June’s First Trail Ride: aka June Can Buck

In my human mind, trail rides are like when your teacher tells you you’ll be watching a movie during class. You’re like ” sweet! Easy class!” I mean, what horse wouldn’t love a trail ride? You get to hang out with friends, not work, and munch grass.


Look at that view! Who wouldn’t enjoy that view??

But that was my human mind. I didn’t really look at this from the perspective of an equine. June doesn’t know what a trail ride is. She knows she was trailered about 30 minutes to an unknown location where there were no other horses other than the one she trailered with. We’re in the middle of nowhere. She knows her mother didn’t lunge her, even though she lunges her before every ride. She knows that her mom got on her and expected her to walk out into the unknown forest.

And she responded by launching her mom into outer space.

I’m not making excuses for her. Launching me 1 minute after I got on her back, is not ok. But, since she is a baby horse, I am trying to figure out where I went wrong. And all I can think is it was a bit too much out of her comfort zone.


Sure, this looks like fun… but not really

We did complete the trail ride. Despite a hard fall, I lunged the snot out of her, and then walked with her out the trail. I rode for about 1/2 the ride and for those moments, she was great. But I was sore, and defeated, and my confidence was blown. So, I didn’t ride her over stream crossings, and when I felt she needed a break I walked along side her. But we completed a 3.6 mile trail ride in the Idaho wilderness.


Look at me riding my horse on a trail! Also, maybe I shouldn’t have brought Siri along to run around her?

And because I have an amazing friend, and I knew I had to conquer my fears of getting launched on trail rides, I asked Sarah if she would be up for another trail ride the following day. And so, the following day, we loaded the horses up, and gave it one more shot.

And this time, I lunged June.

I left the dog at home.

I didn’t ask any more of her than I do back home in the arena.

And she was foot perfect.


And I look pretty happy!

She looked around and took it all in, but happily followed Rapid into the Idaho wilderness. This was somewhere she had never been, and she was okay with that. I asked her to lead on the way home and it was ok- she led for a bit, but was clearly a bit unsure. So, we let Rapid lead again, and I rode home on a loose rein.

Was it the perfect first trail ride?

Hell no.

But it ended well, and I am less sore than I was. I learned that keeping her routine as solid as possible is important for her. She wants to be lunged before I ride her no matter where we are. Skipping that, and asking her to be perfect somewhere new, wasn’t fair.

So, June can buck. I knew that. And I need to keep that in mind next time I want to hop on her and do something new. That seems a small price to pay for a horse who otherwise has been fantastic.

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18 thoughts on “June’s First Trail Ride: aka June Can Buck

  1. Oh no! Sorry you got launched and I’m glad you aren’t too beat up by it physically or mentally. I’ve found that trails are either second nature to a horse (Pete took to it like a fish to water from the first second we took him out) or they have to be taught how to do it (Gem was…not ok the first several months of riding out). June will get there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tracy says:

    Ack — glad you’re feeling better. And kudos to you for working through it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. KateRose says:

    So sorry to hear that you got launched but I think the way you handled everything was awesome! Henry rode all over the trainer’s property (which included scary bridges and a deep river) but he got really unnerved by my dog popping up behind us, which I should have been more prepared for but oh well! Sounds like you turned it into a great learning experience 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • nadsnovik says:

      I’m so used to riding with my dogs, I didn’t even think about it. But she definitely wasn’t a fan of Siri running around her. She’ll get over it, but not smart for my first ride!


  4. martidoll123 says:

    ouch but glad the second outing was good. And she is such a good egg i think we forget sometimes they are babies!! Hope you are okay!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. emma says:

    ugh i feel like we spend so so so so much time planning and scheming for how to make everything go smoothly with our young green horses, how to always perfectly introduce them to each thing in a systematic and thoughtful manner such that they develop perfectly with nary a hiccup. except…. then there comes real life, when that one little detail that never even occurred to us suddenly blows up in our faces. ugh. horses. why tho.

    i’m glad you weren’t hurt in the fall, and that you got right back out there again a second day. and that she was so good!!! those little bumps in the road definitely suck, but it also just sounds like an unfortunate blip. at least the scenery was pretty tho!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ohh ouch! I’m sure you’re super sore! I’m so glad you went back out again and conquered it! She’s such a good gem that even something like this I don’t think will set you guys back 🙂


  7. Alanna says:

    Ouch. I’m sorry you had a bad experience. That’s never good for your confidence. It was smart of you to go back out the second day and set you both up for success. Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. L. Williams says:

    An ouchie lesson learned but you learned it real quick! Horses and baby horses in particular love their routines! (I also love my routine too)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Liz says:

    ARRRGH. But I love your approach to troubleshooting the buck afterward and your stubbornness that got you back out for another – successful! – ride the following day. Well done, lady! Hope those bruises aren’t too bad.


  10. Cathryn says:

    ouch – glad you are mostly ok. glad you made her go out a second time and it was much better!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. KC Scott says:

    My first trail ride with my very first horse (I was 24), I got thrown off, too. And then he became a stellar horse on trails, but that first time was a doozy.

    As a bonus, she looks suuuuper cute. I’d have a hard time being mad at her, ever.

    I guess she can’t ALWAYS be perfect! Just darn near close.


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