We offer more ride types than any other venue in New England. With that, we have to be very careful and keep our safety standards high so we don’t have accidents that result in injuries. The Guides Discretion means that the guide is trained to not only judge your history in riding but also the very specific and unique connection you have with the horse we chose for you.
Guides Discretion with Experienced Riders
You may be an avid hunt seat rider and take many lessons on horses highly trained in hunt seat or a prestigious western rider that has never held both reins in each hand. These types of habits that are taught for exceptional placings in the ring may leave you with a communication problem with our trail horses. They have to deal with varying levels of experienced riders on varying terrain and in all types of weather and other environmental distractions every day. They are actually “trained down” to endure these distractions without becoming aggitated or exhibit dangerous behavior. The Guides Discretion and directions will help even an experienced rider who strives to understand the need to ride each horse to its best ability in order to have a fun and fast ride!
In this case, maybe you are used to creating a connection with lots of rein and leg. Our horses are going to insist that you give them their head. A beginner who “takes up rein” is a disaster on a horse’s mouth. Some of our horses are happy to have a well-trained rider take up the bit and drive them on and some aren’t. If you’re a long-time western rider you are used to using the reins in the opposite direction than our horses are trained for turns. This will get very confusing for the horse and the ride resulting in mixed cues. The Guides Discretion and directions will help both horse and rider enjoy the ride that much more.
How the Guides Discretion is Used During a Ride
Keep in mind we have less than ten minutes and only a few questions to ask before putting you on our horses. Most will go on auto pilot even at the canter. As long as the rider has the seat and reaction time to rein them in in an emergency everything will go well. But a rider who insists on riding “their way” on one of our horses that is not accepting “their way” can be a danger to the group. Under those circumstances the guide can use his or her discretion to limit the speed at which the ride goes. The guide may choose to reduce the canter to shorter durations, not canter at all or canter only one time during the ride.
Guides Discretion with Beginner Riders
Anyone who states that they’d rather canter because the trot is uncomfortable, isn’t an accomplished rider. This is a statement that will immediately put the guide in “caution” mode. Generally there are at least two trotting sessions before a canter. Each session the guide is looking for riders that have followed directions, can control their horse’s forward movement (or don’t interfere when the horse is doing it himself), and are keeping their balance, seat and legs. If all goes well there will be a canter. If there seems to be some issue with one horse or rider combination, the guide may choose to put them in a different spot in the line to make the canter go more smoothly.
It is not impossible for beginner riders to canter on our horses but lack of muscle, balance and overall condition can be factors in how often and how long the guide chooses to canter or trot. A weak rider is more likely to fall off in the event of a trip or spook on a horse.
These are many of the Guides Discretion techniques that we use to keep our rides safe, fun and fast! Our one hour intermediate and our two hour rides both offer cantering opportunities on flat safe wide areas. Our 90 minute ride to Pears Ice Cream offers a few trotting sessions for beginners who want to add a little excitement to their ride.