Trail

Is your horse ready to hit the trail?

By Stan Walchuk, Jr. - Life as the Blue Creek Trail Riding/Packing Clinic instructor is always interesting, never boring, and often as much a learning experience as a teaching one. The personalities of humans and horses always make for a lively program, and this was especially evident this year when some guests brought their own horses.

What do we look for in trail horse conformation? The quality of the foot has been discussed in a previous article and therefore this article will focus on other key aspects.

We trail riders experience the contradiction: we live in the modern world but experience the solitude and loneness of a trail ride. And this quiet time spent with ourselves in the hugeness and solitude of the outdoors affects us differently, in ways that are unique to each of us.

In this article we will consider ideas for rider accessories that can make your ride smoother, safer, and more comfortable. Let’s begin with comfortable.

Stan Walchuk Jr, horse wrangling, equine hobbles, horse hobbles, picket rope, horse bells, horse tail tying, equine wrangling

Wrangling means working with horses on the trail or in camp, including when they are not ridden or packed. It involves bringing them in at morning, turning them out at night, and managing their movement and use.

Stan Walchuk Jr, joyful horse trail riding, joy trail riding, equine trail riding, love of horse riding

Every year I receive phone calls and emails from past guests and friends recalling the moments of their trail rides. Like a record, the memories of joyful times play back again and again, buoying them through difficult and less memorable times, or reminding them that dreams are sometimes real.

Stan Walchuk Jr, tying Basket Hitch, horse trail riding, trail riding tips, Horse Camping Trekking

As explained in previous articles, there are two categories of hitches: those that hang the load on the horse and those that wrap the load around the horse in a secure package. The barrel hitch and the basket hitch are the two most common hanging type hitches, and of the two the basket hitch is likely the most used and most versatile.

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