1) Horseback riding is just sitting.
Believe it or not, more accidents occur when you're simply walking along than when you and your horse are trotting and loping. Why? Because when you are trotting and loping, you are forced to become a more involved, attentive rider. If you insist on just sitting (as opposed to cueing and working with the horse), you're likely to be taken wherever the horse wants to go (to grass or home).
2) My horse loves to be at the front.
I hear this a TON trail riding on the Colorado guest ranch. Here are a few things to keep in mind: One, if your horse is at the front, he/she may have a faster gait than the others. Two, you could be pushing your horse forward/encouraging it to walk faster with your body language. Last, you are in control of where your horse goes. If you kick or squeeze your horse, it will go faster. Begin by making sure you aren't sending mixed signals to your horse (pulling back and squeezing, for instance), and then work to ensure that you can control where your horse is in the group.
3) Horses are like big dogs.
While some attempt to cuddle with their horses and feed them treats in order to get a certain response, horses are a completely different animal. Unlike dogs who tend to be predators, horses are prey animals. Their first instinct in the sight, smell, or sound of danger is to flee the scene. Plus, if you try to train horses by feeding them treats all the time, you'll end up with a HUGE animal pushing into your space with little or no regard for your safety.
4) My horse sleeps standing up.
This is partially true. Your horse can sleep or nap standing up, but they do have to lie down in order to get into REM sleep.
5) My horse is white.
Horses may have white on them or look white, but they aren't genetically white. Most of the "white" horses you see are actually gray, cremello, or perlino.
Rather read about guest ranch dogs than about horses? Stay tuned for the Colorado Guest Ranch Dog of the Year's appearance in our next blog! http://www.elkrivergr.com/blog/madly-colorado-guest-ranch-dog-of-the-year