Trail riding is our passion. We have an exensive network of trails throughout our farm that winds through wooded trails, meadows and has access to the Robinson River.
 
We also enjoy trail riding offsite. Check out this great list of trail rides in Virginia: Horse Talk Virginia Trail Rides

You can see and read about some of our trail riding adventures here:

Check out this article on how to create a great trail horse: How to build a trustworthy trail horse.


 

Flint Hill 2015He's "JUST" a Trail Horse

I can't count the number of times that I have heard the words "Oh you just trail ride" or "It's just a trail horse", especially from other riders who focus on only one discipline. And each time I have to smirk a little. To be JUST a Trail Rider you need a very special talented kind of steed for which many folks don't realize the expertise required:

- He needs to be as maneuverable as a Dressage Horse...to be able to place each foot exactly where and when you need because there is a steep cliff drop-off on one side and a wall of solid mountainside on the other. A sure-footed horse is a must to be a good Trail horse.

-He needs to be as bold as a Foxhunter....to go willingly where he is pointed, whether that is over a log, up a steep hill, down a gully, through rushing water, boot-sucking mud or bushwhacking through thick scrub.

-He needs to be as agile as a Show Jumper....able to easily twist and turn around trees and bushes, boulders and hop over fallen logs.

-He needs to have the stamina of an Endurance Horse....because a 7 mile ride can easily turn into a 20 mile ride if his "on-board GPS" (aka rider) takes a wrong turn.

-He needs to have the calm mind of a Rodeo Pick-Up Horse....because many horses can not hold it together under stress. But a good Trail Horse must be able to cope with the high emotional energy often coming from other horses in front, behind and either side of her. He needs to always be level-headed and sensible.

-He needs to manage being squashed against others like a Polo Pony....because on some trails his nose might be pushed against a tail in front, or flanks pressed side-by-side with rider's knees banging against other rider's knees, or another horse breathing down his back. He needs to have patience and get along well with others.

-He needs to cope with bursts of speed like a Racehorse.....because if that "on-board GPS" (aka rider), stated above, turns the short ride into 20 miles you won't get home till dark if walking that whole distance.

-He needs to be a clever problem-solver with his mind and feet like a Cutting horse....sometimes his rider is gonna get him stuck in places that seem impossible to get out of!

-He needs to be brave like a Cow Horse because not only will he have to deal with protective mama cows and bulls out on the trails, but he'll also be faced with mountain bikes, ATVs, motorcycles, strollers, tractors, logging equipment, chainsaws, horse-drawn carts, bullet-riddled appliances, floating plastic bags and balloons, booming thunder and pouring rain with flapping slickers, loose wild horses and burros, and all forms of wildlife.

-And he needs to be cuddly and sweet like a Child's Pony....because he will spend countless hours exploring trails with his rider.

But hey.... He's "JUST" a Trail Horse!
-Author Unknown

Red and Jack at Flint Hill 2017


Westwood Farms - Locust Dale, Virginia 22948 - stephanie@westwoodfarms.net - 540-825-1300