I know, I know. There’s snow on the ground in most of the country, but before you know it, spring will be here and most of you will be chomping at the bit to get out on the trails.
After a whole winter of “trail neglect”, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure the safety of both you and your horse.
Clear Private Trails
Take the time to hike your trail(s) on foot. Get permission to clear the trail of any downed trees, low hanging branches and jutting limbs. Be aware of the footing. Even though the snow is gone, it could have left behind deeply saturated ground hiding just below what appears to be a hard and dry surface. Another thing to keep in mind, with new grass taking root, be cautious of grass on an incline. Often, new grass will have a shallow root system making the ground slick for your horse.
Many of your public trails get the assistance from the park system and/or local riding clubs. A quick call to either or both will let you know which trails are cleared and ready to ride.
As excited as you are about getting out on the trail, your horse may need a little preparation to ensure that a minor slip doesn’t cause a major injury. Take a few sessions to ride in a well known pasture or an enclosed arena to make sure that your horse is sure-footed and confident to take the spring trails.
Just taking a few precautionary measures can make this year safe and fun for everyone!
Action Riders, ride with the wind!