TRAIL RIDE CONDITIONING
Moving Onward and Upwards
Here at Brandy Bee's, we believe that the key to having a calm and confident horse is to give them the opportunity to learn and to gain confidence in themselves and in their rider. Getting a horse out on trail and exposing them to new and exciting things is the best way to accomplish that. Teaching your horse to think through potential problems, instead of reacting with fear, is key to their success. Below is a list of skills your horse will have to have mastered in an outdoor arena, before they begin trail ride training.
Under Saddle (W/T/C)
The horse is comfortable under saddle at a walk, trot, and lope, and readily responds to aids.
The horse is comfortable and responds calmly and with curiosity when exposed to basic desensitization tools in an outdoor arena.
The horse is comfortable and remains calm in the outdoor arena while vehicles are being driven on the road and in/out of the driveway.
The horse remains calm and continues to pay attention to its handler when exposed to distractions. (i.e. other horses, people, activities outside of the arena)
Please refer to the "Ground Training" and "Starting Under Saddle" pages for a list of other skills your horse will have to have mastered before beginning the trail ride portion of training. These skills will be accomplished in the outdoor arena before trail riding begins.
In Hand Trail Ride Conditioning
Once the horse is ready to begin trail ride training, they begin with being taken on a walk, in a halter and lead rope on a daily basis. The walks will vary in length, based on the horse’s confidence, and will gradually increase in length as their confidence grows. All trail ride training is done in the Wild River State Park. Once a horse shows both confidence in itself and trust in their handler, they will move forward and begin trail riding under saddle. Your horse will be exposed to bridges, water crossings, mud, puddles, and a variety of other things while in hand on trail.
Under Saddle Trail Ride Conditioning
Similar to "in hand" trail ride training, your horse will also start the "under saddle" portion of training with a buddy horse. Having a more experienced horse on trail with your horse helps them keep their calm in "scary" situations. It is very beneficial for their confidence levels in the beginning. Your horse will go over bridges, through puddles, through water, and more than likely be exposed to wildlife while under saddle. Through my natural training methods, they will learn how to face each new obstacle with confidence and curiosity. Under saddle training starts with a one hour trail ride, and as your horse improves both physically and mentally, the rides will get longer, which enables your horse to experience a wider variety of stimuli as they advance in training.