in uncomfortable circumstances.

  3. Sometimes, a horse does not obey his rider’s commands on the trail, especially if the command is to do something daunting, such as crossing a stream or creek.  One good way to prevent disobedience on the trail is to make sure the horse is obeying you at home.  If he will not obey your simple instructions at the stable or ranch, he will be even less likely to obey you out on the trail, where everything is unfamiliar.

  4. If your horse is not used to riding long trails, start him out with short rides and drag them out longer and longer as he gets used to them.  Eventually, you will be able to take him on long trails.

  5. If your trail does include traveling along a highway, make sure that the highway has a wide shoulder for you to ride on.  Wear bright clothes, reflectors, or a flashing light so that cars and trucks will see you on the side of the road.  If local traffic laws allow you to ride facing the traffic, do so.  Your horse will be less spooked if he can see the car coming towards him rather than sneaking up behind him.