4 AUGUST 2016 | HorseIllustrated.com
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FREE REIN »
Riding it Out Alone
IT’S A GORGEOUS DAY,
and you and your horse
are headed down the
trail. The sun is shining,
the birds are singing, and
your horse is striding out
eagerly. It’s just the two
of you, enjoying nature—
or so you wish.
Sorry to bring this riding
fantasy to a screeching
halt, but sometimes reality
intrudes. ( You with the
perfect trail horse can sit back
smugly and carry on.)
For those of us on the
struggle bus, our horse is still
back at the barn, stubbornly digging in his heels. He’s balking,
spinning, backing up and tap dancing. Or maybe he’s just simply
grown roots. It’s happened to me—I get it.
The last time I took Beau out alone, he gave a performance
worthy of The Voice, whinnying and calling for his friends to
come save him as he begrudgingly trudged along. Yet with his
BFF Arrow by his side, he walks out with a confident, flowing
gait and is the brave leader going through the scary gate where
dragons live in the bushes.
We’re all pretty familiar with the nature of the beast: Horses
are herd animals; so are humans. Trail riding is better with
friends, but sometimes it’s hard to find good trail buddies with
If you don’t want to be stuck in the arena, it’s worthwhile
to put in the e;ort to teach your horse to go solo on the trail.
Whether it’s a confidence crisis or a streak of stubbornness, we
have solutions from a trail master to help you and your horse
ride out alone on pg. 36. And don’t forget to a check out our
essential list of safety precautions before you hit the trail by
Stay safe and enjoy the trails, whether alone or with friends.