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Trail etiquette?

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  • Trail etiquette?

    I'm only putting this on here because of an experience recently. I trail ride but not all over, just around my farm between arena work with my OTTB who for the sake of this post is very level headed, nonspooky and pretty much a giant saint. He's about as bombproof as I've ever seen, I'm not saying he doesn't have TB tendencies cause that would just be a flat out lie. ANYWAYS, I was invited to trail ride with some folks at my farm and as I was going up to meet them, they all started cantering towards me and my horse, instantly my horse gets freaked out and turns to run, I got him down at a trot and calmed down. I thought it was rude but hey, new farm, maybe this is the norm. It just got crazier after that, around a long bit of trail other riders take off which sets my guy to Track mode and I ride through a number of bucks and rears before getting him to settle for a marching trot, still, i'm okay with it. When I get mad is when one rider in particular can't seem to keep his horse (his horses bum) away from my horse in the least. My horse kicks out, hard and proceeds to run and buck until about five seconds later I get him under control.

    I have been trail riding for a number of years and I was just kind of... shocked that it was normal for said horse to be all over the place, riding up to a new horse and rider at a canter, having more than one horse running up another horses bum. Am I just being a wimp or is this rude?

  • #2
    not very rude, UNCONSCIONABLY RUDE!
    In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?

    Comment


    • #3
      I guess their behavior has a couple few schools of thought IMO!!

      I have ridden arabs pretty much all the time until I quit riding endurance, and got a gaited horse. But since I had arabs, people did all kinds of $hit while I rode. I think because they knew I had an arab, and the horse would react, and they wanted to see it all unfold. Which btw, never did any good because my well seasoned arab endurance horses just stood there like whatever Ihaveseenthatbefore. Even showing at a more QH dominated show, I have had the ring stewards, and judges be just simple a$$hats to my 100% purebred, WELL behaved arab. They were just trying to "whatwhathappens". And nothing ever did happen, except for them to stand there.

      OTOH I see the neighbors as rednecks. I live in the south and I know them well. Therefore, I can CALL THEM REDNECKS. They did that on purpose. Period. Also, I have found the local yocal neighbor riders quite drunk, so they do that kind of riding.

      Next time only thing to do is join them, not them join you. Or be on the ground and just walk along until all are settled. No fun if one person is walking a horse on the ground and they are all taking off like bats out of he!!.

      Yes, rude they were. I am sure if the shoe was on the other foot it would not have been so.much.fun.

      Hook up with some endurance riders, GUARANTEE'd you will have a good time, and their horses will be 99% well behaved and the riders 100% well behaved.

      So sorry. I have had this done to me, and been to rides(local yocal) where this took place. Guarantee'd no endurance ride is like this.

      Comment


      • #4
        "Redneck*" is a state of mind, not a geographic description.

        The conduct described was rude in the extreme, particularly with a new horse/rider combo that folks don't know.

        G.

        *By "redneck" I don't mean a "Jeff Foxworthy Redneck" I'm talking about the mean, spiteful guy who beats his wife, dog, and horse 'cause he can.
        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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        • #5
          Yep, I know the type. They are an accident waiting to happen! Steer clear of them and give your guy a hug for not having a total meltdown.

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          • #6
            Simply RUDE.

            It might be ignorance on their part in which case you may want to consider accepting another invitation with a much smaller group of like-minded riders if you can feel sure that they understand your comfort levels.

            A dear friend of mine regularly rides with someone who just takes off without warning ... I've tried to explain why I'm not comfortable riding with her and hope that my concerns are respected when I bring my new horse to her farm for her first outing.

            Good luck to you finding congenial trail friends!
            *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

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            • #7
              Yahoo losers.
              www.destinationconsensusequus.com
              chaque pas est fait ensemble

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              • #8
                Every group of riders had a level of etiquette, find one that matches or exceeds yours or your horse will go backward in training and someone will probably get hurt.

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                • #9
                  I agree with Effie-not etiqette but rather you weren't well matched.

                  I ride on the trails with all types of riders and speeds (IMO fearless riders are the best and have really taught me my seat)

                  Its definatley not uncommon for us to canter up toward each other when starting out. Did they know you had concerns prior to your first meeting? I ask whether
                  the new member is bold or green. Should respect that level of rider/horse combo and not do anything that sets fear in them.

                  Wouldn't run up to a newbie but definately do run up to an experience bolder combo I am meeting up with. And likewise they do the same to me all the time- we actually try to pick a spot in the middle and race to see who makes reaches first. (How that makes me a reddneck I don't know???

                  As far as l "running up the bum" The horse that keeps getting too close should learn his lesson after a good warning from yours.
                  My mare is one of those I could fight the whole ride to keep her off a friend's gelding when he is ahead but usually after a good warning kick from him she immediately respects his space and stops more carefully towards his side rather than on his hocks.

                  Yes, a rider taking off without warning is a no-no. But with a horse taking off it always is best to go along with than hold back.

                  I am always resistant to ride out with those afraid to canter and gallop- thats what I find more dangerous. IMO holding a horse back is more dangerous when in a group than going along with the pack.

                  Definately talk to them regarding the running up to greet but let the horses work out the rest ...much more enjoyable than always holding back and worrying. This group sounds like once your horse matches up to their ride you could have alot of fun.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think it was rude, and I ride with drunk rednecks. However we are always concious of who we have riding with us. Kids, nervous riders or newbies will always be babied if they need it. We never leave them alone and try to keep a good horse with them. If I am going to go faster, I usually let them know and then trot away before doing any cantering. In really large groups it is a little harder to figure out who is ok and who isn't but I find speaking to the other riders is the best way to figure out what they are comfortable with.
                    So I vote RUDE!
                    www.michelesfindinghappiness.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You should talk to people before you ride with them, to be sure you have a mutual understand of what a "trail ride" means. What you describe as trail riding, putzing around the farm where your horse lives, is not what I consider trail riding at all. That said, with anyone I don't know really well (meaning I already know the answer to my question), I ask (and expect them to ask) before any drastic change in gait. Would my horse buck and rear in response? No way, or I wouldn't be riding her on anything other than training rides. Your horse needs work listening to you regardless of what the horses are up to, but you also need different riding friends.

                      Example - I'm leasing a horse from a fellow COTHer. He is a saint (not that kind that bucks and rears!). Truly an amazing horse. (Thanks, Karen!) We did a 13 mile ride on the Virginia Creeper trail yesterday. I practiced cantering him away from the other horses (no problem) and letting the other horses canter away from him (bit nervous but listend and stayed safe). These things were done to see exactly how he reacts to these types of situations in a relatively controlled environment. We were on a very well groomed trail, no other people in sight, and my friends knew that if I hollared it wasn't going well. I've been riding this horse for three weeks now, and we've done lots of well planned testing - to be sure I understand any triggers he may have, and he understands that he can trust me if things are scary. I think that is absolutely a necessity if you are going to really trail ride. Things don't always go the way you expect, and your horses needs to be as prepared as possible when that sort of thing happens.

                      Good friends with solid horses and patient personalities are, of course, a huge help.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Once I got away from strictly foxhunter barns and groups, I was *appalled* at the lack of basic knowledge of trail etiquette and how to control a horse in a group. Things that I took for granted, like the people riding behind being able to rate their horses and keep a safe following distance, or waiting until all riders are through an obstacle before moving on, seem like foreign concepts to a lot of people who call themselves trail riders.

                        I've also been very frustrated by people who say they trail ride but don't want to move out of a walk or whose horses lose their brains moving faster than a walk. (Coming from the hunting background, I expect to *move on* when I trail ride.)

                        Soooo...I'm guessing that these people were more ignorant than rude.

                        Basic trail etitquette does require that you let everybody know about a change in pace ahead of time, and that riders pass the message down the line, either by hand signal or voice. It also requires that you ride at the comfort level of the weakest/least experienced pair on the ride.

                        A seasoned, well trained horse shouldn't have had that big a problem with horses cantering towards them, but for this group to do it without knowing you, your horse or your comfort level was inconsiderate and foolish.

                        And if you can't keep a horse from running up on another horse's hind end, you need to go back to the ring and work on basic skills - there's no excuse for it, and it's dangerous. I know way too many riders who think that this is okay because they use a friend's horse's butt as their brake. It's NOT okay. And if you get kicked doing this, you deserved it, though it's still questionable manners from the kicker.

                        After years of *teaching* people how to ride cross country safely in a group, I've gotten kind of an 'tude. If someone can't control their horse or observe basic trail etiquette, I don't ride with them. Period. I want to enjoy my horses, not teach pro bono riding lessons.

                        I think you need to find more compatible riding companions.
                        Last edited by McGurk; Dec. 6, 2012, 08:18 PM.
                        The plural of anecdote is not data.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                          "Redneck*" is a state of mind, not a geographic description.

                          The conduct described was rude in the extreme, particularly with a new horse/rider combo that folks don't know.

                          G.

                          *By "redneck" I don't mean a "Jeff Foxworthy Redneck" I'm talking about the mean, spiteful guy who beats his wife, dog, and horse 'cause he can.
                          Here in Georgia we call them "Yahoos". We don't like to insult the self respecting rednecks :-)

                          The behavior described was rude in the extreme. Trail etiquette isn't that different from common sense....some got it, some don't.
                          "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            By us nothing is more rude than our hunt. (I have nothing against foxhunters we let them use my parents' land up north and I have gone out with them) but:

                            I call OUR's rude and lacking "etiquette" because of too many encounters over my 40 years riding when a pack of scrambling dogs followed by self-absorbed group of riders galloping towards or away from you.

                            Thats okay part of the nature of riding out ...I deal ...laugh off my moment of terror and no harm.
                            BUT THEN they get pissy because my horse became anxious and tried joinng up with them and I naturally have some difficulty leaving their herd. God forbidden I use my voice to talk and relaxe my horse so I can calmly led her out of the pack.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Rude

                              And dangerous

                              "When you don't know the people you are riding with" - that mindset goes both ways.

                              Best for all concerned if it is assumed that "the other guys" are green...........and proceed with caution.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by McGurk View Post

                                I've also been very frustrated by people who say they trail ride but don't want to move out of a walk or whose horses lose their brains moving faster than a walk.

                                Soooo...I'm guessing that these people were more ignorant than rude.

                                Basic trail etitquette does require that you let everybody know about a change in pace ahead of time, and that riders pass the message down the line, either by hand signal or voice. It also requires that you ride at the comfort level of the weakest/least experienced pair on the ride.

                                A seasoned, well trained horse shouldn't have had that big a problem with horses cantering towards them, but for this group to do it without knowing you, your horse or your comfort level was inconsiderate and foolish.

                                And if you can't keep a horse from running up on another horse's hind end, you need to go back to the ring and work on basic skills - there's no excuse for it, and it's dangerous. I know way to many riders who think that this is okay because they use a friend's horse's butt as their brake. It's NOT okay. And if you get kicked doing this, you deserved it, though it's still questionable manners from the kicker.

                                If someone can't control their horse or observe basic trail etiquette, I don't ride with them. Period. I want to enjoy my horses, not teach pro bono riding lessons.

                                I think you need to find more compatible riding companions.
                                Yes yes and yes.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'm going to agree with those who say a seasoned trail horse does not behave in the fashion you describe when upset by something. Even my greenie wouldn't have started bucking or rearing over that.

                                  That said, it does sound like they were rude. Find a different group to ride with.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    You know, no matter what I'm doing on a trail ride I think it is my responsibility to constantly keep an eye on the other people I'm riding with, and if they appear to be struggling (like you were with an upset, rearing horse) then I IMMEDIATELY stop what I'm doing and help them in whatever way I can.

                                    To me, the fact that no one seemed to know or care what was happening to you on your ride was the biggest problem. Even if this group is comfortable galloping at the drop of a hat over hill and dale, they should have realized that your horse was not comfortable with the pace, and they should have stopped what they were doing and assisted you.

                                    Now, if after this experience they decide they don't want to ride with you because (as they see it) you/your horse aren't up to their "level", so be it. I doubt either party would be too upset about the break-up. But you never make the ride more difficult than the least experienced horse/rider is capable of sucessfully riding. As far as I'm concerned, once you decide to ride with 'em, you're stuck with 'em till next time.
                                    Last edited by c'est moi; Dec. 6, 2012, 07:39 PM. Reason: grammar

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Yes, it was rude. Common etiquette is that the group goes at the rate/level of the greenest rider or horse on the group. You do not canter or even trot up on anyone on a horse/rider you do not know, you don't run off an leave them without asking, etc. I am one that loves a few hand gallops on a trail ride too, but if we have someone who is not comfortable with it in our group, we'll save it for the next ride. Sometimes I am the one on the green horse, it all comes around. :-) Safety is of the utmost importance.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I have ridden with people who consider this to be "trail riding". You will not get them to change. Either deal with it or don't go riding with them (when i have a choice I don't ride with people like this, I did have an employer for whom this was his idea of fun ).

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