Henry is a terrible trail horse

The new barn is only about 25 minutes from a 1,000+ acre park that has a lot of equestrian trails, so on Saturday we decided to take the boys. We were thinking it would be a nice relaxing change of pace, we would get out and enjoy some nature and look at the scenery, and just enjoy the horses. Henry was not on board with any of this.

Dobby is so much bigger than Henry, it’s a little comical.

Henry has been foxhunting. He road hacks. He’s a freaking EVENT HORSE, for god’s sake. I will admit that he hasn’t done much actual trail riding like this, but it’s not as though the horse only ever sees the inside of an arena. We ride out almost every single ride. But there was something about this place, with all of it’s terrible horrible nature… Henry was a spooky snorting idiot the whole time.

I mean, he still wanted to lead the way, but he wanted to do it while spooking and snorting.

He spooked at everything that moved. He spooked at everything that didn’t move. He was convinced that every little stick on the ground was definitely a snake. He gave any little depression/ditch/hole a very wide snorty berth. If anything so much as moved in the brush, lord help us. And then there was that time when we encountered (brace yourselves for the horror) another horse and rider and I could actually feel Henry’s heart pounding until the demon was safely past.

Dumb. Real dumb.


He was so busy snorting and spooking at all the fake snakes that he missed the one actual snake that crossed our path. For real, he was too busy staring down at a stick and he totally missed that thing slither across the trail in front of us. Thank goodness. I can’t imagine how smug he would have been if he realized all of his idiocy had been justified.

Me: What a nice view. Henry: OMG LOOK AT ALL THE NATURE, IT’S HORRIBLE.

We tried to get down to the river access, but with all the rain we’ve had lately the water was too high. We still got a nice little hill workout out of the deal, going down and then back up the steep trail that leads down there. Up until this point lazy-ass Dobby (I swear, the horse walks SO SLOW) had actually been keeping up with Henry. Then the big long hill happened, Dobby thought he was gonna die, and then he was out of juice. Henry had no problem leaving his ass to get eaten by wolves or bears or whatever else he thinks lives out there (neither of those things actually live out there).

Dobby is not into effort.

I think the best part was when we were walking along the river trail and A MASSIVE LOG had fallen across the trail. And by massive log I mean like the tiniest little tree ever, it barely qualified as more than a stick. It was about the same size as a ground pole. Henry completely refused to go over it. Like… snorting and the whole 9 yards. At one point he reached his nose toward it and touched another stick, spooking himself. This is my Prelim event horse, ladies and gentlemen. Refusing a tiny log. And then spooking and snorting as he walks sideways past a puddle.

Yes indeed you can hear me say “This is really embarrassing” as we’re both cracking up. Oh Henry, you weird little horse.

So as it turns out, Henry isn’t much of a trail horse. Nor did he find the day to be at all relaxing or pleasant. He might be scarred for life.

It’s kind of sad when the 4yo OTTB on his very first trail ride is much more chill.

Oh well… at least the humans had fun?

14 thoughts on “Henry is a terrible trail horse

  1. I’m slightly reassured by this – my went-Novice-last-year Dassah HATES to trail ride alone and mostly everything is scary (trees, grass clumps, rocks, birds, leaves, etc).


  2. hahahaha i am still laughing at Henry. That seems like such a Remus thing to do. Like I thought Henry was smarter ๐Ÿ™‚

    Glad you have trails sorry you need a different horse to ride them ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad Dobby is an old soul! HA


  3. If only there had been a few jumps, he’d have probably been okay…poor Henny. Nature is scary.
    I love that Dobby is so not impressed with any of this.


  4. Perhaps Henry needs to have Nature going by at 20 + MPH to feel comfortable out there. And a few jump-like obstacles to assure him that it’s actually a cross country track. ;O)


  5. My coach’s horse, who evented at WEG 2014, goes by the stable name of Spooky because he literally cannot walk over a hose lying across the pathway and is pathologically terrified of dressage letters.


  6. I feel your pain…
    My 1.1m showjumper, 1* eventer, elementary dressage 26 year old schoolmaster spooked hard the other day – cos the sun came out from behind the clouds.


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