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Rude Competitive Trail Riders

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  • Rude Competitive Trail Riders

    Are CTR riders exempt from the basic rules of trail riding “etiquette?” The reason I ask is that last Friday I took my horse, who can get rather “hot”, for a trail ride at Fair Hill, Md. There was a CTR event going on that day, but the trails were being shared by CTR riders and pleasure riders alike. On three different occasions, I had CTR riders come barreling up behind me at speed, without announcing themselves or slowing down or asking permission to pass. At one point, I was heading up a narrow single track trail with a steep slope on one side and a sharp bank on the other when a group of CTR riders came charging up the hill. My horse got very agitated, began bucking, rearing, spinning and blowing sideways – a very unsafe situation for both of us. These riders did not slow down, despite the fact that I was obviously in trouble. I yelled at them to please walk, and told them I’d pull off the trail and let them pass as soon as I could find a spot to exit, which I did very quickly. They blew on past, again despite the fact that my horse was wheeling and spinning while pulled off into a little niche on the trail so that they could pass. A similar scenario happened two more times during the course of my ride. I’ve always understood that good trail riding etiquette includes the following rules: #1 – Always slow down when approaching other horses. #2 – Ask for permission to pass another horse/rider on narrow trails. #3 – Announce yourself when coming up behind another horse/rider. There are a few others, but seems to me these 3 in particular help to insure the safety of everyone involved. The CTR riders I encountered at Fair Hill put both my horse and myself in jeopardy w/their behavior. I recognize that they are involved in a competition, but they stop to give their horses drinks & short breaks during the ride, so surely they can take a minute or two to insure the safety of fellow trail riders. Any thoughts??
  • Original Poster

    #2
    Are CTR riders exempt from the basic rules of trail riding “etiquette?” The reason I ask is that last Friday I took my horse, who can get rather “hot”, for a trail ride at Fair Hill, Md. There was a CTR event going on that day, but the trails were being shared by CTR riders and pleasure riders alike. On three different occasions, I had CTR riders come barreling up behind me at speed, without announcing themselves or slowing down or asking permission to pass. At one point, I was heading up a narrow single track trail with a steep slope on one side and a sharp bank on the other when a group of CTR riders came charging up the hill. My horse got very agitated, began bucking, rearing, spinning and blowing sideways – a very unsafe situation for both of us. These riders did not slow down, despite the fact that I was obviously in trouble. I yelled at them to please walk, and told them I’d pull off the trail and let them pass as soon as I could find a spot to exit, which I did very quickly. They blew on past, again despite the fact that my horse was wheeling and spinning while pulled off into a little niche on the trail so that they could pass. A similar scenario happened two more times during the course of my ride. I’ve always understood that good trail riding etiquette includes the following rules: #1 – Always slow down when approaching other horses. #2 – Ask for permission to pass another horse/rider on narrow trails. #3 – Announce yourself when coming up behind another horse/rider. There are a few others, but seems to me these 3 in particular help to insure the safety of everyone involved. The CTR riders I encountered at Fair Hill put both my horse and myself in jeopardy w/their behavior. I recognize that they are involved in a competition, but they stop to give their horses drinks & short breaks during the ride, so surely they can take a minute or two to insure the safety of fellow trail riders. Any thoughts??

    Comment


    • #3
      gothedistance - thats pure cr-p!

      Coming through - don't care if I endanger your life - I'm in a competition.

      You have to be kidding me!

      Either they close the competition trails to the general public, or they observe common courtesy.
      ... _. ._ .._. .._

      Comment


      • #4
        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by gothedistance:
        Tough luck, sweetie. I won't rise to your bating cr-p. Seen too much of that from you to others on the board.

        I know the sport, I ride the sport. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



        FIGURES!
        ... _. ._ .._. .._

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm surprised that that happened to you. Most CTRs are relatively slow so no one should be racing and most people I've encountered, even at endurance rides (well, I ride in the middle to back so I can't speak for those racing) are generally very polite and willing to help anyone on the trail.

          gothedistance- your attitude is scary. I manage a CTR, which goes through a State park and other trails shared by various other users and I tell everyone at the ride meeting that they dang well better respect everyone they see on the trail. Meaning slow down, don't crowd anyone, run up on anyone, etc. If my CTR riders thought that just because they were competing, that gave them free rein to do whatever they wanted on the trail, guess what- the ride would be canceled because we would not be allowed to hold it on State Land. I get a lot of pressure to put on an AERC ride and I frankly won't do it because I am leery of the racers thinking they can just mow down anyone. Not saying I think it would happen, but to me it poses a risk that I don't want to take.

          I agree that it is probably not a good idea to ride your horse when you know there is a competition going on, especially a green horse or one with issues. Just common sense, but no excuse for rude people, regardless of whether they are pleasure riding or riding in a competition.

          Comment


          • #6
            Andie and gothedistance, you both have good points. I was competing at Fair Hill on Sat. It was a one, two or three day CTR ride. Most people would have been easier on you Andie then the ones you encountered, especially on a narrow trail. On the other hand when out in the open I would also assume that another competitor would be able to be passed at a trot by going out and around them and giving them a holler once I was close enough to be heard. It's part of this type of competing that you are going to be passed by horses trotting maybe even galloping but it should be done with some care and courtesy. Fair Hill is different from many venues in that it has lot's of pleasure riders on the trails but you can't necessarily tell the difference between a competitor or pleasure rider until you're next to them. I must say the ride manager never thought to remind folks to be aware of this scenario.

            On the other hand, as a competitor it did occur to me that it would have made sense given the huge number of trails for some of the bike riders and hikers to just not follow the trails that had all those ribbons on them. Then I realized that they just didn't realize how many horses would come down the trail at them. I passed every one not competing at a walk and mentioned that there were a lot more horses coming behind me. I say thanks, have a greak, hike/ride/etc and hustle along. And believe me, with the trail laid out I was hustling for the full 30 miles.

            By the way, it was my boy's first entry in a CTR after drag riding several of them. He was Reserve Grand Champion and was give a gorgeous embroidered fleece cooler. I was so tickled! I ran into ground bees at one point with a group of riders and most of us got stung then poured on by a big cloud burst. A friend had a really rough day of it with a fall in the river, loss of new sponge down the river and multiple stings. She got the hardship award AND the Grand Championship award. I was so pleased for her. She was in tears as it's this older mare's first "win".

            Next ride in two weeks will be the Allegany Sut Up and Ride endurance in NY. Mouse is finally moving up to a 50 mile distance.

            Chicamuxen

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree with gothedistance.I trail/pleasure ride alot alone,and I am allways aware if the trails I am riding on are used for a competition of any type I must give way to those riders.I event at the lower levels and if I were to encounter anyone on course I would certainly expect them to stay out of my way.If your horse has problems with other horses passing in any capacity,maybe you should stay on quieter trails untill he is more settled.

              Comment


              • #8
                This is a problem. I have been riding and found myself in the middle of a 50 mile run (human). I immediately got out of the way and used another route. Around here there is usually a sign posted a few weeks before a ride stating what is going to happen when. I was on an endurance ride however in the SF bay area where there was no avoiding pedestrians, baby strollers, etc. We were told to walk by and be as polite as we could. However, while doing this past a couple of women they started shouting me about why I could leave manure on the trail and they had to pick up after their dog. They were really irate. I am almost disappointed that my horse did not prove their point while I was riding past. But most people, particularly kids, love to see the horses.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am going to have to agree with gothedistance--as a rider, whether casual or competitive, it is your job to keep your horse under control, not everyone else's. If your horse wigs out at being passed by people competing in a timed ride, then two things have happened: 1. you have gotten some valuable training for your horse and 2. you may be more aware of avoiding those trails during future competitions, or dismounting and holding your horse if you find yourself in that situation again.

                  While the three rules are good for general trail riding, I do not think that it is fair to apply them in the case of a pleasure rider choosing to follow the same trails while a CTR event is occuring.

                  It puts me in mind of a situation when a charity ride at the local park was scheduled and one of the park's neighbors was sighting his gun for hunting season the same day. A lot of the riders were furious and complained, but the man was on his own property and within his rights, no matter how upsetting it was to the horses. Sometimes it is simply best to treat these things as training exercises and not take it personally.
                  "If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." -Don Marquis
                  **CEO of the TQ "Learn How To Ride or MOVE OVER!!" Clique**

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sorry folks, saftey first, competition second...

                    If I get hung out on a narrow trail with no way out, I'd like to be not pressured into taking a leap off the cliff...

                    I have been left out to dry by my cousin (non competition situation) after I had announced my approach he took off, he**bend for leather. I had a good horse or otherwise I could have been roadkill!

                    Ain't gonna cost you nothing to holler quickly that you're comming...makes for better PR than a few casualies along the way, even if the nincompoops should've stayed off the marked trails and ride someplace else...
                    Originally posted by BigMama1
                    Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                    GNU Terry Prachett

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh my!

                      I so agree with gothedistance I could jump up and dance.

                      Please people; your horse is your responsibility! Pure and simple. I take my chances, and you take yours.... don’t hold others responsible for lack of training.

                      Sure it is annoying to be passed by moving horses, but it is your problem, not theirs.

                      Try doing CTR with the endurance riders! Ahahhahahaa I have been on both sides of that one. “Us” endurance riders will blast right by your butts. OK, I always say "coming up behind"...then "passing left", but if your horse is a complete idiot, and there is room to pass safely, sorry...but I'm passing.

                      I am on the other side, I find it really annoying to find people on the trail that have no business being there because they have not put that type of training into their horse. This is not the experienced riders fault but yours. You could always put several green streamers in the mane and tail, which you should if your horse is not trained to trail.

                      I did a CTR last year, and passed the same woman on a huge appy several times. She allowed her horse to have bad manners. Swung all over the trail in the hind and acted up really bad – striking and kicking. She had the nerve to act as though this was my problem. Good lord...I said coming up behind and passing please enough to turn red. She expected me to stay 100 yards back, and pass on her terms. PLEASE, this is competition, and she is NOT my problem.

                      After about the end of the first day, I didn't give a damn what she had to say. Scream and moan all you want "she was a major hindrance to the entire ride". Her horse struck out, and had no manners at all. Finally ride management told her to keep "HER" horse away from others and quiet down...as her BIG mouth was getting on everyone’s nerves. Should have heard her every time you passed.

                      I so understand being on the novice horse, as I have trained many. It is my problem when training, and NOT the others on the trail. I take the chance by bring a green horse onto the trail, not the experienced riders who have to put up with my "rude, untrained, horse".

                      There are two sides to the coin.

                      Gothedistance just explained it like an adult, and nothing more. The reasons, the common sense, and the biggest one...being responsible for yourself.

                      Bottom line...don't take your horse anywhere that you have not trained them for...OR where you might feel uncomfortable.

                      Please no disrespect to the OP, or others...but I do have a pet peeve in this department. Sorry, but horses are LARGE animals, and very capable of hurting themselves and others. When you take the responsibility of owning one, you also take the responsibility of caring for them. I get so tired of people who have owned horses for several years, and never master this.

                      It's called training.

                      Why the Hell would you put yourself in a situation where you could get hurt, or someone else? Sure there are trail etiquette rules, but do you see Nascar drivers asking to pass? NO…and the reason is…common sense. It is a race, and if you don’t move faster than the person behind you…they are going to pass. Do they need to announce themselves? NO…because it is intuitive that they are coming. Be prepared, and follow trail rules by having a trained horse, and taking responsibility for your horse, and yourself, and your choices.

                      I have seen many young and novice horses start their careers out in endurance. At the start these horses are swinging and jumping, bucking and snorting. When the race starts…their riders are responsible to hang on, not others to stand still so these horses can settle down. Training. OR like gothedistance said…remove yourself from the situation.
                      **Founding member of the TQ (Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or MOVE OVER!\" Clique** 2005 Winner of the \"Rush Limbaugh of the Trails\" Award

                      Rope The Moon Ranch RTM Breeders of Anglo-Arabs, and Performers of

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you want to hold a competition do it on a CLOSED trail. That way the rest of us don't have to put up with your rudeness. If you are going to share public trails then you have to SHARE. (that could mean sharing with somebody training their horse)
                        ... _. ._ .._. .._

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A CTR or endurance ride being held on public land open to everyone CAN NOT be compared to NASCAR or even the XC phase of an event. I'm not speaking specifically about Fair Hill, as I don't know anything about it, but the majority of endurance rides and CTRs are held on public land, state parks, etc, and other riders, hikers, bikers, birdwatchers, etc. have every right to be there and DO NOT always know what is going on.

                          If an old lady walking her chihuahua gets hurt by some a@@&^%$ blasting past her, going for the $2 ribbon, there is a good chance the right to use these trails could be taken away for the competition and even for horses in general. Telling the park ranger, "well, I was going for Top Ten- that old hag had no right to be in my way", is not going to cut it. It won't kill you to slow down for a minute, ask if it is okay to pass, and offer assistance if you think the person needs it. The vast majority of riders do this anyway, from what I've seen.

                          Yes, someone who intentionally takes a green horse or problem horse on a trail being used in a competition, when they could use other trails, is not being very smart, but most people I've seen during endurance rides are doing their own thing and really don't know what the heck we are doing. Its nice to slow down and talk to them and foster some good will. Folks, common courtesy on both sides really will benefit everyone.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            <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:
                            Please people; your horse is your responsibility! Pure and simple. I take my chances, and you take yours.... don’t hold others responsible for lack of training.
                            </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                            I couldn't agree more, and that is from a pleasure rider(though I hope to move into CTR in the future)!
                            "If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." -Don Marquis
                            **CEO of the TQ "Learn How To Ride or MOVE OVER!!" Clique**

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree that it is downright foolish to intentionally ride on a trail being used for a competition, especially when you know what the competition is all about and you could easily choose another trail, but the bottom line is safety for everyone is the most important thing. If I came upon someone on the trail whose horse was acting up, even if I thought they were an idiot for purposefully putting themselves in that situation, I would still slow to a walk and do whatever I could to not make matters worse. It really is not much skin off my back.
                              BTW, we do pay the State Park to use their land but I still consider it a privilege and not a right.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I get sick to death of putting up with other horse's holes- you intentionally set out to play in a crowded, busy sandbox and got some kicked in your eyes. You are darn lucky you and your horse didn't hurt somebody. YOu rode on a marked course, knowing your horse comes unglued about too much activity? You asked for trouble and got some, there you go.

                                Sorry, no sympathy from this chick and I'm just a trail rider- you could have left.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Since you were using a public venue that was not closed off to the general public the day of the competition, you have a right to expect ALL users of the trail to behave in a courteous manner. These actions were not courteous and did not meet the standards of safe trail usage. I would encourage you to get the numbers of the perps, er, CRT participants who were doing this, and the name of the group running the CRT, and complain to the sponsoring organization, to NATRC, AND to whoever runs the the park or recreation area you were riding in.

                                  There's a great big FAT DIFFERENCE between a race and a timed, judged competition which is partially scored on "horsemanship", and any competitors who are harassing other non participant riders in a public venue, no matter what the excuse is, need to be severely penalized. I've ridden on trails when endurance rides were going on, and endurance riders are a heck of a lot politer and that's an actual race. This incident is just supposed to be a timed trail ride. Unfortunately, you did not have a horsemanship judge hiding in the bushes when you were getting shagged, to be taking points off. Those people doing this KNOW it's wrong, and it's bad horsemanship, and they are doing it anyway out of arrogance.


                                  If they can't behave in a responsible manner, they need to either close off the park completely to the public, or be banned from future use, because this is not just a bunch of your typical redneck beer drinking fools out running yahoo tree bending games but an organized, private competition using public property. The park probably assumed that since it was a horsemanship competition, all participants would heed the rules/regulations of the venue, It's the same reason we don't allow teenagers to do street racing with hotrods in subdivisions because the roads are public, there are rules for driving a car, like speed limits, and pedestrians could be killed. It's the same reason they close the roads off to car traffic when they have human marathons and half marathons, because humans are slower than cars. It's the same reason dogs on park trails must be leashed out here...the animals are expected to be kept under control and not running wild.

                                  If you're just running your horse wild past somebody, you've got a problem, not the turtle, and I don't care how color coordinated your tack is.

                                  We have many multi use trails out west here, with bicycles, motorbikes, horses, and hikers all using many the same trails, and you may even find hunters in the wildlife areas, and any user of the trails is expected to not cause others grief, and that includes being courteous, announcing your presence, and passing in a safe manner.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Thank you, Sabrina. At last a voice of sanity. I was just thinking that all competetive trail riders must be a rude bunch, just based on the replies to this topic.
                                    'Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.'
                                    - Pablo Picasso

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I suppose it is also a matter of perspective--I have seen plenty of people trail riding who seem to be unable to control their horses, and who expect everyone around them to adjust their behavior/actions for them. Uh, no. While I won't go off galloping with a newbie behind me, I also expect a certain realism in the riders I encounter. Horses spook, buck and rear in certain circumstances, and that's all part of the deal, as is your perception of what behavior constitutes that--I have seen riders so fearful that, despite their ability, they were unable to cope with a baby buck, and would immediately dismount, wailing that their horse was acting like a bronco.

                                      So not being there, who knows the real story? But keeping that in mind, if I were trotting by in a competition and someone started screaming at me to stop and wait for them to mosey on along, I probably would ignore them, too.

                                      Maybe that is rude, but in my mind, an entitlement mentality is pretty rude, too.
                                      "If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." -Don Marquis
                                      **CEO of the TQ "Learn How To Ride or MOVE OVER!!" Clique**

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        This is a general observation, not directed at anyone, so please don't go a gettin your feathers ruffled. I'm just trying to have a discussion.
                                        Manners are nice but something that is lacking in most people these days. We are all too quick to bit@^ and moan. Unfortunatly when you are riding on a marked coarse and not in the race (whether its runners, mountain bikers, horses, carriages etc.) you need to look out.

                                        I have ridden 1000's of miles of trails and can always hear a horse coming up behind me. If I don't want people riding up behind me I take a new trail. Not a lot of open space left, can't we share without getting our panties in a twist?If you choose to stay on a marked competition trail lose the "i'll show them attitude."

                                        More people do need to realize that they are responsible for how their horses behave and their horses training. If your horse can't take that much action the common sense thing to do would be to remove your horse from the situation. Stop putting everyone in danger. It seems common sense, if you have a horse that is acting up, then you deal with it...not everyone else...its not their problem, its yours.

                                        Just a bit of advice...do not ride green/nervous horses on the most crowded days (weekends) take them out during the week (if possible) to get them used to the park and trails. If this is not possible stick to open fields, where passing is not a problem or travel the less travelled paths. If you have to ride on the weekends and the park is crowded, well then you know what you are in for. Either suck it up or pack it in.

                                        Comment

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