Trail riding in Adair, Oklahoma

Yesterday afternoon, I hauled Candy and Gina up to a ranch in Adair, Oklahoma for a trail ride and poker run. My friend Holly borrowed Gina for the day, as her horse Roscoe was lame. I opted to take Candy because I knew it would be a low-key ride over fairly easy terrain (and she needs to get out and about).

It was very windy and about 40° F; Gina seemed indifferent to the weather, but Candy was a little bug-eyed and snorty when she came off the trailer. After a quick potluck lunch with fellow riders, I tacked up Candy and hopped on for a few laps around the ranch’s dressage ring before heading out with our eight-rider group on the beautifully maintained trails.

Candy’s not sure if she wants to be in front or not.

The ranch we were riding on is 300 mostly-wooded acres with gently rolling hills and some rock outcrops. The trails are wide enough to drive a truck through and have good footing. I imagine they’re stunning in the summer when the trees are leafy and green; everything is a sort of dull yellow-brown right now.

Candy started out somewhat anxious; she lagged behind, taking short, tense steps and staring at everything. She’s not a very spooky horse, but she is very new to this sort of riding and is understandably nervous. After about ten minutes, she relaxed a bit and began to walk normally and stretch her head and neck out. She caught up with the fastest walkers of the group- a peppy Welsh pony, a large warmblood dressage horse, and Gina. Candy even took the lead for a little while and led everyone in a mad scramble up a steep, rocky hill. In the two hours we were out, she stayed fairly calm, paid attention to where she was putting her feet, and didn’t have any major problems.

While I’m very pleased overall with how she behaved on the trail, the ride wasn’t perfect. Candy has two main problems on the trail: she jigs when she’s anxious, and she won’t tolerate other horses close behind her. She kicked at a couple of horses yesterday- that’s totally unacceptable and will have to be addressed before she can go foxhunting! The jigging ought be cured by more trail riding at a relaxed pace; she’ll learn that there’s nothing to fret about.

I’m certain that as Candy goes out more often, she’ll become more confident and less nervous. I’m optimistic that one day she’ll be just as good as Gina is on the trail and in the hunt field!

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

6 thoughts on “Trail riding in Adair, Oklahoma”

  1. Sounds like a great first outing! I’m alone so much at the barn my horses are so weird around other horses (Apollo can be sort of aggressive…ugh)… I will have to get some out with other horses more often.

    1. Moe and Gina are very easygoing about other horses; the most Gina ever does is pin her ears and swish her tail. I think once Candy gets more used to being in a group, she’ll chill out about the other horses. That’s my hope, at least!

  2. Sounds like a successful outing overall! I wish I could be chill when the horses get nervous, but I feed off them. Probably why I don’t ride on the trails! I’m sure you will have Candy relaxed out there in no time. Hopefully once she’s more relaxed the other horses won’t get to her as much too.

    1. I think I’ve gotten less nervous as I’ve gotten older- I figure the worst she’ll do is gallop off, which probably won’t be THAT bad. I think you have a good point in that once she’s more relaxed other horses may not bother her so much!

  3. Aww yay Candy!! Sounds like a super promising first outing!! And knowing your experience and all the outings and opportunities she’ll get with you, I’m sure she will be a pro in no time!!

  4. Sounds like you are giving Candy a great start towards becoming a well rounded citizen. How exactly do you go about addressing a horse that wants to kick horses behind? I’m lucky that Kachina is totally cool with other horses riding her tail but I would have no idea what to do if she wasn’t!

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