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Help! Putting together a list of arena rules UPDATE! met with "Horse Council"

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  • Help! Putting together a list of arena rules UPDATE! met with "Horse Council"

    Last week I was riding a young horse at our local county fairgrounds, my arena is covered in snow, and one of the out of control, helmetless kids ran her horse into mine. My guy bolted but was okay but now he's a bit unsure when we ride there. As far as I am concerned that was the last straw and I have talked to the county about posting and enforcing rules. So now I need to create a list of rules. Anyone know where I can find one or just add your favorites here.

    Last edited by danskbreeder; Apr. 5, 2012, 02:01 PM.
    Erica H. Max
    Fire Hjorner Farm
    Breeders and Importers of Danish Warmbloods


  • #2
    1. All riders under age of 18 must wear ASTM-SEI approved helmets with the chinstrap properly fastened while mounted. All riders are strongly encouraged to wear helmets.

    2. Slower horses should remain on the rail. Pass on the inside only.

    3. When passing horses in opposite direcitons, pass left to left.

    4. Riding faster than a lope/canter is prohibited when other riders are in the arena.
    A proud friend of bar.ka.


    • #3
      Left shoulder to left shoulder passing, helmets for riders under 18? I've personally never been in a situation like that so I'm not sure I'm much help. Perhaps just a list to remind people of arena etiquette
      Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.


      • #4
        Children must be supervised by an adult.

        People longing a horse must get permission from mounted riders first.

        Both rules that I wish were enforced at my barn.


        • #5
          Originally posted by danskbreeder View Post
          Last week I was riding a young horse at our local county fairgrounds, my arena is covered in snow, and one of the out of control, helmetless kids ran her horse into mine. My guy bolted but was okay but now he's a bit unsure when we ride there. As far as I am concerned that was the last straw and I have talked to the county about posting and enforcing rules. So now I need to create a list of rules. Anyone know where I can find one or just add your favorites here.

          Unfortunately,if riders are running around out of control, arena rules aren't going to help you much.
          Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
          Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.


          • #6
            how about:

            Call where you are going
            If you are riding a green horse, let others know.
            If a rider falls, all other horses in the arena must come to a halt immediately
            Green horses and inexperienced riders have the right of way.


            • #7
              Lessons get priority over hacking; jumping gets priority over flatting.

              Keep a reasonable amount of space between horses at all times.

              And one that's not a rule at my barn but should be (IMO) - keep the arena gates CLOSED, because it's way easier to catch a loose horse in an enclosed area than when he's running all over the place.
              LEGADO DE RIOS


              • #8
                Are slower horses supposed to stay on the rail? I've been at places where the rail was for the faster horse and slower ones were supposed to go inside.
                Yes, I know how to spell. I'm using freespeling!



                • #9
                  Originally posted by altjaeger View Post
                  Are slower horses supposed to stay on the rail? I've been at places where the rail was for the faster horse and slower ones were supposed to go inside.
                  That's how it works at shows around here- makes sense, since you enter/exit the ring at the walk, and the jumps are in the middle of the ring. Slow on the outside, faster on the inside, merge in either direction responsibly.

                  But in lessons, or hacking at home, slower horses go in the middle so people doing work can have the benefit of the greatest distance to open up strides, and people hanging out cluster near the jumps.

                  OP: In addition to the above, I would also add something to the effect that riders not in control of their horses may be asked to leave, or limit their work to one end of the ring. Assuming that the ring is big enough (it's a fairground, right?), asking someone to work in one corner seems reasonable and feasible.

                  Also, if someone has an unexpected dismount, all riders should halt until the horse is caught and the fallen person is re-mounted or out of the ring. If the person won't be remounting within a minute or two of falling, they should exit the ring to do whatever it is they need to regroup.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lachevaline View Post
                    Lessons get priority over hacking; jumping gets priority over flatting.
                    Can I ask why?

                    Realizing this is the Hunter/Jumper forum, I actually board at a barn where the exact opposite is in the rules: hacking/individual rides take priority over lessons. There are no official trainers on site though you are welcome to set up your own lessons/bring in your own trainer - you just can't kick another boarder out of the ring because you set up a lesson, you either share, move to another ring or set up a time for a lesson when there is little "traffic"/it isn't busy at the barn. In addition, flatting takes priority over jumping. If you want to jump, it is expected that you will check with other boarders to make sure it is okay to set up jumps (nothing is kept up permanently, jumps are set up each time a person wants to use them). A majority of the boarders DON'T jump (though an increasing number are starting to as younger boarders get into hunter/jumpers and eventing) so it was set up this way to accommodate the majority.

                    Definitely not saying one way is right and another isn't, just wondering the thinking behind your rule. Just curious!


                    • #11
                      dreaminOTTB- as far as jumping goes I consider it a safety. If someone is jumping a course, someone who is just hacking around should stay out of the way. I cant say how many times ive been coming down a line or heading to a jump and then having to pull out last second because someone aimlessly walks their horse right in my way. its also the responsibility of the lessoner to pay attention, but people riding during a jumping lesson need to watch out too.
                      And for dressage lessons I just think its polite to give someone their space, but not as important as moving out of the way for a jumping lesson.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the response!

                        The barn I'm at does consider safety, but it is geared more toward those riding on the flat. If you want to jump, you have to clear it with the other riders first - flatting takes priority.


                        • #13
                          I ride at a boarding/lesson facility. The lesson schedule is posted so people know what's going on in the arena. Instructors are either the woman who runs the business or her employees. An outside trainer does come in one morning a week to school some babies. The rule at my barn is that lessons have priority and if you hack through a lesson you must travel in the direction of the lesson and be aware especially of beginners. The instructor in the ring is the boss. If a hacker is making students nervous by their actions (coming to close for example) she may ask them to stop, or even to wait until after the lessons. If someone has lost control or fallen off the instructors order "ALL HALT" must be obeyed until order is restored.

                          My barn has a slow traffic to the outside rule which was new to me when I got there. At all my prior barns the rail for those who were working. It made sense. Why should 3 or 4 riders be walking on the rail with 2 others are zig zagging around the jumps to canter?

                          Once the outdoor is suitable, I prefer it for hacking since many of the lessons will still be inside. The outdoor is much larger and wider and with only boarders hacking it means all pretty experienced riders.

                          We have no jumping outside of lessons so that is not an issue at my barn.
                          F O.B
                          Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                          Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


                          • #14
                            DreaminOTTB, that's interesting! I was referring primarily to jumping lessons, so it could be a safety issue (so that riders jumping can focus on that as opposed to where everyone else is, especially if the riders are beginners). But I think it also has to do with the fact that people are paying for lessons, so the trainers make sure they get priority over people just hacking.

                            But I've almost never seen trainers kick someone out of the ring just because they're having a lesson. I guess by "priority" I meant it's the hacker's responsibility to keep track of where lesson students are and not the other way around.
                            LEGADO DE RIOS


                            • #15
                              As far as inside/outside fast/slow, it doesn't matter what you pick as long as everyone follows it.

                              Agree with the rule on longing and I would suggest that the helmet rule be for all, although I'm likely going to catch heat from some of my friends for saying so. If you exclude certain groups (such as those over 18) from the obligation to wear a helmet, you make it "cool" to not wear a helmet and also make it so someone has to "check ID's" of the teenagers, which is a ridiculous waste of resources.


                              • #16
                                Left shoulder to left shoulder is good. Maybe a requirement about reasonable passing distances, not riding up on others too closely, etc. But all of that is going to be very hard to enforce.

                                In my experience, people either "get" how to ride in a ring with others, or they don't. I think it may be related to differences in discipline. I have ridden in places where I have no trouble at all riding in the ring with 4-5 other people who are working their horses in a way that makes "sense" to me (i.e., I can tell where they are going before they go there), and I have ridden in places where just one other horse in the ring is one too many because there seems to be no rhyme or reason to what that horse and rider is doing and they have no respect for others (won't change their "plan" one iota to avoid a crash).

                                I rode one place where there was a trainer who would never look where she was going (always looking down) and would occasionally just wedge other horses into the wall, get too close, or actually crash. That was really scary. I essentially could not ride when she was in the arena...which was all the time. Gave my horse some issues too, because I think he could tell that I had no idea where she was going next and I was probably always kind of communicating "holy crap! I don't know!" to him.

                                Personally? I would just not ride at that Fairground when there are reckless folks running about. No amount of rules will fix an idiot, and it isn't worth getting yourself or your horse hurt. I realize that might not really be practical...but I sure would be looking hard for a different place to ride!


                                • #17
                                  Especially when confined to the indoor there are certain people I prefer not to hack with because they are either inconsistent or not in control or the are inconsiderate. One teenager loves to circle through the middle without any consideration for the rider on the other side of the arena. She often finds herself "cowboying" to beat someone past a jump standard when simply noting the rider trotting down the far wall would have allowed her to adjust course. She pulled this while hacking through a lesson and scared a novice on a lesson horse. The instructor warned her that if she did it again she'd be barred from hacking through lessons.
                                  My barn is mainly hunters and we had a visiting dressage rider last year.
                                  Most of us had never shared a ring with a dressage rider before and it made for some scarey moments because one of our saintly lesson horses has one odd glitch: If he finds himself head on to another horse he loses his mind.
                                  When entering the ring, please look around. Get familiar with the horses in your barn (who kicks, who doesn't like horses approaching fast from behind etc) and the level of rider skill. Heed other rider warnings about kickers or spooky types.
                                  F O.B
                                  Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                                  Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


                                  • #18
                                    I kind of feel like rules like this are kind of useless. (Except, I suppose, the helmet one.)

                                    People who are considerate and rational will ride safely in groups, whether there are rules posted or not. People who are inconsiderate or don't care will ride poorly in groups, also whether there are rules posted or not.

                                    Rules don't help with a runaway horse, either.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by dreaminOTTB View Post
                                      Thanks for the response!

                                      The barn I'm at does consider safety, but it is geared more toward those riding on the flat. If you want to jump, you have to clear it with the other riders first - flatting takes priority.
                                      It only makes sense to not cut across the line when someone's jumping, but if there are six people hacking on the flat and one person wants to jump, especially if it's a public ring like a fairgrounds or park, why should the one person jumping get to dictate what everyone else is doing?

                                      Though in the OP's case of a public ring, unless there's always someone there supervising from the county or city or whoever runs it, I'm not sure allowing jumping is a good idea, period. It seems like that and allowing unhelmeted juniors is asking for a big-time lawsuit. I would say for a public ring where anyone can hack/haul in, about all you can say is helmets on all minors, no jumping/gaming/reckless riding, people on disruptive animals will be asked to leave.
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                                      • #20
                                        So, we are talking about a county operated, shared use public arena here? Not a boarding barn or privately operated facility ring???

                                        Hate to be Debbie Downer here but you need to start by seeing if the county is willing and can afford to put somebody there with the authority to enforce the rules.

                                        You can post all the rules you want but it sounds like it's not going to do any good without a designated person from the county there to actually enforce it. And what would the penalty be for ignoring them?

                                        Spoken from experience here-waste of time and energy unless the county wants to handle enforcement.
                                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.