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How to find horseback riding trails

How to find horseback riding trails

Depending on where you live and keep your horse, you may not have much space for riding your horse at home. One of the best ways to enjoy the end of summer is to take your horse on a field trip and adventure to a trail together. Equestrian trails can offer many beautiful sites to see, and can vary in distance so you can easily find the right kind of trail for you.

Articles and Blogs

Because of the exploding popularity of blogging, many horse riders have written reviews of trails they have been to, and either submit them to equine publications or post them on their own blog. For example, Horse and Rider has a whole section of their website specifically dedicated to trail riding and finding trails to ride. Here, you can narrow down your search by region, or by the type of area you want to go to, such as National Parks.

One great thing about these publications is that it offers a very detailed and descriptive first-hand account of people who visited the trail. This provides a key insight to the trail experience that might be difficult to find elsewhere. These posts often include information on what it is like to stay there overnight, and options for managing your horses during your stay.

Apps

Several entrepreneurs saw the need to conveniently organize trail information into a format that could be easily searched, and filtered through based on what you’re looking for in a trail! As a result, there are several great, online or mobile resources for finding trails.

TrailMeister

TrailMeister is an online resource for finding horse trails, but also much more, such as horse camps, horse product reviews, helpful how-to videos and more. They also allow you to create your own account, track trails that you have been to, and create bucket lists for future trails.

While all of their trails allow you make comments, it seems and so though their user base is small enough that many trails listed on their website don’t include reviews by people who have visited the trail. However, in the search feature, you can still easily read the amenities that each trail location has to offer so you can be prepared for your trip.

AllTrails

AllTrails is a popular resource for outdoor enthusiasts of all types! AllTrails offers both free and paid services to use their website or mobile app. By using AllTrails, you can search in specific areas, and filter by the activity (we know you’re using it for horse back riding, of course), the rating of reviews left by other visitors, the length of the trail, and even the types of attractions you want to see on the trail!

Just like TrailMeister, AllTrails allows you to save trails to lists you create so you can easily find them again. The paid subscription of AllTrails allows you to use GPS on your trail, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

A word of caution: because AllTrails is used by hikers, runners, bikers, and more, you may want to thoroughly read the details of a trail you pick through this app to determine what kind of groups you could be sharing a trail with and the popularity of the trail, especially if your horse is sensitive or easily spooked.

We hope this helped you find a way to secure a location for your next trail adventure. For more helpful information about horses, join our newsletter!

Does My Horse Like Me? Learn 4 Signs of Horse Affection

Does My Horse Like Me? Learn 4 Signs of Horse Affection

Signs of Horse Affection

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we’re feeling the love in the air. Love for ourselves, our loved ones, the opportunities that lay in front of us, and love for our animal companions! You may find yourself wondering: “Does my horse like me? How will I know?”. Horse affection can be shown many ways, so we want to share some signs to look out for. 

1. Your Horse Comes to You Naturally

Many horses are driven by the delicious appeal of food. If your horse stops eating to come over to you, they are showing that you are more important than their current meal. Staying calm and affectionate around your horse as much as possible will make them feel safe and more likely to come over to you without being asked.

2. They Listen to Your Commands

Have you noticed that horses will try to assert dominance every time a new horse is brought into the pasture? As herd animals, horses have a pecking order and establishing dominance is an expected behavior. This doesn’t change when they’re around humans – they might try to disobey  you or buck to show that they are calling the shots. 

One major sign of horse affection is when they accept you as their leader and listen to your instructions with respect. When this happens, you and your horse are much more likely to form a closer bond. They enjoy having a kind leader, even if they also want to be the alpha of their herd. Spending quality time with your horse will only strengthen this bond.

3. Nuzzling and Nickering 

If your horse lets out a soft whinny or nicker when they see you, it’s a good thing! This is their way of expressing that they are happy to see you. Nuzzling is another form of affection. Whether they softly nudge or rub their lips on your shoulder, hand, or head, they are enjoying your presence. They may even give you a little kiss!

4. They Lean Against You

You may have noticed your horse leaning into you when you groom, pet, massage, or scratch them. This sign of horse affection is easy to notice and awfully cute. It’s also a sign that they trust you and see you as their leader. This is a good benchmark for knowing how your companion feels about you.

There you have it. As you strengthen your connection with your equine companion, keep an eye out for these signs of affection. Feel free to give some affection back with a treat, some pampering, and positive words of affirmation.

Instead of wondering: “Does my horse like me?”, think of ways you can make them feel more happy and at ease. They are very emotional creatures who can sense your emotions, so make sure to radiate peacefulness for the best opportunities to bond. 

If you are looking to improve your horse’s health or have any questions about your horse’s behavior, contact the horse health care experts at BRD Vet Rx. We have been specializing in helping your equine companion feel and perform their best for almost 100 years.

Four Cozy Tips For Cold Weather Horse Care

Whether you like it or not, Winter is just around the corner. As you pull out your winter jackets and say goodbye to shorts and tank tops, remember that you need to prep your horse for the coming temperature drops. We’ve gathered five tips to help you maximize your cold weather horse care:

Hydration is Key

During the summer months, horses are able to get a higher intake of water due to lush greenery and pastures. When Winter dries up these plants, horses rely more on dry hay and grains, which could leave them dehydrated or more prone to colic.

When horses drink less water, they usually consume less food. Without the proper amount of calories, they may not have the body fat or energy to withstand colder temperatures. Pay attention to how much water your horse is drinking, and make sure they always have a clean supply available – it’ll make a difference.

Have A Shelter Ready to Go

A properly prepared environment is an important aspect of cold weather horse care, so make sure you have a plan. Most horses are ok with staying outside during a routine temperature drop, but every horse has different preferences.

Although trees provide good shade during the warmer months, a shed is more useful for waiting out winter moisture and storms. Your horse will want somewhere to go when sleet, high wind, snow, and ice rage outside, so make sure you have one that is set up before it gets too cold outside. They will be more comfortable and able to handle lower temperatures.

To Blanket or Not to Blanket?

One of the first things that might come to mind for cold weather horse care is when/how to use a blanket. Until the Winter Solstice (December 22), horses develop a thick winter hair coat that traps heat to keep them comfortable. You want to make sure you’re not (overly) blanketing them before the solstice, as this could hinder the growth of their natural heating system. 

However, their hair struggles to trap heat as effectively when it gets wet. This is why a reliable shelter and the right blanket for storms is extra important. If your horse seems uncomfortable/too cold, make sure they are also eating and drinking enough. Or, a certified veterinarian could give you some personalized advice on how to help.

Say “Yay” to Hay

As you would expect, horses use more calories during colder months to keep warm. To make up for this, they may need extra calories to keep them energized and healthy. Nutrient-rich, high quality hay is a staple for cold weather horse care, so make sure that your horse has enough access for them to chow down when they need to.

Keep an eye on how much your horse is eating, or if they are losing a noticeable amount of weight. You may need to adjust their water intake or other factors. If you’re concerned or unsure on how to best feed your horse during winter, call your trusted veterinarian for insight.

Keeping these metrics in mind as the colder months approach will ensure that you will have a happy, healthy horse this Winter. Here at BRD, we’ve been specializing in trusted horse health care since 1925. Visit our shop here