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View Full Version : My (long) vent - Trail riders vs. Larpers



tle
Nov. 9, 2009, 09:41 AM
There have often been threads on how we as horse riders are having to share more and more trails with various other activites due to land use shrinkage. I don't think anyone here would disagree that while we need to educate others on how to act around horses (for our and their safety), there is also a need for at least a reasonable amount of common courtesy. Please correct me if I'm wrong (although I'm sure I didn't have to SAY that ). I guess some folks, though, never got the message and it makes me somewhere between angry and sad.

I LARP. Which is to say, as geeky as it sounds, I get together with a bunch of friends and "play" about once/month at the local state park -- complete with combat featuring foam swords, foam club and padded arrows, along with "spell packets" (aka cloth around a bunch of birdseed). Yes, if you must, it's similar to the movie Role Models (although not to be snobby, our game is a lot more story driven than combat driven... although combat does happen). More of a theater meets sporting event kind of thing. Anyway, our base is at the group camp area that we rent through the park but we venture out onto the hiking trails as well as blazing through the woods as needed. In addition, there are a set of trails that are riding trails that we use. We're there in all kinds of weather so it's actually rare to encounter riding groups. This weekend was gorgeous weather wise!! probably the last beautiful weekend we'll have. We were doing a series of combats along the riding trails and encountered 4 groups -- from 2 to 5 riders each. I should note that these trails are designated as riding OR hiking trails based on the plaques at the trailhead featuring horses and people.

Per our protocol, when horses are approaching, we stop our game, move to a single side of the trail, drop weapons and shields and anything else menacing (we have one guy who is already 7'2" tall and wears a helmet with horns on it like a viking... if he's in teh group he knows to remove his helmet). One person is designated as the spokesman and talks to the riders.

3 of the 4 groups we encountered this weekend were great. Couple spooky horses which the riders admitted were a bit green. Few of the horses really wanted to walk past us but they did.... albeit several walked through the weeds on the far side of the trail. The last group was awesome, stood and talked to us about what we were doing, etc. But there was a group of 3 that were downright hard to deal with. Even with the "owner" of the LARP there, I took the lead in talking to folks as I was the only one in the group of about 18 that had horse experience. I tried talking to them. They got nasty... telling us we were spooking the horses and we shouldn't be on the trails... that they didn't ride on hiking trails. I asked, as calmly as I could, if there was something we could do right then to help the situation. All I got was "get off the riding trails" (as in don't use them at all because everyone was a good 6-10 feet from the trail). I repeated the question a couple times, emphasizing what we could do RIGHT THEN and got the same answer. I didn't trust myself to explain that these were also hiking trails and we were legally able to be there (unlike them riding on exclusively hiking trails which is what they were referring to in their argument). Thom (former owner of the larp) did speak up once to say that it was a public park, but they wouldn't let it go. We waited til they disappear aroudn the corner before moving but in that wait heard them encounter someone walking on the hardball about 50 feet away saying that we were a nuissance, etc.

As a rider and former owner of a nervous and very sensitive OTTB -- one that wouldn't flinch at jumping a 3' solid table but would spook at a 6" diameter log off to the side of the trail, I understand what they are going through when their horse shy. I get it. As someone who larps where we encounter horses, I think we do a DAMN good job of supporting the riders in those concerns and making it safe for everyone to use the trails (it's not like we're shooting boffer arrows at their butts! ) But as the person who tried to help the situation and took point, I was EXTREMELY disappointed in my fellow riders and the image they portrayed to my non-riding LARP friends. I'm just glad the other groups presented a vastly more positive experience.

Thanks for letting me vent.

jn4jenny
Nov. 9, 2009, 09:55 AM
I don't LARP, but I have friends who do and I have to say they're one of the kindest and most supportive communities out there. Geeky yes, weird-to-me yes, but generally very kind and very "to each their own."

It sounds like you're doing all you can to make the trail a welcoming place for everyone. Sadly, some people just suck--and it sounds like group 4 out of 4 just sucks. Kudos to you and your group for how you handled it.

Seriously dudes, if horses can learn how to CHARGE INTO BATTLE they can learn to cope with a group of people standing still in funny-looking clothes by the side of the road.

danceronice
Nov. 9, 2009, 10:17 AM
Former LARPer here, too (VTM...maybe we would have to stand on the side of the trail with our arms crossed and say "I'm Obsfuscating, you can't see me anyway") and yeah, that group sucked.

If your horses are spooking, ride on past the spook, don't hang around arguing.

What would they think of the SCA or military reenactors where the reenactors actually *gasp* USE HORSES IN THEIR REENACTMENTS? SCA has mounted jousting events. I've bivouaced at a Civil War battle near the artillery horses and there are mounted cavalry units. Those horses have the crazy people in costumes with swords ;) ON THEIR BACKS.

katarine
Nov. 9, 2009, 10:50 AM
meh, there are hardheads everywhere. Some folks can't be pleased, so while I know it put a damper on the day, just try to remember that they were annoyed and uncomfortable and acted out as a result. It wasn't personal on their part, so try your best not to take it so hard. I think you did a great job staying on point with what can we do RIGHT NOW to make it better? They couldn't hear you, but I bet they did upon reflection later. You did a great job :)

Bells
Nov. 9, 2009, 11:01 AM
Kind of ran into the opposite a few weeks ago. We were riding our horses on a horse designated trail. On the way up the mountain, we were nice to everyone and their great dogs were nice right back to us. Got to the top and got slammed by an old grump that we shouldn’t be there and that the trails were for people and not horses. We were pretty kind and told him he was misinformed, to check the signs when he got down, and that the park people knew we were there. The guy would.not.let it go. I wish I had been at the bottom when he read that they were open to horses. There are crazies everywhere.

ChocoMare
Nov. 9, 2009, 11:03 AM
Eh, chalk it up to "people" being people and let it go. They're probably just used to going round-n-round in a ring and were shocked that there might actually be PEOPLE doing THINGS out there!!! :winkgrin:

I ride on very, very busy and populated trails. Most folks are great, friendly and ogle the horses. There always has to be one poop in the crowd tho. I just smile disgustingly sweetly at them and say Well Bless Your Heart! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Guilherme
Nov. 9, 2009, 05:08 PM
When a person takes their horse out in public they are responsible for their horse's behavior. The Rest of the World does not have to stop what it's doing so a poorly broke, poorly trained, and/or poorly ridden horse doesn't have a bad day.

That said, ceasing a vigorous activity that might cause prolems is being polite and a good neighbor. But it's a nice thing by the actors, not a right of the equestrians.

Were it I I'd send Falcon 113 to my friends, then Falcons 114 & 119* to riders of unruly horses. :)

G.

*Google Falcon Codes and you'll translate the above. :cool:

BEARCAT
Nov. 9, 2009, 09:40 PM
Best thing to do is not carry on with individuals like that.
It sounds like you are being very courteous and that is the best thing to do. Riders need to stop blaming others and spend the time and energy on training their horses to be better trail mounts. You never know when you are going to encounter a bear, moose, model airplanes, backpackers with giant packs and fishing rods, etc...
And no, I had never heard of "larpers" but that reminds me of a time I was out riding and heard dirt bikes coming. I was on a flighty arabX and dismounted for safety and pulled off to the side of the trail. When the bikers came flying around the corner and saw me, they slammed on the brakes and almost ended up going over the handlebars!! They were very apologetic as I am sure they are used to being showered with profanity, but I was very nice and civil to them. Live and let live!

enjoytheride
Nov. 9, 2009, 10:20 PM
Sadly I knew what LARP meant right away.

wendy
Nov. 9, 2009, 10:32 PM
well, you weren't riding or hiking so whether your group really does have a "right" to be there is debate-able. Who cares? I find it weird you feel the need to talk to the riders. When I'm out riding or hiking and see people acting/dressed oddly (happens all the time) I certainly don't want to hang around and talk to them. Also have noticed that horses tend to get spooked more by people who freeze and stand motionless at the side of the trail when they see horses than by people who act casually and continue about their business. The worst are hikers who sort of hide behind trees trying not to spook horses. Our horses are used to kids having snowball fights and playing in their fieldsand wearing halloween costumes and wouldn't bat an eye at a group playing at combat. But a group lined up motionless at the side of the trail would elicit some nervous eye-rolling.

Guilherme
Nov. 9, 2009, 10:52 PM
Maybe mounted LARPING is the answer. :lol:

G.

joe21
Nov. 10, 2009, 01:32 AM
I commend you for your patience and courtesy. You went WELL beyond the call.

I have little patience for grounded-idiots when I am riding on the trail. I also have little patience for mounted-idiots when I am on the ground. Truth be told, I have no patience for idiots at all.:) Sounds like you ran into a bunch of idiots.

I was riding on the trail this weekend with some friends. We came across a lady riding and her dog was with her. The dog was walking along side the horse with the leash dragging along. She asked if she could pass us by and ran down the trail with her dog. My friends and I were talking about it and eventually caught up to her.

She asked us why so many riders around here are so uptight. She said others she met on trail used to yell at her that her dog must be leashed. So she put a leash on. Now they yell at her that she is supposed to be holding the leash! :) The dog was well behaved and she couldn't see the problem.

There are too many people out there that have no business being on trail. They are uptight and scared and want to blame YOU for their insecurities.

That does NOT eliminate the need for some common courtesy, which is sadly lacking in most areas of our society. But that also works both ways. You don't LARP in the middle of a trail when riders are passing - but you also don't get rude at the LARPers when they stop and move to let you pass. It isn't your fault that some riders have issues being on trail. If it were me, I would encourage you to continue what you were doing. Not only would I find it interesting, it would give me the opportunity to expose my horse to something new.

Ignore these people. Nothing you say or do will ever appease them. Talking will only make things worse. Heck, just tell them to hurry up and move along before the 9ft troll gets back.

lawndart
Nov. 10, 2009, 07:24 AM
Well I will freely admit I opened this thread because I had no idea what Larping was.

My horse can be amazingly brave about some things and a total nit about others. Since I don't know what those things are until we encounter them, its tough to train for it.

That said, it would not be upset to meet Larpers on the trail, any more than I was when I met the guy riding the Mt. bike wearing a elf type suit. I have no idea why he was wearing an elf type suit, but my horse clearly thought he was one crazy person, and made a wide circle around him. :lol: We all know horses think of self-preservation is much more important then being open minded and friendly.

People on the other hand SHOULD know enough to be open minded and friendly. I agree with Joe that they were probably scared and uptight, and took it out on you. Unfortunately, jerks are everywhere, not just on horseback. :(

Hopefully your fellow LARPers will know that they are not a good representation of Equestrians everywhere.

tle
Nov. 10, 2009, 08:58 AM
well, you weren't riding or hiking so whether your group really does have a "right" to be there is debate-able.

Nope, not debate-able at all. Yes that is what the trail signs say -- there are otehrs that have skiers markings for the ski trails, bike markings for bike trails as well as anti-signs for things that shouldn't be on specific trails. However, as a group, we rent the group camp areas. This is our 5th season of playing at this park. Park administrations LOVES us and knows full well what we do and where we do it.


I find it weird you feel the need to talk to the riders.

Weird? Why is it weird to talk to people who pass you by? A simple good morning... nice day for a ride, etc. Personally, I would want someone to say those things... if nothing else than to perhaps help spooky horse realize that that 7'2" person dressed in furs with makeup on really IS a person. Beyond that, saying hello is common courtesy. When the horses start given us the wide eye, I would simply say hello or good morning. If they continued having trouble, I would (as I did in the instance of the people who didn't want us there at all) offer any assistance possible to help them. It's a safety thing, both for us and for them. It's not that I care if they stop their ride and have a nice chat. I did enjoy talking to the riders that did stop and ask us about what we were doing. And if that's the kind of talking you are referring to, again... it's not that big of a deal nor a "need". I LIKE talking to other riders. Certainly not a crime.... or even "weird".


Also have noticed that horses tend to get spooked more by people who freeze and stand motionless at the side of the trail when they see horses than by people who act casually and continue about their business.

I understand that, but our "business" is running around hitting each other with foam weapon and shooting foam padded arrows, all while yelling math at each other. ;) Do you really want to try and ride past that?? Our policy is that combat stops... whether we're letting a horse pass or a hiker. We are polite and courteous. In the case of horses, 1 person does the talking for the group so we don't get things confused if the rider asks for something specific. Once the horses and/or hikers are out of the area... we reform to where we were and continue the game. Anyone caught being rude in ANY way to anyone of the public can and will be banned from future games. The owner of the game is in sales so he is VERY mindful of how our group is portrayed to the general public.

Enjoytheride -- if you're in Indiana... you should make it over for a game or 2. ;)

www.triumphlarp.com

Guilherme -- believe me I've tried to get them to incorporate horses in the game! Even when hubby was one of the owners, the closest we got was having my old barn owner show up for a thread with one of her minis and a cart to be a merchant. There are simply too many variables with mounted folks in this game that can spin horribly out of control far too quickly. Every single game (we've now had 50!!) has started with the pre-game briefing-- of which after the welcome the first thing out of the owner's mouth is "Safety is more important than gameplay!"

Thanks for everyone's comments (not that I'm discouraging more... by all means, post away!). The OP was a vent. We encountered 3 other groups that were wonderful and were the talk of our group for quite a while afterwards, so I think that went a long way to dispursing any negativity encountered by the 1 group of dissenters. In the 3 years I've been associated with this group, I think I've only heard of horse encounters maybe 3 other times total... so it doesn't happen very often. It's just nice when it does that people of different interests really can get along. :)

tle
Nov. 10, 2009, 09:58 AM
Well, you learn something new everyday on COTH! Here I thought everything involving imaginary adult play was done on a keyboard and monitor. :lol:

Well, a lot of the group does that too, but it's so much more fun to have actual physical beings that you can see to hit... like these:

http://www.triumphlarp.com/components/com_joomgallery/img_pictures/2006_-_two_day_event_41/2006_-_day_2_43/20061104_event_20090307_1789156269.jpg

Dispatcher
Nov. 10, 2009, 10:07 AM
Sadly I knew what LARP meant right away.

Sadly, I don't. Can you clue me in?

PRS
Nov. 10, 2009, 10:18 AM
When a person takes their horse out in public they are responsible for their horse's behavior. The Rest of the World does not have to stop what it's doing so a poorly broke, poorly trained, and/or poorly ridden horse doesn't have a bad day.

I agree with this statement. The rude person you ran into would be the same person who would ban dogs and children from running near an arena because she couldn't handle her horse when it spooked. I think that the more things my horse is exposed to the more confident and brave he will be. When someone wants to take dog on a trail ride I welcome it because my horse can and should be a able to handle a dog popping out of the trees. We have run into some Larpers (didn't know what to call them until now) in one of the State Parks we were riding in. My horse just looked at them funny (frankly so did I) but we got around them. Figured if I could be there so could they. As long as you are minding your own business and behaving respectfully around the horses you've done everything you can do. I say forget the rude one. There is always going to be one or two out there who think that anything that upsets their poor sensitive horsie should be banned from all public lands and I say public lands are just that "public". :p

analise
Nov. 10, 2009, 10:39 AM
I find it weird you feel the need to talk to the riders. .

I haven't read past this comment yet but I did want to say: when our group rides out on the trails and we pass people, we make an effort to engage them in a simple "hi, how are you? nice day!" kind of conversation as we go by. The horses typically seem to relax if the scary person on top of the platform to the rope swing into the river stops and says hello and proves they're human than if they just stand there and don't say anything. ;)

jazzrider
Nov. 10, 2009, 11:15 AM
Three out of four ain't bad. You know horse people, we're an odd lot. One group of oppinionated, rude riders out of four is, I think, low on the average. :winkgrin: You did what you could. You had a right to be there and your group behaved courteously. Some folks just take themselves too seriously. Don't worry about it. :yes:

I have never heard of or seen Larpers. If we ran into a group in the woods with our horses we'd be tickled. And it would be a great desensitization exercise for our horses. Excuse me, would you mind coming here with that foam sword? I'd like to use it on my horse. :lol::lol:

tle
Nov. 10, 2009, 12:07 PM
I have never heard of or seen Larpers. If we ran into a group in the woods with our horses we'd be tickled. And it would be a great desensitization exercise for our horses. Excuse me, would you mind coming here with that foam sword? I'd like to use it on my horse. :lol::lol:

I would be THRILLED if someone wanted us to come closer and help like that. Ok... so maybe I just needed a horse fix or something. :) Be happy to help any time youre in the area. :)

Dispatcher -- Larp stands for Live Action Role Playing. I hate to use the comparison because there's more to it than what was shown, but have you ever seen Role Models (the movie)? It's like that more or less. Different groups do different things. Some are strictly combat related... that's pretty much all you do. Others, like ours, are more story driven... there's a whole world that is "created" with monsters and magic and little plot stories the characters can react to... and combat too! Combat varies from group to group as well. I've only been involved with this one so I can only tell you what we do. Players use foam weapons -- swords, daggers, axes, etc. as well as light bows with padded arrows. Everything comes down to math -- that's how you keep track of your health (life) and damage in combat. There are certain skills you can buy at various times -- things like dodges, healings, etc. But I won't go into that... suffice it to say, it's grown up folks literally playing someone else in a fantasy world that is literally created for them (with other people playing the part of the monsters and bad guys).

katarine
Nov. 10, 2009, 12:48 PM
I think it sounds like great silly fun. I'd rather run across chatty friendly larpers than hikers that hide behind trees in an effort to soothe the horse by acting like a weird predator LOL. Or the weedy little guy flopped down on the ground behind his car, in a huge floppy hat, lacing up his tall boots with laces that I swear were each 3 feet long LOL- my little horse was like mom that is a seriously BIG bug with long spidery legs! I finally got close enough to engage him in conversation and my horse was much relieved to learn 'it' was a human.

So, if you run into me, say hi. If you run into Wendy, don't :)

decorum
Nov. 11, 2009, 01:48 AM
Oh yes, when we encounter brushpickers that crouch in the bushes and don't speak English and we can't get them to say a word my normally calm horse thinks they are a cougar. I really ought to learn enough Spanish to say "please speak, my horse is scared".

The kids that were on the platform and swinging out over the river that said Hi were fine even though we crossed said river right next to them. lol

Larping is a new one to me.

Ann Szolas


The horses typically seem to relax if the scary person on top of the platform to the rope swing into the river stops and says hello and proves they're human than if they just stand there and don't say anything. ;)

Glorybee
Nov. 11, 2009, 08:40 AM
There have often been threads on how we as horse riders are having to share more and more trails with various other activites due to land use shrinkage. I don't think anyone here would disagree that while we need to educate others on how to act around horses (for our and their safety), there is also a need for at least a reasonable amount of common courtesy. Please correct me if I'm wrong (although I'm sure I didn't have to SAY that ). I guess some folks, though, never got the message and it makes me somewhere between angry and sad.

I LARP. Which is to say, as geeky as it sounds, I get together with a bunch of friends and "play" about once/month at the local state park -- complete with combat featuring foam swords, foam club and padded arrows, along with "spell packets" (aka cloth around a bunch of birdseed). Yes, if you must, it's similar to the movie Role Models (although not to be snobby, our game is a lot more story driven than combat driven... although combat does happen). More of a theater meets sporting event kind of thing. Anyway, our base is at the group camp area that we rent through the park but we venture out onto the hiking trails as well as blazing through the woods as needed. In addition, there are a set of trails that are riding trails that we use. We're there in all kinds of weather so it's actually rare to encounter riding groups. This weekend was gorgeous weather wise!! probably the last beautiful weekend we'll have. We were doing a series of combats along the riding trails and encountered 4 groups -- from 2 to 5 riders each. I should note that these trails are designated as riding OR hiking trails based on the plaques at the trailhead featuring horses and people.

Per our protocol, when horses are approaching, we stop our game, move to a single side of the trail, drop weapons and shields and anything else menacing (we have one guy who is already 7'2" tall and wears a helmet with horns on it like a viking... if he's in teh group he knows to remove his helmet). One person is designated as the spokesman and talks to the riders.

3 of the 4 groups we encountered this weekend were great. Couple spooky horses which the riders admitted were a bit green. Few of the horses really wanted to walk past us but they did.... albeit several walked through the weeds on the far side of the trail. The last group was awesome, stood and talked to us about what we were doing, etc. But there was a group of 3 that were downright hard to deal with. Even with the "owner" of the LARP there, I took the lead in talking to folks as I was the only one in the group of about 18 that had horse experience. I tried talking to them. They got nasty... telling us we were spooking the horses and we shouldn't be on the trails... that they didn't ride on hiking trails. I asked, as calmly as I could, if there was something we could do right then to help the situation. All I got was "get off the riding trails" (as in don't use them at all because everyone was a good 6-10 feet from the trail). I repeated the question a couple times, emphasizing what we could do RIGHT THEN and got the same answer. I didn't trust myself to explain that these were also hiking trails and we were legally able to be there (unlike them riding on exclusively hiking trails which is what they were referring to in their argument). Thom (former owner of the larp) did speak up once to say that it was a public park, but they wouldn't let it go. We waited til they disappear aroudn the corner before moving but in that wait heard them encounter someone walking on the hardball about 50 feet away saying that we were a nuissance, etc.

As a rider and former owner of a nervous and very sensitive OTTB -- one that wouldn't flinch at jumping a 3' solid table but would spook at a 6" diameter log off to the side of the trail, I understand what they are going through when their horse shy. I get it. As someone who larps where we encounter horses, I think we do a DAMN good job of supporting the riders in those concerns and making it safe for everyone to use the trails (it's not like we're shooting boffer arrows at their butts! ) But as the person who tried to help the situation and took point, I was EXTREMELY disappointed in my fellow riders and the image they portrayed to my non-riding LARP friends. I'm just glad the other groups presented a vastly more positive experience.

Thanks for letting me vent.


Laughing my A-- off! I saw this thread and couldn't believe it. I just learned what a LARP was/is a few weeks ago. BUT I thought it only existed in my high school ( I am a high school English teacher). I didn't know this is a real thing - thought our own little geeks ( no insult intended) made it up!!!!:lol:

JollyBadger
Nov. 11, 2009, 04:27 PM
LOL, what fun!

I'm almost tempted to find someone to go riding with at one of the parks while you're having one of your events, just so I can see it!

twofatponies
Nov. 11, 2009, 05:16 PM
That is a funny story!

I don't see how to a horse a person walking in the woods carry a sword is categorically different from our neighbor chopping wood or the farmer shoveling silage - human moving with long stick in hand.

I have found my horses tend to be more wary if upon approaching a person they freeze and stand very still, as opposed to moving around in a relaxed way, chatting.

We once approached a guy fishing at a bridge. When he saw us coming he stood up, stood still and raised up a huge trout over his head to display to us proudly. Both horses froze. What had been a guy doing something on a bridge became a strange man-fish statue and they didn't know what to think. We chatted with him about fishing from a distance of 25 feet, and finally when he started strolling towards his truck to toss the fish in the horses relaxed and walked by, though they were still suspicious!

sirensong4
Nov. 11, 2009, 05:17 PM
Speaking of "Role Models," i LOOOOOOOVE the part where they first go to the LARP and the older woman rides by on her motorized wheelchair done up as a horse (or was it a unicorn?). either way, LOVE IT!

Falconfree
Nov. 19, 2009, 02:16 PM
What a funny post. :) I don't LARP, but I have friends who do (in other states that actually have decent programs). It would make my day to come across a bunch of people doing that on the trails.


Also have noticed that horses tend to get spooked more by people who freeze and stand motionless at the side of the trail when they see horses than by people who act casually and continue about their business. The worst are hikers who sort of hide behind trees trying not to spook horses. Our horses are used to kids having snowball fights and playing in their fieldsand wearing halloween costumes and wouldn't bat an eye at a group playing at combat. But a group lined up motionless at the side of the trail would elicit some nervous eye-rolling.

Just more proof that you can't please everyone.

whicker
Nov. 19, 2009, 03:15 PM
I have never heard of larping but it sounds like new math a la Tom Lear meets the society of creative anachronisms. Would you please post a link to tell more about it?

I think it sounds hysterically funny. Are there any larps in Northern Virginia? We could do some sort of dressage freestyle/stylized combat with martial music. Oh wait! That is where the Spanish Riding School got started...:winkgrin::lol::lol:

NEEDS A NAP
Nov. 19, 2009, 03:15 PM
I have never read a post in "Trail Riding" before so this is quite the introduction!

To keep this related to the OP's question, yes, the riders were being incredibly rude. I don't care what is posted, if you take your horse out in public, you have to expect the unexpected, even IF the "unexpected" are breaking the rules (which you weren't).

Sadly, as an old lady (who grew up in Indiana by the way), I had no idea what in the world LARPing was. Also totally forgot about the movie Role Models, although I have added it to my Netflix list now.

Something about the prospect of a bunch of people hitting each other with foam weapons while shouting math is just too funny! And it gets you out of the house - what could be better? Carry on!

AlfalfaGirl
Nov. 19, 2009, 03:19 PM
I just smile disgustingly sweetly at them and say Well Bless Your Heart! :lol: I say that all the time "well bless their little heart!

Some people can be such PITA's. When we have encountered people out riding we always say hi how are you...they generally say "nice day for a ride" "your horse is pretty" "can I pet your horse" etc. Geez...what ever happened to good ol' manners and courtesy? The Golden Rule...do unto others as you'd have them do unto you?

Public trails are just that = Public = as in anyone can use them to LARP, ride, walk, talk, bird watch, etc.

Ignore the rude, dorky, ill mannered people

and wish bad s.e.x on them. :lol:

JollyBadger
Nov. 20, 2009, 10:48 AM
:lol: I say that all the time "well bless their little heart!

Some people can be such PITA's. When we have encountered people out riding we always say hi how are you...they generally say "nice day for a ride" "your horse is pretty" "can I pet your horse" etc. Geez...what ever happened to good ol' manners and courtesy? The Golden Rule...do unto others as you'd have them do unto you?

Public trails are just that = Public = as in anyone can use them to LARP, ride, walk, talk, bird watch, etc.

Ignore the rude, dorky, ill mannered people

and wish bad s.e.x on them. :lol:

Exactly. . .LOL

One of the things I love about riding out at the park is when I DO run in to other trail users (no, not literally running into them, with my horse :winkgrin:). Most of the time, they are a little surprised and even excited to see a horse on the trail because we're right on the edge of the city and horses are becoming a rare site.

If they're on-foot, I generally approach the situation with the mentality that they are totally unfamiliar with horses. I will talk to them with a friendly greeting or comment, just so that they will talk back to me. My horse is pretty level-headed, even if a hiker steps off the trail and behind a bush, but I will continue to talk to the hiker and let them know to step out a little ways so that a horse can see them, and to talk so that the horse knows they are "human." And, I always thank them and say something along the lines of "have a nice day" as we pass by.

Seriously, I would be so thrilled to see a group of "geeks" running around the woods wearing costumes and whacking each other with foam swords while yelling math at each other. . .

Often, when I meet other equestrians, we'll stop and chat for several minutes. We'll ask about each other's horses, where they're riding out of, the condition of the trails, or other parks we've visited recently. Heck, that's how I first met my boyfriend, and we've now been together for almost a year! :cool:

tle
Nov. 20, 2009, 11:00 AM
I have never heard of larping but it sounds like new math a la Tom Lear meets the society of creative anachronisms. Would you please post a link to tell more about it?

I think it sounds hysterically funny. Are there any larps in Northern Virginia? We could do some sort of dressage freestyle/stylized combat with martial music. Oh wait! That is where the Spanish Riding School got started...:winkgrin::lol::lol:

I'm not terribly familiar with SCA so I hate to make comparisons that would end up being false. Different groups do larping differently... some are strictly combat oriented, some are story driven. Ours is the latter. Our website (new and improved, although I don't particularly care for it) is www.TriumphLARP.com if you want to take a look.

As for LARPs in your area... i honestly don't know. Might be a NERO group as they're a fairly large LARP "franchise".

Petstorejunkie
Nov. 20, 2009, 11:51 AM
I think you did the very best you could given the situation. I have to be honest there is a big difference between a biker on a trail and a group of larpers. As a trail rider I would have appreciated a notice at the trailhead that there were larpers playing in the woods that day

tle
Nov. 20, 2009, 01:44 PM
I think you did the very best you could given the situation. I have to be honest there is a big difference between a biker on a trail and a group of larpers. As a trail rider I would have appreciated a notice at the trailhead that there were larpers playing in the woods that day

Why? Would that have changed your plans? As mentioned, the odds of running into us is pretty slim as it is. 15+ miles of bridle trails in a park that's almost 2400 acres and there were at most 60 folks with foam weapons. Most people would have read that and not known what it was talking about anyway. Just not sure of the need for such a notice.

ayrabz
Nov. 20, 2009, 02:18 PM
well, ok. I'll be the you know what in the punchbowl here.
First, I too, hadn't ever heard of this and find it a fun sounding silly enjoyment! :D
I can also see where if you indeed KNEW this was an activity in an area you were going to trail ride in, that it could indeed be a good desensitizing situation.
But, I would indeed want the option of riding trails where this 'might' be happening or choosing not to. Sometimes, you're not on a seasoned trail horse. Sometimes you're buddying a nervous friend (or a friend on a nervous horse) on their first time out. There could be lots of reasons, that...if you took the time to trailer to a State Park, paid your fees, and went to trail ride on designated 'hiking, biking, or riding' trails, that you would expect to encounter just those designated activities.
I take the time and hassle to trailer to the park, and pay the fees because I want the controlled environment, with designated areas for trail use, and no hunters.
I think if you've rented a pavillion area, your group is certainly entitled to that specific area for your designated activities. But I could indeed see an issue of riding a trail, and coming around a corner not expecting a group 'larping' ahead across, down, or among the brush...and being less than pleased if it was a situation with a particular horse or person you had invested that time and money into the trip for the assurance of the DESIGNATED use of the trails---
Really, not against it at all (!!) just agree it needs to comply with the trail use, and be understood by those that use the trail that they could expect this allowed activity along the way.

Heck, I don't want to ride in a civil war reenactment either(!) but some people do enjoy it!:) And I wouldn't expect it along a state park trail unless posted.

Painted Horse
Nov. 21, 2009, 12:15 AM
I have no idea what a Larp is. I never saw the movie you reference. I guess I live a sheltered life.

But I do ride a trail close to home that is frequented by people playing paint ball. By hunters hunting pheasant and quail. There is a rifle range we ride right beside with hi power rifles going off. The trail is frequented by hikers, bikers, cross country skiers. A lot of them with dogs. I go there on purpose to get my horses exposed to as much stuff as possible. Almost everybody is great about the horses. Bikers always pull off and stop. I frequently see them coming and try to dance around a sagebrush or some other schooling so they can keep the momentum going. I call ahead and tell them to keep coming, I'll move the horse through the brush. dog owners often have their dogs loose, When they see us, the almost always scramble to collect their dogs. Again I call out and inform them that MY horse is ok with dogs. I think most folks are more scared about their dog getting stepped on, than about spooking the horses.

Point being is that most folks enjoy life. But you will always find a few crabby ones. Don't loose any sleep over them. Just remember the 3 groups of riders that acted appropriately.

Ajierene
Nov. 21, 2009, 03:00 AM
I have no idea what a Larp is. I never saw the movie you reference. I guess I live a sheltered life.


Live action Role Playing derived from the paper and dice games like Dungeons and Dragons and Vampire the Masquerade. One day people were sitting around and thought..hmm, instead of having another persona only on paper and in our heads, why don't we dress up and actually BE the character for a bit?

Basically, imagine the movie Lord of the Rings....take out special effects and replace it with imagination.

So, you are going to see a bunch of people running around in medievel esque clothes, dressed to look like Ogiers, Dwarves, Trolls, Princesses and what-not acting out improved scenes.

I think if I happened upon this, it would be interesting - I do like the talking to people as humans just standing around where they shouldn't be set my mare off terribly.

I am wondering, though...how would manure factor into the LARP, if one of the horses left a bit of himself behind?

juanbadcat
Nov. 21, 2009, 10:41 AM
Learn something new from COTH! I read the thread b/c I had no idea what LARP was...now I know. Can't say I've heard of that in VA but who knows.
I think my horse would look at you all kind of crazy but would be very interested to see your 7'2" viking! LOL!!! Now that would be a sight! Have fun.

MunchkinsMom
Dec. 14, 2009, 01:14 PM
Learn something new from COTH! I read the thread b/c I had no idea what LARP was...now I know.

Ditto! Sounds like fun, and much better than playing the game while sitting on your ever-widening rear end in front of the computer.

caffeinated
Dec. 14, 2009, 01:28 PM
heh... I think I would love to run into this on a trail. Dunno what my horse would do, but things like this are opportunities to make him smarter and braver, IMO :)

Actually, he'd probably try to eat any foam swords or viking helmets. hehe.

jengersnap
Dec. 14, 2009, 02:36 PM
I wasn't quite sure what LARP'ing was when I read the thread title, but I thought it was one of those live role playing things. Pretty cool. I did google image the term though, and when I got this back:

http://www.untoldentertainment.com/blog/img/2009_09_09/larp.jpg

Well, yeah I think I would appreciate pig-boy's cape held against his body while I approached mounted, but after my horse saw him and his companions clearly I think I'd love to stick around, chat about the game and see how much "action" my horse could take before showing signs of coming unglued. Despooking opportunities that involve large considerate groups of foam sword bearing mathematicians in capes and finery simply must be capitalized upon when the chance presents itself.

The one provincial park I ride in frequently is ajoining a winery's grape fields. We ride the combined use horse/hike/bike path right along the vineyard with the air cannons popping frequently. No signs on the trail head warn your ride will take you through a "battle zone". I swear, I jump more the my horse at those things. Nor can I tell the guys in the motorized parachutes to turn off their engines when they buzz back and forth over us on the country roads. Or ask the neighbor who takes off from his backyard airstrip to please file a flight plan with me first. It's riding in the new century, and it means we're going to have to get use to things we can't prepare our horses for. I'm glad this group of LARP'ers are kind and considerate to those not "in the game". I would hope we as horsepeople would be polite enough to at least say thanks and continue on our way.

Zu Zu
Dec. 14, 2009, 02:46 PM
WOW ! Larp ? - who knew ? not I ! Thanks for creating this thread ~ I learned something new today ~ can always count on coth posters for that ! Sounds like fun !!!

LngRdr
Dec. 15, 2009, 07:38 AM
This post is quite entertaining, as well as educational!!! I had NO IDEA what LARPING was until now! Thanks for the info!!

I agree with the general consensus here, you are NEVER going to be able to please everyone. Sounds to me like you all are very respectful of other trail users and that you just came across some grumps! :no:

For the most part, the people my fellow trail riders and I encounter are friendly and respectful as well. We try to return the favor by not blistering past hikers and bikers and we typically walk in a single file when the trails are busy. However, I do remember an occasion a couple years ago when an elderly couple walked by us and called us some nasty names, using language that would make a pirate blush!!! I asked them to repeat what they said because I just COULD NOT believe what came out of their mouths!! :mad:

The husband, probably in his 70's, promptly responded by threatening me and coming at me while I sat on my horse. A friend ended up coming between my horse and the angry. He told me that he was going to kick my a$%!!!! A friend of mine ended up coming between myself and the advancing man and told me to just ride on. I was angry about this for days!!! It was uncalled for and TOTALLY ridiculous!! I look back on the incident now and chuckle about it, as do my trail buddies that were there that day. Jeesh.....some people!!!

tle
Dec. 15, 2009, 08:42 AM
Ditto! Sounds like fun, and much better than playing the game while sitting on your ever-widening rear end in front of the computer.

Thus the quote on the Triumph website "put down the dice and get into the game!" :)

candyappy
Dec. 16, 2009, 03:30 PM
I think the problem is with the riders. You did what was the courteous thing and stopped your activity and waited for them to go past. When we use multi use trails it is expected that you will encounter anything. We are to blame when we fail to teach/ expose our horses to scary situations at home in preparation for what they can encounter at any public riding spot. I get riled when people drive by me at 90 mph on my gravel road, but the horse I am riding is unfazed by cars ( or I wouldn't be on him ). These people have no idea of what scares a horse and it never enters their minds that it will. So we need to be prepared when riding off our own property and that means educating our horses to handle it.

AJHorsey
Dec. 17, 2009, 04:37 PM
So I started reading this w/o paying attn to the poster, thinking "I know someone who does this! I wonder if she'd have any input!" Then I saw "Thom", and then thought to look at the poster- great to see ya here again, girl!;)
Which trails are you using? I might take Strider and Rio there while this is going on... it'd be loads of fun! Can I dress the part???? PLEASE? (Not Gus, though... he's still battling the sight of trees and wind... scarry!LOL)

You know how people can be... esp. us horsie people. Isn't it you who told me 10 people in the room, 12 "only right" ways to do a task? I know when we're out training, you never know who or what you'll find on the trail. I know of many other scarry things people have been doing on the trail than standing to the side out of my horses way that are considered "permissable".

Seriously- we are a small comumity in the grand scheme of things, and I know of several parks that have taken away the horse priveliges on the land due to the problem being "those horse people", but don't take away the ATV/ Cycling/ etc, which are higher volume traffic, since they really don't cause anybody else problems. We as horse people tend to create more waves than anybody else out there- and fortunately, those people are few; unfortunately, those few are loud and rerlentless. If it's not our land, then we earn the right to ride on it. If something is illegal, then report it. Don't throw an attitude about it, even if it does irritate you. If we run across the occassional hiker... or group of LARPers... be an example of how we would like to be percieved in the non- horse community. TLE's group was being responsible- they stopped their activity and allowed the horses through. Cudos to the other 3 groups. How many times do we stop our horses for another activity passing through?

tle
Dec. 18, 2009, 11:38 AM
Hey you! We play at Sycamore, but no more games til march. too bloody cold out (even when you're a barbarian covered in leather and fur!). If you want to be out there when we're there, I'm sure the owner of the group can turn ya'll into a "courier" of some kind. NO combat. Even with Strider's great disposition, we don't want to take that kind of chance with swords swinging, spell packets flying and people yelling math at each other. ;)

BEARCAT
Dec. 18, 2009, 12:17 PM
Even though I'd even heard about LARPers before this thread, I thought you would enjoy this photo of my horse and I playing dress up:

http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL1111/4304110/9975251/285783218.jpg

(And yes, that's a 4 year old wild Mustang under there ;) )

AJHorsey
Dec. 18, 2009, 12:26 PM
If only you could have made flames come out his nose... awesome costume! Great horse, too!

Polydor
Dec. 18, 2009, 01:50 PM
Haven't read the entire thread but had to finally read some of it to figure out what the heck Larpers were! lol

I have always loved the medival/ renaissance stuff so this could be right up my alley minus the shouting math.

Love that costume Bearcat!

On a side note, I would love to run into polite people while trail riding. When i was trail ride guide in the mountains, i was forever running into people ( the great, good and ugly), baby strollers ( ever have one come charging at you straight on so that the mom can show her toddler what a horse is when you are next to a small cliff??!!), umbrellas or my favorite being people randomly leaping out of the bushes across the path literally 2 cm from my horses nose!

Also I don't mind talking to interested hikers while on my way by or stopping briefly. Would be interested in seeing how many pictures i am in around the world.

P.

saddleup
Dec. 19, 2009, 02:56 PM
Paint ballers are a challenge, too. But once you actually get close enough to talk to them they always put down their guns and let the riders pass...but it's hard because you can hear them way before you can see them.

I like running into new things for my horse to process, but then, I have a pretty sensible horse. I can understand how some people get freaked out, but it's their problem to solve, not the general public's. I think sometimes people really don't know how they need to act when around horses, but there's usually a nice way to let them know. You know, "please come out from behind the bushes so my horse knows you're a person"!

Of course, there are those ornery people who just want to be irritated, and you can't really deal with them in any way that will satisfy their need to be nasty.

wanabdriver
Dec. 19, 2009, 04:21 PM
Hi,

I didn't read all the posts but I would love to meet some people like yourselves on the trial. I would use you to train my horse!! What's the big deal. Most trail horses can take things in stride and soon learn to settle quite quickly to new things.

We have a rails to trials by us that is used quite a bit on the few nice days we have in MI. Well a few of us decided to trailer there one day that I knew would be packed. There were people on foot with dogs, kids running all over, strollers, bikes, those bikes you sit in and peddle, joggers you name it. Well I had been there before and only encountered about 3 bike riders, just enough not to get my horse used to them. Mind you this is only about a 4ft wide trail. Well ,this day was much different. By the third bike in a row he was like, whatever, and we had a great ride. Everyone was polite and I would never ,ever try to blame someone else for MY horse not being able to handle a situation.

I also once was riding through a corn field approaching the road and there was a lady riding a three wheel bike with a bag of cans trailing behind. Well my horse saw her from a mile away and had his head straight up in the air the whole time. Once we made it to her he was side passing all over. I kindly asked if she would mind if I could follow her for a while. I did (for about 20ft) and my horse decided it was not big deal. I did a few circles around her and we went off the other way. I thanked her and left.

So my point, use these times to train your horse and stop complaining!! If you can't handle your horse in spooky situations you should not be on a public trail.

Heather

siseley
Dec. 20, 2009, 04:52 PM
We have some of the other kind of folks here who I have a real " give them a lump of coal for christmas" attitude.

We have so many inconsiderate dirt bikes, and quad riders it is pathetic. I live 20 miles out from town, on my 5 acres of desert, and all the land is private property and most is posted.!!

As so many have said, when riding on trails to or from the parks, I encounter literally dozens of motor vehicles. My lil Arab mare goes eennnh, so what! But when we get to the park where it is also posted, no vehicles, and mtn bikes come screaming down hill and screeching to a halt. ( maybe!!) And I've tried to explain to them that what they are doing is both dangerous, and illegal, I usually get the ( single digit salute). We are working on getting my mare used to the sight and sound, by borrowing a bike and riding along side.

The dirt bike/quad riders?
Many wheeled locusts!!!

Rude, confrontational, loud, and often have been drinking.
We have a friend who on a trail ride with some friends, had to lasso a bike to keep the rider from smashing it into a ladies horse, who was freaked out.
Needless to say, the bike got dragged away about 40 ft, and while not perhaps the right reaction, it worked. When the rider was confronted with about six DISMOUNTED equestrians, decided it was best to go back the way he came. ( those riding quirts can really sting I bet)
I know this has become a rant about pests on trails, but I for one would welcome folks who understand to let the horses adjust to, and recognize the players.

Steve

angie j
Jan. 6, 2010, 04:56 PM
[QUOTE=jengersnap;4555943]after my horse saw him and his companions clearly I think I'd love to stick around, chat about the game and see how much "action" my horse could take before showing signs of coming unglued. Despooking opportunities that involve large considerate groups of foam sword bearing mathematicians in capes and finery simply must be capitalized upon when the chance presents itself. /QUOTE]

This statment couldn't be truer! If you can't handle your horse under such circumstances you should stay home, or, turn and go back down the path. It's a big world out there.... adapt or retreat.

My son Larps and I'm going with him this summer to take pics one weekend.... a 'warm' weekend!