While I am no endurance rider, I do ride trails, and lots of them in summer. I ride with multiple levels of riders, and my rules are always simple: be safe, and be considerate, otherwise I'm riding away from you.
I always feel it's my responsibility to make sure my horse is trained properly to be able to handle riding with or without the group, towards or away from others, from home, or from wherever else I ask. Sometimes on trail things happen such as a horse gets injured or lame and then someone has to turn around and ride back. Riding with ill fitting tack, or inexperienced riders isn't an excuse for not having control.
That said, stuff happens. Things go wrong. Even the best, most seasoned trail horses have issues. My horse once figured out how to get his bridle off in the river. Fortunately he was nice enough to also let me put it back on without having to have a very wet dismount haha! But if a person is an ongoing issue, don't ride with them. I know if I ride with someone who is unsafe or inconsiderate, and continues to have issues with their horse (as opposed to riding for the training work, and working to improve their horse's behavior), I simply won't ride with them anymore. We all have to start somewhere and my trail horse was a bit of a snot when I first got him and would rear and spin, and wanted to always be in front and would buck and have a fit if someone passed him at the gallop. So I spent a good solid year trail riding with anyone I could that was experienced enough to help me ride through it. Pass us, and me make him slow down. Let others first. Start in front and be passed. Pass, then slow down and let others pass again. Ride away from the group, and so on. Now he's almost always great.
He did once this summer decide that his hoof bruise was crap and he'd take off w/o me (I was leading him at the time) and thanks to Phantomhorse on here, her and her horse dragged his lil butt back to me where everyone else rode to camp and we walked. Slowly. Far far far far away from everyone else. With frequent halts. And turn backs out on trail, and so on. But I know that was primarily because he was footsore and HATES admitting it, and has too big of a sense of humor for his own good (he would slow down to let Phamtomhorse catch up, then stay *just* out of reach). Moral of the story - he wasn't *that* footsore if he could run like that, so we had a nice slow walking lesson in remembering our trail manners the whole way back to camp.
Stuff happens. Things go wrong. They ARE animals. At the end of the day we need to do what we can to be safe and courteous when riding on trails, especially with others, and do everything we can to keep our horses prepared and properly trained - regardless of who (or what) else we come across out there.
Last edited by CJ82Sky; 02-20-2014 at 06:04 PM.