Horse riding in the field
Horse riding can be practiced in forest or field areas, among others. Nature also creates obstacles which can be overcome by horses. See how horseback riding looks like in the natural environment.
Forests available for horse lovers
Horse riding is becoming increasingly popular. Over the years, therefore, the number of forest trails where you can ride a horse is increasing. It should be noted that on unsigned horse riding trails it is forbidden to practise this sport. The horse trails are marked by forest inspectorate employees. What is important is that you can ask for the route yourself.
However, the forest inspectorate may refuse to mark the route. The reasons may be different, e.g. destruction of the surface by horses. In most cases the use of horse trails is free of charge. In case of a commercial route (used e.g. for excursions, rallies) there may be charges for using the route. This situation, however, applies to organizers – private persons usually have free entry.
How to ride on forest trails?
Riding trails are often also used by pedestrians. Therefore it is worth to adjust the speed of the ride to the circumstances. What is more, you cannot leave a given trail (only if it is necessary e.g. to bypass an obstacle). A good way is to stick to the middle of the road. In this way, riders have a chance to take care of the lateral surfaces on which cyclists and pedestrians move.
In addition, in the case of children, they should be with a carer while riding. The basic rules also include cleaning up after your own animal. It is best to start riding on the forest trail in the morning and end it when it gets dark.
You should also remember to behave properly towards your horse. In natural terrain it is sometimes difficult to keep an animal under control. Therefore, you should be well prepared to deal with horse aggression.
It happens that periodic use bans are introduced on forest horse riding trails. The reason for such a situation is e.g. destruction of the forest undergrowth or fire hazard. In some places there are permanent bans on entry. These include animal shelters, river and river springs or areas at risk of erosion. Riding is also often forbidden in private forests.
Riding centres – field riding
Some of the equestrian centers offer mainly horseback riding in an indoor dressage or paddock. This form of training is beneficial due to the faster learning of this sport. Nevertheless, field riding offers much more opportunities. First of all, it is not monotonous. There are many benefits for both the rider and the horse. Thanks to that horses get used to the environment and man. Some equestrian centers also organize horse rallies.
When going out into the field it is worth taking a companion with you. This is especially important for inexperienced riders. However, there is no need to be alienated. Horse riding is a general development sport – both for body and spirit.
In the field you can effectively learn how to ride and improve your balance. After all, the natural environment provides a variety of terrain – hills, downhills, ditches and obstacles. On hills, you can train your half-breed, which additionally relieves the back of the horse.
Jumping over natural obstacles
Jumping over natural obstacles is possible especially for horses that have experience in paddock jumping. Obstacles can be different: fallen tree trunks, ditches, forest barriers… However, it is worth to take into account possible obstacles before setting off. It is better to choose a horse that is able to make a single jump.
In this case, unforeseen obstacles on the equestrian trail will not pose any problem. When jumping over obstacles the stirrups should be shortened.
Water adventures of the rider
Long rides require stopping near water bodies. This allows the horses to drink. However, in such a situation it is necessary to check the depth and nature of the reservoir ground. Horses are heavy animals, so they can easily get stuck in soft ground.
The horse should initially take a few sips. Then a short tour of the tarsus and a final quench of thirst. It is also worthwhile to train your horse to use any kind of gait when entering the water. It is also worthwhile to take off the saddle – if it is wet it can slip and damage.
After getting out of the water the rider should carefully examine the horse in search of abrasions or leeches. It is worth to be alert – some tanks are full of sharp stones.
Trust your horse’s hunch
Sometimes there are situations in which the horse refuses to obey. Horses are characterized by a very good intuition – it is worth to rely on them in matters of terrain. It happens that the animal does not want to enter the river or wetland. Such a situation should mean a change of the equestrian trail.