There are a great many activities families can enjoy together
while on vacation that are different from those that they
regularly get pleasure from in their everyday lives. One of
these activities is trail riding on horseback. Not many people
have regular access to horseback riding, so it can be quite
exciting to hop up in a saddle and head out on a trail.
Horseback trail riding is available at a wide variety of
vacation destinations. Families can plan beach or tropical
vacations where horseback riding is available. Or, they can
plan their entire trip around the very idea of trail riding,
such as by planning a trip to a western dude ranch. Regardless,
while trail riding on horseback can be quite fun, it is important
to keep safety in mind. Here's how:
Choose the right stable. If you are planning a trip around
trail riding, ask for recommendations before booking your
trip travel agents may be a good source, but also search online
for reviews. If horseback riding is just a vacation activity,
try asking your hotel concierge or town locals for tips on
the best stable.
You want to choose a stable where the horses are treated
well. If there is manure all over the ground and the horses
are dirty, head for another stable.
Be honest about your family's riding experience. Don't exaggerate
and say you are an intermediate rider when, in fact, you are
truly a beginner. The horse wranglers want to match you up
with a horse that you can handle well. If you claim to ride
better than you actually can, they will give you a more advanced
horse and you may not be capable of riding it (this is called
being over horsed). There is no shame in being a novice horseback
rider; just admit it.
Get in line as you are told. While you may want to allow
your wife to get in line ahead of you, it isn't wise to alter
the order in which the wranglers have placed the horses. Certain
horses may not get along well, and the wranglers know this
and you don't. If you change the line up, you might end up
behind a horse that doesn't like yours and you might end up
Wait for directions before doing anything. Do not approach
your horse or mount him until or unless the wrangler has said
you should. Of course, most horses at riding stables are gentle
and kind; however, a wrong move could cause a horse to bolt
Don't wander off of the trail when riding. Generally, trail
riding horses will know the trails very well and will stick
to them. Just enjoy the ride. Even if you see something spectacular
off of the trail, don't try to wander off.
Make sure to hold the reins at all times. It is essential
that you keep a good hold on the horse's reins. If your horse
steps on reins that have fallen, he could snap the reins or,
he could even break a leg.
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