10 ways to Enjoy Your Trail Ride with Your Horse and Your Friends!

Posted by Russell Gibbons on 30th Mar 2022

10 ways to Enjoy Your Trail Ride with Your Horse and Your Friends!

As the weather cools down, it's the perfect time of year to get together with friends and their ponies and go an a trail ride through the bush.

Australia provides an amazing array of wonderful Trail Rides through our native bush..... But how can you prepare to ensure you, and the entire group, have a wonderful time?

Here are 10 suggestions to help.

1.  Prior Plan for the Event.

This is an appropriate time to manage the expectations of everyone within the group who will be riding.

Make sure you get together a few days before hand and show everyone a map of the trail.  

Communicate to your group how man y people will be joining you, how long the ride will be, how challenging you expect it to be and what the terrain is going to be like (hilly, flat, etc...)

Further to that, check the Weather Apps so that you all understand what the temperatures and the general weather will be like.  From there everyone in your group will be mentally prepared for the event.

2.  Do a Check-List of what you all need.

Give a Check-List to everyone in the group to remind them that they will need water, sun block, food etc.....

Further to this, also include what you expect of them with regards to safety equipment such as Helmets, Appropriate Riding Boots required, No whips, your stance on phone use, etc....

This way, everyone will come not only mentally prepared but also physically prepared.

3.  Train your Horse to be a good riding buddy!

Everyone on the ride is responsible for their own pony, however, it's worth just reminding everyone that there will be other horses in close proximity so ensure your horses are well mannered.

They need to be good riding buddies to both you, as the rider, as well as towards the other horses.

To keep the ponies calm, keep a handy stash of Horse Treats with you, and reward them for their manners regularly during the ride.

Encourage others in your group to do the same.  That way you will reinforce good manners across the horses while training them to be well mannered on your next ride. 

4.  Ride to the level of the least experienced rider.... 

Remember, what you feel is easy, might be daunting to others.  So to keep your entire group safe, acknowledge those within the party whom are less experienced and show patience and understanding.

Just because you can cross a creek, Jump a log, or canter up a hill, doesn't mean everyone is comfortable doing this.  

The last thing you want is for someone to hurt themselves.  Remember, safety should always come first.

5.  Wait for Others.

Be sure not to take off before everyone is mounted.  Likewise, when watering the horses, ensure all of the horses have had their fill before anyone mounts again.

If you are the leader of the ride, be sure to make sure everyone has made it across that creek or over that log.

6.  Share being the Lead Horse.

Give others a go at being in the front.  This encourages everyone to lead but also gives each horse a chance to learn what it's like to be in the lead, in the middle and at the back of the pack.  Then everyone, not just the animals, are learning.

7. Ask before you Canter or Gallop.

Be sure to ask everyone if they are ok to speed up?  This will forecast to everyone why the tempo has increased and forecasts to the group that this is planned and not an out of control thing...... This will also gives those who don't want to go fast a chance to manage their horse as the rest of the group takes off.

Just remember to wait for everyone to catch up once the gallop or canter is complete.

8.  Encourage anyone to call for a break.

Ensure you make everyone in the group comfortable to call for a time-out if they need to.  It can be really daunting for people to raise their voice so your encouragement is important.

There are a few reasons for this, which include taking a training moment to calm an excited horse, adjust their tack, or get a quick drink.

If they need to calm a horse by giving them Horse Treats, or a quick groom or dismount, it's important that they be allowed to do so.

Hence, you want to empower those group members to feel that they do not have to struggle, and are able to speak up if they need to without feeling like they are impeding the progress of the ride.

9.  Remember the Rider Behind You!

On a trail ride there can be many obstacles such as a low hanging branch, a pothole, and other wildlife.......  Be sure to remember that those whom are behind you.

Don't let a branch hit them in the face, or their pony to trip down a small pothole.  Warn them!

10. Be Confident, Be Happy, Laugh and Talk.

Make sure everyone knows that you are enjoying yourself and having fun.  People, and their horses for that matter, feed of others.....  Therefore if you exude confidence, are relaxed and smiling, others will others are more likely to feel the same way.

Also, take the opportunity to talk and communicate with your buddies and enjoy their company.

Of course, throughout the ride, and at the conclusion of the trail, be sure to keep rewarding your pony.  Using Horse Treats is a great way to keep training throughout the day, but also, to have a fun reward for completing the adventure.  

Why not  have a stash of Horse Training Treats like our Horse Bix Range for the ride but then have a super cute Horse Treat Cookie for an extra special treat at the end of your ride?  

They will absolutely love you for it and be keen to do it again when you next want to go.

If you consider these points, you will have a greater chance of ensuring everyone in your trail ride group being ready, in the right frame of mind, and enjoying it....

Above all, Safety comes first and have fun.  Australia has some amazing riding trails and the cooler months are the perfect time to get out and explore.

Ride Safely, have fun, and tag us in on our socials so we can see the adventures you have been on!

All the best from the team here @ Huds and Toke.



Australian made Horse Treats