Trail Tips & Safety

Water-Crossing: How to Prevent Dizziness promo image

Water-Crossing: How to Prevent Dizziness

?Don?t look at the water!? That was my father-in-law?s advice to my wife, Emily, as we rode our horses picked across the rocky bottomed swift stream.

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Handle On-Trail Encounters

When you go for a trail ride, you?ll likely encounter a number of things your horse will perceive as a threat to his safety. As a prey animal, his flight instinct tells him to flee such threats. Your challenge is to keep him under control calmly and confidently. As he begins to trust you as his leader, he?ll learn to stay calm when encountering new object.

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Bridling Basics with Julie Goodnight

Learn the right way to bridle your horse with these tips from the Certified Horsemanship Association; Julie Goodnight demonstrates.

Prevent Dehydration and Acute Mountain Sickness while Trail Riding promo image

Prevent Dehydration and Acute Mountain Sickness while Trail Riding

An effect of riding at high altitudes is dehydration, a major cause of the syndrome known as Acute Mountain Sickness. Both you and your horse need to stay hydrated to prevent dehydration, and one simple indicator of dehydration is urine color. Relatively clear urine tends to go with hydration, while dark yellow tends to indicate dehydration. Worse, urine that appears tinged with red or pink suggests serious dehydration, which can be a cause of Acute Mountain Sickness. It is important to prevent

The Benefits of Roping Both Ends promo image

The Benefits of Roping Both Ends

The guys who?ve put a lot of effort into team roping have spent enough time and have strong enough fundamentals that most of them can rope both ends.

How-To: Make the Most of Your Skill Level promo image

How-To: Make the Most of Your Skill Level

Sooner or later, it's inevitable that you'll get your number raised as your skill level improves.

Team Roping Success: Increase Your Horse's Performance promo image

Team Roping Success: Increase Your Horse's Performance

Getting along with your horse is the key to improving your team roping performance, whether heading or heeling.

If he's inexperienced at it, your horse might not enjoy rides on wooded trails as much as you do. That's because he can't see the situation and surroundings the way you do. | Photo by CLiX/Shawn Hamilton

Why Your Horse Gets Nervous in the Woods

Do narrow, wooded trails make your horse nervous? See them from his point of view.

Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore rides in Botswana's Okavango Delta with giraffe in the background. | © Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore

African Horse Safari Packing and Contact Lists

Practical Horseman's managing editor Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore gives you guidelines for African horse safari trip preparations and a packing list for your (very small) suitcase.

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Stop Trailside Grass Grabbers

The trail is not an all-you-can-eat buffet for your horse. These easy tips can help you manage your grass hog.

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The Golden Years

It's one of the toughest decisions you'll ever have to make—but one of these days, you may have to climb off your horse for good.


A Leg-Up on Breast Cancer: Fundraising Events

October marks Breast Cancer Awareness month and the equestrian community has been busy with creative and unique tie-ins to horse events for fundraising that benefits research, lessons for cancer patients and direct help to individuals.

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Setting Up Safe Highlines and Picket Lines

When you venture into the backcountry with horses, keep them secure in camp by learning to tie a highline or picket line.

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Trail Riding Position Preferences

Build your horse up to be both a confident trail leader, unafraid of the unknown ahead, and a fearless follower, not worried about being left behind.

Clinton Anderson's Longeing for Respect: Changing Directions Slideshow

SLIDESHOW! In the final part of Clinton Anderson's lesson in longeing for respect, you'll learn to direct your horse in a series of smooth, continuous turns on the hindquarters. This exercise activates the thinking side of his brain, improves his balance in rollbacks, and--most importantly--reinforces the message that you're in charge.

Clinton Anderson's Longeing for Respect: Circling Slideshow

SLIDESHOW! In the second part of Clinton Anderson's lesson in longeing for respect, you'll learn to send your horse out onto a circle, then cue him to turn in, stop, and face you. Controlling the movement of his feet in this manner will strengthen the bond between the two of you and sharpen his obedience.

Clinton Anderson's Longeing for Respect: Preparation Slideshow

SLIDESHOW! Does your trail horse need a time out? Use Clinton Anderson's unique longeing techniques to refocus your horse's attention--and hone his can-do keenness.

Before you head out, make sure you're well-prepared for weather, terrain and other trail variables. |

9 Questions to Ask Before You Set Out on a Trail Ride

Prep safely for a trail ride with this list of important pre-ride questions.

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Trail Riding with Your Horse on the Road

If you plan to travel the same routes used by motorists, you'll need to dress visibly, prepare your horse, and follow some important safety precautions.

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Take Time When Teaching Your Horse to Wade

Crossing obstacles, whether it is stepping into water or stepping on a trail bridge, can definitely be a challenge if your horse doesn't respond to your cue to move forward. Don't be totally disappointed. The positive thing is, you are able to get your horse across water. It's just now you want to do it without getting your own feet wet, too!

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Search and Rescue Partnerships

When you ride into the wilderness to find someone who is lost, a good horse is much more than transportation. Horses provide more than just tranportation, they are acutely aware of their environment and provide important clues that can lead to the recovery of a lost person.

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Conserving Riding Spaces

These days, horsemen and women have to be equally conscious of treading lightly on our natural landscape. Development and encroaching urban sprawl threaten farms, ranches, open space and trails. To save them, horse people must show they have political clout, are an economic force, and demonstrate good land stewardship, both on and off the farm. Statics show we must save open space or riding areas will be lost.

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Riding a Runaway

Here are some tips for surviving a scary ride and some exercises to work on later so it dosen't happen again.