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How to Keep Your Horse Trail Ride Ready From the Paddock

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Keep Your Horse Ready for the Trails From Quarantine!

With much of the world under some form of quarantine right now, many horse owners are finding that they are unable to trail ride as much as they’d like to.

 

Even after all of these quarantines are lifted, many trail riders are familiar with other events that prevent planned excursions. Things such as bad weather, trail maintenance, and time constraints, can all prevent riders from taking part in regular trail rides.

 

A group of woman riding black and brown horses wearing red, blue, purple, and pink Scoot Boots

 

If a lockdown or any other event is putting a damper on the fun of trail rides, we have some solutions for you! These solutions are useful in a variety of different situations and, most importantly, can help you keep your horse mentally engaged and trail ride ready at home!

 

A brown horse wearing blue Scoot Boots making a funny face in an inclose sand arena

 

Solution 1:

Set up Trail Courses in Your Home Arena 

Do you have a space at your home or barn that is set up for arena riding? Take advantage of this area!

 

Set up a variety of trail obstacles to practice with your horse. Obstacles will not only help desensitise your horse to things they might see on the trail, they also help keep your horse mentally engaged and learning while you’re unable to trail ride.

 

Not sure which obstacles to set up? Here are a few options that can be created with items you may already have: 

 

A man desensitising a brown horse by riding it over a blue tarp

Tarp and Cavaletti Desensitising Box 
(Yucca Valley Equestrian Centre, 2005)

 

A girl in an orange top side passing a paint horse over cones

Side Passing Practice Over Cones
(Fantasy Farms, 2010)

 

A man desensitising a horse by making it back through an 'S' made out of wood

Backing Through an ‘S’ Made With Cavalettis
(Roeller and Jantzen, 2018)

 

A girl in a green jumper desensitising a horse using a gate obstacle on a sand arena

Gate Obstacle Made With Rope and Jump Standards 
(Fantasy Farms, 2010)

 

A woman riding a brown horse through a desensitising tool called a 'cowboy carwash' on a sand arena

‘Cowboy Carwash’ Made With PVC Pipes, Rope and Pool Noodles 
(Roeller and Jantzen, 2018)

 

Solution 2:

Focus on Learning a New Skill 

Is there a skill that you’ve been meaning to learn with your horse? Maybe you’d like to be able to open and close gates without dismounting, check the mail or jump obstacles on the trail.

 

Take this opportunity to spend some focused time learning this skill! Practice with the items you have around your property; open and close paddock gates, check the mail in your mailbox, and work on jumping in an arena before graduating to permanent trail obstacles. 

 

Determine a skill that would be most useful to you and your horse and use what you have available to help you master it! 

 

A woman riding a black and white horse whilst checking the mailbox

Practice Checking the Mailbox and Learn a New Skill 
(LMD Photography, 2011)

 

Solution 3:

Create a Mini Trail 

Is there a space at your barn or on your property where you can set up a mini trail? Even if you aren’t able to trek for miles on end, having a mini trail to work through can be a great way to keep your horse engaged. Include obstacles on your trail that can help improve your horse’s movement. Items like cavalettis, logs, tight turns, gates, bridges, low branches, hills, dry creek beds and more can help keep your horse in great shape and prepare them for what they’ll be faced with on the trail. 

 

Mini trails can be set up in paddocks, around a fence line, through a small forested area or weaving through pathways throughout the property. Get creative with your obstacles and use what you have available! 

 

A cavalettis made out of wood on a grassy field

Cavalettis Helps Your Horse Learn to Watch Where he/she Steps 
(Dabney, n.d.)

 

A log jumble layed out on grass

A Log Jumble can Help Your Horse Learn to Step Even More Carefully After They Have Mastered Cavalettis 
(Garvey, 2020)

 

A brown horse being lead by a woman over a woodern bridge to desentise it

A Bridge can Help Your Horse get Used to Walking on Different Types of Surfaces 
(Hunter, 2011)

 

Solution 4:

Fix Challenges You’ve Been Meaning to get Around to 

Is there a habit your horse has that you wish you no longer had to work around or worry about? Maybe they bite when the girth is tightened, they don’t load well in the trailer, they jig on the trail or they walk away when you mount. It’s easy when we feel crunched for time to ignore these sorts of behaviors for far too long. Unfortunately, many of these habits only get worse with time if left unattended to. Some can even turn dangerous. 

 

While trail riding is not possible, take the time you have to fix these problems you’ve been meaning to get around to. If you aren’t sure how to correct the behavior your horse is struggling with, seek help. There are many online resources available from professional trainers that can assist you in making the right training decisions for your horse. 

 

Make your next trail ride smoother and safer by correcting challenging behaviours now! 

 

A woman schooling a brown horse on a grassy field

(Carter, 2016)

 

Keep Your Horse’s Feet in Great Condition so you are Prepared to hit the Trail When They Reopen 

The last thing any rider wants is, after months of waiting to trail ride again, to be unable to, due to hoof issues. Keep your horse’s feet in great condition with Scoot Boots! Avoid chipping and injuries so you can hit the trail right away when they reopen. 

 

Incorporating Scoot Boots into your routine during the activities listed above will help keep your horse’s hooves safe and comfortable!

 

A white horse wearing pink Scoot Boots walking across rocky terrain

 

Scoot Boots will help your horse be more sure footed when walking over stones or hard and slippery surfaces, such as bridges, roads and water with stones at the bottom.

 

By giving your horse the comfort and grip he needs over a variety of obstacles, you will allow him to learn to move in a more correct and balanced way. This will set him up for success on any trail! Scoot Boots will also help prevent slipping or chipping of the hooves whether you are practicing for a trail ride at home or riding trails away from home.

 

A beautiful beige horse running through sand and water

 

Do you have a great at-home obstacle idea that you’d like to share with others? Comment below and tell us your idea!

 

Want to find out more about Scoot Boots? Click here for more information! 

 

Naked man riding a white horse wearing orange Scoot Boots in the snow

 

Building a Supportive Barefoot Community

The team at Scoot Boot believe passionately in the barefoot horse and strive to build a supportive community of barefoot horse lovers. We aim to share everything we know about going barefoot and are eager to hear your stories and questions. Please reach out to us!

 

Woman riding black and brown horses standing on grassy rocks admiring a beautiful mountain view

 

Talk to us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scootbootdownunder/ 

On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scootbootsdownunder/ 

Send us an email: scootboot@scootboots.com

 

Black and brown horses wearing blue, red, orange and green Scoot Boots trotting through grass

 

Find more information about using Scoot Boots here:

https://scootboots.com/collections/all-retail/products/scoot-boot-one-pair-multiple-straps

 

Black horses wearing pink and purple Scoot Boots trotting through gravel on a trail ride

 

Bibliography

Images: 

Carter, L., 2016. Support Your Horse During The Equine “Back To School” Season. [image] Available at: <https://www.heavenlygaitsequinemassage.com/horse-back-to-school-season/> [Accessed 1 June 2020].

 

Dabney, E., n.d. Cavaletti - Trotting Down The Center Of The Poles Helps The Horse Learn To Watch Where He Is Going And To Regulate His Pace.. [image] Available at: <https://www.eddabney.com/confidence_course.htm> [Accessed 1 June 2020].

 

Fantasy Farms, 2010. Horse Training - The Trail Class. [image] Available at: <https://www.ponybox.com/news_details.php?id=1373> [Accessed 1 June 2020].

 

Fantasy Farms, 2010. Horse Training - The Trail Class. [image] Available at: <https://www.ponybox.com/news_details.php?id=1373> [Accessed 1 June 2020].

 

Garvey, K., 2020. A Log Jumble That Can Also Be Recreated Using Jump Poles.. [image] Available at: <https://horsetrailchicks.com/2020/01/22/diy-obstacles/> [Accessed 1 June 2020].

 

Hunter, M., 2011. It’S Never Too Late For Training!. [image] Available at: <http://stalecheerios.com/horse-training/late-training/> [Accessed 1 June 2020].

 

LMD Photography, 2011. Horse Obstacle Course Training. [image] Available at: <http://www.confidenthorse.com/photos.html> [Accessed 1 June 2020].

 

Roeller, L. and Jantzen, S., 2018. Fun With A Horse Trail Obstacle Course And Other Objectives Of A Horse Campout. [image] Available at: <https://www.slohorsenews.net/fun-with-a-horse-trail-obstacle-course/> [Accessed 1 June 2020].

 

Roeller, L. and Jantzen, S., 2018. Fun With A Horse Trail Obstacle Course And Other Objectives Of A Horse Campout. [image] Available at: <https://www.slohorsenews.net/fun-with-a-horse-trail-obstacle-course/> [Accessed 1 June 2020].


Yucca Valley Equestrian Center, 2005. Ranch Horse Competition 1, 2005. [image] Available at: <http://yuccavalleyequestriancenter.com/gallerypages/ranchhorse105.htm> [Accessed 1 June 2020].

Scoot Boots

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Scoot Boot (one boot)

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Scoot Slims (one boot)

€ 84.00 Includes 1 FREE pair Trail Gaiters Spare straps and hardware

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