Etiquette for Trail Riders

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Etiquette for Trail Riders

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  • Common trail etiquette for horseback riders
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    12-17-2009, 02:57 PM
Etiquette for Trail Riders

I wrote this article after talking with a good friend and riding buddy the other day. We were talking about some of the crappy trail experiences that we’ve had over the years. I think we covered everything from fellow horsemen that run past to bicyclists, to crazy trail use rules. Our chat stuck with me and I’ve whittled down the various problems, and associated resolutions, to nine “guidelines” if you will that will ensure good rides far into the future.
Hope it rings true for you and helps bring a little peace on Earth to our trails!

Merry Christmas!
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    12-17-2009, 03:10 PM
Nice article, thanks!
    12-17-2009, 07:33 PM
Very nice.

My favorite is #1, there is nothing more irritating than when someone thinks that they own the ground they're riding on. That goes for non-horseback riders too.
    12-17-2009, 07:38 PM
Great article, Trails! And well said!
    12-17-2009, 08:15 PM
Great article, but I take exception to the slowest horse setting the pace. We have a woman in our saddle club who insists on bringing her grand daughter and wants to "train" a pony and her grandchild while on our rides. Everyone else rides big quarter horses or gaited horses. Its impossible to keep the pace as slow as they go on the little pony's. A dear friend of mine sponsored a ride a few months ago. Her husband was the trail boss and she was the drag. She was on a big active Peruvian Paso. I know it was exhausting for her to stay behind and keep pace behind them. In that type of situation I'm afraid I have to break the rules and let her stay to the rear.
    12-17-2009, 11:36 PM
I think she means that you shouldn't leave them behind alltogether, I.e. More than 200 yards or out of sight. I would definitely send them to the rear of the group, Vidaloco!! Lol
    12-18-2009, 08:13 AM
Originally Posted by Vidaloco    
Great article, but I take exception to the slowest horse setting the pace. We have a woman in our saddle club who insists on bringing her grand daughter and wants to "train" a pony and her grandchild while on our rides.
Speaking of etiquette! Riding at the pace of the slowest rider is proper but bringing along a child on a pony and expecting the whole group to wait is not.

A few of the large rides I've been on over the years had three rides at the start of each day. The first was for gaited horses, the second was for regular/experienced riders, and the third was for beginners or riders who could not handle (or just didn't want a long ride) the 6 or 7 hours we typically rode each day. You picked the group you wanted to ride with that day but if you picked the gaited group and you had a QH, you better be prepared to do a lot of trotting to keep pace - and they usually got back to base a good hour or so before the regular group!
    12-19-2009, 02:29 PM
In the case of group rides, it is good etiquette to take the needs of everyone in the group into consideration.

However, there are some situations where it just isn't appropriate to expect a large group to cater to one person. For example, the woman with the young grandchild and pony might do better to find one or two other people who would be willing to share their pace and hang back from the main group.
    12-20-2009, 07:00 AM
Agree with these statements very much...

"Groups that start together need to stay together for the duration of the ride. If you find that you don’t like your riding partners don’t go with them on the NEXT ride, but do the right thing and finish this one as a group."

I'm comfortable with a lazy walk, a gallop through the fields ride, or just deciding as we're riding along, but many people are not. When I ride with a group, the group's safety is always my top priority. If someone is lagging behind, having problems, or comes up with a case of the 'jitters', I will circle back to ride with them. The rest of the group can continue on until we catch up if they choose, or I'll even turn around and go back to the start with the person in extreme cases. Some folks that I've ridden with consider this annoying (ruining the fun of the ride), but trust me, it's a lot less fun spending the day way out on the trail trying to help someone with a broken leg or chasing their horse down.
    12-20-2009, 02:35 PM
I like rule two why? Because I have slower horse. My old riding teacher would never slow down I end up on the wrong trail because I want to relax!

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