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want your opinion on situation.

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  • want your opinion on situation.

    So 5 riders are on the trail. The first 2 horses are walking very fast. The 3rd horse trots regularly to keep up. The last 2 horses are walking very slowly. After the ride, one of the people at the back says the person in the front should have made sure she was waiting for everyone. The person in the front thinks the people in the back should have kept up. What do you say? Is it the responsibility of the front rider to stop and wait for others, or should the people in the back try to keep up?
    Editing to add- none of the 5 horses have any health problems or lameness issues.

  • #2
    I think there are as many answers to this question as there are people and horses in the world.

    I've been on rides where this has happened and people just ignore it. Then I've been on other rides where people regroup periodically or where they see things aren't working they way they hoped and agree to ride differently.

    If everyone knows where they are going, the riders aren't beginners, and the horses aren't green or otherwise getting nervous about the distance between horses, then I think it's no big deal and people should just relax and enjoy a nice trail ride.

    However, if there are people in the group who don't know the trail system or whose horses are acting up at not being close enough to the others, then it is a nice gesture if people try to regroup periodically or stay closer.

    The only thing I've seen on trails recently that is blatantly rude is when people gallop past other riders without a heads up. That happened to me when I was out on a charity ride with a friend. We chose to ride together because both our horses were green and could benefit from doing the ride at a relaxed pace. At one point we heard a group of riders come up behind us at a gallop. Although they did slow down and ask us if they would mind if they passed us, I replied "we are on green horses who will probably be ok if you pass us at a walk". The other riders (3 in total) walked past us for about three strides and then took off at a gallop. It upset both my horse and my friend's horse and at that point our ride was basically done. That's the kind of thing that's definitely uncalled for.

    Another thing that is rude is when people don't control their horses and let their horse ride up on another horse's butt. Happened to me and my horse got his heel cut and had to take a few days off. meanwhile I had vet bills to pay and I also lost my entry fee for the show that I had signed up for in the interim.


    So for me, if people are not riding as a close group, I tend not to give it much thought because I've seen a lot worse.






    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      All riders and horses know the trails. All were at a walk.

      Comment


      • #4
        Typically when I go on trail rides it is an undisputed agreement that if there's a problem each person sends the word up to the lead rider. Vice versa if lead rider has a message to send to the rest of the group. It really is the responsibility of both of them. Those in the back should have passed a message to the front asking them to wait up and the lead rider should've been checking back every few minutes to make sure everyone is still together. Even when I go on a trail ride with a trail riding business the lead rider checks back literally every three minutes or so asking how it's going.

        Comment


        • #5
          Everyone should have agreed on it beforehand. On the group rides I've been on, the speed is dictated by the slowest horse/rider. If everyonec can't agree on the speed, then really they shouldn't be riding together.

          Comment


          • #6
            I used to be a member of a very active trail riding group that included a lot of different types of horses. On any given ride, we could have 17 hand TBs, 12 hand ponies, TWHs, foundation QHs, mules, and everything in between. Keeping together all the time would have been virtually impossible and would have led to some really ticked off horses - either the short-stride horses would be annoyed at being pushed or the long-stride horses would be irritated at being held back. No fun for anyone. Granted, we usually had more than five horses on the rides, but letting the horses go at pretty much their own comfortable paces worked well as long as the leaders would occasionally take a break to let the slower horses catch up and/or the slower horses would occasionally trot/gait to catch up.

            But we usually averaged 10-25 horses per ride so we also split into fast (trotting or cantering) groups, slow groups, and sometimes very small groups or sIngles in between. Clearly, the idea of allowing faster riders to trot or canter away from the group wouldn't work for everyone. We used well marked trails and the leaders would stop and wait at any iffy spots where the trail split or was poorly marked. We usually spread out quite a bit on the trail. Might not work so well with such a small group.

            Comment


            • #7
              Was there any particular reason why the horses in front were walking so fast and the ones in back were walking so slow? Were these just their natural paces, what's comfortable for them?

              Was this ride this group's first ride together? Were all riders at the level of skill and experience?

              It sounds like this was a first-time outing as a group and that none of the riders got together ahead of time to plan the ride and how they would set the pace.
              "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- George Bernard Shaw

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Natural pace. Not the first time together. all board at the same facility. All riders have very good riding ability.

                Comment


                • #9
                  At the beginning of the ride, have a quick chat and agree on how to handle the different paces.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The rider sets the horse's pace, not the other way 'round.

                    Swap lead/middle/drag from time to time (say every 15 min. or so). That way faster horses and riders learn to rate themselves; as do the slower ones.

                    G.
                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It can be very annoying when the horses have very different natural paces. It's best to know ahead of time and decide how to handle it.

                      I know I avoid going out with some horses because my Tb has a "marching" walk and gets supremely annoyed when I am constantly asking her to halt and wait for the slower horses. Trying to make her walk slower only results in her jigging the whole time.
                      And in turn, it's not fun for some riders to have to constantly catch up at trot.
                      So, I make sure the horse(s) I trail ride with either have the same pace, or don't mind trotting to catch up at times.
                      Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This is part of the reason there are very few people who I will ride with. My Morgans have big, forward, go get 'em walks and I have zero desire to slow them down. If I do ride with other people that are going at a slow walk, I'll go ahead but stop and let them catch up at points, but I also don't ride to socialize, I ride to ride.
                        "You'll never see yourself in the mirror with your eyes closed"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          tabula, are your Morgans gaited?
                          "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- George Bernard Shaw

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So why don't the two faster horses just go on ahead, and the two slower horses stay behind? The middle horse probably won't choose to be alone and will adjust his pace to whichever group is more comfortable for him. That said, the riders need to plan better next time. I ride in racking horse land. I wouldn't make my QH trot all day to keep up. I don't mind slowing him down, but if it happened every ride I might search out a more compatible partner.
                            I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                              The rider sets the horse's pace, not the other way 'round.

                              Swap lead/middle/drag from time to time (say every 15 min. or so). That way faster horses and riders learn to rate themselves; as do the slower ones.

                              G.
                              Exactly. Everyone who hasn't yet done so, can now begin to work on lengthening and collection within the gaits. Start alone at home, then take it out and about.

                              If you are really just out for the social aspect of riding with others then yes, you may have to pick more gait compatible horses.

                              We went everywhere on all kinds of beasts when I was a pup (and an adult for that matter) and I've never had this issue. I suppose it might be an issue if gaited horses were in the equation but I've not been there...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
                                So 5 riders are on the trail. The first 2 horses are walking very fast. The 3rd horse trots regularly to keep up. The last 2 horses are walking very slowly. After the ride, one of the people at the back says the person in the front should have made sure she was waiting for everyone. The person in the front thinks the people in the back should have kept up. What do you say? Is it the responsibility of the front rider to stop and wait for others, or should the people in the back try to keep up?
                                Editing to add- none of the 5 horses have any health problems or lameness issues.
                                Since you filled in the blanks (all knew the trail, all experienced riders, all from same barn so knew each other, etc) then the front should have looked back periodically to check their fellow group members, BUT the back should have made some sort of effort to keep up. If that can't (or won't) be done next time, then back should agree that front go ahead and all will meet later - either on predesignated spot on trail, or back at barn.

                                Meaning: the responsibility of keeping the group together (in your particular scenario which I assume is only about an hour or less "walking" ride) lies with the back riders. They either need to keep up, or agree to split the group.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I am confused why neither the people in the front or the people in the back did not bother communicate during the whole ride. A simple short conversation could have done quite a bit to make everyone happy. The people in the front would have known the people in the back like to go really slow and if going really slow would have made their horse(s) miserable they could have arranged either meeting up later or timed pauses to wait for the slow people.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by RPM View Post
                                    tabula, are your Morgans gaited?
                                    No, they just have really good walks.

                                    And for other comments on the thread- of course I can rate my horse's walk but I quite bluntly don't want to. Crawling along at 2-3 mph walk is not a pleasurable ride to me and isn't getting much in the way of conditioning done.

                                    I was having a discussion with someone the other day about a trail in a local park. It's a 2.7 mile loop- flat, all good footing, easy bridges and creek crossings. Generally I do the trail in 20-25 minutes. She says it takes her an hour + ( how though I have no idea because on foot it takes me wayyy less time than that). Aka- I'd never ride with her because we'd both be miserable.
                                    "You'll never see yourself in the mirror with your eyes closed"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post

                                      No, they just have really good walks.

                                      And for other comments on the thread- of course I can rate my horse's walk but I quite bluntly don't want to. Crawling along at 2-3 mph walk is not a pleasurable ride to me and isn't getting much in the way of conditioning done.

                                      I was having a discussion with someone the other day about a trail in a local park. It's a 2.7 mile loop- flat, all good footing, easy bridges and creek crossings. Generally I do the trail in 20-25 minutes. She says it takes her an hour + ( how though I have no idea because on foot it takes me wayyy less time than that). Aka- I'd never ride with her because we'd both be miserable.
                                      Amen.

                                      I have a 17.3h TB that has a really nice walk that can put fast-walking horses to shame. He can keep up with gaited horses doing a running walk, his stride is huge. He does not jig or rush, he just has a huge stride and very long legs. We have trouble with pokey types and I frankly do not want to ride with them. Picking at my horse's natural way of going for an hour+ at a time is not my, nor my horse's, idea of a good time and quite frankly, I won't nitpick with him over it. There is no point in souring him up, constantly rating him, stopping, and nitpicking at him for something that is not his fault. It's not his fault he has a bigger walk any more than it is the halter-bred QH's fault he has a tiny walk.

                                      I warn people ahead of time that my gelding covers a lot of ground but the only people that take my word for it seem to be the gaited and/or endurance people, who understand a horse can cover a lot of distance without being "fast".

                                      I plan who I ride with carefully in light of this. Thankfully he is great leading or behind the pack, but I will not ride with those who like to stretch a one-hour ride into a 3 hour ordeal.
                                      "i'm a slow learner, it's true."

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                                        The rider sets the horse's pace, not the other way 'round.

                                        Swap lead/middle/drag from time to time (say every 15 min. or so). That way faster horses and riders learn to rate themselves; as do the slower ones.

                                        G.
                                        THIS X 1000
                                        Whether I rode with experienced trailriders or Newbs. we always had someone (informally) ride Lead & someone else Drag.
                                        Switched by request during the ride.
                                        Why did the Put-Out riders not sayt something as you were all riding?
                                        Could have saved the hurt Feelers later....
                                        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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