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My first trail ride away from home! (on my own horse)

I don't know that anyone will care to read this, but I guess that is not what a blog is supposed to be about. Anyway, apparently you are reading this, so, thanks. I welcome any comments.
I have had horses for a couple of years now, but just recently took them on my first away-from-home trail ride. The experience was great.
I had a hard time getting Bob on the trailer. I just had to stay patient and firm and kept lunging him until he finally went without any major problems (if you call taking an hour to load no major problem). My Chrissy girl loaded first with no problems.
Me and a non horse owning friend went to East Fork near Murfreesboro. (By the way, I'm looking for some people to ride with - my wife don't ride.) Everything went very smoothly. We had a great time. The trails weren't anything to get overly excited about, but not bad. The main thing is that it is close to home and for my first couple of trips I think that is a good thing. Sticking close seems wise for my first couple of trips until I (and the horses) get down the whole routine.
I am definitely looking to try some other places and venture out a little further as I gain confidence. I did tons of trail riding and camping with four wheelers and dirt bikes when I was younger. My goal is to ride Big South Fork. Eventually, I want to camp with the horses, maybe even a pack trip. But for now, I am content.
I Thank God for keeping us safe and for all His blessings (especially my first child, which is on the way!).

Let's Ride!
jpc

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Comment by sheila coffman on September 28, 2009 at 10:47pm
Hi Joel

Check out Long C Trails it is family owned and unlike East Fork there is always someone around if you need help. Even if its in the middle of the night in a rain storm and your trailer decides to spring a leak right over your mattress. When its time for the baby to come try out my son-in-laws solution to speeding things up , he put my daughter up on his trusty horse and had her ride around the yard. That evening quess what--- His name is Tanner and he is a cowboy through and through. He is 5 now and rides a bld/white paint about 15 hds his little sister 2yrs. old still rides in buddy seat but not for long. Horses are great for family. Teach kids lots of good lessons. Happy Trails
Comment by joelpcox on September 15, 2009 at 10:19am
I will definitely check it out. I subscribe to Western Horsemen and Horse and Rider, but that sounds like something that would be more applicable for me. Thanks for the suggestion.
Comment by Adrienne Walsh on September 13, 2009 at 4:21pm
Hey Joel, a subscription to Trailrider magazine would give you lots of information about trail riding. I found my first magazine at Tractor Supply, that is the only place I have found it, so I took a subscription for it and we love it. It is full of info about trail riding, from what to pack, where to go, and skills that are useful for trailriding. My husband and I fight over who gets to read it first.
Comment by joelpcox on September 13, 2009 at 9:28am
Thank you both for sharing. Yes, my wife is definitely ok with our child riding early; We have already talked about it. I watched that Best of America - I am sure that was lots of fun. I record them on my DVR in case I want to watch them again and get some ideas. I sincerely appreciate your advice. Those sound like great ideas. I hope to meet you on the trails sometime. I will check out S.H.O.T. Best wishes on your upcoming trips.
God Bless,
jpc
Comment by Adrienne Walsh on September 13, 2009 at 9:05am
Hey Joel! I got back into horses in my late 40's after college, marriage, kids, more college...Anyway, I took my first away trip a year ago in May, by myself with a horse I had owned a total of 6 weeks! I went to the Best of America by Horseback trail ride at Faye Whittemore farms in northern Alabama. Despite a very early morning storm that swept through at 4am, we had a great time! I have found a group that I enjoy riding with on a regular basis. We go to Natchez Trace, Why Not, Many Cedars, and other places that are not too far away. We like that the travel time is short and riding time is long! I am planning a trip to the South Fork area in October...that will be our first far away trip that we have made since buying our trailer. I think you are going about this the right way...slowly. A lot of short day trips will build you and your horse's confidence in the whole process, from packing to go and riding on out. Always have hay in your trailer and Bob will eventually get the picture that if he loads, he eats! Anyway, eventually you can work up to overnight camping and your wife and baby can come too! Many places have cabins to rent if she doesn't want to do the tent thing. Depending on where you live, you could come ride with our group, The S.H.O.T. club. We try to ride every week, or at least every other weekend. Have fun and ride safe!
Comment by Jackie on September 13, 2009 at 8:42am
I think you took the right approach loading Bob, just patient persistence. One thing I have done is work on loading when I have no intention of going anywhere, just practice loading. That way the horse gets used to it and you don't feel pressured to get the horse loaded quickly because you don't have any time lines yourself. My horses always find some hay in the trailer, and I am able to leave the trailer and truck in the pasture with the gate tied open. Many times I hear clunking and look out to find a horse has loaded himself and is eating hay or just standing in the trailer. That has helped too as they can explore the trailer on their own.

Congrats on the new baby-is your wife OK with him/her riding early? You will all have a great time camping with the horses.

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