HI Spy: Trail Riding Tales


Trail riding is an opportunity to commune with nature while on the back of your favorite horse. Sometimes, however, the ride turns out to be far more adventurous than planned. We traveled to Hidden Valley Nature Preserve, a park in Riverside County, Calif., that borders an undeveloped expanse of the Santa Ana River. A popular site for equestrians, many riders were eager to share their most memorable trail rides. 

Natalie Gass ran into trouble with coyotes on a ride

Natalie Gass often brings along her three Australian Cattle Dogs when she rides. A few months ago she almost lost Piglet, who at 10 years old is the eldest of the trio.
“As I rode back toward my trailer, which was parked at the staging area, I noticed four coyotes shadowing me and my dogs,” she explains.
In a rush of movement, the coyotes pounced on Piglet and dragged her into a tributary of the river that was clogged with an overgrowth of brush and grass. There wasn’t much Gass could do. She was outmatched by the coyotes and overwhelmed with trying to handle her horse and the remaining dogs.
“I galloped back to my trailer, hopped off, tossed my two other dogs in the cab of my truck, climbed back on my horse and galloped back to where I thought Piglet was. The coyotes were gone. I kept yelling for my dog, calling, ‘Piglet! Piglet!’ And then, just as I pretty much figured she was dead, she came walking up out of the water. I was so happy to see her! I scooped her up, set her in the saddle and rode back to the trailer. Amazingly, other than being wet, she wasn’t hurt.”
Gass is now much more wary about coyotes on the trail. And she’s become more protective of Piglet, who is no longer allowed on certain rides. “Coyotes will usually try to pick off the weakest animal,” Gass acknowledges, “And that was Piglet.”

Cliff Hollingsworth's horse Shorty became trapped in quicksand

Cliff Hollingsworth hasn’t had a coyote encounter, but he was faced with another dilemma when his horse Shorty stumbled into a bog that was filled with quicksand. 
“I scrambled off and undid the cinch and pulled the saddle off,” Hollingsworth says with noticeable emotion. He stood on the bank of the mucky pond and held Shorty’s reins, encouraging the horse to climb up and out. “But in a matter of minutes all that was visible was his head and neck.”
Because of the dense foliage and the wild environs of the park, there was little use in waving his arms to signal another rider or yelling for help. Instead, Hollingsworth coaxed Shorty into a Herculean effort to free himself.
“I was crouched down on the bank of the pond, holding the reins and pulling on them, just telling Shorty, ‘come on, you can do it!’ Finally he put his front hooves on the edge of the pond, kind of hooked them on there, and then made this one huge lunge. Right then it suddenly occurred to me that he might land on top of me.”
Fortunately, Shorty did not end up in Hollingsworth’s lap. He clambered up onto the dry, firm footing uninjured. “It was about a two hour struggle,” Hollingsworth recalls. “Needless to say, we avoid that area. But to this day it’s known out here as Shorty’s Pond.”
Have you experienced a particularly memorable day on the trail? Your adventure doesn’t have to include being tracked by coyotes or mired in mud. Whatever your trail riding tale might be, we’d like to read about it! Simply click on “share a comment” below and add your experience. Some of your comments may be included in an upcoming issue of Horse Illustrated magazine. 

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  1. Wow, those stories make my trail riding stories seem boring! The craziest thing that has ever happened to me has been broken tack. Once the Chicago screws come off my reins while I was galloping down the trail. It’s kind of scary to pull back on the reins to slow down your horse and have nothing happen. Why? Because the reins are no longer attached to the bit.

  2. wow all of your stories are so scary! I’m sure that I hope that I will never encounter what you guys did.
    However, from now on, I will always wear a helmet. I was trail riding with my instructor out on the road. We were walking along nicely until we decided we wanted to canter a bit. Well we did. Or at least, his horse did. I got my horse to canter one stride before I somersaulted off its back and my head landed on a rock.
    You’re probably thinking I was dead by now, but luckily, I had my helmet on! I was even thinking of ditching the helmet that day because it was such a hot day. Luckily, all I got was a sore butt and arms that week!

  3. Such great stories you guys all have!! I guess my trail riding stories don’t compare!! My only problem so far on a trail ride??A STUBBORN horse…lol!

  4. well i have quite a few scary trail stories. here is one. i was riding a stubborn, crazy, rather young horse named rum when he decided to back under a tree and start bucking (i wasn’t wearing a helmet)

  5. I’ve been riding with my friend – who was on her Arab gelding – and her mom, who was on her Clydesdale stallion. I was riding my young Quarter Horse/Mustang mare when suddenly she started hiding behind trees and hopping around like she didn’t know how to buck! Me and my friend were both bareback, and once her Arab saw my mare acting funny, he decided he would get jiggy as well. Then, my friend looked up and saw a mountain lion watching us from higher up on the hill! We all got home just fine, and naturally the Clydes was the only horse who was completely unshaken, but that was a bit of excitement I might not ever forget.

  6. i used to lease a handsome arabian gelding, who had been trained by his first tme horse owner. he was alright, but he bucked and reared. one day, on my second ride with him, he took off with me. i am very accustom to horses freaking out, so i was on yelling whoa and pulling him back while he plunged at a cliff! when he got there, he stopped suddenly and lowered his neck! i rolled off the side so i wouldn’t fall off the cliff! it was sooo scary! other times, when i was riding bareback, he would buck and rear, so now i can stay on anything, and training my new horse is no problem! I actually like spirited high strung horses now, and i get bored on horses who are actually easy riders.

  7. One of my most memorable trail rides was last summer when I flew out to CA for dressage lessons at Vigne Farms. Some cow ponies were boarded there and after meeting the owner, she said any time I was out I could take a freind and trail ride them. So me and my good “English sass” buddy would ride down the steep fire route trails on these good Western cow ponies and we just had a ball! My friend was most DEFINATELY the arena rider but she couln’t get enough of how relaxing just a simple Western trail ride was when she’s so used to all the physical Dressage dicipline. I think we’d both like a little more of each other’s worlds!

  8. Once my sister and I were trail riding our horses in an area that also has a rental string. We were riding along and heard, “Whoa! WHOA!” and looked up and way in the distance we saw this guy just being galloped off with by one of the rental horses. There wasn’t anything we could do except just stare and hope he got the horse stopped. It had to be about 20 minutes later when we were further down the trail and we hear again, “Whoa! WHOOOOAAAA!!!!” Yup, it was the same guy, on the same galloping horse, only going down a different trail. The horse seemed to be having some fun. But I don’t think the guy was enjoying his horseback ride.

  9. You guys all have good stories! I’m on the same boat with the person who said that she likes the spirited high-strung horses and can stay on anything. I’m not positive about the second part, but at least I have enough confidence, and I’m the one told to “ride out” misbehaving horses for lesson students and less experienced riders. I have several trail riding stories I could share, but I’ll tell one that happened last summer. I was teaching Advanced Camp at the stable I work at, and we do mostly trail riding. The four year old gelding was on (who is an AMAZING horse and for sale on HorseTopia- Two socks Dun, or Red, as we call him) decided to rub his head on a dead tree. I turned around to warn the girls behind me, because the last time he did that it fell right in front of his nose, and even if he didn’t do anything, who knew where this one would fall. The words were barely out of my mouth when the whole top of the tree came crashing down…on nothing other than my own head! I started laughing, then laughed harder when I saw the looks of shock on the girls’ faces. They kept asking me if I was OK- I guess they mustn’t have fully understood how thick and protective helmets really are!

  10. Sorry, I didn’t get to finish!! Anyway we tried to canter, but the mare I was riding was really excited, and my instructor had to pony us back to the barn!

  11. This past weekend my younger brother (as he is forever reminding me) brought his thoroughbred B.N.Bad (Red) up from Virginia to go a ride with Kacey (my quarter horse) & me. I had a stress fracture in my foot about a year ago & have limited my trail rides to less than 2 hours or my foot starts hurting. About 2 hours into this ride I mentioned that we should head back as my foot couldn’t take much more. I listened to the ribbing for the next hour. We were almost home and came to a big log across the trail that I always go around. My brother decided to show off and jump it (in a western saddle). They got over -but it was UGLY – and my brother hurt his bad hip. You would have been proud – I didn’t say a word when he had to get off & walk the rest of the way back – but it sure was tempting.

  12. I was a beginner rider at horse camp (and riding one of the more spooky horses). We were going on our last trail ride, and the leaders brought their dogs. One was a 2 year old JR, and the other was just a farm mutt. We were coming back to the farm, when we saw a small pack of coyotes, they attacked the JR, and ran off into the woods, everyone freaked, which my horse did not like, so he bolted. He ran for a minute, searching for his friends, when someone on their horse blocked the trail. I thought he was going to run into them, but instead did a quick peiroutte right on the trail. Luckily I, and the dog werent hurt, but it sure was an exciting day!

  13. I love horsechannel!I also love horse illastrated!
    Once I was trail riding,and I was trotting up a trailand my horse started cantering!!
    Another time I was on my shetland and he spooked and I fell off and landed on a rock!!

  14. I love to take my gelding, Skelter, for trail rides in the woods. We’ve seen turkeys, hawks, squirrels, deer. Once we even saw a woodchuck! It’s fun to watch the woods change along with the seasons.

  15. You know the first time I rode a horse was when I was five.It was for my birthday and I couldn’t Ride without someone else with me so my dad rode another horse and we tied a rope to the horse I was riding’s saddle horn.It was very fun but the horse was older so it wasn’t as good as it couldhave been.We came across a fork in the rode.Well,we were supposed totake a left…..
    but my horse didn’t want to so……….she stood up and grabed onto the tree!!!!!!!!!!!All I did was grabed the saddle horn and I stayed on, my dad turned back and looked at us and he looked like he had seen a ghost he was pale.He jumped off his horse and told me to stay calm which I had no clue what was going on so it wasn’t too scary.He finally got the horse down off the tree and my dad asked if I was ok and I was ……..but we got off and my dad said that we were going to go home so we wouldn’t push luck. It was my first horse-back trail ride and I will never forget it.

  16. Last year I went to a riding camp. We were assigned our horses the first day. I got a chestnut mare named Spirit. I thought she was the most beautiful and well mannered horse there , that is until we went on a trail ride. Now this was in the Pembina Valley, not your basic flat trials. No, these were steep trails. The ride was great until we went on this one steep hill. Instead on staying on the trail she walked in the bush. I got hit by trees and lost my stirrups. It was everything I could do not to fall off. She never did that on the flat trails only when we were going up or down hills which to me is not the best thing in the world.

  17. The first (and only) time I ever rode my horse on a trail ride, she was about 5 years old. She spooked at tar on the road we had to cross to get to the woods, and refused to step over it as a semi truck was coming! I panicked, but after a few agonizing minutes she finally the terrible tar and we continued to the trails. I could feel her tensing and trying to go faster the whole way. Once me and the 5-ish other riders had formed into our line, Roxi settled into the middle. She was walking behind T-Bone, a very tolerant lesson horse, although he tended to pin his ears at horses in his space. She pressed up behind him, so close that her chest was rubbing his hind end, and when I slowed her down to give T-Bone more room, she waited until he was about ten feet ahead of us and took off at a canter, crowhopping and kicking out the whole way. The ride continued for a full hour, with frequent outbursts from Roxi, until I finally allowed to walk with T-Bone. Luckily, he never did more than pin his ears.

  18. As a young girl, I used to live right along the Gettysburg battlefield. We would ride for miles and miles down the stretch of memorable land. The road connected the back of our farm to my friends, and often I would ride my pinto pony down the trail to ride with her. Once, as I was cantering up a hill with a novice friend and my mother, six harleys came buzzing over the hill. The green pony we had fatefully set my friend on took off without thinking. My first instict made my kick my horse into a run to follow, but I immediatly pulled back, knowing that, at 9 years old, I could never pull off the feat of galloping up as fast as I could, leaning off my pony with a tendecy to buck, and grab the rein of my friends pony, let alone get the bulk of him to stop. At first me and my mom screamed at the top of our lungs “EMERGENY DISMOUNT”, but once the pony decided to gallop full out, the only thing we could do was shut our mouths and pray for the best. We watched as she dangled off of him. A gasp escaped us, with delight, as he nearly stopped, but the harley’s kept on driving next to him as he swerved around a ditch. The harley was inches from him, and he bursted off again. My friend slipped from his back and, foot caught in the stirrup, was dragged a few feet, kicked in the head, and dropped to the pavement. The pony ran home as my mom lept off her horse, threw the reins at me, and ran down the hill to my friend. I could do nothing but hopelessly watch and try and calm my moms rearing thoroughbred. Thank goodness for tourists! A group of them happened to be examining a momnument nearby, and came running up, offering a cell phone to replace the one my mom’s horse had thrown into a field. Although the helmet was smashed into over a dozen pieces, my friend suffered only a minor cuncussion and a nice battle scar from his hoof above her eye. I still ride, and hope my friend does to.

  19. I always love to trail ride. And the best one I went on was at a Maine Base in California and the horse I rode had a funny name, his name was Taco. He cooraperated through the whole trail ride even though I was expecting him to spook from the gun shots and explosions in the back round. And I was surprised he didn’t bolt. I was tense through the whole hour we were eiding. But he knew better than to run so, he did’t. Thank the lord!

  20. i was up on a hill with a little old white pony i was really little and the hill was right behind our barn i had never really gone on a real trail ride before. she saw a deer and went crazy. i stayed on and she calmed down my mom had walked up with me so she held the pony while i got off.my trainer saw us up there and cam eup and yelled at me because i guess i wasnt supposed to ride up there without another rider. i still remember how scared i was

  21. we set out about 9:30am. it was a saturday. we were going to go for a ride up at stagecoach horse camp in the tillimook forest. we ended up lost for 1.5 hours trying to find the road that lead there. we ended up going to a small park called Reehers horse camp and day use area. we went for a ride which was nice. except my companion lost her sunglasses. on the way back, we thought nothing else could get worse. there ended up to be an accident on the tiny road and we couldn’t turn around. it took about a half hour and then life-flight came down to take the person away. we finally got out of there and headed to dairy queen. we dropped our friends horse off and barely rolled through the gate at about 8:00 pm. we were tired from our long ride. but it was fun. =D

  22. When I took my horse onto the trails behind my house riding bareback, no helmet, no pad, not really a bridle, no shoes, we had fun… It was great. We were coming around the large group of trees that the trail winds around and this small rabbit just hops out into the center of the trail. I sat back and gave Whinnie the signal to halt. She responded well and then lowered her head to see the bunny. The little brown bunny moved closer to her nose, not afraid for some oddd reason. Whinnie gently bumped the bunny with her nose and it just looked at her. I thought it was very strange and wanted to move on, but Whinnie was like entranced by the little fuzzy creature. I sighed and popped her a bit to get her going again. The rabbit just wandered back into the forest and we continued on the ride. … Odd?

  23. When I took my horse onto the trails behind my house riding bareback, no helmet, no pad, not really a bridle, no shoes, we had fun… It was great. We were coming around the large group of trees that the trail winds around and this small rabbit just hops out into the center of the trail. I sat back and gave Whinnie the signal to halt. She responded well and then lowered her head to see the bunny. The little brown bunny moved closer to her nose, not afraid for some oddd reason. Whinnie gently bumped the bunny with her nose and it just looked at her. I thought it was very strange and wanted to move on, but Whinnie was like entranced by the little fuzzy creature. I sighed and popped her a bit to get her going again. The rabbit just wandered back into the forest and we continued on the ride. … Odd?

  24. Earlier this summer a friend and I were riding out on the Fell Hunt Club’s trails (we don’t hunt or anything, they just have REALLY nice trails). My horse, Buddy, is absolutely terrified of water, and we had a tiny little stream to cross. The trail was narrow and bounded on either side by huge oaks, birches, other trees, and lots of bushes. The other side of the creek was a steep hill, also with a narrow trail, but without as much underbrush. My friend went across easily, and I tried putting Buddy right up Tip’s tail, but he wouldn’t go. Eventually we did – he took a gazelle-like leap across the creek and was startled by something so landed and galloped into the trees. We narrowly missed an oak and screeched to a halt at a fallen trunk. Unfortunately we couldn’t get around it, so he had to jump it from a standstill (with no warning of what he was doing)!! It really scared me, mostly for him because one of his rear legs (fetlock area) was torn up last winter in a trailer accident and will never be the same again – it looks swollen but isn’t, he usually refuses to jump anything and I don’t force him because I don’t know if it would hurt him or not.
    Anyways, that’s only the latest of my adventures! =D Maybe I’ll post more later…

  25. Last fall a friend and I were taking a nice long trail ride, we were going around a corn field. It was such I nice day, so we so relaxed(very loose rein/not really paying attention)we came around a corner and all the sudden some deer jumped out of the ditch and ran away! The horse my friend was riding(a BIG percheron/quarter horse)took off, through then corn field, then my horse who was fairly young started freaking out because all the sudden her friend was gone! I quickly dismounted and calmed her down, then followed the trail my friend had made through the corn field!(and believe me it went quite far)! I followed it for a bit then it stopped turned and headed out of the corn field! Once I was out of the corn field mention I got on and rode to the road to see if my friend was there, and she was! She said that he had spooked over the deer but when the corn hit him he spooked more and more and more! We rode back to the stable and told our coach about our adventure, oh did I mention that on the way home our reins weren’t so loose!!

  26. Ive gotta say the best trailride that I have been on was when me and my friend Nicole went on a ten mile trailride this summer. It was great we talked and goofed around the whole time. We got to just see how everything was going with each other and we saw some of the most beautiful sights. we rode about three hours and we got to see other horses i fields a lot of dogs and open plain land it was goregous and the wether was great it was a little windy and we got home right before it had gotten really hot. We had lunch on horseback which was interesting we brought penutbutter crackers and one of the horses actually at one. I have been on many other good trail rides but that was the greatest one ever

  27. The best trail ride i went on was with my horse Mindy. We were getting bored of dressage lessons and it was to wet to jump lately, so when it was dry out we went for a trail ride to get a change of scenery … that flew by way too fast! We started off in the hay fields and went for a steady trot then canter, after awhile Mindy thought we should try something else so i shortened up the reins and we galloped on … it was the fastest ever and i could not stop her due to her having way to much fun and energy. so i let her go it was amazing and now we try to go whenever we can and she is always eager to go!!

  28. my best trail ride was when i went with some of my friends we had a dong and one of our horses lose gust riding in our friends woods when we came to a log down we all started to jump it at a canter in western saddles well my friends all started to jump and i was las and bare back but my friend in front of me riding in a saddle as she when to jump her horse stopped then al of a sudden jumped as the horse went over the log she was holding on to her neck and fell off it was so funny she didn’t get her so she got back on and jumped it again

  29. I was out galloping on one of our trails and Redd pricked his ears and slammed on the brakes. I couldn’t figure out what it was, when suddenly a buck deer came leaping across the path. Redd and I took off after him! It was fun!

  30. I was leading a geast pack train acros a narrow brig on temdeer trail when the bear came out of the trees. The horses had been acting funny alday. But I was eger to get home and wasint lisanin. chip stopped ears prikced. bear! someone screemed and the masiv creacher reared up and looked at us for a moment thin went back down to all fours and trundeled back into the shadows. Well the sity pepl got there pics and I now lisin to my horse. And as for the bear I have seen HER 3 more times since with a cub at her side.

  31. One day I was going on a trail ride, the first trail ride I had been on with my new lazy, but very looky, western pleasure horse, with a fellow boarder at my barn, who has a very experienced trail horse, but unfortunately my western pleasure horse was not so experienced. When we first started out, my horse, Tyler, was a little nervous, but better than I expected him to be. As we continued he was getting better and better, until we got to the lake. When we got down to the lake, which had a nice big beach for ridding, we were letting the horses cool off and get a drink, when my horse decides he wants to run around like a lunatic and show off. So when I finally calmed him down we decided to go back because it was hot and we were tired. So when we were on our way back we encountered a tree that had fallen over. The other horse could jump so it was no problem for him, but I was going to dismount and walk Tyler over. Even though my horse had a little jumping experience before I owned him I had never jumped him and wasn’t going to start now. After the other horse went over the tree I was about to get off when my horse, yet again, decided he was going to run around like a lunatic again. After he jumped a tree that I never thought he could he loped off with morse effort than he had ever used. So now I always keep my reigns short and try to anticipate the unexpected. Tyler never ever stops surprising me with what he can do when he feels like it! 🙂

  32. i have two stories one, the horse i ride, ruby spooked at something, but at the same time, she gave a loud toot! we were all laughing- it was hilarious. also i decided to lead my horse into my friend’s drained pond. let’s just say that i looked dry, but the mud went up to my knees.

  33. One day before I had Heaven, I rode a horse named Baxter on trail, that was a horror, Baxter was good until someone had to gallop up behind him. He was so skittish about evreything after that. He took off galloping down the trail, I had to turn him into the forest to makr him stop!

  34. Hmmm, I would have to say my most memorable trail ride was with my best friend, she was on her SSH and I was on her other TWH, well we were out for 6 hours or more just jumpin small little ditches and stuff when we decided we better go home cuz it was gettin late in the day… We were about a mile away from the house when all of a sudden I heard one LOUD bark, and the next ting I knew my saddle had slipped to his side, ALL IN SUPER SLOW MOTION, while he went to start runnin home tryin to escape the big Great Pyranese that had gotten out of the goat pasture and ambushed us as we were riding by… Well, I never got the chance to right the saddle and I fell to the concrete in the fetal position, while my friend’s dogs all ran over to me to stand in a circle around me to protect me from gettin stepped on by the horse and attacked by the dog, well, ‘Migo didn’t want and couldn’t take anymore and headed for home, I sent my friend after him, with me still on the road with the dogs, well, let’s say he was the first horse I ever fell off and the first horse I rode bareback and through a pond while bareback… He was the best, he loved workin cows and to run them… But I miss him, she sold him to a woman who’s horse that looked like him had just died of colic, and was lookin for a horse that would help her, and ‘Migo would be the best….

  35. My most memorable trail ride also happens to be the one I’d like to forget. I was riding a usually quiet Arab mix gelding, but when he got on the trail he was really fresh. He charged and cantered when I asked for a trot, and even my trainer’s hunky Thoroughbred, who was known for keeping other horses in line, had probloms keeping the little red Arabian behind him. Needless to say, I was very embarrased and my arms were sore from the relentless pulling for a week.

  36. When my mares’ foal was just a few weeks old, we’d go out on easy trails on our property. The filly would follow behind, and she had a sweet tooth for maple leaves. Finding a fallen branch, she would take a bite, and raise her head, only to have the entire branch come up as well. Terrified of the “moveing branch”, she would take off, head up, fleeing madly from the terrible maple bow in her mouth.

  37. I love riding the trails on my pet donkey, Molly. We encounter lots of wildlife-deer, turtles, and even a coyote once! Molly was very steady during all of this and has proven herself to be a reliable trail donkey.

  38. When riding bareback through the pasture surrounding my friend’s property, some blood-thirsty deer jumped out of the grass. My horse jumped to the side, tossing me off. I lay on my back, delirious, and then a pair of horse hooves soared over me. Apparently, my darling horse had thrown me, jumped over me, and taken off across the pasture. The flight instinct never fails to surprise me.

  39. When I was 11 or so, I went to a dude Ranch in Loveland CO with my mom and my godmother. On one trail ride I was put on a smallish dun Quater Pony named Willie, and our guide was an air head 22 year old who thought she knew everything, yeah, no. about 3 1/2 hours into our 4 hour trail ride we realize that she had gotten us lost somewhere in the Rockies! She tells us to climb up this bank and on this narrow shelf I find myself perched staring down a steep bank of shale and rubble. Yeah, lets go down this way =/. anyway, the idiot girl turns around and pushes her greenie horse between me and Willie and the wall. Wille has no where to go and begns to shake and go backwards. Anyway, I emergency dismount and grab his reins tightly and lead him down. My mom and godmother were furious! Anyway, the only other way out is across this slippery riverbed, and I lead Willie across, I have to keep supporting his shoulder and the poor thing is skidding wildly and I begin to curse the whole thing. The guide keeps hands me the reins of her horse and my mom’s as they try to persuade my godmother’s mare to go. Stupid guide smacks the poor thing on the rump and the mare trips, steps on the rein, jerks up her head and is bleeding massivley from her mouth. She’s about to bolt when this guy suddenly appears on the riverbed, about 60 or so with greyish stubble, sunglasses, and a hiker’s back pack and boots and reaches out to the mare to catch her. He says “whoa girl” stablilizes her and hands me her reins. We were so caught up with making sure the mare was OK that when we turned back to thank him. He was gone. No footprints in the mud that completely surrounded the riverbank. Till this day we wonder where he came from to help that poor horse, and are thankful that our guide was fired for endangering us and the horses.

  40. on my first trail ride i was 9 and it was for a charity so when we got there i rode beastie a dapple gray horse she tried to buck that was the first time a horse bucked or tried too buck when i was riding we head out and we went for a wonderful ride but i was very scared we rode done a long back road and then there was a car coming my horse was scared but i didn’t know what to do i pulled on the reins and then he backed up then i kicked him and he started trotting i held on and i went to the side of the road and then i trotted the rest of the trail and thats when i fell in love with trails and decided i love jumping and trails and like dressage so i want to be a eventer and now i just need to learn to jump higher and higher level dressage

  41. I rode some sort of race pony on a trail once and she spooked really easily, she almost ran into tree when she heard a branch crack behind her. Turns out there was some kid fallowing me and my best friend the entire time on the trail!

  42. I was riding on a trail on a young gelding one day with my parents, when my mom’s horse accidently kicked the log he was walking over. Little did we know it was full of yellow jackets! They flew out and swarmed us all, causing the horses to panic, and the gelding I was riding began bucking, trying to get them off. Lucky us, no one got hurt except for a few stings, but it took us ages to calm the three horses down and get all the yellow jackets off.

  43. I was riding with my mom on her horse, a 4-year-old half-Mustang gelding, our trainer on one horse, and I was on my to-be 20-year-old Quarter Horse gelding. Lakota, the half-Mustang, was being trained, and my mom wanted to ride him before we brought him home. Well, we are riding on a trail on the trainer’s land, and for no reason at all, Lakota spooks. He runs into some brush, old tree limbs, and a downed tree. I’m very glad he didn’t trip. The trainer’s horse spooked a little at Lakota, but my boy, Chief, didn’t. Mom said that it was scary. Now that I look back on it, it was pretty darn funny. I’m so glad Chief is trained so well, and he and Lakota just love to eat the grass here at home. Though I will never let my guard down, I still don’t think my big boy will ever spook.

  44. Was riding around Bald Eagle Forest in PA when we intersected a trail called horse path. Well of course we have to go on it… 6 months later when I read the back of the map it is one of the three trails horses are not allowed on. Two riders learned an important lesson and two horses had some trust issues for awhile.

  45. Mine isnt a sad story at all. It was a time when my friend Chelsea, my cousin Hannah(on the back with me) and I of course went trail riding. We both had Arabians so yes they are competitive and mine was a gelding and hers a mare. We went to cross the river bank which was only 3 feet wide and super shallow. Both of our horses hated water with a passion. The can take baths but will NOT step into water. So we thought it would be a god teaching expierence. Chelsea went first on her mare Rockette and she flew over the water bank almost knocking off Chelsea but she hung on and made it Then it was time for Phantom, Hannah and me to go. Hannah is hanging on the the back off me so she doesnt slip I give phantom the signal and he moves forward goes right up to the water line and stops smells the water and then picks up all 4 legs and clears the water at the same time we yelled of joy it was so funny!

  46. A friend of mine and I went on a trail ride and I was riding my 4 year old gelding and I got off to open a gate. Usually he follows me and stays where I tell him. But that day he just walked off. After a while he final stopped. I just had to laugh at him when I caught him because just looked at me like “I’m going home, Where are you goin?”

  47. I was riding my 13 year old quarter horse and we had riden the trail earlier in the day with a big group. Later I rode with only my dad when the sun was setting and the signs were already gone. We got to a field with a nice stretch which I had ran earlier. I was content on showing him my new skill of running fast and smoothly. I asked to run and he told me to wait and see something. In a few seconds we got to a bunch of trees and deer came shooting out. That day I got a lesson and even though I’m glad I didn’t go I also felt really silly.

  48. Whenever my family and I go away, we always trail ride. What better way to experience a foreign place than on the back of a horse. When we were in Colorado, we were trail riding in the evening through a flat meadow. The trail guide was explaining to us all the dangerous animals that lived there at night. I was terrified and I kept looking into the long grass expecting to see a mountain lion. Then, it started raining and we were heading back to the barn when it started thundering and lightning. That was the first time I was absolutely terrified on a horse. And it wasn’t even the horse who was terrifying me!


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