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*rant* trail etiquette

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  • #21
    Famous last words: "It's okay! He's friendly!"

    We have one trail where we can ride horses, and all bicycles are banned, but not everyone heeds that. Dogs are supposed to be on leash, but no one follows that rule either. There have been many, many incidents of horses spooking and dumping riders because of loose dogs. Grrr.

    My personal favorite is this woman with a dog named Henrietta. First of all, that's just too many syllables for a dog name. Then, there is only this one trail, which is at the bottom of a canyon, surrounded by suburbia, so it's really the only place to get away and have some quiet time with your horse and listen to the birds while you trail ride ride.

    Henrietta's owner routinely lets the dog off leash as soon as she hits the trail. Henrietta is a poorly trained dog who doesn't know the recall command, so if you're anywhere near this woman, your peace and quite is ruined by her chirping, "Henrietta! Henrietta!" in a British accent.
    2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

    A helmet saved my life.

    Comment


    • #22
      Sounds like Darwin's Theory is having a hard time keeping up with overpopulation...

      So far, when driving our small pony/large mini on our local trails, we've come across only friendly, considerate joggers, bicyclists and families. The idiots, it seems, cannot be bothered to get out of their big 4-wheel drive trucks. Sadly, to actually ride or drive on even the quietest roads in our county would suggest a death wish.

      When our favorite trail takes us close to the busy road, however, there's always someone who needs to lay on their horn to try to scare my horse. Fortunately, he is the master of spooking in place; even when he comes across his greatest fear -- cows lying in a field -- he just stops still and stares, trying to fathom what ate their legs.
      They're not miniatures, they're concentrates.

      Born tongue-in-cheek and foot-in-mouth

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      • #23
        Originally posted by susanne View Post
        Fortunately, he is the master of spooking in place; even when he comes across his greatest fear -- cows lying in a field -- he just stops still and stares, trying to fathom what ate their legs.


        I actually think cows are scary too.
        2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

        A helmet saved my life.

        Comment


        • #24
          I've been debating whether to post this story but after reading so many stories about people honking their horns at horses...When I was 12 my friend was riding home from our trail ride after leaving my house. She wasn't near a road until she was just a short distance from home. She was riding beside the road (big dirt area) when some teenage boys came up behind her and honked their horn and bumped her horse's back legs with the car. Her horse reared and went over on his side. She was killed. There were many witnesses so the boys were sent to juvenile hall. Her Mother called our house asking when Cathy had left for home since she hadn't arrived. Her Dad went looking for her and found the accident. What's even more amazing her horse did not run away, he stood next to her. From that day on I was never allowed and have never ridden next to a road since.

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          • #25
            Just this past weekend I was on a camping/riding trip with my boyfriend and several of the people from the barn where I board. We stayed at a privately-owned/run campground, but there is a free state park campground less than a mile away.

            Almost everyone there was on a gaited horse, and most of the etiquette issues came from other horse people, not hikers, cyclists, joggers, etc.

            The biggest problem was that there were a lot of hillbilly-types who would gait their horses hard and fast, up and down steep hills, and slowed down for no one. Last year one of them literally ran his horse right into another person's horse, and just kept on going. This year, there was a guy who would ride right into a group of people and horses he didn't know and just weave his way through them, bump into them, etc.

            These same people will ride for 20-30 minutes at a time, then stop to socialize and drink a few beers while their horses "blow out." However, they do this right in the middle of the trail and make it nearly impossible for anyone else to get through. They had some of the saddest-looking horses I've ever seen, too. . .
            Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by JollyBadger View Post
              Just this past weekend I was on a camping/riding trip with my boyfriend and several of the people from the barn where I board. We stayed at a privately-owned/run campground, but there is a free state park campground less than a mile away.

              Almost everyone there was on a gaited horse, and most of the etiquette issues came from other horse people, not hikers, cyclists, joggers, etc.

              The biggest problem was that there were a lot of hillbilly-types who would gait their horses hard and fast, up and down steep hills, and slowed down for no one. Last year one of them literally ran his horse right into another person's horse, and just kept on going. This year, there was a guy who would ride right into a group of people and horses he didn't know and just weave his way through them, bump into them, etc.

              These same people will ride for 20-30 minutes at a time, then stop to socialize and drink a few beers while their horses "blow out." However, they do this right in the middle of the trail and make it nearly impossible for anyone else to get through. They had some of the saddest-looking horses I've ever seen, too. . .
              Not to tick off any gaited people, but in my experience it is usualy people with gaited horses that pull this crap on the trails. I have always said if you don't want to learn to ride by a TWH....That being said the people I know who have TWH and show etc are great horse people, it is the ones who buy "them comfy horses" to trail ride on that can't be trusted. And I know this from lots of Ohio experience as we were in a heavily concitrated TWH area. Apparently just cause your horse can do a running walk(badly) that means you don't have to have basic manners.
              “Four things greater than all things are, - Women and Horses and Power and War”

              Comment


              • #27
                Yesterday, I was walking with my dog when I heard a weird noise. I saw a flash as a bicycle went by us - and it was extremely close. It scared me to death, and my dog "spooked" and jumped into me. My dog is BIG, too - around 95 lbs. Just for my own safety, if nothing else, I wouldn't ride a bike that close to a dog I didn't know without some kind of a warning. There are a lot of bikers where we walk, and most will call out before passing you like that - but it's the one that doesn't that gets you. If I'd been on my horse, I would have probably peed my pants.
                I don't do much trail riding, but I can only imagine. You would think that people would be more concerned about getting kicked or trampled, if not concerned for the rider's safety. People can be crazy, though.

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                • #28
                  So far so good haven't met any rude riders or bikers for that matter. Quite a few rude joggers though, one quietly jogged up behind us one time and passed us close by the horses, I said "a little warning to horse riders next time please!" later some friends caught up with us and told us about the rude jogger and she yelled at her when she passed horses to say something, yet five minutes later she passed us and the same thing! She never said a word to either of us just acted like she didn't hear us. I don't get selfish people.


                  We have gaited horses (I think I can ride, LOL! I have ridden some crazy QH's and stayed on, but have hit the ground too) when we come up on slower riders ("moseying" we call it, they're just walking, taking in the sights, relaxing) as soon as we seem them we will bring our horses down to a walk as quick as possible without making a lot of "freakable" noise, if that makes sense, as soon as we see them. Bring our body tone "down" to bring the horses down, and walk behind them at least 50 feet away. When they hear us an acknowlege us we ask if we may pass, and if so we can pass when they are ready (not at that moment, we wait till the trail widens or splits) and then we walk quietly by and we don't move into a running walk until a good distance away so as not to hop up their horses. We try to be considerate as possible as you don't know the skill of the rider (or the horse) you are coming upon and it baffles me that others don't think about the same thing. What if that was a green rider or a green horse?

                  Around here too when we run into 4 wheelers or dirt bikes they stop as soon as they see us, turn off the motor and remove helmets. I don't know who taught them that but I'm sure appreciative of it! We always thank them as we go by for turning off the motor and removing the helmets and talking to the horses.
                  I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                  Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    "We have gaited horses (I think I can ride, LOL! I have ridden some crazy QH's and stayed on, but have hit the ground too) when we come up on slower riders ("moseying" we call it, they're just walking, taking in the sights, relaxing) as soon as we seem them we will bring our horses down to a walk as quick as possible without making a lot of "freakable" noise, if that makes sense, as soon as we see them. Bring our body tone "down" to bring the horses down, and walk behind them at least 50 feet away. When they hear us an acknowlege us we ask if we may pass, and if so we can pass when they are ready (not at that moment, we wait till the trail widens or splits) and then we walk quietly by and we don't move into a running walk until a good distance away so as not to hop up their horses. We try to be considerate as possible as you don't know the skill of the rider (or the horse) you are coming upon and it baffles me that others don't think about the same thing. What if that was a green rider or a green horse? "

                    Then you I count in the rare few! I rode my share of TWH and got the point I was embarassed of the other people on the trail with me and wouldn't go out with them any more.
                    “Four things greater than all things are, - Women and Horses and Power and War”

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by wingedmare View Post
                      Not to tick off any gaited people, but in my experience it is usualy people with gaited horses that pull this crap on the trails. I have always said if you don't want to learn to ride by a TWH....That being said the people I know who have TWH and show etc are great horse people, it is the ones who buy "them comfy horses" to trail ride on that can't be trusted. And I know this from lots of Ohio experience as we were in a heavily concitrated TWH area. Apparently just cause your horse can do a running walk(badly) that means you don't have to have basic manners.
                      While I do own a gaited breed (TWH), I am not at all ticked off or offended by what you said. Actually, I completely agree with you.

                      The majority of the people I saw over the holiday weekend were like the ones you described - they may own horses, but they have no horse sense whatsoever. . .and certainly no concept of basic courtesy, let alone trail etiquette among horsemen or other trail users.

                      Some of them have no business even owning a horse, from what I saw of the horses they brought with them.

                      They're definitely not the kind of people I want to get caught up riding with. Even at my barn, there are people I absolutely don't want to go out with. As you said another post, they're embarassing just to be around.
                      Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        I used to ride a lot on the C&O Canal. Bikes, strollers, dogs, fishermen and all sorts of hikers...most were pretty good to deal with.

                        One guy had a kayak on his shoulder, as he walked by my horse, he banged on the bottom of it, echoing the sound through hole in the body. My horse spooked into him and knocked him into the canal. Before I could even yell at the jerk, his two friends were giving him hell.

                        I had one kid (15 or so) swat my horse on the butt as he passed, I grabbed him by the hair and shook the bejeezes out of the brat, then yelled at his parents.

                        I was at Little Bennett Park in Maryland this weekend. Parked the trailer, unloaded, we got back and this stupid cow parked her trailer on the road pretty much blocking the way out. Too many witnesses to flatten the tires, but dang it was tempting...yeah, I know, mature...but she did deserve it.
                        "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by tikihorse2 View Post
                          I have to wonder just why guys are "hiding in the bushes for no apparent reason"! Sounds pretty darn creepy to me! Please be careful when you go trail riding!

                          Kim
                          We've come up on hikers who did just that. They explained they didn't want to scare the horses. WE explained that was one of the best ways to spook them.

                          It's funny when we approach hikers on the trail and call "hello" to them MANY will not respond. Don't know why. If they don't I will call out for them to say hello please. We have explained to many that if they speak the horses know a human is coming not a bear and most if we meet again another day will say something like hello and maybe even "nice day".

                          We once came up on a gentleman who we had "educated" a few weeks before. Soon as he spotted us he started talking. Had to laugh when he told us that someone told him to talk when he came through the woods toward horses or it could scare them.
                          He remembered what we said but didn't reconize us!
                          You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by TheHorseProblem View Post
                            My personal favorite is this woman with a dog named Henrietta. First of all, that's just too many syllables for a dog name.
                            It's a lovely name, the problem is with people who seem unable to shorten long names for everyday use. I have neighbors whose dogs all have names like Zachary and Mistlethwaite, and they never shorten them. And they're horribly trained, so it's like a demented bird call every 15 minutes. "MISTLETHWAITE!!!! COME, MISTLETHWAITE! NO NO NO NO NO! MISTLETHWAITE!!!!" Just call the damn dog Misty already.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Well I was going to jump right in to ask if OP was on Cleveland Metro Park trails but looks like rude people are everywhere.
                              My husband jogs (and has been trained!) so I used to ride alongside while he jogged. Horse loved it to the point if he saw a jogger he wanted to go along with them.
                              Never convinced the horse that gaited horses coming up behind were not monsters or maybe horses running away from a monster.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                Originally posted by PaulaK View Post
                                Well I was going to jump right in to ask if OP was on Cleveland Metro Park trails but looks like rude people are everywhere.
                                My husband jogs (and has been trained!) so I used to ride alongside while he jogged. Horse loved it to the point if he saw a jogger he wanted to go along with them.
                                Never convinced the horse that gaited horses coming up behind were not monsters or maybe horses running away from a monster.
                                It was at Carlisle Reservation. But yes it does appear that stupid/rude people are everywhere. Especially people with a death wish
                                No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
                                For Hope, For Strength, For Life-Delta Gamma
                                www.etsy.com/shop/joiedevivrecrafts Custom Wreaths and Other Decorations

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                                • #36
                                  I've met my share of rude people on the trails but a couple stand out.

                                  One was an experienced rider who packed in the mountains and rode trails exclusively on her Paso Finos. One day she's out on some local trails with her group of Paso pals and coming up on another group in front of them, she just shouts "coming through!" and just barges her way through the group and continues along. Nevermind that the horses she and her friends just barged through started spooking, and getting twitterpated. I think she got a talking to after that one.

                                  The next was a group of mountain bikers I and a friend met up with on the trail. I was on my young horse (3) so she was a little on edge. The bikers were great, they all stopped and pulled to the side of the trail and said they were waiting for one more person. Here she comes, head totally down, not paying any attention. Her friends are all yelling at her to stop, there's horses on the trail. She completely ignores them and keeps coming. At the last second, she looks up and sees us and dumps the bike right in front of my horse Luckily my girl just jumps back a little but held it together. The biker meanwhile was about to give us shit but her friends told her "hey we yelled to you that there were horses, why didn't you stop?" Duly humiliated she kept her mouth shut. We thanked our new friends and went on our way.

                                  Yep, I always tell people to talk to the horse and to stand on the downhill side of the trail.
                                  Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by JollyBadger View Post
                                    While I do own a gaited breed (TWH), I am not at all ticked off or offended by what you said. Actually, I completely agree with you.

                                    The majority of the people I saw over the holiday weekend were like the ones you described - they may own horses, but they have no horse sense whatsoever. . .and certainly no concept of basic courtesy, let alone trail etiquette among horsemen or other trail users.

                                    Some of them have no business even owning a horse, from what I saw of the horses they brought with them.

                                    They're definitely not the kind of people I want to get caught up riding with. Even at my barn, there are people I absolutely don't want to go out with. As you said another post, they're embarassing just to be around.
                                    You should try shopping for a gaited trail horse I'm shopping right now and everything has had the running walk ruined (if it ever was there at all)- they all rack or speed rack, or, as I learned this weekend 'n****r-gait' - errm....ok...that means take em all out in a huge group down the road, fastest racker or pacer- sets the pace--that was a new one on me. And I'm from around here

                                    It's very hard to A) find a running walk B) find one that hasn't been ridden into the ground and mistreated. To those folks, the horse is a tool, like a shovel or a rake- just another tool.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by wingedmare View Post

                                      I rode my share of TWH and got the point I was embarassed of the other people on the trail with me and wouldn't go out with them any more.

                                      Amen!! I have to admit I also see a lot of yahoo's on gaited horses. I know it can put a bad taste in other peoples mouths. The gropu I ride with though, while we do move on out and like to rack fast or canter, are very respectful of others on the trail, we don't go flying around blind curves, only open up in straight-a-ways and then if the trail is empty. Our horses are also fat and healthy, with shoes or trimmed feet with boots, although only pasture fit so we try to take it easy on them. I know what you mean about the condition of their poor horses. GO GO GO fast as you can the whole way! Get your horse hot as hell and blowing, who cares? Vet? Naw! Trimmer? Whats that?? Wormer, hmmph!

                                      My boy Nate is a sweater, always has been, he gives 110% percent, and will give younger horses a run for their money. But I don't push him, we walk mostly, and when I think he's hot or any of the other horses are hot we stop or walk. We gait probably only 10% of the trail ride and canter maybe 1/4 of a percent. Usually just uphill.

                                      I swear there are some rude people in this world. It's such a shame, ME ME ME, so sick of it!

                                      That biker that dropped her bike in front of the horse, I can't believe she was going to say anything! It was her fault, idiot!!
                                      I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                                      Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Hiding in the bushes story...met a group with pack llamas. They went off the trail and into the deep dark woods- it took some doing but what we got their handlers to talk to us, finally! LOL Our horses were totally OMG OMG OMG but we made it. They meant to do right by us-but hiding silently in the darkest woods, with all those heads bobbin lol

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          All I do is ride trails, so I've encountered a bunch of idiots out there. (Just to be fair - 99% of people are great, but that other 1% like to do their best to get you killed)

                                          Was riding with a friend a few weeks ago, and my horse bolted forward. I grabbed mane, just as she spun around and nearly went head-to-head with an "endurance biker" whizzing at about 20 miles an hour right past us. My mare ran backwards off the trail and down a ditch. She's great with bikes, but it's that sudden "thing" flying up behind them that scares the crap out of them.

                                          On another ocassion I met a woman walking a Boxer on a retractable leash. She let the dog run at me, the leash whizzing all the way out to the end. The dog was barking and longing and my horse backed up about 20 steps to try to get away. The lady just keeps walking, letting the dog lunge right at us. I yelled "Would you PLEASE get control of your dog?!" She started trying to wheel in 20 feet of retractable leash, then the thing snarts snapping and whizzing out again as the dog just pulls the leash out of the handle. She just stands there like "Duh, what should I do?" So I yelled "You need to get your dog by the collar, or somebody is going to get hurt!!"

                                          Not an apology, nothing. Just struggles to get the dog reeled in, then finally gets his collar. We weren't 5 feet past her, and she let him go, he bolts after my horse's hocks, horse leaps into the air to get away, nearly dumps me in the process, and the lady just acts like its no big deal.

                                          Boy I was so flaming mad, I was seeing stars.

                                          We also encounter plenty of the "hide in the bushes" people. We always have to call out and ask them to come back onto the trail so the horses can see them. It seems like I'm always riding a young horse, or my friend is. The older, more experienced mares now understand about people hiding in the bushes but the greenies don't get it yet.

                                          By far the worst though was a trail that crosses a swamp, and there is a huge double-culvert you have to go over. The water runs under the trail, and it's kind of narrow, obviously with no guards or anything. Our horses are well used to it, it's no drama at all. But one time a lady and her dog waited on the other side of the culvert for us to cross. I got up to the culverts, and got nervous - what if the dog lunges at us and somebody spooks and goes over the edge. So I asked the lady to come on over the culverts. She couldn't hear me, so we sat there for 5 minutes, me giving arm gestures to come on over. Sheesh. She was so confused, and thought she was doing the right thing by waiting.

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