Is it okay to ride in open fields? - Page 2

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Is it okay to ride in open fields?

This is a discussion on Is it okay to ride in open fields? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Open fields for horses
  • Is if safe to ride in a field

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    03-21-2011, 10:28 AM
Always ask first. You also have to be sure to ask the OWNER - not the renter. If anything happens - the landowner is the responsible party. However if you or your horse damages something, then you will be responsible for the damage.
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    03-21-2011, 10:48 AM
If and when you do get permission, it is usually best practice to stay to the edge of an open field. One, you do less damage, two, it's often easier to control your horse with a pyschological boundary like a tree line and three, you're much less likely to find groundhog or gopher holes.
    03-21-2011, 11:03 AM
If you have trouble finding out who owns the land go to your county offices and check with the county recorder. Ask for a plat map of the area--you'll have to know pretty exactly what area you're interested in. The plat map will have the private property boundaries and the office folks can tell you who owns which piece.

Then just call and ask permission. I've called several local landowners and always been told "have a ball!" Fact is, a couple of them encouraged me to ride their land to help spread fertilizer!
    03-21-2011, 11:12 AM
Green Broke
*nods* We've had very few problems! There is a trail and small field that connects our road to another road and to ride around would take 20 minutes or more, and the owner was perfectly happy to allow us to not only cross his property as a short cut but ride in the field as well!

We are surrounded by crop land and if we absolutely have to traverse a field for any reason, we stick along the edges and in the tire tracks already made by the farmer checking his land.
    03-21-2011, 11:13 AM
^^ As Maura said, always ride on the outter edge of the fields. Adding to what Maura said as to they reasons, it also shows respect for the owner/farmer of the land.

The new barn I am now at, I have access to 200 acres of land to ride on, this is the land that the Fox Hunters use, and we end up around quite a few different fields, and we always ride on the outter edge.

Just try to not have your horse spook at something, causing your horse to leap out into the field, with you flying in some acrobatic manuver, landing on the side of your horse on your knee's...leaving a huge indent in the corn

Getting back on, laughing at what just happened with your pals, soon realizing the huge "gap", or "lack there of" of corn husks, advertising where we just were to the farmer. *smacks forehead*

After our hack, I had to drive over to the owners place, knock on their door and appologize for the nice big crop circle we left. I ended up leaving, mumbling to myself "stupid deer hut" *that's what he spooked at*

We were trotting along, on the outter edge of the corn field going to the right. All of a sudden, a large black "hut" that a Hunter set up to prepare for the Deer Hunting Season, appeared to the left of us as we were going around a bend. Nelson saw it, leaped in the air, zooming to the right, causing me to soar to the left. When we both landed, we were in the corn field. I landed on my knee's, right beside him - somehow. Lol

Great fun *rolls eyes*
    03-21-2011, 11:40 AM
Originally Posted by SailorGriz    
Fact is, a couple of them encouraged me to ride their land to help spread fertilizer!
And many don't want horses on their fields to leave behind manure with weed seeds in it.
    03-21-2011, 06:52 PM
To add to what painted horse said, here in Maine something like 94% of land is privately owned. You can't ride AT ALL here unless you get permission...aside from the small amount of public land we do have. Most people are completely fine with it as long as you respect their land, respect their crops, etc. There's even an area of land known as "Rockefeller Land" where horses are allowed but nothing else, as the horse people were the only ones not to offend this prestigious family and the only ones not to get kicked off the land.
    03-21-2011, 09:27 PM
And another point -

Riding on private land is one of those situations in life where "Asking forgiveness afterwords is better than asking permission first." DOES NOT apply. As a small landowner who has spend *years* cultivating the trust and good will of large landowners around me so I may continue to ride out, nothing makes me angrier than someone assuming that because they see me or someone else riding the land, it must be okay for them too.

If you don't have explicit permission from the registered landowner, don't go.
    03-22-2011, 12:09 AM
Originally Posted by maura    
and three, you're much less likely to find groundhog or gopher holes.

This is what I am always afraid of when riding in fields. My luck, we'd step right in some kind of hole.
    03-22-2011, 12:36 AM
Around where I live it is ALL privately owned land , mostly dairy farm/sheep/alpacas and some massive apple and kiwifruit orchards. So long as you ask permission and always SHUT THE GATES!! And don't go bashing holes through hedge fences you should be allright. If you don't harass the livestock and check before you ride - especially around calving/lambing time the usually don't mind and are often grateful for somebody riding the edges to alert them to any possible breakages.

fields, riding, trail

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