Trail

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As many equestrians take to the roads, keeping themselves and their horses safe while sharing road space with cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles is a key concern. Increasing development and traffic volume in rural areas have made road riding a necessity for some riders.

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Etiquette and safety are closely related, in many cases, a lack of one creates a breach of the other. Poor etiquette typically leads to unsafe situations, while good etiquette paves the trail for a safe riding experience. It is the right and responsibility of every trail user to ensure their own safety and expect safe practices from other trail users.

Horse Instincts

By Stan Walchuk, Jr. - The most basic instincts of the horse are related to its survival as a prey animal. First and most obvious is the fear instinct, commonly referred to the fight-or-flight instinct. Second is the herd instinct, the inborn desire to be inside the nucleus of the group, and the instinctive understanding of herd hierarchy, dominance, and how to fit in. Third is the horse’s acute awareness and sensitivity to their surroundings, including other horses and people.

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Trail horses are like kids; they need structure, direction, and appropriate discipline. Strong foundation training is built by the exercises and habituation that we provide. Metaphorically speaking, grade one is everything for a trail horse.

Understanding Bits

By Stan Walchuk, Jr. - Walking into a tack shop and looking at a wall covered with bits can send a neophyte bit buyer into a cold sweat. We can simplify types of bits by putting them into two categories: snaffle bits and curb bits.

Trail Ghosts: Despooking the Trail Horse

By Stan Walchuk, Jr. - Some horses improve to a point, but will not entirely lose their problems, and for our purposes trail horses must be completely reliable. It is no fun riding while sitting on pins and needles wondering if your horse will spook, buck, or pull back the next time you tie him.

Mark Bolender Mountain & Extreme Trail

If the idea of working in partnership with your horse to navigate obstacles such as bridges, logs, water, and switchbacks appeals to you, then Mountain Trail might be for you. The discipline of Mountain Trail was founded in 2000 and over the last 13 years has skyrocketed in popularity due to its accessibility, the benefits it can bring to horses and riders specializing in other disciplines, and, simply put, because it’s just plain fun.

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