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.
When purchasing a new horse, or evaluating your current horse, make yourself a sensible checklist to decide whether or not the horse meets your needs. Be honest with yourself: it is a matter of safety and a matter of an enjoyable future with your trail horse.
When it comes to personal gear for the trail rider, there is nothing more personal than the saddle. You probably have opinions about what you like to see in a saddle, and if you have been riding for several years, your experience has likely shifted those opinions somewhat.
Ah, the good old days. That was the time when someone said, “I think that horse might buck,” and you said, “I’ll ride him.” Secretly, you hoped he would buck. You had been bored for the last 20 minutes and it was time for some excitement.
If mules are so wonderful, why do most people ride horses? If even half the heralded testimony from mule owners is true, we should all be riding mules. But wait… how gallant would Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger have looked perched atop mules?
If you are a trail rider or a hockey parent you have likely heard someone say, “Wow, does that horse/kid have heart!” But saying it is one thing and understanding it is another. If you have been riding in the hills or the mountains for a few years you may have experienced the difference between an average horse powering its way up a hill and a horse with exceptional “heart.”