Tips for Trail Riding with Your Dog

Who doesn’t love to hit the trails with Fido? Taking your dog along on your adventures can be really fun, there’s nothing like a day in the woods with your two favorite four legged companions! However, it can also be a bit challenging. I trail ride with my dog at least once a week, and over the years have learned a few tips and tricks to make your time more enjoyable!

Consider roadways and leash laws
You always want to make sure that you are riding with your dog off leash, in places that it is actually permitted. I also always check the proximity of roadways and other potentially hazardous obstacles.

Master basic commands
“Come” “Leave it” and “Heel” are a must. You don’t want to be hopping off your horse every time you see another person on the trail, because your dog wants to slobber all over their face and go home with their family!

Bring a leash
I always, always, always, make sure that I have something to restrain my dog with, should the need arise. I have actually also trained my dog to run up, and pop his head through the open loop of any slip leash, in case of an emergency, or an encounter with an unfriendly dog. This way, I can grab him quickly without taking the time to dismount. My personal favorite is the Tory Leather Slip Leash The loop for my pup’s head stays wide open when I drop it down, so that he can easily get in. A gentle tug, and he is secured.

Bring water
You and your horse may be having a lovely walk on the trails, but don’t forget that Buddy has much shorter legs, and is probably going much further than your horse, with all of the freedom and wonderful smells on the trail! He is going to be THIRSTY! It is always a good idea to bring water for yourself to stay hydrated, but when I bring my pup, I just make sure that I have enough for both of us.

Think about distance
Going hand in hand with water for Spot, don’t forget that he is considerably smaller than your noble steed, and is going to most likely be working much harder! Be sure that your little buddy is fit, and up for the challenge. Start with a few short trail rides, to get him in shape- before you set off on your overnighter to the Grand Canyon. You wouldn’t suddenly expect your horse to be able to carry you for 10 miles without proper conditioning, the same goes for your furrier friend!

With these things in mind, go ahead and hit the trails! I hope to see you, and your two besties out there!

Courtesy of SmartPak