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I was reading an article in the new EQUUS magazine and thought i would post a piece of it on here. It is about indoor arena etiquette.

"There are certain standard rules for sharing an indoor arena with fellow riders- and not just as a courtesy. Following these guidelines will help keep all riders and horses safe, even in the most crowded riding space.


  • Before entering a riding arena, call "Door" loudly and wait for a reply. This helps to avoid spooking horses by suddenly sliding a noisy door aside as they pass by.
  • Mount and adjust tack in the center of the ring, don't block the track.
  • Talk with your instructor quietly in the center of the ring, but if you want to chat with spectators, move out of the ring to do so.
  • Keep the riding ring a "No cellphone zone", no calling or texting while riding!
  • Keep a safe distance form other horses ( minimum of one horse length, more when trotting or cantering) and never let your horse crowd, tailgait, or threaten another horse.
  • In some riding rings everyone is expected to ride in the same direction and change directions at the same time. When riding in both directions is permitted, oncoming riders should pass left shoulder to left shoulder, like cars on a highway.
  • Riders who are trotting or cantering should have the right of way on the outside of the track. If you are slowing down or stopping, don't block the rail- move to the inside of the track.
  • When you need to pass a rider, call out "rail please" or "on your left", and pass widely and safely.
  • When jumping call your intended obstacle such as "whit picket" or "diagonal combination" loudly and clearly before you approach.
  • If you see a horse acting up or a rider having difficulties, slow down, circle or stop until the horse is under control. Be considerate of novice riders and green horses, give them extra space and never pass them closely or going fast.
  • Do not longe a horse in a ring full of riders." By Susan E. Harris
I just thought I would post this, I found it very informative myself. What do you guys think?
 

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This is a awasome thread, I think all barns should have rules like this, At the place where I board my horse we have areana rules Very similar to this, there are more but sadly alot of people dont follow them, kinda wish they did as there will be four people riding and one person trying to do a course, Its hassle to get out of there way between every jump
 

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good rules for an indoor or the warm up ring at a show!

except for the 'everyone has to go the same way' rule. not everyone can go the same direction and then switch at the same time.
 

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good rules for an indoor or the warm up ring at a show!

except for the 'everyone has to go the same way' rule. not everyone can go the same direction and then switch at the same time.
that is why the next part of that one is about different direction riding....
 

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and also why it says 'in SOME riding rings everyone is expected to ride in the same direction'.... it would be hard to ride in those rings.
 

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This is also called "common courtesy". And it's also the reason that I don't ride at schooling or novice shows, because there is none.
As someone who doesn't just ride around in circles, it is very difficult to school my horse around people that don't know what the heck courtesy is! I am very courteous to less advanced riders and call my lines, but still some people cut me off. I am so tempted to run them over sometimes.
Also - why I hate jumping shows!! In the warmup, people call their fences like 3 strides out.. -_- So not cool I have almost been killed by idiots calling their fences when they are halfway over them. And at a lot of jumping shows, they do have the everyone goes in the same direction rule. Because there are 40 horses, and fences, and people jumping fences in a 80ft x 200ft ring.
 

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Riders who are trotting or cantering should have the right of way on the outside of the track. If you are slowing down or stopping, don't block the rail- move to the inside of the track

this is the only one i sort of disagree with. where i board if people walking go to the inside the people who are trotting & cantering are stuck on their rail & not able to turn in to circle easily so people walking tend to stay on the rail if they are going the same direction as the people trotting or cantering
 

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I never school with jumpers at schooling shows its really scary lol. If someone is working their horse in a circle at one end I usually just take the other side of the ring. I dont pass on one specific side. I use good judgement to determine what to do at the time.

I usually give the lesson kids, or kids who dont know how to ride as well the right of way. I'd rather not assume they know ring ettiquite or that they can even stear around me, on a dull lesson horse.
 

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Riders who are trotting or cantering should have the right of way on the outside of the track. If you are slowing down or stopping, don't block the rail- move to the inside of the track

this is the only one i sort of disagree with. where i board if people walking go to the inside the people who are trotting & cantering are stuck on their rail & not able to turn in to circle easily so people walking tend to stay on the rail if they are going the same direction as the people trotting or cantering
More strides at the trot or canter - thus the reason to use the rail for the faster speeds. Next step down from a walk is the stop - which needs to be done in the center of the ring.
 

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More strides at the trot or canter - thus the reason to use the rail for the faster speeds. Next step down from a walk is the stop - which needs to be done in the center of the ring.
i know, im just saying what i have noticed works well at my barn.
 

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Riders who are trotting or cantering should have the right of way on the outside of the track. If you are slowing down or stopping, don't block the rail- move to the inside of the track

this is the only one i sort of disagree with. where i board if people walking go to the inside the people who are trotting & cantering are stuck on their rail & not able to turn in to circle easily so people walking tend to stay on the rail if they are going the same direction as the people trotting or cantering
I agree. ^

If a person is cantering, they should be on the inside. That way, the walk-trotters are out of their way if they need to circle or anything. Also, if a person cantering needs to pass a person walking, it is safer for the cantering horse to the inside, where there is room to move away if there is trouble. If the walking horse were to kick out at the cantering horse, and the cantering horse was on the outside, he'd have nowhere to go. He'd be pinned between the kicking horse and the fence-- not a good situation for horse OR rider.

Definitely call jumps, way before you go toward it! Also, it's important to still keep a watch out for other riders. Just because you call a jump doesn't mean you can push past anyone who might be in the way. People should be out of the way but it doesn't look good to run into a little kid on a pony and say "But I called my jump!"

It is standard to pass left shoulder to left shoulder, but in some situations you need to change that. If you know you're going to circle or know your horse needs more space to pass, you may need to pass right shoulder to right shoulder. Calling which way you're passing is really important. Just shout "inside!" or "outside" and make a definite move toward the side you're passing on so there's no confusion.
 

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Really like the original post, I wish some of these rules would be applied to our outdoor arenas. No one is considerate of the green horses and I have become hurt and had my ride ruined because of girls texting, screaming, and being just plain stupid around their horses while riding with me.
 

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Really like the original post, I wish some of these rules would be applied to our outdoor arenas. No one is considerate of the green horses and I have become hurt and had my ride ruined because of girls texting, screaming, and being just plain stupid around their horses while riding with me.
i hate when people arent considerate of green horses ! a lady at my barn cantered straight at my mare during one of her first rides & she almost jumped out over the ledge of the arena [its an outdoor with no fence & its on a hill so 2 sides are severely sloped down]

im always very understanding towards others with green horses, because i know how hard it is to ride in a crowded arena on a greenie. also my barn has 2 horses with no eyes so i try to stay far away from them & give them lots of space...
 

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I agree, but isnt it kinda weird to shout " OXER!!!!!" (i dont even know what that is. Im western) every time you go over it? Its kinda like running on the track at school or jogging with lots off people. Everytime you go over a hole or bump, or change direction you have to shout" HOLE" or "ROCK" or " CHANGING DIRECTION"? If there were tons of people warming up, shouting that may be a bit odd IMHO. I dont know, thta might be normal in english riding, with all the jumps and such. :)
 

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In english, you need to shout jumps out. It might sound strange but if you are going towards a jump and another person is on the rail and don't see you going towards the jump, you might very well run right into them. It's all about safety.
 

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I think it'd be a good idea to hang this in the barn! :)
 

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I agree, but isnt it kinda weird to shout " OXER!!!!!" (i dont even know what that is. Im western) every time you go over it?

Not even a little bit! At least, if it's at all crowded. In busy schooling rings at shows people are yelling all over the place and you'll get in trouble if you don't call! (Anabel- I think rated show schooling rings can be crazier! at times A TON of people schooling, and while more aware they can be much more aggressive) We have a busy lesson/boarding barn and it's not uncommon for there to be an extra rider or two in one of the three rings while a jumping lesson is going on. I don't mind as long as the rider is watching out for the person jumping. People lessoning ALWAYS get the right of way at our barn.
 

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Another thing to consider is your horse and it's training.

If there is a ring full of small kids and calm horses and your horse is Mr. Bucking Bronc with an Attitutde or clearly needs to release his energy by cantering 100 mph before he settles, please come back another time. :?

Also, I hate it when someone comes in with a horse that can't turn, or when cantering has to make a gigantic circle [leaking her shoulder as far as she possibly can get away with to the outside]

I do not like it when your horse [cantering sideways] collides with mine [who is cantering blananced, upright, and streight!] :-x
 

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OK .... when I first saw the title of the thread .... I was gonna be a smarta** and say ... "I didn't think horses were allowed indoors"! : ? )

BUT it's good to see that list of rules/common courtesy. I'm not riding in an indoor ring .... yet, but will certainly use that list when I do. Thanks.
 
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