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*rant* trail etiquette

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  • #41
    Yup, rude people are everywhere: walkers, joggers, riders, cyclists..... I see them all every time I ride.

    Hence the reason why I so highly praise and thank anyone who gives me a good ON YOUR LEFT as they come up behind me and pass. Granted, my mare never blinks at it anymore, but I still thank and encourage them to keep it up!

    I am glad that my mare is used to things whizzing up behind her. Case in piont was this past Saturday....

    We're headed back to the farm, so Penny mare is in her Fifth Gear Overdrive since she knows a bucket awaits her I hear the Sheriff's Department Golf Cart/Mule coming up behind me FAST. But I DON'T hear it slowing down, as they usually do when coming up to a horse. As he whizzes by me, I see the reason why. His blue lights are on and on the back of the mule are three cyclists and their bikes. Cyclist No. 1 has copious amounts of blood flowing down his face! Obviously he met the Silver Comet Trail in a much more up close and personal manner than intended.

    The worst, though, are the wee ones in their pink helmets perched upon their pink bike replete with training wheels. Mom and/or dad are riding slowly so as not to leave wee biker behind yet pay no attention to the fact that wee one is riding up the butt of my VERY big mare and, of course, is not paying attention or looking where she's going because OOOH MOMMY LOOK! There's a pool! There's a bird! There's a squirrel!

    And then when I politely but firmly ask mom and/or dad to make their child stop riding until I get far enough away, I'm told I am rude! Where's the fruitbat?
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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    • #42
      Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
      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.
      Hey! One of my dogs is named Ezekiel, one is Sophia Rae.

      What the hell is wrong with long dog names, and what in god's name does that have to do with this thread???

      Comment


      • #43
        Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
        Hey! One of my dogs is named Ezekiel, one is Sophia Rae.

        What the hell is wrong with long dog names, and what in god's name does that have to do with this thread???
        um--- that dingaling with the goofy Boxer on a retractable lead, I'd rather hear her trying with "Rex, NO Rex! Rex, SIT!" than hear "Rexcaliburistic, NO, Rexcaliburistic SIT!"

        In a tight spot, I bet Rex'll sit. Rexcaliburistic, notsomuch.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by katarine View Post
          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.
          Yep, that's exactly what I've been seeing, too.

          Lots of people had young, barely two year old horses on the weekend ride and they stayed out the whole six hours. And, of course, it's not a leisurely 6 hour dog-walk around a flat, shaded path. If you're not going up a hill, you're going down one. As soon as the rider gets on, they take off at a rack and don't slow down again until they stop to have a beer. One of the youngsters went down on his knees while trying to drink out of a stream. Poor guy was completely worn out - and the guy took him out on trail again the following day!

          The only chance a person might have at finding a good gaited trail horse out of that bunch is if they bought one of the young, unbroke horses. . .and there are some really nice ones around. You just have to find them before the yahoo cowboy wannabees do.
          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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          • #45
            Originally posted by JollyBadger View Post
            The only chance a person might have at finding a good gaited trail horse out of that bunch is if they bought one of the young, unbroke horses. . .and there are some really nice ones around. You just have to find them before the yahoo cowboy wannabees do.
            I've got to say, I've never ridden a gaited horse before or had any experience with gaited breeds... but I have a huge amount of respect for their sanity, kindness and patience after seeing all the crap they have to take. It seems like every yahoo who wants a horse-as-dirt-bike equivalent goes out to find something gaited, and those horses must be saints to put up with those people. I think the same thing when I think of Big Lick TWHs and so on--while there are certainly abuses in all horse disciplines, it really is a credit to what good dispositions seem to be in gaited horses that more @$$hats don't get kicked or stomped to death.

            I tend to think the same about QHs. All the poor, sweet, long-suffering horses I see with idiot owners seem to be QHs or gaited. Argh. I want to see those people go out and buy a horse sized like a Shire with the mindset of a Shetland and try that same kind of crap. I'll help sweep up the carnage.
            "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

            Graphite/Pastel Portraits

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            • #46
              Originally posted by SarahandSam View Post
              I've got to say, I've never ridden a gaited horse before or had any experience with gaited breeds... but I have a huge amount of respect for their sanity, kindness and patience after seeing all the crap they have to take. It seems like every yahoo who wants a horse-as-dirt-bike equivalent goes out to find something gaited, and those horses must be saints to put up with those people. I think the same thing when I think of Big Lick TWHs and so on--while there are certainly abuses in all horse disciplines, it really is a credit to what good dispositions seem to be in gaited horses that more @$$hats don't get kicked or stomped to death.

              I tend to think the same about QHs. All the poor, sweet, long-suffering horses I see with idiot owners seem to be QHs or gaited. Argh. I want to see those people go out and buy a horse sized like a Shire with the mindset of a Shetland and try that same kind of crap. I'll help sweep up the carnage.

              the TWHs are tough tough critters, for sure.

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              • #47
                I really do miss riding them on the trail. I trail rode them as part of their conditioning for showing, and one of them I rode aside on the trail quite often and LOVED it! Funny story about riding aside on the trail actualy...
                Bicyclist flew by me on the mare WAY to close and she spun her butt to him defensive and I hollard at him and friend's mare who was in front of me spun sideways as well blocking the trail. So he had to stop, as I was yelling to get his attention he turned to see the off side of my saddle (swallow what you are drinking now, I will wait.....) AND THOUGHT HE TOOK MY LEG OFF!!!!! I have never seen a grown man turn so white so fast! He was freaking out thinking I'm injured while friend and I are in tears from laughing at him. I doubt he ever whizzed past a horse again!
                “Four things greater than all things are, - Women and Horses and Power and War”

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by wingedmare View Post
                  I have ceased being amazing by the thoughtlessness of people on trails. Sadly, it isn't just non-riders!! Recently myself and two friends were on a trail ride, luckily our 3 mounts are been there done that types that don't let anything bother them. We were about 2 hours out when my friend D (riding drag) yelled up to me that she heard horses coming up behind us. We were riding Pioneer Town in So Cal, pretty rough terrain. About 2 minuets later a group of horses came galloping up behind us nearly Taking out D's little Arab cross and bumping myself and other friend as they galloped past us!! They never slowed down, stopped, checked to see if we were ok (which we were, but you never know!) or even looked back. Despite the ABSOLUTE dangerousness of their behavior as it concerns others, the area they were riding in in this manner is by no means safe for it! It took every ounce of self control not to chase them down and have at them (they weren't even kids, they were at least in their 30's). I am honestly surprised we didn't find one of them splattered on the rocks later on.

                  People are self centered for the most part and do not pay attention to how their actions affect others or themselves unfortunately.
                  This is the attitude I get from people in that age group (30-40) who have ridden in their youth and want to just gallop. I worked at a trail riding facility for a summer and got this ALL the time. One incredibly distinct memory was this guy who came in around 40 ordered a private 2 hour trail ride went off with one of the other girls I work with then an hour later we see them coming back up the walk with the trail guided on the man's horse completely out of control and jerry rigging a one rein bridle and the guy on her horse. Short story is 15 minutes after leading the barn the guy just gave a "heeyah!" kicked Joker (his horse) and dug his heels in sending Joker galloping out past the trail guide and away onto unknown trails. took her a half hour to chase him down and when she did had to grab Joker's rein as he wasn't stopping and the guy wasn't helping, rein broke but left the tail to get him under control kicked the guy off Joker and had a come to Jesus meeting then plunked him on her horse went straight back to the barn to not pass go and did not refund a dime,. If that was an isolated experience I would of brushed it off as a freak thing, but it was always the same type that did this. Between 30-40 primarily male or a woman who felt "privilaged" (either money or a spoiled brat in life) and had ridden in their youth but never with any formal lessons. We usually put these people either on the slowest horses in the barn of a particular mare named Pheonix who could boogie but absolutely refused to be anywhere else in the line but dead last. Stubborn as a mule (she was an arab) but would not give an inch. No amount of man handling, kicking, jeering or poor riding could get her from moving out of the rear position. Some people, just have no concept of horses or how to handle horses on trails
                  ~The Hardest Thing About Riding is the Ground~

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                  • #49
                    So I do have to say...a couple of weeks ago, I rented a couple of TWHs with my dad in Arkansas and we rode on trails out there. (Still amazed that there are places you can just rent a couple of horses for the day and they turn you loose to go out riding with no guide or supervision but...anyway!). We didn't really run into any horses that day but there were quite a few dirtbikers on the trails. I remember hearing their engines and thinking, "oh crap, that's going to suck if we run into them". Nice to find out, every single dirtbiker we encountered either turned off the trail before they got to us or they would stop as soon as they saw us, pull over, turn off their engines, and take off their helmets to say hello. I was really pleasantly surprised. And then at one point, we were riding on what was actually a dirt road in the woods when a truck approached, so we moved over off the road and the guy paused to compliment me on wearing a helmet.

                    But as far as bad experiences go...I haven't really had any. The closest we get is when we go riding in Patuxent State Park in MD near the river. There's a couple of "swimming hole" spots (and one has a rope swing) that when we get close and there are people out there, we'll call out to them and ask them not to swing till we get past and to, hopefully, say hello so the horses realize those are actually humans down there (you should see them when there are people hidden by an overhanging bank where they can hear voices but not see anything, aheh). But that's never been too big a deal, though a lot of people don't really seem to "get" why we're asking them to do this.
                    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #50
                      So I just found out another part of our continuing saga of the joggers Apparently the other girl who was there before us said that the guy did call out that he was coming up behind her but not until he was already past the horse's butt So she yelled at him to not sneak up behind a horse like that. Then when he gets to us he doesn't even say anything at all! So apparently he learned the opposite lesson. Or had 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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                      • #51
                        I've posted this before, but I will post it again.

                        I've been out of the horses for years, and I think people who are in the horses hard core forget that not everyone is. And not just that, not everyone is an animal person. My fiance is an athlete, and with him, I've started road biking, mountain biking, etc. He's also never had pets. He has no instincts around my corgi when she stays with us, and it took him months to figure out how the cats like to be petted and loved on. Horses? Totally clueless.

                        And he mountain biked without be for years, before we were on a trail and came up behind horses once. I explained to him about their range of sight, blindspots, kicking range and the prey instinct that horses have. That even yelling "bike behind you" can set one off. He was surprised, and clueless. Now, whenever we approach a horse when we're mountain biking, he makes me go first.

                        That said, I've encountered rude riders too. If you CAN pull over to let a bike by, it's certainly appreciated - I've had people ride three abreast, turn around, look at me and say 'we have right of way, you'll just have to follow us' - on a trail that would have been easy to pass if they rode single file for a bit. And if you notice a bike lingering behind you, tell them if it's OK to pass. I usually try to get in the horse's line of sight, and call out to the rider, more often than not, they totally ignore me. And as I know the kicking end of a horse, I'd much rather a rider wave me by, tell me he's fine or say "hang on, let me face you" - anything. Conversely, when I have come up on young ones on the trail, I've volunteered to ride back and forth by thema few times, stop, let them smell the bike, that sort of thing - and it's always been appreciated.

                        I think the biggest solution is education. And that's not just educating other people to respect you, but you learning to respect others and the challenges THEY face on a trail. If I have to stop going up a rocky hill, chances are I'm going to have to walk the rest of the way. So even though you have right of way, if there's a place for you to let me safely by, I'd certainly appreciate it. And most people who are athletes, I've noticed, really respect other sports and WANT to learn more about them. Get with an area outdoor club, host a happy hour with grownup pony rides at the barn. Volunteer for trail maintenance with a local mountain bike club. Respect is a two-way street.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #52
                          I definitely don't mind other people coming by and Mom and I always gladly go single file when anyone comes up behind us or if they're coming the opposite way.

                          However, if I'm riding my bike on a regular walking trail I would still have the common courtesy to announce my presence so I don't startle the people I'm going to go flying by.

                          And at the specific place we were at there are signs that state that all other forms of transportation (including your own two feet) yield to horses and should announce themselves. So that's just ignorance on their part by not reading the signs!
                          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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                          • #53
                            I think people who are in the horses hard core forget that not everyone is. And not just that, not everyone is an animal person.
                            agree. Also think the idea that the horse needs "special treatment" on multi-use trails is an idea that needs to be abandoned. Ever gone down a crowded multi-bike/person/dog trail (non horse) on foot? the bikes whiz past yelling on the left passing inches from the baby-strollers, the joggers weave in and out of the crowd. It's considered NORMAL. Except apparently by horse riders. I'm thinking the idea that horses deserve special treatment on multi-use trails is just going to get them tossed off them.

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                            • #54
                              I'm thinking the idea that horses deserve special treatment on multi-use trails is just going to get them tossed off them.
                              Except, in some ways, they do. Bicycles, joggers, and baby strollers are not prey animals. They aren't going to react with flying hooves when something whizzes by them.
                              The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                              Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

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                              • #55
                                Except, in some ways, they do. Bicycles, joggers, and baby strollers are not prey animals. They aren't going to react with flying hooves when something whizzes by them.
                                Then they probably should not be on crowded multi use trails unless they are safe around non-horse people who don't realize horses might be frightened by bikes, baby carriages and runners.

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                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                  um--- that dingaling with the goofy Boxer on a retractable lead, I'd rather hear her trying with "Rex, NO Rex! Rex, SIT!" than hear "Rexcaliburistic, NO, Rexcaliburistic SIT!"

                                  In a tight spot, I bet Rex'll sit. Rexcaliburistic, notsomuch.
                                  Are you serious? My dogs listen just fine to their multi-syllable names. Wow, you learn something new everyday on COTH I guess. Who knew that a dog couldn't possibly listen to a name that has more than one syllable. I guess my dogs didn't get the memo.

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                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by magnolia73 View Post
                                    Then they probably should not be on crowded multi use trails unless they are safe around non-horse people who don't realize horses might be frightened by bikes, baby carriages and runners.
                                    I actually agree that it is ultimately MY responsibility for my own safety, my own horse's safety, and the safety of those around me when I choose to take my horse into the public domain.

                                    But there are a couple other things to consider.

                                    1. A young/green horse will never get accustomed to bikes, baby strollers, and joggers if you don't get them out there and expose them to it. I try to show them everything possible at home first, but the first few times on a trail, everything is different. The sights, the smells, their adrenaline is higher, they're more reactive.

                                    2. Horses are prey animals that are easily startled by stuff that comes up out of nowhere. They don't have to be rank, wild things to freak out and hurt somebody. I've been on trail with very experienced trail horses, who have spooked and spun or bolted when a dog charged out of the bushes, or a biker came tearing around a curve in the trail. It's the sudden, out of nowhere stuff that can get horses in trouble.

                                    That's just facts when you take a living, breathing, prey animal out into the public. This is why it is always customary for everyone to yield to horses on public trails.

                                    Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                    agree. Also think the idea that the horse needs "special treatment" on multi-use trails is an idea that needs to be abandoned. Ever gone down a crowded multi-bike/person/dog trail (non horse) on foot? the bikes whiz past yelling on the left passing inches from the baby-strollers, the joggers weave in and out of the crowd. It's considered NORMAL. Except apparently by horse riders. I'm thinking the idea that horses deserve special treatment on multi-use trails is just going to get them tossed off them.
                                    I disagree. Horses are a completely different dynamic than a lady with a baby stroller passing a jogger. You have a 800-1,500 pound prey ANIMAL with a brain of its own who is capable of spooking, bolting, and plowing over (and possibly killing) humans that are in its path. Horses can do considerable damage when spooked. If a lady runs into a jogger with a baby stroller, the worst that's likely to happen is a skinned knee or a bruised elbow.

                                    It's the same idea as being extra cautious of bikers or pedestrians on public roads. If I rear-end the car in front of me at a stop sign, you might have a dented bumper and maybe a headache. If I rear-end a biker or a hit a walker crossing the street, there is much more potential for serious injury or death. Bikers and pedestrians BY LAW have precedent over motor vehicles because they are completely different in nature than motor vehicles. Horses are completely different than a bike or a baby stroller, and so they generally receive precedent on multi-use trails.

                                    And FWIW, we always pull over to the right, slow to a walk, and go single file when we are being passed by runners or bikes. A lot of times we even halt, and let the horses look over their shoulder and what's approaching. If we want to pass walkers, we pull out to the left, announce "Can we pass on your left?" wait for a response, then walk on by, single file.

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #58
                                      I think people should be wary of horses on BRIDLE TRAILS. They are, at least at Carlisle, bridle trails first with a huge equestrian center where they host shows. We kindly share some paths with other people. However, there are also many trails that appear like bridle trails but do not allow horses on them. I think if the sign says yield to horses then people should follow the rules. Both of our horses are pretty stable and do not spook but if someone comes up suddenly in their blind spot they may kick out if they feel endangered, can't say I blame them either. A baby stroller is not going to kick you. And to seriously go flying by on a fairly narrow bridge? I would never dream of doing that on foot, bicycle, roller blades, etc... to anybody, whether they are on horseback or not. That to me is just plain rude.
                                      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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                                      • #59
                                        Probably the reality is that bikes + horse don't mix. I run a lot with mountain bikers- they do pop up out of nowhere- they can't see you, you can't see them. I've stepping in front of ones on several occasions- we were both "out of it". I try to run the opposite way the bikers ride- that helps a LOT and it might be prudent to do one way trails- bikers one way, horses the other.

                                        2. Horses are prey animals that are easily startled by stuff that comes up out of nowhere. They don't have to be rank, wild things to freak out and hurt somebody. I've been on trail with very experienced trail horses, who have spooked and spun or bolted when a dog charged out of the bushes, or a biker came tearing around a curve in the trail. It's the sudden, out of nowhere stuff that can get horses in trouble.
                                        If they don't see you, they can not yield. Most bikers don't say-oooo-horses round the bend, lets haul ass. They say "wheee, fun part of trail...". I think spooking and bolting on trails might just be impossible to prevent. If it is a windy trail....

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                          Are you serious? My dogs listen just fine to their multi-syllable names. Wow, you learn something new everyday on COTH I guess. Who knew that a dog couldn't possibly listen to a name that has more than one syllable. I guess my dogs didn't get the memo.
                                          Girl, you're the one taking this all a bit too seriously

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