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Timber Run Farm Trails

Creek Crossing

I haven’t talked much about my riding goals this year, mostly because things have been pretty up in the air for a large part of the year. However, we’ve actually been doing pretty good with accomplishing things. One of my goals has been to get out of the arena and go on more trail rides. So far, this has been a smashing success. I’ve always felt guilty for not taking advantage more often of the 100+ acres of groomed trails right out our back door, but this year I went on more trail rides in the first two months than I did in the last two years combined!

Timber Run Farm Trails

There’s been a few things holding us back in the trail riding department:

  1. I’m a ring baby, and riding in the great wide open makes me a little nervous
  2. Miles doesn’t cross ditches
  3. Water and deep mud cause Miles concern

Luckily, all of these are very fixable with more experience out on the trail, with good trail guides. One great thing about Miles is that he will go out on the trails by himself, so I’ve been venturing out of the ring when I can — even if it’s just a walk around the paddocks to cool down. The more I get out of the walls of the sandbox, the more confident and relaxed I am in the open. He’s very solid about wildlife, and his spook tends to be raising his head and stopping… which is totally ride-able for me.

With all of these trail miles we’re logging, Miles is also getting much better about terrain. Whenever I can, we walk through mud and puddles (he’s perfectly fine with doing this in an arena), so I know he CAN and WILL. The more we do it, the easier it gets. It’s a small thing, but for me I’ve never gotten out of the arena much so I’m starting from scratch. Any victory is cause for celebration when it’s outside of the arena!

Miles and I Trail Ride Sept 2014

Finally, we’re taking advantage of the plethora of amazing, solid trail riders and horses at our barn. Whenever it works out, we love to ride out with friends who let Miles follow nose to butt through ditches, and go slow as we figure things out. This weekend, we had a wonderful seasoned guide (Remember the amazing Dax?), plus my trainer on Vinnie, help us out. They led us to our very first walk through the creek! Water has been one of our big trouble spots (mud, standing water, ditches with water…) so I wasn’t sure how the creek would go over. But I just put Miles right behind Dax, and he walked straight in, and was foot perfect for the entire time we walked through the water.

Trail Ride May 2015

Now that we’re getting better and better out on the trails… I’m hoping to cross an item off the bucket list and compete in a hunter pace our barn horses in August. We’d just do the slow pace, which is walk/trot and no jumps, so basically a glorified trail ride. I’ve only done one hunter pace before (and it was eons ago), and not having to trailer anywhere to do it again is just to convenient to pass up. So there, I’ve said it… now I just have to keep working towards being ready to do it!

Tracy

Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

16 thoughts on “Creek Crossing

  1. I hope you get to do the Hunter pace! It sounds fun! It’s really awesome that you’re working on your goals and trying unfamiliar things!

  2. The hunter pace sounds like so much fun! I love trail riding, but am really picky about my trail horses, it’s what really sold me on my young horse the most- I feel safer on him out in the open than I do in the arena!

  3. Yay for trails! I’m with you- I tend to be a total ring princess. But the more I get out there on a happy horse, the more fun and less anxiety-inducing it is 🙂 So great to be pushing the comfort zone a bit!

  4. Sounds like so much fun! There are lots of trails near my house, but I don’t trust any of my current animals out in the woods. I shall live vicariously through you and Miles!

  5. I didn’t leave the ring for many MANY years and was definitely nervous to start doing it again – esp at speed. But it’s addicting 🙂 you’re gonna love the hunter pace!!

  6. So awesome! Pig HATES water, and at our old barn he’d memorized the creek crossing and would start throwing down if I even looked that way. At our current barn, the water crossings are everywhere. I think he’s just become resigned to his fate, because now he walks in just fine. He even leads the pack through the creek!! Maybe some day I can get him to walk down the creek, rather than just try to leap out at the first opportunity. Haha…

  7. Wow, the trails your barn has are gorgeous! May isn’t a fan of getting her toes wet either, but I can honestly say that it doesn’t get better with repetition. I’m sure Miles will love getting to go on Hunter paces once he understands the concepts. I found that taking horses to things like hunter paces makes them even better in the ring. Either way, I am sure you both will have a great time!

  8. I so want to do a hunter pace too. But Tucker is a tool when he’s asked to do more than walk on the trail with other horses present. Hopefully with time both us and our boys will be more comfortable outside the ring.

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