It's not always possible to have a friend, a buddy, to ride with. If you are just starting out learning about trail riding or going trail riding for the first few times, I suggest that you take someone a long with you. They may not be able to do much if things go south, but they can at least tell someone which direction your horse ran off with you in, and that way someone can come look for you.
It’s best to have someone go with you that knows what they are doing and have an experienced horse. Young horses, or horses that have never been out of an arena, do not have a lot of confidence. If you come to an obstacle, a log for example in the trail, a young horse may not want to cross. If you can get the older more experienced horse to cross the obstacle first, a young horse will usually cross. When the young horse sees that the older horse did not get hurt or is not afraid, it will help to build confidence in a younger less experienced horse.
You may not have any friends, or at least any that ride, so you may have to go alone. If so, just take your time and let your young horse check out the obstacle. Then encourage him to cross with gentle squeeze of your leg and a cluck if you need to. Whatever you do, don’t get in a tug of war with him. He will get scared or at the very least nervous, and you may be the one who ends up on the ground. Go slow. Take your time.
You can prepare your horse for obstacles in the arena before you go out on the trail. We can talk more about that tomorrow..
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.