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Lori B
May. 8, 2005, 06:02 PM
Dear experienced trail riders:

I have recently started half-leasing a nice 8 yr. old OTTB who lives on a property that is adjacent to nice long (a few miles?) trails in both directions from the farm. Yesterday, I went on my first trail ride off the property, and promptly committed a bit of a gaffe, by going ahead at a canter for a short distance w/o consulting w/ my trail companions. It was explained to me that this has the potential to upset the other horses, who think they are being left behind and are apt to want to take off to catch the other horse. Nothing bad happened, and I've learned that lesson, won't make that error again. But afterwards I thought I would post a question here: can anyone list some basic do's and don't's for newbie trail riders? I hope to go out w/ the group once a week or so, and want to be a reasonably safe and welcome companion on the trail. I understand that riding out in the great outdoors is a very different thing than schooling in a ring, and want to do things right and improve my knowledge and skills.

Lori B
May. 8, 2005, 06:02 PM
Dear experienced trail riders:

I have recently started half-leasing a nice 8 yr. old OTTB who lives on a property that is adjacent to nice long (a few miles?) trails in both directions from the farm. Yesterday, I went on my first trail ride off the property, and promptly committed a bit of a gaffe, by going ahead at a canter for a short distance w/o consulting w/ my trail companions. It was explained to me that this has the potential to upset the other horses, who think they are being left behind and are apt to want to take off to catch the other horse. Nothing bad happened, and I've learned that lesson, won't make that error again. But afterwards I thought I would post a question here: can anyone list some basic do's and don't's for newbie trail riders? I hope to go out w/ the group once a week or so, and want to be a reasonably safe and welcome companion on the trail. I understand that riding out in the great outdoors is a very different thing than schooling in a ring, and want to do things right and improve my knowledge and skills.

WildBlue
May. 8, 2005, 06:25 PM
I can add another hint or two to your list:

-If someone dismounts (i.e. to open a gate), move out of the way and wait until he or she is mounted before riding on.

-If you cross an obstacle (steep bank, creek, etc), pause where you won't get run over until the horses behind you are fairly close, then ride on. Horses are prone to worry about being left behind, and a dangerous section of trail is the last place you want them fretting. Ditto some place you want the horse to drink--the whole group should stay together so horses will relax and actually drink.

-Be aware of the horses around you, especially when the group is slowing to the walk. Don't let your horse run up the butt of or run past another horse. Both are good ways to get yourself kicked.

-(Here's the one that cleaned my right off my pony as a little sprout, when someone forgot...) If you're riding through the woods and branches are across the trail, don't hang on and snap them back into the rider behind you.

-And, finally, if anyone is having trouble with his or her horse, is a novice, or has a green horse, please be extra considerate. Most of the times I've been bucked off have been when I was riding a green horse and another rider did something very thoughtless.

Lori B
May. 8, 2005, 07:34 PM
Thank you both. I'm taking notes. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

prudence
May. 8, 2005, 08:33 PM
The lead rider has the benefit of seeing problems first. For example, if you are riding in forested terrain, it is nice to say for instance, "head" when there is a low branch, "knee" when there is a tree close to the trail. This can be modified by "right knee," etc. "Poison oak on the right" is a good thing to point out. Saying, "hole" if there is one in the trail is also nice to say. Golden rule stuff.

WildBlue
May. 9, 2005, 05:56 AM
I'll add a couple more general ones:

-Make sure you have permission to ride where ever you are riding. Just because there's a trail that people use doesn't mean it's public access. Landowners are much more cordial to folks who stop and talk to them, rather than assuming.

-Any trail can be a multi-use trail. That means, keep your eyes and ears open for hikers, bikers, dogs, wildlife, etc. Especially when moving faster than a walk. Mountain bikes can be very scary, especially if they come from behind. Campfire ashes, dogs, deer, even people on foot can cause a spook. It's considered impolite to fly around a corner and run over some hikers on the trail. <grins> DO be sure to thank people who stand aside for you to pass--you are an ambassador, and how politely you act will be a big factor in how many non-riders support horse access to trails in the future. Consider getting off and leading your horse (i.e. past a family with kids) or at least turning its butt away if you can't get off the trail to allow others to pass.

-Do carry at least basic equipment: cell phone, halter and lead rope, hoof pick, pressure bandage, etc. Plan for *something* to happen (i.e. person too injured to ride, etc) and know what you're going to do, the nearest point you can bring a trailer, car, meet a vet or ambulence, etc. Preplanning helps a lot when something unexpected happens.

Alagirl
May. 9, 2005, 06:50 AM
Communicate with your group. *let's canter here* or what ever.

Do not pass w/o warning, especialy at a faster pace, that could ring the bell for an ugly race!

Keep a safe disctance from the other horses...stay off of agricutural areas, don't ride through fields or pastures unless you have permission from the owner for that time. Ride slow past lifestock, even cows can get the itch to run and buck!
Be polite to others on the trail, don't blow past them at high speed (it ruins it for everybody else)

The FN in Germany has put out a little book that leads up to the *Reiterpass* a little badge to show you know your way around the great outdoors...

Sparks5
May. 9, 2005, 03:28 PM
Recognize the capabilities and limitations of the other horses and riders. You may want to canter for 1/2 a mile straight but some other horses or riders may only be capable of cantering 20 strides. So be sure you talk with all members of your trailride BEFORE you set out. Make sure everyone understands what everybody else is capable of...don't just spring it on them at the last minute.

Also, if you're the lead horse and are traveling at a fast gait, you need to be able to look over your shoulder and make sure everyone is following. Don't just get in the lead in a canter and turn a deaf ear to those behind you

Everybody else's suggestions were excellent! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

lawndart
May. 9, 2005, 05:34 PM
Please, please do not feed your horse treats while mounted. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/dead.gif I had a few miserable rides with one woman who had to feed her horse a carrot every mile or so for a 'reward'. Of course all the horses could smell it, and wanted one too!

No laughing when your best friend gets hung by her bra on the saddle horn while dismounting http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Give someone time to navigate an obstacle and make it thru before you start your horse into it.

I second the 'no holding back branches' rule. We have a trail called 'slap your boob trail' because of that very thing. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif We also have a 'poke your eye out trail' too.

Keep at least a 1/2 a horse length between you and the horse in front. I don't enjoy feeling your horse breathing on me for 20 miles, neither does my horse, and he might let you know about it!

Personally, I think at the start of a group ride everyone should have a frank discussion of how long, how fast, and how rough. Could save a lot a hurt feelings from forming.

Noctis
May. 9, 2005, 07:51 PM
adding:

-don't run where you don't know the footing...gopher holes can be deceptive.

-pay attention to the horses near you, especially if they are green/nervous/etc so you are ready for anything

-and have water. water is essential. however water FIGHTS are not!

Lori B
May. 9, 2005, 08:09 PM
This is all great stuff.

The place where my half-lease horse lives is a farm on a reservoir west of Baltimore, and you can walk off the property onto park trails through the woods around the reservoir. Gentle hills, both pine and hardwood, and a number of small streams to cross that feed the reservoir -- some over small wooden bridges, and others to walk / sorta jump through and over. Nice dirt footing on the trail, not too rocky, decently maintained. Deer, fox, and lots of birds are common. So, basically, it's heaven, and I am so psyched to get to ride there. :-) Since it's an eventer barn, we are very happy to get the horses accustomed to water and small drops to water and other distractions. Thank you all again for your very helpful tips, I plan on particularly taking water & my cell phone next time, along w/ a halter & a small first aid kit.

Pistol 'n' Me
May. 10, 2005, 11:36 AM
My personal favorite: if you're going to attempt to pass, first make sure the trail is wide enough! and then ask if you can pass. If the trail is reasonably wide, then politely say "Passing on your right/left" when you come upon a horse ahead. I always say this on any trail - no matter if I'm passing a hiker or biker or another rider. This way they're aware of me.

Everyone else has contributed great ideas. My personal pet peeve is people leaving a water stop right when my mare drops her head to drink. Once they move off, she refuses to drink.

mustangrider
May. 10, 2005, 12:41 PM
Some more tips:

If someone decides to go back, make sure they tell the rest of the group so you're not riding around searching for them.

Don't pass the ride leader

Red ribbons on the tail of kickers; green ribbons on green horses.

No riding double.

Don't let your horse bound up hills. Not only is it better conditioning to have your horse walk, it won't leave a green or insecure horse anxious to catch up.

Bring your helmet and wear it!

If you're at a trail head, clean up your manure and bring it home if there's no manure disposal area. Don't don't don't sweep your manure out of your trailer and leave it at the trail head. Nothing gives a worse impression to other users than piles of manure all over. This can't be stressed enough.

mrs.smith
May. 13, 2005, 03:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by lawndart:
No laughing when your best friend gets hung by her bra on the saddle horn while dismounting http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I had to laugh as this happened to me. Unfortunately, I was dismounting a 17h horse. I got hung up on the horn (I ride English), and as I swung down the bra caught pulling my shirt over my head and leaving me hanging.

...in front of my new, cutie trainer. I haven't ridden western since. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/uhoh.gif

JoZ
May. 13, 2005, 04:22 PM
Just stressing a few things others have said or hinted at --

- At the risk of sounding corny: "leave only hoofprints"... no trash, litter, cigarette butts on public land, or ANY land

- Leave everything the way you found it, especially gates. Just because you don't see animals in a field doesn't mean there aren't any.

- Err on the side of over-zealousness when it comes to picking up manure. If you think there's even a remote possibility that someone will be offended or inconvenienced by where your horse did #2, get it out of there (even just pushed off the trail/walk)

- In case it wasn't clear... what everyone has posted about the branches is the OPPOSITE to what you might think is courteous, so read it carefully. Yes, we are actually saying DO NOT try to be nice and hold branches back for someone behind you. It isn't usually possible, and invites more pain and injury. Simply go through the branches watching out for yourself and your horse... there will be much less twanging and snapping for the person behind you to beware of!

philosoraptor
May. 13, 2005, 05:22 PM
You guys have lots of great tips. I'm also new to trail riding so I'm taking notes, too.

Quick question: one one of the public park pamphlets it said that on trails designated for "multi-use", riders must clean up after their horses. Do they really mean the group has to stop, a rider dismounts, and poo is removed every time a horse makes apples? Can you just move the manure off the trail or do they need it put in designated places? (wondering about the practicality of all this) Or maybe I misunderstood and they meant only when horses were going to be standing around (i.e. when tied) and making a large amount of poo ?

horse of course
May. 14, 2005, 05:57 AM
I don't recall if this was mentioned yet...

If a rider has to dismount for any reason (intentional or unintentional), wait for the rider to mount again before continueing on. If I'm in a large group and the ride leader is a 1/2 mile up the trail, the call of "rider down" is sent up the line. Once the rider is back up, the call of "Rider up" is sent up the line to signal it is ok to continue on.

WildBlue
May. 14, 2005, 06:17 AM
MayS,

You'll get the best answer by calling or stopping by the park office and asking them to clarify the "horse poo" procedures.

I *suspect* that at the very least you'd be expected to kick poo off the trail and spread it out well in the vegetation so it goes away fast.

I worked with horses in Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park a couple of summers. The trails were mainly for horses and DRY. Dry enough that hours-old poo was mummified and pretty inert. (I jogged these same trails, so had a good view. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ) BUT. Just about every single group of hikers we met had some comment about the gross poo on the trails.

Out east, where it's wetter, it's a lot harder to keep from grossing out pedestrians with a little 'nature'. Do talk to the people running the trails and try to accomodate whatever they expect--otherwise, there'll probably be enough complaints to get horses removed from the list of trail users. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

lawndart
May. 16, 2005, 06:58 AM
What, no pictures!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fast Alice:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by lawndart:
No laughing when your best friend gets hung by her bra on the saddle horn while dismounting http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I had to laugh as this happened to me. Unfortunately, I was dismounting a 17h horse. I got hung up on the horn (I ride English), and as I swung down the bra caught pulling my shirt over my head and leaving me hanging.

...in front of my new, cutie trainer. I haven't ridden western since. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/uhoh.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Zebra Dun
May. 16, 2005, 07:52 AM
Hi, just had to chime in here, add my 2 cents..
- if carrying a cellphone, please have the ringer turned off! Nothing more "fun" on a trailride than a horse that's never heard one ring before.
- carry a shoestring or similar piece of leather in a pocket - I had a rein come off one side of my bit one time, had to ride the rest of the way with one shoestringless boot!
- Better idea - check your tack BEFORE you leave for any potential problems.

CanterQueen
May. 16, 2005, 08:15 AM
. . . and hang your cellphone on your person, not your saddle. Even the calmest horse can get spooked enough to bolt home when you've come out of your saddle suddenly. Do you know the number of your local ranger or ranger's station? We keep this number in our speed dial on our cell phones just in case a horse does take off without its rider. We've had riderless horses cross lanes of busy traffic trying to get back to the barn. We also carry an extra lead rope and halter in our saddle bags -- came in handy when we found one of those riderless horses.

DON'T ride with a group you know is more advanced or adventurous than you are, thinking they will help you along or stop when you're screaming because they're all at a full gallop. I'm all for riding to the least experienced rider, but sometimes we just like to go FAST. And we're honest and up front about this BEFORE the ride begins -- it's just someone always seems to join the group (I board at a very large barn) who overstates their riding level. Not only is this frustrating, but it can be dangerous too!

Carrying an Easy boot or Boa boot with you in case you lose a shoe. And a hoof pick, cotton gauze and vet wrap. Never know when you'll need this stuff -- better to have it than not.

aboesche
May. 16, 2005, 08:40 AM
Wirecutters are a girl's best friend. I just wish I could follow my own advise more often and remember to bring them along. In the last year, we've had to cut a both a horse and a fawn out of barbed wire... not a pretty sight.

Also, keep your eyes open for glass if you ride along roads at all. Idiots seem to have a tendancy to toss bottles out from their cars, and God forbid your horse step on one... I'm totally paranoid about that!

gdolapp
May. 16, 2005, 07:50 PM
If you go out in a large group and have novice
riders with you ask two of the most experienced
if one would lead and the other follow or drag
ride.

always stay together.

in anycase of an emergance and 911 is called
please tell the dispatcher to have rescue
turn off the sirens.

most important is to be aware and observant
of your surroundings and patient with other
riders.

x-rab
May. 17, 2005, 06:07 AM
Since Mr. Earthto and I ride cross country all the time, he wears a stirrup leather as a belt in case something breaks. In cooler weather, having or wearing a regulation stock tie gives you an emergency rein, stirrup leather, bandage for either horse or rider and a lead rein. Will second and third having the cell phone. It saved Mr. Earthto's life when he had a heart attack while we were out riding. PS he did not fall off even though the pain started while we were galloping a line. He stopped his horse and dismounted normally.

jetjocky
May. 17, 2005, 09:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Noctis:
adding:
-and have water. water is essential. however water FIGHTS are not! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Aw, come on, water fights are sometimes the best part! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

x-rab
May. 17, 2005, 11:19 AM
I agree Jetjockey. Earthto and I were out one Sunday on a couple of our regular rides. We decided to ride the upland pastures which required crossing a rather large stream. I was in the lead since Earthto's horse is sort of prissy about water. My horse stopped in the middle of the stream and put his head down to drink, I thought. What actually happened was he lined up Earthto's horse as he came up on our right side and with his right front leg sent a large wave of water right at Earthto's horses head as Earthto's horse put his head down to drink. Soaked him good.

A. P.
May. 17, 2005, 01:57 PM
If you come upon another rider watering their horse (letting horse drink froms tream etc) do not pass through until they are finished (especially important during a competitive ride), as their horse will probably want to follow yours and will stop drinking.

If you pass another rider or group, either from behind or the opposite direction, slow to a walk.

If someone says 'Hi' or 'Nice day' answer them!
(One of my pet peeves).

If you are with a group and need to stop or dismount for any reason, let them know before hand, and if your horse is likely to freak out at being left behind, ask them to wait for you.

Make sure you have your name and phone number and emergency contact #s on your horse somewhere in case you gets ditched and someone finds your horse (I use a luggage tag on my saddle).

Make sure the 'emergency contact person' has a clue what to do if they get the dread 'I found your horse' call. They should know your cell # (and do carry your cellphone onYOUR person when riding), your vet's numbers, your usual riding routes (if they vary, inform them of where you'll be before your ride), where you board your horse, phone # for possible search party members and people who can trailer your horse. I got thrown once, and my poor husband got the 'we've found your horse' call. I had just moved to a new stable, and my husband did not know where that was, or where I usually ride. So he went to the horse, where I had no way to reach him. Nad he had no clue what to do with the horse... fortunately I found out where the horse was and got there before he did. Now he has a complete list telling him what questions to ask (is the horse OK?) and what to do accordingly (No? Call vet: number is...) and to STAY BY THE PHONE!

Lori B
May. 17, 2005, 02:10 PM
Love the luggage tag on saddle idea. Very clever.

And re: unreachable husband -- these are the times that cellphones are made for. Even people who are morally opposed to cellphones, hate em, won't use 'em, whatever, it's a good idea to have a bargain basement plan and a phone that just sits in the dashboard, charged up and ready to use at moments like that.

Sarah Ralston
May. 18, 2005, 07:26 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Pistol 'n' Me:
My personal favorite: if you're going to attempt to pass, first make sure the trail is wide enough! and then ask if you can pass. If the trail is reasonably wide, then politely say "Passing on your right/left" when you come upon a horse ahead. I always say this on any trail - no matter if I'm passing a hiker or biker or another rider. QUOTE]
Optimal etiquette dictates that you ASK-
"may I pass on your left/right"
I've had numerous incidents where someone shouts "passing..." at me when I feel it is really not safe to do so!

mtngirl
May. 18, 2005, 10:12 PM
Cell phones are great for emergency calls etc. But please, if you MUST use it for ordinary/just to chat type calls, don't stop your horse in the middle of the trail and block it so others can't get by. Move over so the trail is passable.

Love the luggage tag on the saddle etc idea. I often trail ride alone and always leave a planned route on the bulletin board at my barn so someone will come looking if I'm not back by a certain time. I always carry a fanny pack on myself with my cell phone, an ID and emergency contact info - that way if I meet with an accident and am unconscious, if someone finds me they'll have an idea who I am and who to notify.

If you trailer in to a trail head, leave room for others to get by and don't block anybody in. Nothing more annoying than coming back from a long ride only to find you've been blocked in and there's no way out until the other party comes back and moves their truck and trailer. VERY annoying.

FlightCheck
Jun. 2, 2005, 06:09 PM
and I'll add one... geared more to novices in groups...

*agree at the start that EVERYONE stays together. If one person asks that they only walk, we walk - no belittling that person. If someone is not having a good time, we all go back to the start together without grumbling. (Those wishing to go out again can do so then).

I used this when taking people out of the riing for the first time...and to keep others from teasing/picking on the "nervous Nellies" .

YOU may be having a perfectly great time on your horse. Someone ELSE, however, may be having the RideFromHell because their horse is misbehaving, or acting "different" outside the ring, or they themselves are tired/hot/tired of your horse running them over or brushing them into the trees (not that I would know about that) http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Wendy123
Jun. 3, 2005, 11:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fast Alice:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by lawndart:
No laughing when your best friend gets hung by her bra on the saddle horn while dismounting http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I had to laugh as this happened to me. Unfortunately, I was dismounting a 17h horse. I got hung up on the horn (I ride English), and as I swung down the bra caught pulling my shirt over my head and leaving me hanging.

...in front of my new, cutie trainer. I haven't ridden western since. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/uhoh.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I actually laughed outloud on that one. Once in college we all went on a trail ride. They put me on a new "carriage" horse because I was an experienced rider. After jumping several ditches that she imagined, spazing out when leaves flickered, and a moment where she thought she was a deer and I was going to let her jump that barb wire fence; I had enough. As I go off, she spooked and my shirt and bra got hung up on the saddle horn and away they both went. I was forever known in my dorm as the "horse flasher"!

mrs.smith
Jun. 8, 2005, 11:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Wendy123:
[QUOTE]I actually laughed outloud on that one. Once in college we all went on a trail ride. They put me on a new "carriage" horse because I was an experienced rider. After jumping several ditches that she imagined, spazing out when leaves flickered, and a moment where she thought she was a deer and I was going to let her jump that barb wire fence; I had enough. As I go off, she spooked and my shirt and bra got hung up on the saddle horn and away they both went. I was forever known in my dorm as the "horse flasher"! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

OOO WEEE that's funny. Glad the only thing that got hurt was your pride. I don't feel so bad about my "saddle hanging" now. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

Also wanted to add, it helps to make the person on the tallest horse the lead horse. That way, they clear out all the spiders and cobwebs for the rest of us.

Gretchen
Jun. 8, 2005, 05:44 PM
MAKE NOISE! Since you surely won't be the only group out there, sometimes people forget and there is a lull in the conversation. If you come upon another group of riders...don't be sneaky, call to them, let them and the horses know you are there. I was riding with someone and her kids were off on another part of the trail, I was on my horse and all of a sudden he jumped forward (we were walking nicely down the trail), it was her kids galloping up behind him without saying a word and scared him half to death.

Daazire
Jun. 10, 2005, 01:38 PM
I haven't done much trail riding, but what if your horse decides to stop and have a poop? Should you just let it happen or move out of the way? Sorry for the really newbie question

Alagirl
Jun. 10, 2005, 08:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Daazire:
I haven't done much trail riding, but what if your horse decides to stop and have a poop? Should you just let it happen or move out of the way? Sorry for the really newbie question </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

depends on trail rules, re. poop. If you have to properly dispose of it before continuing, the group ought to wait. If not - a horse can poop and walk at th same time!

SpitFireSophie
Jul. 24, 2005, 07:43 PM
I know this is a little late but I have an important one.
When crossing a busy intersection -- dont wait for there to be only enough time for you and your horse to get across and then trot over to the other side ON PAVEMENT leaving the other rider on the opposite side with a rearing freaked out horse and oncoming traffic doing around 60 mph. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

CanterQueen
Jul. 25, 2005, 08:24 AM
SpitFireSophie, good point! When we cross a busy intersection, the first rider stays in place in the middle of the street until ALL the other riders safely pass by, then he/she takes up the rear. It gives the motorist a visual reason to stay put until everyone has gone by. Knock on wood, we haven't had any accidents.

SpitFireSophie
Jul. 25, 2005, 08:42 AM
Wow. That's a great way to cross the road. I like that idea!

Alagirl
Jul. 25, 2005, 09:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by CanterQueen:
SpitFireSophie, good point! When we cross a busy intersection, the first rider stays in place in the middle of the street until ALL the other riders safely pass by, then he/she takes up the rear. It gives the motorist a visual reason to stay put until everyone has gone by. Knock on wood, we haven't had any accidents. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The FN in Germany suggests for the group to close ranks and then do a 90 degree turn (each on there own) to cross a street intread of everybody ambling about on their own, really quick manouver...

mustangrider
Jul. 25, 2005, 09:35 AM
If you come upon bees while riding with a group, yell BEES! and run like hell. This last weekend one horse with our group started freaking out when encountering bees and wouldn't run and suffered 240 bee stings. Luckily he was a big 1400 lb. horse and pulled through okay after being very miserable for several hours.

Bring a halter and lead rope (preferably worn under bridle) so if you need to tie up you won't have to tie with your reins.

Downhill traffic yields to uphill. On the same subject, if your run across other users (not saddle stock) ask them to stand on the downhill side of the trail as you go by. For one thing, most predators come from above and, if your horse does spook, he'll spook uphill preventing him from rolling down the hill.

When encountering hikers with packs, have the person talk to the horse when going by so the horse knows this is a person not some sort of monster. Don't let them reach to pet your horse as this may cause a wreck when the "monster" tries to get them.

If you have your dog with you, make sure they are under voice control at all times and no chasing wildlife.

Sabina
Jul. 26, 2005, 02:10 PM
Carry benedryl in your bags so if you do get stung, you can ward off a bad reaction. The bees usually get agravated by the first horse, and sting the subsequent ones in the line...so don't tailgate...if the person ahead says BEES, try to stop and go back if you can, the first person should also move away fromt the bee area. Vault off and lead your horse if you can...better than getting bucked off.


When going thru brush, hold your hand up in front of your face palm flat and facing sideways, thumb pointing to your nose, so your hand chops thru the brush (or spiderwebs) first and protects your face.

ALWAYS throw your clothes directly in the washer and take a shower after you ride if you ride thru an area where you saw poison oak or poison ivy. This is why some of us use washable bridles and breast collars. Pay particular attention to your arms because you can get the oils on you when you pick up a hoof to clean it afterwards. If you see poison oak, it's polite to warn the person behind you to try to avoid brushing against it.

gdolapp
Aug. 6, 2005, 07:53 PM
My #1 is ALWAYS let someone know that is
not riding with you someone from barn
or home or friend where you are going wich
direction you plan to start from and an
approxiamate give or take an hour or so time
to return. Always try to cary a knife,
bottle of water and book of matches or two
with you

as far as the luggage tag on the saddle
I also had a dog tag engraved with my
horses name on it and phone number and
attatched it to my horses bridle.

always cary some form of ID with you
if you don't have pockets or saddle bags
stick it in your boot.

Simbalism
Nov. 10, 2005, 10:59 PM
I always have gone by the rule: ride to the most inexperienced riders level. Communicate!!!Never just take off, be sure everyone is aware and ready for changes of gait. When I go on short rides, I always wear a fanny pack with a few first aid things, a muli-tool thing, hoof pick, cell phone. When I go camping or on longer rides, I still wear my fanny pack(incase I become separated from my horse), but add my saddle bags. I got one of the traveling toiletry bags from LLBean and created a very detailed first aid kit(horse and human)after doing some online research. I also have a halter and lead in the saddle bag. I am in the process of teaching my mare to be ridden in just her halter with lead in case of a problem.

RTM Anglo's
Nov. 11, 2005, 09:31 AM
Ok, as always, I will introduce another thought. Again, not for the faint at heart. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

There are some good points here, and others are just a little bit too “holding the hand” for me. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I believe in being responsible for yourself period. Don’t go somewhere and expect that someone else is responsible to take care of you…PERIOD. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

If you are not prepared to ride in public, acknowledge that, and learn what you need to do to be able to ride in public. Don’t make your problems other people’s problems.

Sure, we all need to learn, but that is exactly that…LEARN. Don’t continue to complain about the same things…if so, then maybe it is you and not others that are rude.

Don’t expect (if you are at a learning level) others will be at you level all the time. Gosh, in other sports we accept the fact that amateur and profession level sports people are above a beginner, but for some reason, many horse people feel because they are on a large animal known for acting out (especially when ridden by a person who doesn’t know what’s up) these people should cater to their needs. This is so untrue. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

It brings me back to being responsible. There are two components here, you and another. Riders must understand that THEY are not the only ones affected by their lack of riding skill. Should your horse get loose, it could easily hurt itself, and more importantly, another human being who is NOT even a rider, say a person in a car. It is not only you taking a risk, but innocent people are also at risk, by your choice.

http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif Heres the spade...If uncomfortable at the gaits of a horse, over a walk, IMHO you have no business being on a public trail. You are a danger to everyone, and everything in your path. This is a very dangerous thing to do, if you like taking the risk…fine, but there are others to think about.

Please, learn how to sit a trot, or post…then master a canter before you EVER go into public use property. Sorry a pet peeve of mine, I can’t stand people who continuously do this, and complain that others are rude. Come on…put the shoe on the right foot.

Honestly, do yourself a favor and others too, learn how to ride before hitting the open public trail, it is the right thing to do. There is nothing wrong with learning how to control a 1000lb animal, and master your skills before introducing yourself into public multiuse trails…. it is the right thing.

Sure, sure, our equine friends can be a handful, and even the most experienced will yell out time-to-time to their riding companions that they need assistance. I am not speaking of this…I am strictly speaking a rider that is unable to control even the sweetest animal, under the most controlled environment, these persons really shouldn’t ever be on the trail until they learn how to ride.

Again, first it is rude to expect others to correct your misguidance, and second, it is dangerous to the public at large. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

Sabina
Nov. 11, 2005, 04:02 PM
I do believe the most responsible thing one can do in open public riding is realize that horses are herd animals with a strong flight instinct, and that flight instinct can be provoked by the carelessness of others under the guise of feeling a compulsion to pass quickly whether or not it's actually beneficial for anyone or anything or serving any purpose, other than to demostrate one's horse is faster. Once the flight instinct is provoked, it's obvious to all concerned that the person leaving the area the quickest has the least control over the animal and is hightailing it out of there to avoid the consequences. How this behavior got to be labeled as "personal responsibility" must be a misnomer of the new century, as "p. r." also has several other unsavory connotations and I was frankly shocked to hear trail riders using a phrase associated with faux morality.

The best thing a beginner trail rider can do besides learning to master all three gaits and whoa, is to ride with experienced companions who can control themselves as well as their equines, and have nothing to prove other than goodwill and a desire to ride with, and not against, the other rider. That way if they, in turn, come up upon other riders who are wearing the t-shirts emblazoned on the back with "Rank Beginner Unable to Control Beast" they can learn the karmic approach as well as the scorched earth technique.

Since it was so close to Thanksgiving it was time to give this turkey a bump, eh?

RTM Anglo's
Nov. 12, 2005, 07:03 AM
Sabina<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Once the flight instinct is provoked, it's obvious to all concerned that the person leaving the area the quickest has the least control over the animal and is hightailing it out of there to avoid the consequences. How this behavior got to be labeled as "personal responsibility" must be a misnomer of the new century, as "p. r." also has several other unsavory connotations and I was frankly shocked to hear trail riders using a phrase associated with faux morality. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is not obvious to me...obviously you have a point here, but I fail to see it?

I will say, yes, horses are flight animals and the last one might be eaten, but what does that have to do with lack of control? And more importantly being responsible? I think you are not being clear. Please do explain more, as I can’t see that this make sense. What is your undercurrent of
Sabina<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">flight instinct can be provoked by the carelessness of others under the guise of feeling a compulsion to pass quickly whether or not it's actually beneficial for anyone or anything or serving any purpose, other than to demostrate one's horse is faster. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is so untrue…I personal feel anyone that chooses to pass another…just wishes to pass. They don’t wish to ride my pace, they want to go faster, they wish to ride alone, maybe they like the wind in their hair…I really don’t know…but I wouldn’t say they are doing it to plain be uncaring, or their passing serves them no benefit…how can I know this? I am not in their “head”.

Sure, if they are on an endurance ride, or in strict training…maybe they do think their horse is faster…and wish to beat me…so be it. That is the sport! Gosh I don’t understand what the problem is there honestly. If you choose to ride endurance, you must understand you will be passed…at a trot, and if a front-runner, definitely a canter and even a full gallop if coming for the line. This in NO WAY causes these experienced horses to feel…left behind, but the loser!

But, lets just stick to trail. I understand you personally feel it is rude to pass at anything other than a walk, so that is your preference. I personally feel it is rude not to be able to handle another rider passing at a trot. My reason is…if you are unable to control your horse’s responses to a passing horse, you have not trained it to, or you are unable to demand respect from your horse. This is a danger to anyone on the trail.

Controlling your horse is the first part of any equation with a large animal. Therefore lack of control, be it your skill, or another’s rudeness, is still a reality. Being prepared and understanding the risks are required when taking your equine friend out for a ride. I was taught to be prepared, or suffer the consequences. That is life, as you cannot control the world…you can only control yourself.

I am not in any place within this post (or past post)…or my standard of riding…saying it is correct, nice, whatever you label it…advocating purposelypurposely causing another’s horse to get up-set. What I am saying is you need to train your horse to act according to “real-world” experiences. IMHO, passing another horse is just that. I truly can’t see what all the resistance is to training a horse to give-way? Why wouldn’t a person wish to train their equine to do this?

Horses are perfectly capable of suppressing their instinct to “flight”…it is called trusting your rider, it comes from training and consistence. I personally find horses are much happier with a rider that commands obedience, and most become annoyed with another rider who has no control over their mount. They might not be the smartest animal, but they do understand who is the master…otherwise they wouldn’t be a domestic animal now would they?

Horses have been used by humans to provide transportation for centuries, and people didn’t complain about another horse passing them…even at a trot…or canter. What is the obsession with this being rude today? I fail to see it! All I see is one person is unable to control their horse for lack of training, and blaming another rider for the inconvenience of meeting them on the trail. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

arten
Nov. 13, 2005, 01:51 AM
Along similar lines I would also suggest a couple of other problems that come up when passing other horses. On endurance rides I have occassionally encountered people that will come cantering past and then promptly pull up. This is annoying, unless your pulling up because youve just hit water and want to stop for your horse to drink, then keep going. Also people that come cantering up behind and then won't pass, they want to stay behind. This is their perogative, and I certainly can't stop them. However, obviously to catch up they must have been going faster in the first place, and then slow down. Often I'll find they were only going fast to find someone else to ride with. However, I prefer to ride alone and it becomes a difficult situation to extract oneself from. Just something to be aware of- not everyone wants company while out riding, so perhaps ask.
I think it's fine to pass at a trot, although I always check behind me to make sure the person passed hasn't got into trouble, and if all looks well I keep going. I think that passing is a situation that requires good judgment. I wouldn't pass a mother leading a small child at a trot or canter, but I would if it was other endurance riders. Also, even though my horse is one that will play up, I expect to be passed at faster speeds, that's the risk you take when you leave an arena. I never let my horse's bad behaviour ( or I should say my lack of training) effect other riders, don't make someone else wait for you to get control -get off and get your horse out of the way. Finally, I think that just because you adopt the philosophy that passing at speed is acceptable, as I do, it doesn't mean that I would ignore someone in trouble.

RTM Anglo's
Nov. 13, 2005, 06:53 AM
Well said Arten, http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

On endurance rides we will always run into the rider that comes from behind, just to hang on your heels. I call them “bouggers” (sp) (how do you spell that?) Ahahhaha

No matter what you do they just won’t go away. What I like best about them is they will follow you for miles and miles, using you to set the pace, and saving their horse to race you in on the end. It is annoying, but the name of the game. Nothing wrong with what they are doing, but it can be annoying to you and your horse.

I did ride in a circuit were there was a woman that did this religiously, and her horse was a roarer. Talk about annoying. That horse got on my nerves; I tried everything to get away. Nope, she was a bougger. You could try to run a faster pace, race out of the vet checks, ask her to pass, nothing short of getting off and taking a nap would remove her. Then if you waited, as soon as you busted a move on the trail…there she’d be.

Many of these types of riders are aware that their horse is unmotivated on the trail, and short of whipping their horse or wearing spurs…these horses will not move out unless they have a horse to suck on. I guess it is sorta like Nascar and driving on the back of the front car taking the push to save gas.

The front horse always does the work and the follower can relax and save energy. And yes, I agree…many times you wish to be alone. Although I have found it does serve a purpose to ride with another if both of you are willing to trade being in front. On the other side, I have ridden with others that acknowledge their horse is sucking off you…and voices that they have no intentions of racing you in for a better placing in the end.

I have always thought it would be nice to return the favor to some of these people, but lack the “think skin” to do it. It is not like they don’t know they are annoying you. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sigh.gif

A hard spot to be in, as you don’t want them in front of you, and you don’t want them on you’re a$$ either. Since it is not considered a crime to do this…the offenders don’t feel the need to ask if riding on your butt bothers you.

3fatponies
Nov. 13, 2005, 07:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Sabina:
...carelessness of others under the guise of feeling a compulsion to pass quickly whether or not it's actually beneficial for anyone or anything or serving any purpose, other than to demostrate one's horse is faster. Once the flight instinct is provoked, it's obvious to all concerned that the person leaving the area the quickest has the least control over the animal and is hightailing it out of there to avoid the consequences.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

OMG--are we back to this crap again? People, we have hashed this out before, and no one is moving--we all have our opinions, and we are entitled to them, whether or not everyone else agrees. Some of us think it's fine to pass others, some of us do not--why must it become grounds for personal insults and the chance to boost one's own self esteem at the expense of another?? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif "You don't agree with me--so you MUST be a faux-horseman!"

How about this--people are going to ride the way they want, whether or not it is considered "rude." Whether that means going on the trail and being unable to control their horse, or passing someone like that, you will have to deal with at some point while out on the trail. At that point, I don't think a right or wrong judgement on the actions of the person you feel is "causing the problem" is going to make a bit of difference to the situation. Life is full of moments when you have to deal with people behaving in a way that you don't approve of, so let's all just suck it up and deal. You think you should be allowed to pass, then pass. You think it's rude to pass, then don't. Insulting one another isn't going to change the realities of the world, whether they are "right" or "wrong."

arten
Nov. 13, 2005, 08:28 PM
RTM - are we talking 'boogers', as in the mucus from one's nose that persists in sticking no matter how vigorously one attempts to dislodge it? Or 'buggerers' as in, well, people that do things to others behinds - enough said!. For the sake of decency, remaining PC, and maintaining neutrality on all issues of personal preference I'll presume you meant 'boogers'. If so, a more than apt name for these tailgaters -thankyou for expanding my horse related vocabulary. Now if you could just suggest some terms for 'people that gallop off when you are trying to water your horse, after leaving the watering hole a muddy puddle and/or while you are attempting to mount' and 'people that WILL NOT move over to allow you to pass'I will feel much more learned and can approach my next endurance ride with all the confidence of one who knows that other people can do silly things, but I can call them names in return, under my breath of course and smiling all the while.

RTM Anglo's
Nov. 14, 2005, 06:07 AM
Arten,
Yes, yes, my brain fart...after going about my day...I did get back some of my brain cells and the word "booger" was revealed to me.

Yes, the sticky mucus material that won’t get off you no matter what you do. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

I haven't had too much problem with people rushing at water, a few times, and yes it is annoying, especially when you know your horse is thirsty and as much as you pull them around they still wont drink but stare ahead where the others have gone.

Not the biggest of deal except when there really isn't a lot of water on the trail.

Thanks for the laugh

3fp, what be up sister?
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Bettie
Nov. 14, 2005, 08:56 AM
great thread--great tips!

I would like to add mine:
--have ID on you.
--give the horse his head when going through rough terrain
--respect that if your normally obedient horse refuses to go somewhere he may be trying to tell you it isn't safe. Horses instincts are finely tuned.
--Don't pick a battle of wits with your horse in the middle of the woods far from home.
--always let someone know where you are, and what time you will likely return.
--check tack often. Take bridles COMPLETELY apart and check for wear often. A friend of mine did this right before a hunter pace, and a piece of the bridle fellOFF. Thank god she checked it--it could have fallen off as she rode.

and never ever ever chase or herd wildlife...!


so in short, if it seems like a bad idea, it probably is.
Be safe, always wear a helmet--even if you just going for short ride.

and when you are safe and considerate, you will have FUN! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Sabina
Nov. 14, 2005, 10:48 AM
Well, all I can say is that some people (not naming any names, mind you) are totally oblivious to the fact that not every one else is on their "endurance" ride.

3fatponies
Nov. 14, 2005, 08:58 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RTM Anglo's:
3fp, what be up sister?
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh, I'm sorry, were you talking to me? I was busy flagellating myself and then putting my hair shirt back on my bloody body as punishment for my manners on the trail.... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif That'll teach me to pass! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

lawndart
Nov. 15, 2005, 05:32 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The casual rider should expect to be passed by others -- just as you would electing to drive on the highway at 55mph and everyone else is doing 70-- and should accept it with grace and good will. It is all about SHARING, not OWNING. If riders find they can't peacefully share the trails then they should either find some trails on private property where they won't be "bothered" by others, or ride where/when no one else is. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Well, that saying can swing both ways. IF you need to go 10-15 mph for 20 miles, perhaps going at less than peak times, or on private land would work for you as well. I have no problem with people doing training for events out there on the trail, mt. biking, horses or runners. BUT surely slowing your horse down, calling out that you will be passing, or stopping if there is a problem will not blow your whole training run. They are multi-use trails, and in each use there are degrees of ability.

Before you get your knickers in a twist, I used to ride like H*ll when I was younger. The only reason I quit is my riding buddy has terrible asthma which kicks in above a walk. When I ride alone, or with my daughter we do fly if the terrain permits. I've run into kids, families, dogs, other horses in these spots, immediately we slow to a walk, or stop. Is it a bummer that I have to go slow where I really want to run? Yep. But its public land. If your horse is as well trained as most endurance mounts I've seen, it should be no problem to slow down for 100 feet or so, then go back into your routine.

Horses are riding a thin edge on public land anywhere. The hiking lobby is very strong, and mostly anti-horse. ANY attitude by horsemen can affect us all. Stopping to let every little kid pet my horse can be a PIA, especially if I'm short on time, but its something we all have to suck up and do. So if you have a "I own the trail attitude" quit for all our sakes. If you have a "I need to be coddled attitude" quit for all our sakes. I want my kids, and grandkids to be able to ride these trails too.

The 'leave no trace' and 'low impact' campaigns are good ones, no one should be complaining that horses are 'ruining the trails' either by physical impact, or by their attitude.

saratoga
Nov. 15, 2005, 07:22 AM
lawndart- good post, I completely agree. As an endurance rider, I am often going relatively fast on the trails, much faster than hikers and the vast majority of riders. I always slow down when I come upon someone, usually to a walk or possibly to a jog, if I feel like the situation warrants it. Even though I do slow down, I can tell that some trail users of all kinds are intimidated or upset by a horse coming upon them at a trot or canter. Most people do like it if you talk to them and some do want to pet the horse- also, my horse likes to stop and socialize with the people. Most people think it is cute and I think it is good PR but I won't let him do it if they are mortified http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif which occasionally happens.

oldenmare
Nov. 15, 2005, 08:25 AM
You know, people, where is your sense of adventure? I know I just love it when I'm out riding a green horse on a trail and a member of our group goes flying by me without any warning except the pounding of approaching hooves. And the resulting run-away of my green horse - well, that was a really wonderful experience for both of us.

I bet that twit NEVER gets over the explosion that I rained ALL over her - I never swore at her, but I doubt she's ever been called a brainless idiot in that fashion!!!

Oh - and she was a friend of a friend who asked to come along on a ride with me & my friend - it was made PERFECTLY clear that I was on a green horse - his first trail ride and we were to walk only.

Also on my property - which gave me great pleasure throwing her off the property and informing her if she ever came near again, I'd charge her with trespassing.

She still thinks I was overreacting. My horse's value $20k. Her horse - maybe $500. Oh - and my friend was so appalled by this person's behavior that they no longer speak. After I finished ripping the twit a new one, the friend on the drive home ripped her one, too.

So, even with the clearest communications and best intentions, somethimes you just get screwed by your fellow riders.

saratoga
Nov. 15, 2005, 10:43 AM
I've been pretty lucky- when starting my 4 year old filly this year, I only went out on the trail with people I really trusted not to do this. None of my regular riding friends would really do this, but some can't control their horses well enough in a SLOW group trot or canter and it can get out of hand.

mustangrider
Nov. 15, 2005, 11:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">She still thinks I was overreacting. My horse's value $20k. Her horse - maybe $500. Oh - and my friend was so appalled by this person's behavior that they no longer speak. After I finished ripping the twit a new one, the friend on the drive home ripped her one, too. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Would it have been okay if she had been riding a $20K horse too instead of some worthless $500 nag? I don't know why you have to bring worth into the equation. She was wrong whether riding an expensive horse or a cheap horse. There are some pretty brainless people out there on high dollar horses too.

Xanthoria
Nov. 15, 2005, 03:34 PM
I've done a few 15-25 mile rides this year and gone horse camping a few times. One thing I will always tell people who want to ride with me and my SO in future is "our horses walk fast, and we like to gallop when the opportunity presents, or do long trots. Does that work for you?"

We had some of the most miserable rides with people on very sloooow moving horses who only wanted to walk, and would complain incessantly about footing, speed, bugs, sun - you name it! We all tried to accommodate each other, but it was annoying for everyone. We were constanly holding the horses back at a snail's pace walk, creeping along grassy lanes we could have zoomed up, and having to stop and wait all the time.

Lesson learned: match horse paces if you can.

3fatponies
Nov. 15, 2005, 06:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by oldenmare:
You know, people, where is your sense of adventure? I know I just love it when I'm out riding a green horse on a trail and a member of our group goes flying by me without any warning except the pounding of approaching hooves. And the resulting run-away of my green horse - well, that was a really wonderful experience for both of us.

So, even with the clearest communications and best intentions, somethimes you just get screwed by your fellow riders. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ouch! She was just plain stupid, I guess. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif Those are the kind of people that I am thinking of when I read about people being rude on the trail.... At least you got to give her hell! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

oldenmare
Nov. 15, 2005, 07:31 PM
Mustang Rider:

I apologize as I did phrase that poorly - in the course of our "discussion", she told me that she didn't know what I was so upset about as I could easily get another horse for $500. Direct quote - which was going through my mind (and ticking me off again) as I typed.

My boy is my CHILD. I birthed him out - raised him, bottle-fed him when his dam colicked, and have gone through all sorts of grief with (and about) him. You couldn't buy him for $20,000 or probably even $200,000 (although I might consider that #!).

I did not mean the comment to be offensive - to me, the well being of any horse is the MOST important factor. And I have a couple of very spoiled retired rescues grazing outside my door this minute to confirm it!

Swifty
Nov. 16, 2005, 02:40 AM
I'll add a few tips http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Thanks to a freind for pointing this one out: Carry your cell phone on YOU, not on your saddle--if the horse dumps you and takes off, you'll still have your phone!

If you and your horse frequently go out on the same trail/s, don't forget class is still "in"--school when necessary, as in "Yes, I KNOW we always canter here, but seeing as you're not waiting for my canter cue and taking off yourself, today we will WALK here."

Never canter or gallop "home"--the last leg of the ride. Horsie doesn't need to learn to run like hell for home.

BEES, (and Guinea Hens!!!)as someone else mentioned, are to be avoided and called out to other riders as quickly as possible. One of my few "near misses" happened with bees--while OUT of the saddle, clearing the trail. I nearly got trampled--luckily my horse kept his head best he could.

If you're riding with a Clydesdale for the first time--and your horse is much smaller--REMEMBER the Clyde will not be able to fit where you usually can. (Sigh. Still feel bad about THIS one!)

You may be having a wonderful ride--but remember your companions! I've been on both ends of this: Have taken off gleefully at the gallop, slopping thru muck and scrambling over rocks--only to learn my riding companion was having a rather scary, miserable time. I've also been dragged along on rides that were just too long--would have loved a 15-minute stretch break--but everyone else was happy to keep plugging along. OUCH.

Toilet paper and a bottle of water make for a MUCH happier ride--esp the long ones!

Hunting season is IN as well--remember your orange and or bells.

SING TO YOUR HORSIE! Enjoy yourself! There is no better way to view the world than on horseback! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

arten
Nov. 16, 2005, 04:09 AM
Something to also consider when new to trail riding is how well your horse behaves when being led up or down hills.
I have started many new endurance riders and almost every one of them has found that the only injuries they sustained were related to when they where off the horse and trying to get down ( or up) a hill.
Unfortunatedly this is something that is difficult to train in any situation other than the one that applies ( although having a horse trained to lead well obviously helps).
Horses that barge you going up or down hills can be extremely dangerous, but you can expect you will encounter this at least once.
I have at least one hill on my route that is shocking underfoot and requires that I tail the horse down, otherwise the horse kicks rocks into my legs and feet. So teaching your horse to tail is always beneficial in case you face a downhill that the horse is likely to slide into you on. And of course carry a long rein, it may save you ending up with 400+ kg's of horse sitting on top of you, albeit unintentionally!

Tory Relic
Nov. 21, 2005, 05:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Lori B:
This is all great stuff.

The place where my half-lease horse lives is a farm on a reservoir west of Baltimore, </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This sounds like Rocky Gorge!

Lori B
Nov. 21, 2005, 08:38 PM
It's Piney Run Reservoir, actually. Where is Rocky Gorge?

Lori B
Nov. 21, 2005, 08:54 PM
I'm kinda amazed that I started such a long-lived conversation.

Also....

When I was reading the part above, where folks were giving each other a hard time for their 'trail habits' regarding speed, passing, etc., all I could think was, "Where the heck is there that much trail? How can I get to ride there?" We are lucky to have just a bit of it, and that it's horse-friendly and not frequented by heavy bicycle use. Which is why I agree with the poster who said we should all make a point of being ambassadors for horses on trails, so that the trails will remain open to us in the future.

lawndart
Nov. 22, 2005, 03:46 AM
"all I could think was, "Where the heck is there that much trail? How can I get to ride there?" We are lucky to have just a bit of it, and that it's horse-friendly and not frequented by heavy bicycle use. Which is why I agree with the poster who said we should all make a point of being ambassadors for horses on trails, so that the trails will remain open to us in the future."

Exactly. Join your Equine Council to help preserve those trails we do have.

If you want to have a complete listing of a boatload of trails, buy the book "Ride Pennsylvania Horse Trails" Books I and II by Carolyn B. Cook. She lists not only location, but the best way to get there, what kind of parking, condition of the trails, local vet and farriers, and surrounding stabling and restaurants.

You can order this book thru her website PA Trails (http://www.patrail.com/)

I don't know this woman, nor do I get a cut for advertising this book, LOL!

RTM Anglo's
Nov. 22, 2005, 07:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Lori B:
I'm kinda amazed that I started such a long-lived conversation.

Also....

When I was reading the part above, where folks were giving each other a hard time for their 'trail habits' regarding speed, passing, etc., all I could think was, "Where the heck is there that much trail? How can I get to ride there?" We are lucky to have just a bit of it, and that it's horse-friendly and not frequented by heavy bicycle use. Which is why I agree with the poster who said we should all make a point of being ambassadors for horses on trails, so that the trails will remain open to us in the future. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
yes,

There are always two side to an issue...then add ethics into the equation and the fireworks start. Since there is no true laws on what ethics are considered correct, people like to tote what is proper (or they think is proper).

Then add in all the different horse riding disciplines, and rate of riding speed, experience...ahhhh more issues.

I just stand on the side of being prepared, and being responsible for where you put yourself. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif The P's.

I was always told...where ever you go...there you are. A good thought process on how to take responsibility for your actions.
http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

Drive NJ
Nov. 22, 2005, 07:37 AM
What lawndart said

AND join your local trails group, if there is one, they typically help get permission to use the trails and help maintain them

AND when you join/make donations to ANY conservation group, be sure you let them know you are an equestrian and hope they keep you in mind in their land management plans. Most of these groups assume you are a hiker and don't know they are being supported by other trail users unless you say so. Many of these groups also don't allow riders on their conserved land, but if enough of us start making ourselves known, this too could change

AND try to get out to at least one trail work day a year somewhere, sometime - preferably wearing an equestrian themed t-shirt.

Since we are sharing public trails more and more, many trails groups are recommending you pick up after yourself at the trailhead and on the first 1/2 mile of trail and YES they do mean walk back 1/2 mile and clear off the manure you may have left. Some horses let you know they are about to dump and can be taught to shift just off the trail - my old guy did - at least some of the time.

Speaking of shifting off the trail, other than for this reason - don't - Don't use deer trails, don't make your own trail, don't widen an existing trail to avoid mud, don't make new water crossings. Hikers are the predominent trail users and these are HUGE no-nos from them and land managers and can and will get trails closed on public land. So is "running others off the trail" which for some walkers includes trotting by, based on some comments I've seen recently about why trail X should be closed to horses or horses shouldn't be sharing trails with walkers or bikes. There's an interesting video out - I think its called "in their shoes" which has a rider, biker and hiker all try another's sport and see how it looks from the other guy's shoes. I think the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource has it.

One last thought from a completely non-competitive trail hacker. When did the trails get posted at 70 mph or 55 mph? unfortunately there aren't enough "lanes" on the trails to treat them like an autobahn, where you can go as fast as you want if you stay right/left? The attitudes I'm hearing from both sides seem awfully like the road rage comments from drivers where, at least in NJ, everyone seems to have the attitude that "me and my ride are more important than you" so either "get out of my way" or from the other folks, "slow down, you're scaring me". Personally, if you let me know you are coming, come by quietly and calmly (I have to say preferably at no more than a trot) and respond reasonably if for some reason my normally well-behaved horse goes bonkers, I'd just as soon have you go by and get on your way so his mild reaction "am I supposed to keep up with them" will go away.

mustangrider
Nov. 22, 2005, 09:26 AM
June 3 is National Trails Day so get out there and participate in a work party maintaining trails.

There's lots of things you can do to show your support to keep trails open.
- join a horse or trail club that sponsors in work parties
- team up with other horse people to clean up a trail head: hauling out manure, picking up trash etc.
- educate other horse people about leave no trace principles
- contact the USFS and ask about trail maintenance opportunities and organize a group to go in and help
- attend land use meetings representing the horse community to make your voice heard when discussing trail openings or plans.

There's lots out there to do to spread good will among all user groups. Unfortunately, horses are not looked upon favorably by the other users so we need to go out and present a positive image, that we do care about the trails and we do take action.

Drive NJ
Nov. 22, 2005, 03:52 PM
Simple to do help is also appreciated. If you spot a problem on the trail - like a wash out or tree down, let the ranger or park manager know about it. They can't patrol the whole thing as regularly as they'd like. Also don't forget to THANK the park staff for the great place to ride, in writing.

equusrocks
Dec. 12, 2005, 02:30 AM
Great thread. Am going to use some of the tips in a "trail safety and etiquette" handout at our next club trail ride.

Some yahoos joined and think galloping away, unnanounced, at the beginning of a trail while 12 others are on pavement is a grand thing to do. Especially when half the other people (myself included) are on horses that get HOT.

And the concept of braking (except when using the horse in front of you) is non-existent.

They also use the all time favorite technique of NASCAR drivers, the classic "drafting." I'm sure that at those speeds, air resistance really slows you down and wastes energy. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Thanks for the great tips everyone! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

cadence
Dec. 12, 2005, 01:57 PM
I have to add one that really upset my greenie on the trail this past summer.

If horses are stopped on the trail and you are approaching at a fast pace, please slow down.

A friend and I were stopped because my horse could literally hear the "rowdy" trail riders behind us moving very fast. We stopped to let them pass (we were on a beginner trail) and they didn't even slow down. My horse "lost it" when they finally got to us. He started to spin and freak out. My friend positioned her horse close enough that my horse just stopped spinning when he slammed into them. His heart was racing so fast that I could feel it under my saddle. I was so pissed and they didn't even apologize, just said something about them taking a wrong turn somewhere. The little kids weren't even in helmets. uggghhh. They definitely lacked trail etiquete.

matryoshka
Dec. 13, 2005, 06:23 AM
Cadence brings up a good point. When I'm on a green horse I try to get off the trail to let others pass. I also tell the other riders my horse is green and may behave unexpecteldy. It really helps to go with a buddy on an experienced horse who can use its body to help your horse, as Cadence's friend did.

The first time we took my husband's horse on a public trail, he went bonkers over other horses. He's normally calm and reliable, and I never questioned how he'd act around strange horses. My husband and his horse almost went a$$ over teakettle down a steep hill. Luckily, although my mare was new to trail riding, she's well trained and after the first scare would stand between the gelding and strange horses when necessary. She's also good at warning him off with pinned ears and a lifted hind leg if he tries to get around her to see the other animals. I love mares. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

colleent
Dec. 13, 2005, 08:42 AM
and do not be overwhelmed by all the responses. just remember safety, and bring some things that you might need, but you don't need to bring the whole barn with you.. i bring my fanny pack which holds my phone, a hoof pick, basic first aid, etc..remember to drink enough water before you ride that you won't get dehydrated( i did once) and a map of the area and emergency phone numbers..HAVE FUN!!

monicabee
Dec. 13, 2005, 02:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I have at least one hill on my route that is shocking underfoot and requires that I tail the horse down, otherwise the horse kicks rocks into my legs and feet. So teaching your horse to tail is always beneficial in case you face a downhill that the horse is likely to slide into you on. And of course carry a long rein, it may save you ending up with 400+ kg's of horse sitting on top of you, albeit unintentionally! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I do know that being an "experienced rider" got me pegged in New Zealand as someone who could handle a 3/4 Clydesdale sliding down an incredibly steep hill through a chute of brush. It was okay for our guide - she went first and her horse took all the footing with him! About halfway the vision of myself ground into the hillside forever became too strong. I released my mount by throwing the lead rope over his neck, as I had been instructed to do in a pinch. He went down sitting on his ass, I did more or less the same and met him at the the bottom - okay because she was there waiting, but it didn't seem like the best way to handle the situation to me. However, when in New Zealand...

When you say "tailing" I envisioned myself sliding down hanging onto his tail like a waterskier.Can you explain what tailing is to an ignorant newbie interested in the sport?

jazzrider
Dec. 14, 2005, 02:10 PM
What a great thread! I haven't read through it all, so I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this...

Always, whenever possible, put the highest or largest horse and rider as trail lead. They will serve as the spider-web catcher for everyone else.

I, for one, think this is a critical mission.

mustangrider
Dec. 14, 2005, 03:28 PM
Unfortunately that duty usually falls to me as I generally ride a pretty big guy. Ocassionally I'll duck the really large spider webs so the people behind me don't feel left out. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

arten
Dec. 14, 2005, 04:47 PM
lol monicabee, your not far off from how it can end up re. sliding down the hill hanging onto his tail like a waterskier!.
Yes you are going down the hill hanging onto his tail, but you should teach them to do this so they don't take off on you.
Unclip your reins and sling it over your saddle then hold it in the same hand you are holding the tail with. Teach your horse by driving or long reining to stop without turning around when you pull gently on the rein.
My horse goes down a little faster than I'd like because that's the pace he feels he can best keep his footing at, but they should be taught never to break into a trot or they end up on their asses!.
Also if you have an obliging horse they won't mind you crashing into their rumps when you slip. I do this all the time to my guy and on one occasion actually half slipped down the side of a small cliff, but he didn't mind me using his tail to haul myself back up.
Just get them used to all this in less hairy situations. It also helps to make sure that you can get on and off in a very tight space and squeeze around the horse to either get in front or behind them. You can use a fence to practice this at home. very important to make sure you can mount and dismount from both sides of the horse and also that your horse will let you use his neck if you need to get off and land in front of him -sometimes you may not have footing on either side of you horse (cliff on one side trees on the other etc). Lastly if you have a horse that is a bad kicker and you can't break the habit -then don't try this you'll probably just get hurt.

monicabee
Dec. 15, 2005, 11:24 AM
This is a reason to have a nice, long, full tail that gives you plenty of clearance (and to keep it clean).

Thanks for the detail.

pj
Dec. 24, 2005, 08:52 PM
what a great list here!
i'd like to add one more. when there is a hill
to be climbed up or down don't get to the top/bottom and stop. move on outta the way so there will be room for the other horses and they won't have to stop on the hill.

WindChsr
Dec. 29, 2005, 09:32 AM
Also wanted to add, it helps to make the person on the tallest horse the lead horse. That way, they clear out all the spiders and cobwebs for the rest of us.[/QUOTE]

Also... the leader or the "cobweb getter should hold a small stick infront of face to avoid getting spiders EEK in your face and hair.. I have seen this lead to a freak out followed by the rider on the ground and after we made sure she was ok we all had a good laugh.

CanterQueen
Dec. 29, 2005, 10:23 AM
I'd like to add a few things from experiences I've had with people I actually rode out with:

Don't scream at your horse if they are misbehaving. It upsets the other riders AND their horses.

Get off your cell phone. If you want to chit-chat for 20 minutes, can't you wait until we are back at the barn?

Don't give unsolicited advice about someone else's riding/horse/tack/etc. If they want your opinion or help, they'll ask for it.

monicabee
Dec. 30, 2005, 05:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Don't scream at your horse if they are misbehaving. It upsets the other riders AND their horses. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good point. I'd like to add don't scream at the rider whose horse is misbehaving unless you are alerting them to a tragedy about to happen.

With regards to the tack, I'd add the proviso that if you notice their girth is loose, a tip would be in order.

AngelCat
Jan. 3, 2006, 10:43 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WindChsr:
Also... the leader or the "cobweb getter should hold a small stick infront of face to avoid getting spiders EEK in your face and hair.. I have seen this lead to a freak out followed by the rider on the ground and after we made sure she was ok we all had a good laugh. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

LOL...I totally freaked out the first time one of those big ol' banana spiders landed on my helmet...I could see the tips of its legs peeking over the brim and just totally dropped my reins and started beating at the top of my head...I had to go pick up my helmet from where I threw it. This is the first time I found out my horse is good in a crisis! Green-broke Arabian, knew only RUN RUN (interspersed with JIG JIG when halted), stood stock still while I collected myself...

nettiemaria
Jan. 4, 2006, 01:55 PM
IF you are riding with a group on an unknown trail to one or more of the riders in the pitchblack dark, and a person is screaming at you - help, shine the light, help - we're caught. Probably the proper thing to do is not keep riding forward and go ahead and shine the light at the person trapped in the brush with their 3 year old horse rearing and jumping in the pitch black.

Needless to say - I don't ride with these people anymore - and I wasn't kidding when I said, you all are just a bunch of sons-a-*****.