This afternoon, I decided to lighten the mood by talking about trail rides. More specifically, public trail rides. If you don't own your own horse(s), then you probably don't get to go on trail rides much. Trail riding is a great experience for any horse enthusiast-at any age! If you don't own a horse and want to go on a public trail ride, it's important to find the right place to ride.
No matter what you're looking for in a trail ride, the most important thing to consider is safety! As corny as that must seem, it's the truth. What's the fun in taking your kids on a trail ride when the horses are acting up? Anyway, make sure that if you're not an experienced rider you bring a helmet or that the facility provides helmets (just in case). If you're an experienced rider who feels comfortable riding without a helmet then that's not a concern. Another good safety check to do before you go is to see if the facility has any reviews online. If not, then make sure that the horses look even-tempered and cooperative once you get there. And remember-don't do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe!
The next thing to consider is what you want to do on your trail ride. You should ask the facility whether or not you'll be walking, trotting, loping (cantering), jumping, or any other equine activity. Do what's right and appropriate for your riding level. Remember that you're there to have fun!