What to expect from your first Pony Trek
For many years, our four-legged friends have been a mode of transport – no please don’t put a saddle on your dog, we’re talking about horses. Not only a fabulous way to see nature, pony trekking will get you closer to nature.
“But I’ve never been on a horse before” I hear you cry! Well aside from that being a complete first world problem, this blog post explores what you can expect from a pony trek, and alleviates those first-time nerves.
Let us trot on.
- The horse isn’t the only one doing all the exercise.
No sir-y, you’ll be surprised to learn that pony trekking through the hills requires you to not only be at one with the horse but to also concentrate on your posture whilst squeezing to change gaits. Whilst we’re not expecting you to become a horse whisperer, you will have to learn to control the horse with a few nudges, kicks (not hard), and commands. You’ll soon realise that your core isn’t as strong as you thought, and your thighs get tired quicker than expected. Once mastered, I’m sure you’ll be too busy admiring the beautiful scenery to notice the amount of effort you’re putting in to control that 1000lb animal between your legs.
- Comfort takes presidence over fashion
Your first time on the back of a horse is daunting, the last thing you want it to be is more uncomfortable than necessary. On pony trekking day it’s a good idea to leave those flip-flops at home and wear the appropriate shoes – boots. Your boots should cover your ankles, and have a small heel which makes it easier for you to stay in the stirrups. Please leave all MC hammer style trousers at home, you do not want anything caught in the equipment. Jeans, leggings or form fitted trousers will do the job. The same rule goes for clothing up top too – nothing too baggy, but do ensure it’s comfortable, you can find more information on what to wear for your first pony trekking experience on this handy blog post from The Spruce.
- A sore bottom
Yup, the unavoidable sore bum. You’ll know this feeling if you have ever been on a long bike ride for the first time in a while. Jumping on the saddle, and getting off without experiencing some soreness is almost unheard of unless you are a seasoned rider of course. You need to expect a sore bum along with a few aches and pains which aren’t too dissimilar from the pain you feel after a hard session at the gym.Whilst we can’t say how sore you’ll be, we have a few tips to decrease the saddle sore:
- Talc is your new best friend, drying that extra moisture and preventing chafing.
- Baggy = bunching and bunching = bumps, the red, sore kind. Double back to that link above from the spruce on advice on what to wear for your first pony trek.
- Add a layer of cycling shorts under your trousers to form a smooth non-bunching barrier between your skin and your trousers. The shorts, which are often made from a wicking fabric will also decrease moisture build up. Moisture = Man, that hurts & man, I didn’t even know you could chaff there.
- A newfound appreciation for these majestic beasts
A horse may not spring to mind when asked your favourite animal, however, after your first pony trek, I can guarantee it’ll be up there in the top 3. Many describe the experience as being like nothing else they have tried. Humans have always had a natural bond with the horse, and ever since we first stepped into the saddle in around 3500 BC, our love affair continued. Whilst what we use them for these days has changed, after your first pony trek, horseback riding might become a new recreation for you. Giddy up!
- Horses are petrified of pigs
- When Sleeping, horses stand and put their bums out to each other. Each one will be guarding a certain area, space, protecting one another.
- Horses are prey animals so are more comfortable in heard.
- Other animals only detect the horse, not you, allowing you to literally get all up in their faces, without them running away.
Horsey Facts from our GoTread guide Charlotte: