Hitting the trail

What better way to see the world than through the ears of a beautiful Thoroughbred horse? Yet for some reason, there is a pervasive myth that you cannot ride trails safely on an OTTB. Not so, as I and many of Tranquility Farm’s adopters have discovered.Send us your trail photos!

These lovely ears belong to Shine for Priscilla, a filly that had just one start at the racetrack and basically had no idea what her job in life was going to be until she was adopted. Lots of Thoroughbreds that you will find for adoption have a very similar story, so do not assume anything about training a Thoroughbred for trail other than the fact that the horse will never have been down one before.

Trail training is the same for all horses. First partner with your horse in the arena and in safe open areas so that you are confident that you can control him in all situations and that he trusts you. Second, partner with a friend who has an experienced trail horse who can mentor your horse when you go outside the confines of a familiar area. Go slow and make the experience easy and enjoyable for your horse. If your horse will pony it is an excellent way to get started.

The best way to prepare for trail riding is working to negotiate obstacles at home. Provide your horse with challenging puzzles to build his agility and confidence and he will be much better prepared to THINK before he moves his feet out in open country! Happy Trails!