When you go trail riding with us here in Lake Worth, you’ll probably notice that the horses seem to know where they’re going. While we certainly switch up the trail riding experience depending on the levels of the riders who have joined us, there’s no doubt that the horses have been on that trail before and have a pretty good idea of where they’re going…better than most of those who are joining us for our horse trail riding in Palm Beach County, anyway!
So it invites the question: do we need to be there at all? Could we simply load all of our trail riders up on the horses, get the horses started, and then see you in an hour as the horses go on autopilot along our Florida riding trails? After all, it’s not like horses go chasing squirrels or anything.
Well, rest assured we’re not going to just saddle you up and pat the horse on the rump to get them going. Here are some reasons we’ll be along with you on your Florida trail ride.
A Bit Of Guidance
One of the primary reasons we’ll be along with you on the ride is to guide the horses. As we said above, the horses are pretty familiar with the trails. But we’re not taking the same trail every time; different riders might have paid for a different riding experience. So when it comes to the horses turning right or left, they’re not always going to know which direction to head. (Given the choice, they’ll head to the nearest grazing location!)
When we’re along for the ride, the horses won’t have any problem knowing which direction to head. In the morning they might need to go one way and a different way in the afternoon, and we’ll be there to guide them.
That Unexpected Problem
There’s always something going on in Lake Worth, and there are even quite a few changes that go on out in the country near our horse ranch. One day everything will be as it has been for years, and the next day there’s construction. A low area might be dry one day and flooded the next. It’s always important to have a certified horse trail rider with you at all times in order to deal with anything that popped up overnight.
Keep ‘Em Moving!
Horses don’t mind running and walking, but left to their own devices in a safe environment, they’re going to do one thing: eat! Horses in a field spend nearly their entire day with their heads down, grazing on grasses or the hay we put out for them.
Horses need to kept moving, because Florida is a lush place with lots of foliage that they enjoy eating. There are also some things they shouldn’t eat but do anyway, so the trail guide is there to keep ‘em moving so that they don’t snack on the wrong plant.
The Unexpected Animal
Earlier in this article, we talked about how the horses aren’t going to go chasing after a squirrel. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t animals in Palm Beach Country that could that could cause them some apprehension. We’re there to calm them down and deal with any animals that might show up.
While we’re near the coast, it’s also important to remember that part of Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area is in Palm Beach County. Florida is full of wildlife, and yes, some of it can be dangerous. While there aren’t many animals stupid enough to attack a 1,000-pound horse, that doesn’t mean the horse’s natural instincts won’t kick in at a sign of danger. It’s up to us to deal with the situation if an animal such as a Florida panther, alligator, Florida black bear, or feral hog has strayed too far from its normal habitat.
We Calm Them Down
Horses are herd animals, and the people who take care of them daily act as part of their herd. They’re put more at ease by our presence, which is yet another good reason to have a certified trail guide along with you. If it’s a particularly windy day and the horses are a bit flighty, having us there to calm them down can really help.
How do they know we’re there? Horses can certainly identify their caretakers by sight, but they also have a keen sense of smell to identify humans and the horses around them. They can also be reassured by our voices, as horses have very keen ears. To learn more about how horses experience the world through their senses, click here.
If Something Goes Wrong
We’re not racing horses on our horseback riding in Palm Beach County, but there’s always the chance that a horseshoe could come off or a horse could get sick during the ride. When that happens, it should be dealt with as quickly as possible by a trained professional.
Nobody Wants Horses On Rails
Imagine we just let you go and the horses just did everything like they were on rails. That wouldn’t be very fun, would it? That might work in an amusement park, but when you’re working with an animal you want to feel like there’s some variance that could make this trail ride different from the last one.
When you have a certified trail guide along with you, it’s a much more true experience. If we see something interesting nearby, the guide will be able to alter the team’s course to go take a look at it.
It Reins In The Mavericks (The Human Kind)
Let’s say that we did just let the horses do the walking along a preset trail every time. That’s when the most rambunctious of the group — whether it’s someone here for a corporate retreat or a 13-year-old boy with his family — will try to be the cowboy. They might pull the reins too hard or kick the horse in the belly to try to get them to run, trying to mimic what they’ve seen in the movies. While our Western Style rides are fun, they’re not “kick the horse in the gut to see if they can get the mail to Yuma on time” type of rides.
So yes, we’ll keep an eye out to make sure that no one gets in any trouble…or tries to get the horses in trouble. The truth is, everyone else in the group is usually happy to have us rein in the joker of the group. Of course, we’re also watching out for our horses, because…
The Horses Are Our Friends!
We’re with our horses nearly every day of the year, and you don’t work with an animal that long without getting attached to them. The horses are our friends as well as our livelihood, and we’re always going to be along on the trail ride to make sure that they’re happy and safe.
Ready To Ride?
When you pull out your laptop or phone and search for “horseback riding near me,” we think the choice is obvious. Here at Pink Flamingo Stables, we’re ready to give you a tour of Lake Worth like you’ve never had before. We’d love it if you scheduled a ride, and we’ll make it safe for you, your entire group, and the horses. We look forward to showing you our lovely city and our lovely animals!