Rider Insider: Most. Fun. Ever.


Without a doubt, there is a great deal of satisfaction to be found after a great schooling ride. When you work through a problem with yourself or your horse and come out on the other side having learned something new, it just feels good. The longer and more difficult the struggle, the greater the euphoria that comes afterwards.

Beach Ride




But there’s a time for work and there’s a time for play, and when it comes to horses and riding, there’s nothing better to revive your riding routine than a bit of fun. Hitting the trails, whether for a relaxing walk or a thrilling gallop, is just the ticket for a lot of riders who typically spend their time in the arena. Trying a new discipline can also help shake off the doldrums. What’s more fun than taking a break from your western pleasure or hunter routine to give barrel racing a go or take on a jumper class at a local schooling show?

For this month’s Rider Insider, we want to know what experience was the most fun you’ve ever had with a horse. If you’re lucky enough to have checked off a few items on every equestrian’s bucket list—taking an overseas riding vacation, galloping down the beach or spending a week rounding up cattle on a dude ranch—the answer might be obvious. But if you prefer the quiet time spent at home with your horse, you might find something different to define as fun. Click Submit a Comment below and tell us about it. Some of the editors’ favorite responses could be featured in a future issue of Horse Illustrated!

This month,
Noble Equine is sponsoring the Rider Insider column in Horse Illustrated with a prize for the selected featured response. If you’d like to be considered for a prize, make sure to include your contact info in the email field of the comment form (emails will not be publicly displayed.)

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  1. I have always had horses, and rode a lot. Now my husband has had hip and knee replacements, so that leaves only me to do all the farm work….well, the last couple of years, its just me hopping on one of my horses and riding bareback and sometimes without halters. So its these short little rides, that’s are still a great experience for me.

  2. I’d have to say galloping and jumping. I love going fast and doing exhilarating things like jumping. But of course anything I do with a horse is fun; grooming, trail riding, ground work, and bonding. If I’m with a horse I’m happy.

  3. I’d have to say that some of the most fun I’ve ever had with horses would be riding on the beach. Every year, I go to the coast and there’s stable that offer rides on the beach. A close second would have to be starting Dressage with my horse.

  4. There are two things that I have had the most fun and was on my bucket list the first camping with Apache for the first time in Jamestown KY and then last year rode in the Christmas parade two things that I have been able to cross off my list with many more to take there place

  5. What gets me every time is finding a huge open field and galloping flat! I cant get enough of it! I know i will die happy if i cant just have one more ride like that!

  6. I’ve been fortunate to canter through the surf, ride overseas, and round up cattle. I’ve even gone hunting on my own horse!
    With every new experience I feel a thrill. But still there is nothing more fun than walking out to the pen and hearing my horse nicker because he’s happy to see me. What’s more fun than that?

  7. My first gallop.
    Being afraid to do it after a almost fateful accident, I delayed the chance every time I got it. But one day my friend kept insisting that I needed to gallop, so I gave in.
    That was, and is, the most thrilling and heaven-like experience I have had.
    But then I got my very own horse, coming home, and hearing her neigh, and run along side the fence until I get out of the vehicle and pet her is the highest feeling of love and loyalty anybody can experience.

  8. Most. Fun . Ever. Every time I ride my beautiful boy, once dubbed an “outlaw”. He is so amazing, has come so far and overcome so much. Every ride on him is a gift from him to me.

  9. The most fun riding experience I have had was the my first lesson. I had been waiting for years for that moment, and when it finally came, I was extremely excited. I rode a horse named Reno and enjoyed every minute of learning how to control a horse.

  10. Just last month, actually. I was on a borrowed mare, riding bareback, and the horse ahead of us took off. I loosened the reins, and we FLEW. That mare I rode ran, and when we hit the hill, she leaped up, leaped down, and then we caught up to the horse ahead of us. As me and the mare flew by the horse with his rider in a saddle, I released the reins and threw my hands in the air, yelling, “THIS is how you ride!” It was such a blast- the wind ripped tears out of my eyes, and we just had so much fun being idiots at breakneck speed.

  11. The most fun I’ve ever had on horseback was at Ireland. I was on a 2 year old black 17 hand thoroughbred. We galloped through lush green field upon field, there were also massive three foot stone walls and we got to jump them. My horse was so big we just soared over them. That was the best thing I ever did!

  12. Before I really got serious in dressage, I loved horses and everything to do with them. When I was about 11, my family took a ski vacation in Colorado. After much begging, we decided to go on a sleigh ride through the piles of snow and freezing wind. As my family sat in the back of the sleigh, I climbed up right next to the driver, an old cowboy with a huge smile. After awhile, the man handed me the reins to the huge black percheron named Dan cantering through the snow. It must have been quite a sight! Later, the man told me he had never let anyone else drive Dan before. That made it very special! That was probably the coolest experience I have had with a horse this far in my life!

  13. The most fun I’ve ever had with horses took place in my imagination. As the typical young, horse-crazy girl, I’d fall asleep at night dreaming of my dream horse –a Mustang only I could ride. We’d gallop bareback and bitless through mythical lands, explore distant places, and spend times just enjoying each other’s company. Now I have my own “dream” horse, and although she’s not quite what I expected, she’s just as beautiful and as much fun to me as my dream Mustang used to be in those long-gone days of imagination.

  14. A few years ago, I participated it a barrel race at a fun show at my barn. It was my first time barrel racing, and it was the most fun and exhilarating thing I’ve ever done!

  15. About five years ago, I rode my first real horse (not a pony) by myself. We galloped and raced up rarely-used trails. Everything blurred by for me because I was so happy and felt like I was flying! I am sure that the horse felt good too to stretch her legs like that. She was an older Quarter Horse, and, even though she did not belong to be, I felt, at that moment, that she did. I will NEVER forget that glorious ride!

  16. I don’t own a horse, but the most fun I have ever had with a horse was jumping my first jump in August 2013 at a horse camp. Even though when we jumped the jump when we were only trotting, I will never ever in my life forget that wonderful moment of my first jump! That first jump was my biggest goal when I was younger (I’m older than 10, but younger than 18), but now that I’ve accomplished that goal, I am now trying to be a better rider.

  17. The best time we have together is when she shows me what she can do. We both are relaxed and also taking a long walk together, instead of riding her but allowing her to graze and play with me.

  18. What I enjoy doing with my horse Joe is going and gathering cows and moving them to another pasture for eight hours, even though the ride gets long I always have a smile on my face because I got to ride my horse that day and that is what I enjoy the most.

  19. My beloved horse, Cheddar (RIP), and I once forged a river. Considering we spent our early years in the show ring, and that he was initially so terrified of water he wouldn’t even go near a dry creek bed, this was not only fun but probably one of our greatest accomplishments. I’ll never forget the water lapping up and over his withers. We had so many adventures during our back country days, but this one really stands out. He was my best friend for 22 years–what a horse he was.

  20. Riding on Assateague Island beach with friends! My mount was Misty’s Heat Wave, a great granddaughter of Misty of Chincoteague, which made it even more special! We galloped down the shoreline and splashed in the surf, memories I would cherish forever!

  21. Being able to participate on my 4-H county drill team was the most fun I have ever had. It was hard work, long practices and some days there was very hot weather! Looking back at the friends I have made, fun I had and how much closer I grew with my horse; It was worth it! As a team effort we pulled it together and had an absolute blast performing the pattern for others!

  22. My very first horse show and my first actual riding lesson. I was 7 or 8 years old and I had won my first place ribbon that day. I had so much fun.

  23. When I was small riding in a hilly field with tall light brown grass, on a windy day. I was riding with my trainer on her horse, Dreamer, & I was on one of her boarders ponies, Butterfly, with my sister on my trainers pony, Arrow. When I cantered up a round, tall hill with the wind blowing… it felt like nothing could stop us, like I was floating in a dream in the Sahara Desert on a fancy Arabian.

  24. I have two times that stand apart from the rest… One was horse camp with our 4-H horse group. We brought our horses to our leaders ranch and did fun activities every day for a week including clinics, swimming with the horses, a day camp for special needs kids, and a cattle drive among other things!
    The other time was when a group of us ladies (young and old!) rode our horses over part of the pacific crest trail on an overnight pack trip! We started in our home town, and ended in the next town over! It was such an adventure to pack our food in, sleep under the stars and learn to high tie our horses! And the scenery was AMAZING!
    I will never forget all the fun times we had during those two events!

  25. The first time I rode my horse outside (around the yard) was the first time I realized the bond between us. I’m a teenager and Lucky is only a 5 year old Arab/QH. I trained her from the ground up. Lucky was jittery and so was I. She ate all the grass she could before I mounted her. Once on her, she changed into a completely different horse. She rode like a 15 year old trail veteran! She trotted when I asked her. When she went for the grass, if I asked her not to, she obeyed. She gave me no fuss or buck the entire time. We even pretended to be cavalry and charged through the tall grass (at a trot anyway). It was amazing and one of the best experiences ever!

  26. From the first day I rode a horse, I’ve asked my trainer “When can I canter?”. I’ve been improving throughout the years and finally my trainer said I was ready to. It was the most magical feeling in the world to canter for the first time. So I would have to say with all my hard work, that learning to canter was the most fun I’ve ever experienced on a horse.

  27. The first time I ever cantered on my horse, Mocca, who I have trained from birth. She always kept stopping and putting her head down so I have had numerous falls, but going across a field I just felt like we could do it and we did! It was the best feeling ever, being so close to your horse.

  28. I can only vaguely remember my most important moment, but that moment will always be so important. We were taking a vacation down near a big beach and I had been begging my family to take me to ride at a nearby barn. Finally they gave in and took me. I was only about six. I Was allowed to pick the horse I rode, so I picked a sweet old bay named “Bj”. Mostly what I remember about it was my great Grandpa sitting at the picnic table and smiling as he watched me be led around the arena! It is amazing for me to think about this because I think it determined my love for horses.

  29. My most fun moment was a trail ride on my QH mare where we rode through the woods, up and down hills, and crossed several creeks and she never quit. On the way back, I let her out and we ran top speed up a hill, without stumbles or stops. That was just so much fun and I was so proud of her for working with me no matter how demanding I was!

  30. The most fun I’ve ever had with a horse was when I was riding with my instructor at a lesson. We played games and she taught me how to do a lot of new things.

  31. It’s hard to pick just one time that stands out to me. One of my favorites, though, was riding my horse for the first time in the snow. He was so excited and frisky! I set up a camera to take a video of us galloping through the snow. Later, I watched the video and was awed at how beautiful my horse was in the snow, with his head up proudly and his great long strides through the snow.

  32. I personally think that the most fun i ever have with my horse is just working on our bond, I’ll spend time just trying to see if she will follow me, I just spend time with her. Just having fun being together, I also enjoy just messing around by riding bareback and relaxing in the company of horses. It just gives a sense of peaceful ness that you can’t find anywhere else.

  33. Swimming in the Yellowstone river together! I was surprised my 24 year old Arab would do it, but it ended up being super fun for both of us.

  34. I love just spending time with my horse. I will just hop onto him bareback – just a halter and lead-rope – and ride him to his pasture and while he is walking around grazing, i “reverse-cowgirl” and just read a book using his rump as a book-holder. We spend time together – each doing our favorite relaxing activity – him eating while getting pets and scratches and me Reading and chilling with him.

  35. One of the most fun things I have done was at a camp. We got to draw on the horses (was washable of course)and when we where done, we took a picture of them and I still laugh at it now.

  36. The most fun horseback adventures are those which are not planned. For example, on a trail ride one lovely fall day, one of the girls I was riding with fell off, and her horse took off across a field of crops. With the only other rider on a green horse, I had to chase down the runaway and still at a full gallop lean over and grab her reins. It was the most exhilarating experience I had ever had.

  37. The most I have had in my riding career so far was the day when I bought my horse and we ran the barrel pattern. He was amazing! It felt so good and right then I knew that this summer would be a great barrel racing season! He is such a great horse and I am so happy I own him.

  38. My favorite ride was a trail ride. It was a hot day so my friends, the horses and I cooled off in the marsh.Then we went cantering down a trail. But the trail had fallen trees,so,we jumped them,waiting for the next jump down the trail.Cooled off in the marsh again and rode home happy.And that was the most, fun,ever!

  39. My horse Hawk and I love spending time out of the saddle in the winter when the arena is iced over building snowmen in his paddock, then he kicks them down and we build more!

  40. My funnest time with a horse was when I had finished riding in a competition. Me and my horse-loving friend, and fellow competitor, were riding my white Pony Of America mare. We parked her near a man on his horse. We were young at the time, so that’s why we decided to decorate my pony so she looked like an Indian pony. We started making handprints out of “mud”, and so the man dismounted and walked over to us. “You do know that that is horse poop, right?” He asked. After a good hand washing, my friend and I had a good laugh. We still do every time we hear the story.


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