6 Tips to Help You Prepare for the Ultimate Horseback Trail Ride

Horseback Trail Ride
crosscountry, event, belton @ Pixabay

Did you know going on horseback rides can benefit your mental and physical health? If you have a trail ride coming up but don’t know what to expect, we can help.

In this guide, we’ll go over what you’ll need for a horseback trail ride.

Want to learn more? Keep reading.

1. Do You Have Enough Experience?

Before you go trail riding, you’ll want to be a confident rider. Make sure you have some experience riding horses before you choose to go on a backwoods ride.

2. Where Will You Ride?

Today, you could go on an urban trail. If you live in the city, you’ll end up sharing the course with pedestrians and other traffic.

Most riders prefer to go for a ride in the wilderness. Yet, there are many different options, even for city dwellers.

You could go to a regional park. There are parks and trails. Most small cities don’t have trail rides, but they have extensive trails. You can access the park and go for a horse ride.

These regional parks are excellent because a local municipality manages them.

They are well-maintained and marked, and some even will allow horse camping. You can ride all day in the wilderness and get far from civilization.

A state park is another option. State parks get managed by government parks departments, and they are an excellent choice for trail riders.

A National Forest is another option. There are many trails to consider. Find National Forests throughout the country, and enjoy different terrain. You can enjoy mountain trails, deserts, or even shoreline trails.

A National Park is another option if you want a well-kept trail ride. Consider checking out the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or Yosemite National Park.

There are some designated wilderness areas to consider as well. These include some conservation areas and national monuments. A lot of the designated wilderness areas have trails that aren’t used a lot.

Before beginning your ride, stop at the visitor center. Get a trail map and ask the other rides for suggestions. The trails will vary in difficulty and length but look for a beginner trail if you’re new to trail riding.

3. What Are the Rules?

You should learn about the different rules before you go trail riding. Some parks might want a negative Coggins test. This confirms your horse doesn’t have equine infectious anemia, also known as swamp fever.

If you’re going to go horse camping, you’ll need an overnight permit or reservations.

4. Bring a Helmet

Cowboys didn’t wear them, and most Western riders don’t. English riders always wear helmets. If you’re riding on the trail, consider wearing a helmet.

If you fall from your horse, you could prevent an injury. Look at protecting yourself from a severe head injury. Helmets aren’t super comfortable. Yet, the new helmets are well-ventilated and lightweight.

You should look at getting an SEI-approved helmet to protect yourself if you go trail riding.

5. What About Clothing?

You’ll also want to look at getting the right clothes for your trail ride before you head out. This way, you won’t get super cold or overly heated on the ride.

Consider wearing layers. You can peel off or add items depending on the temperature. You should also look at bringing rain gear, as you don’t want to get soaked and catch a cold on your trail ride.

Don’t forget about proper safety riding gear as well. Bring enough warm clothes and a light bookbag.

You might also want some fun clothing pieces. Some people will invest in flannel jackets, ranch hats, or cool riding boots.

6. Are You Ready to Go Trail Riding?

Going for a trail ride in the open forest is a little nerve-wracking if it’s a new adventure for you.

Do you want to know how to figure out if you’re ready? First, how is your balance? Do you have a solid position with a straight line from your shoulder, hip, and heel? This will keep you balanced even on rough terrain.

Are you able to lean forward without your leg sliding back or stand on your stirrups? It’s helpful when dealing with hills. If not, stand up to lighten your seat and lean forward. Your lower leg will hold you on.

Next, consider what horse you will ride on in the trails. If you’re a fairly new rider, you’ll want to find a safe school horse. Most people want to have a safe and fun trail ride experience.

Ask your friends to bring you to a reputable horse riding business. This way, they can match you up with a calm horse.

Are you going to go trail riding with other people? You shouldn’t try and go trail riding alone. In the event that something happens, you or someone else can call for help.

Also, horses are herd animals. This means they tend to feel comfortable when they are with other equines who are quiet and similar.

Get Excited About Your Horseback Trail Ride

We hope you have some tips on how to prepare for a horseback trail ride.

Make sure you look into the areas you’re going trail riding. Do you need a specific permit? Wear the appropriate safety gear and dress in layers.

Are you looking for more helpful tips? We have resources on our blog from fitness to health, so stick around and keep learning.


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