Trail Etiquette…Let’s be safe and kind to each other out there
- Leave room between you and the equine in front. Looking between your horse’s ears, you should be able to see the hocks of the horse in front of you. Don’t crowd without permission.
- Enter a stream crossing downstream of drinking equines. Don’t muddy the waters.
- Wait for other equines in the group to finish drinking before walking out. If you must leave others who are drinking or sponging, ask them if it will disturb them before leaving. Walk out then pick up speed down the trail so the drinking equines don’t want to follow.
- If your equine has threatened to kick before, train him not to kick. Tie a red ribbon on your equine’s tail to warn folks of the potential if he’s crowded.
- If you ride a kicker, point his butt away from riders if they politely ask to pass.
- If you have a mare in season, don’t let her get under the noses of every gelding or stallion in the ride.
- If you have a stallion, mark him with yellow so that the rest know what he is without looking for that “optional” equipment.
- Stallion handlers should respect the other riders’ safety, and the other riders should respect the stallion’s space. Neither group has any priority over the other, just mutual respect. If any equine needs “special space”, it isn’t ready to be in “polite company”.
- Don’t sponge your equine directly out of drinking water. Take water out in a bucket and sponge from your bucket.
- If you want to pass on the trail, call out, “Passing on your left / right please.” If the trail is too narrow, announce your intention to pass at the next reasonable spot. Don’t grumble because that person up front is darned slow. Use the time as an opportunity for a “breather” before picking up the pace again.
- After passing please move out so you don’t hold up the rider you passed, not doing so will result in a game of ‘leap-frog’.
- If a rider has dismounted, slow down and ask if everything is OK. Do not blast past.
- At a gate, someone must dismount to open the gate. Wait for that person to remount before leaving. Always leave in the order that you arrived at the gate. Once underway, you may change the order.
- If a rider or equine is hurt, determine what help is needed. Get word to ride management.
- If you require vet or farrier care, be prepared to pay for it. Not everybody brings cash on the trail for a thrown shoe, but you should follow up on it at the first opportunity. Vet and farrier supplies are not free.
- Be courteous.
And most of all…HAVE FUN!