10-07-2012, 12:53 PM
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I am new to this forum and haven't read through all of the past posts in this thread to know if this particular behavior has been addressed previously or not. My husband and I recently took a trip to The Big South Fork area in TN. First let me tell you that my husband and I are experienced riders and have been trail riding for many years. We are both in our mid 50's. We ride quarter horses and enjoy taking our time and so to speak, stopping to smell the roses and enjoying the scenery along the trails. The horses that we took on our trip to BSF are 9 and 10 years old and have logged many miles on the trails. Now, second let me add, I have nothing against riders of gaited horses. If they chose to gait down the trail at a high rate of speed, and that is what they enjoy, I am fine with that. What I am not fine with, is the lack of courtesy and common sense that we recently encountered when we met a large group of riders going in the opposite direction of us. We were riding on a trail that was wide enough for us to pass each other, but there was not a good place for us to step off of the trail. We heard these other riders coming before we could see them, so we had stopped to let them get around us. The two riders who were in the lead were traveling at a fast gait. It sounded like maybe they were racing each other. They came around a curve in the trail and could clearly see us, The two lead riders were probably in their mid to late 20's. The young man did slow down slightly, but the young lady looked like she was trying to catch up with him, so made no effort to slow down or give us time to find a place to step off of the trail. My horse thought she was being charged and her "flight instinct" kicked in gear. She started backing up and then as the young woman was racing past us, my horse jumped sideways and was trying to turn around. I managed to stay in the saddle, but it wasn't easy. This made me very angry. I don't understand why some riders act as if they own the trail and show no regard for the safety of others. The remainder of this large group of maybe a dozen riders did slow down, but not one person offered an apology for the rude behavior of the two lead riders. Third, let me add that this was the only time during our week of trail riding that we had any problems. The other riders that we met along the way were friendly and respectful.