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Encountering bicyclists on the trails/rds

This is a discussion on Encountering bicyclists on the trails/rds within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Horse scared of joggers
  • Horse spooked by bicycles on trail

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    04-24-2012, 10:29 PM
  #11
Yearling
I have the same problem with joggers, they run up behind with out a word and scare peoples horses. What I do is after they pass my horse, I go after them and they get scared I tell them if they did not spook my draft horse he would not go after them
     
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    04-30-2012, 11:19 AM
  #12
Weanling
I've run into more issues with road-cyclists than the mountain bikers, at least in my neck of the woods. There's a section in a local state park where the mountain bike trail crosses and shares trail with the bridle/hiking trails and you just have to be aware of the mixed traffic. The mountain bikers will stop and pull over for horses, and let you know they're there.

The people who use more developed paths, like paved trail or flat/gravel paths, seem to have a tougher time grasping the idea of letting other people know they're coming from behind. They'll just whiz right past without any warning. Even just as a pedestrian on those trails, I've been startled when a cyclist passes by suddenly.

Maybe some "yield" reminder signs along the way would help, or some "share the trail" signs would clear up any misunderstandings about who is supposed to yield to who.
     
    04-30-2012, 07:48 PM
  #13
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Badger    
The people who use more developed paths, like paved trail or flat/gravel paths, seem to have a tougher time grasping the idea of letting other people know they're coming from behind. They'll just whiz right past without any warning. Even just as a pedestrian on those trails, I've been startled when a cyclist passes by suddenly.

Maybe some "yield" reminder signs along the way would help, or some "share the trail" signs would clear up any misunderstandings about who is supposed to yield to who.
A better reminder would be a broken femur from a horse kick.
     
    04-30-2012, 09:00 PM
  #14
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by calicokatt    
proceed to educate the bicyclists that horses can be scared of bikes, and they should make themselves known to any horseback rider they encounter so as not to cause a wreck that will usually injure the bicyclist more than the horse or rider. Most bicyclists truly do not realize that a horse cannot tell that the bicyclist is a human on a bike, and just think it is a predator.

When riding on the road or on the trails (both of which we do quite frequently) I pay very close attention to my horse's ears, and can usually tell when there is something coming up in front of us or behind and thus avert the problem.

I do the same.

The roads around my barn are hugely popular for biking and I have found that most people I encounter simply don't know a thing about horses.. and are more than happy to slow down and shout greetings when they approach after I explain to them that it makes the horses realize they are people, not monsters.
     
    05-01-2012, 08:29 AM
  #15
Green Broke
If you are going to ride on public trails you can't put all the responsibilites on the bike riders. Your horse spooking at common things it's going to see on the trail is YOUR problem. Fix it. I have seen people get crazy angry hooting and hollering at a biker, calmly pedaling by a 2 lane wide gravel road . Said biker was on the opposite side of the road heading the opposite direction. These are the same people that blame everyone else and want everyone else to ride a certain way cause it might upset their horse.
     
    05-01-2012, 08:49 AM
  #16
Foal
Around here we have a ton of bike people on trails. Some are very courteous and slow or stop and speak to you and your horse. Some fly up my horses' butts without a word. What our local clubs have done is speak at the bike club's meetings about how to safely encounter horses on trail and educate them. This works with most of the bikers but you will always get that one or two who just don't give a rip and want to go flying down the trails regardless of whether or not they spook your horse. It's really up to us equestrians to help to educate the bike riders and be able to control our own horses for everyone' s safety. My current trail horse in the making is a deaf paint! Since I'm not sure of what he'll do whenever some gung-ho biker decides to fly up on him, I'm keeping him off the busiest trails until I know him better. I'm also getting some neon green t-shirts printed with "caution-deaf horse! Please pass slowly" on the back to alert everyone that he can't hear.
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    05-01-2012, 04:03 PM
  #17
Yearling
Where we ride, we constantly share the trails with hikers (and their dogs) and bikers at least until we get further away from the trailhead. I think it's going to get worse as more and more people use public lands. Riding areas are being threatened throughout the US. Getting angry or rude with these people is not going to help our cause. Educating them might.

We're really fortunate that here in Upstate SC, the rules of precedence are pretty well known and observed. I've only had one instance where a bike rider ignored me and kept advancing and he was young and inexperienced. He did learn his lesson, though, when the horse I was on put a backleg in a hole off the trail and went down. By the time we re-grouped and his parents caught up with him, everyone had time for a little horsey education and I can guarantee that that young man stopped in the future for every horse he encountered! (It's easy to sound calm now but as I pointed out to his dad: if the horse or I had been hurt, it could have ended not quite so pleasantly.)

A lot of the riding clubs around here speak at bike club meetings and there are signs posted on the public trails. We're all going to have to share these trails unless you're lucky enough to ride on private land or be so far from civilization that you don't have the problem. I'd rather make friends than enemies. You never know when you might need a friend.
     
    05-02-2012, 11:03 AM
  #18
Foal
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! (Being that I generally run into more bicyclists on the roads than the trails I particularly liked calicokatt's approach!;)

And fyi Joe my horses do NOT spook at common things on the trails. My mustangs are the most solid horses on earth. The ONE horse I had get upset that ONE time is an old TB who honestly just didn't know what to think about the aliens riding up on his heels. He didn't do much beyond initially leaping to the side, bobbing his head and blowing/snorting. He is not generally a spooky horse, and these days has no reaction to bikes whatsoever. It was just something new to him at the time and I would've appreciated a little common courtesy from the cyclists. NO horse is completely bombproof...not matter how much "fixing" you do.
     
    05-02-2012, 11:51 AM
  #19
Weanling
OK - this is not going to help solve the problem, but maybe it will bring a smile to a few faces.

YEARS ago, I am out on a one line straight paved road that has no bends for about a mile. I am working my three year old gelding in harness. On one side of the road are horse pastures filled with horses (that my horse knows). The othe side has a six foot fence that is completely overgrown with blackberry brambles up to about eight feet tall. I know that on the other side of that fence are people working on flower fields, lots of people.

Being 3, my boy is still a bit green. What 3 year old isn't? Now, it is not like we are hard to see. Here is the horse and rig.



Large, mostly white horse, pulling a four foot wide two wheeled cart. This shoudl not be hard to notice. I see the two bicyclists pull onto the road WAY down there and watch as the distance slowly gets shorter and shorter. They are riding in the exact middle of the one lane road. I move my boy closer to the fence, he flicks an ear at the noise of the people on the other side, but no worries. We are heading out at a relaxed walk.

For thier part, the bicycles dont' seem to even notice us. They are a cute couple looking at each other and talking - it looked very date like. About the time they reach us, and they still have not looked up at us, I know because my eyes are glued on them as we will be passing with less than a foot between us.

From out of nowhere, one of the people on the other side of the fence, completley unknownign that there was a horse there, toss a tarp over the fence - level with my horse's head.

Now, Shaman is a really good boy, or we would have all died right there. He did nothing more than take three steps away from the scary thing flying at him. Three steps with a bicycle less than a foot away. Do you see a problem with this? Thank goodness for him being such a good boy as it worked out just perfectly that the shaft of the cart went right into the spokes of the front wheel of the closest bike!

As the man picked himself off the gound and worked his ruined bike off my cart, he had the nerve to ask where we came from! Oh I chewed him out up one side and down the other!

My horse? As soon as he had bicycle tangled in his shaft and under his feet stopped dead and waited for me to fix it.

He got extra carrots when we got done. The guy had to call a buddy to bring a truck as that bike was toast. The girl seemed to think it was an idiot. I had to agree with her.
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    05-02-2012, 12:02 PM
  #20
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d    
If you are going to ride on public trails you can't put all the responsibilites on the bike riders. Your horse spooking at common things it's going to see on the trail is YOUR problem. Fix it. I have seen people get crazy angry hooting and hollering at a biker, calmly pedaling by a 2 lane wide gravel road . Said biker was on the opposite side of the road heading the opposite direction. These are the same people that blame everyone else and want everyone else to ride a certain way cause it might upset their horse.
No matter how much desentizing you do, you cannot get rid of a horse's prey instinct completely.

Nothing unnerves a horse more than something silent suddenly appearing behind him. Every sense in their being screams PREDATOR, RUN AWAY.

There would be justice in the world if every bicyclist that sneaked up on a horse like that got the crap kicked out of him and his bike by a scared horse. Unfortunately, the one that usually pays is the rider when he falls from a spooked, bolting horse.
prairiewindlady likes this.
     

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