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*rant* trail etiquette

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  • *rant* trail etiquette

    My Mom and I went trail riding yesterday on bridle trails (of course-but I feel this point needs to be made). We had just started off and were going over a fairly narrow bridge. She is almost completely off of it and I am almost to the end and both horses start freaking out. Mom's horse NEVER spooks at anything, we've owned him for almost 10 years now and he's spooked once when we first got him (he's an OTTB too!). Well we're looking around and here come two runners right up behind us on the bridge! Never announced their presence, never slowed down. Mom yelled at them that they cannot run up unannounced like that because it is sooo dangerous for us and for them. The one just shrugged, the other didn't even look at us. They never stopped, slowed down, or apologized. I realize that they are allowed to be on the trails and I have no problem with that but there are plenty of signs around that state bicycles and walkers/hikers/runners need to yield to horses. We were not at all happy about it. I joked to Mom that we should gallop up behind them and see how they liked it

    Well she went up to the barn today and found out that another girl from our barn had a run in (no pun intended) with the same runners! She actually really yelled at them for running right up behind her. I could understand if maybe you didn't know horses or something but after being told by someone to do it again an hour later

    Most of the people we meet are wonderful. If they have dogs they always step off to the side, just in case. But it's so irritating, especially since it was on a bridge too!
    No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
    For Hope, For Strength, For Life-Delta Gamma
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  • #2
    I've met many rude runners....we've had them run up on us in the same fashion while riding at one of the State Parks..same reaction..."Oh, oh well".

    I've had runners, basically run me off the sidewalk walking the dog here in the city as well. My husband got into a shouting match with a man one afternoon. We were walking the dogs...jogger/runner rounds the corner...being polite and courtesy, I step in single file behind my husband and we used one side of the walk......runner will not move to the other side....and he ended up slamming into my husband..then proceeded to yell at my husband. Well, husband is an engineer...and if you are married to one, you know what I mean. So it was ugly for about one minute and the jogger continued down the sidewalk.

    I actually had a woman WALKING slam into me in the same scenerio....I moved to one side with the dog and she just continued barreling towards me and slammed into me shoulders and all...then huffed and puffed for me being in her way.

    We live in a very rude, self centered society, that's for sure.


    • #3
      I had a guy ride up on his bike with a kiddy trailer (with kids in it and a flag flapping) right behind me and my husband while we were riding on a long narrow bridge. In my OTTB's younger years the guy would have gotten kicked. After I told him horses could kick, spook, spin, and trample him and his kids he totally shrugged me off and continued pedaling two feet behind my horse's hocks till the end of the bridge (long bridge) There are also signs posted on this trail to allow equestrians to exit bridges before bikers/hikers can cross, and most people are very gracious about it. Some people are just oblivious.
      "Bold Words was classier than all his competition. Straighter knees and a slim, elegant neck." -Nan Mooney My Racing Heart


      • #4
        A fellow boarder told me about a pair of kids on bikes who thought it was a real hoot to pull her horse's tail as they rode past.


        • #5
          Originally posted by apcohrs View Post
          A fellow boarder told me about a pair of kids on bikes who thought it was a real hoot to pull her horse's tail as they rode past.
          Very funny til someone's kid has a dent in their skull.

          Some people are really thoughtless. Most we've run across are wonderful. (I'd gripe "kids!" in reference to the quote above, but there's a 12 year old with an ATV who rides some of the trails we ride, and he always stops if he sees us, then REMOVES HIS HELMET and speaks to us!!!!! I didn't expect it of him, and we are happy to move over and let him by, but it's a real nice courtesy to show the horse's he's a human! A kid!!!)


          • #6
            Originally posted by dghunter View Post
            I joked to Mom that we should gallop up behind them and see how they liked it
            Oh, I would sooooo want to do this. Only partly because my solution to spooking at something is to have the horse "chase" it. Or I'd think about using the horse to block the trail somehow. In reality, what can you really do? I'd guess if your horse kicked someone you'd be liable, even if they were the one being an a$$. People are jerks.

            You'd think that a skittering horse would be a little intimidating. Most people don't even want to come within 10 feet of my horse, even when she's half asleep.


            • #7
              I used to run into the same guy on a mountain bike, almost every time I went out on trail. The first time my horse saw him, she spooked and almost offed me. After awhile, she learned to tolerate him whizzing by us. Really though, you can't do anything more than be on guard, ready for them to be running up behind you. You have to share the trails with all kinds. Some people have zero knowledge about horses. Maybe next time you could speak with them, explain the situation to them. Tell them to give you some warning as they are scaring the horses. Most people will try to work with you.


              • #8
                A friend and I were riding in a state park in So CA a few years ago side by side just walking along talking. A bicycle rider came up behind us and tried to ride between the two horses (plenty of room to go around) and my horse spooked and knocked him off his bike. His head was under my horse, his legs under my friends horse but his feet were still in those strap things on his pedals. He couldn't get up we told him to be very quiet and stay still. I have a ASB so I had her park out (couldn't go forward or back up without stepping on him) and my friend managed to keep her horse still. I am still amazed that our horses did not move while some men that came along pulled him and his bike out from under the horses. After he was out did my friend and I give him a talking to like he was a small child. We also reported him to the park ranger since horses have the right of way in this park. They give three warnings then you are kicked out of the park when you break the rules; very strict park rangers. I did have one bike rider push my horse's head aside when he went by, she tried to bite him but missed. They just don't get what a 1200 lb (my mare is big and fat) can do.


                • #9
                  A little off topic

                  I used to ride on the road (shoulder, or in the flat part of the ditch) down the road from the barn. I stopped a few years ago because I was literally run off the road. I was riding a young stallion; he was a very good boy, pretty even tempered, very confident - not spooky at all, just an all around good boy. We were about 3km from the barn, riding on the shoulder of a very quiet road when a car whizzed by blaring its horn! BabyBoy took it in stride and I figure thats the end of it.


                  Car turns around and whizzes by again blaring horn only this time on my side of the road coming onto the shoulder. I move down to the ditch and continue on my way back to the barn.

                  This continued my entire way back to the barn. I called the police to report it when I got back but have no idea if they ever did anything.

                  My conclusion was: people can do stupid things....

                  The worst part of it all is that we are liable if anything were to happen between them and our horses. If someone's child was kicked because they were too close on a bike its never their fault. Makes me angry...
                  Riding the winds of change

                  Heeling NRG Aussies
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                  • #10
                    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.
                    “Four things greater than all things are, - Women and Horses and Power and War”


                    • #11
                      Not just on trails and on horses! I was jogging along the road, well onto a wide shoulder, facing traffic, broad daylight and a car heads straight at me! Last minute it swerves off! I didn't move but jist stood there and stared at it! Couldn't see the plate but remembered the make and color. I picked up a rock and was ready if he came back and tried again!


                      • #12
                        We lost a couple of horses one time on a local trail and a kid on a dirt bike stopped and stayed stationary for a LONG time so that we could hear to locate them. He also came back by (slowly) to make sure that we were ok when we were ponying them out. That kid was miles ahead of any of the local yahoos in my book. I believe that his mom also has horses so that's probably why, but he's probably just a nice kid in general.

                        I hate the rude dirtbikers, though, who make you leap off the trail when they come roaring by...


                        • #13
                          DH and his horse had an "interesting" encounter last fall with a group of 5-6 joggers. He was in front; me behind (as usual), when his horse stopped abruptly, head up in full alert mode. I see a "blob" coming at us, but still some ways down the trail. It was the joggers, shirtless and all jogging closely and in unison - "blob" going up and down rhythmically.

                          DH's horse starts backing up fast, then progresses to nearly running backwards, not wanting to take his eyes off that threatening blob up ahead. I position my mare to try to stop him, but he bumped us and went right on by. DH didn't know WHAT to do, but he was doing a good job of staying on with a horse that was nearly sitting down and moving fast at the same time.

                          Fortunately, the "blob" stopped immediately when they saw what was happening. My mare took the lead and calmly approached them and walked quietly on by. DH's horse followed, but was very wary, eyes as big as dinner plates. I told the joggers, who were clearly confused by what they had seen, that DH's horse was new to trails and getting used to things (yeah right, a 22-yr-old, alpha gelding that simply MUST lead the way...unless he thinks something is dangerous, then it's "let the girl go first"... ).

                          Our last encounter with people on mountain bikes was surprisingly good. Every one we encountered immediately stopped off the side of the trail to let us pass.

                          But, yeah, I've run into some pretty rude trail users, including other folks on horses.

                          The worst wasn't on the trail, though. Happened about 30 years ago. It was a couple of (probably half-drunk) guys in a car that thought it would be fun to open their car door and try to hit my mare when I was riding down the road. They missed her, and she was a saint, so it didn't phase her, but it could have been disasterous. I don't ride roads anymore.
                          Equus Keepus Brokus


                          • #14
                            And this is why I carry a dressage whip on public trails! Instant boundary line, and yes I've used it. *sigh* Can't stand people sometimes.


                            • #15
                              Man, this thread makes me irate... I've been lucky enough that on the trails at my barn, the most we occasionally encounter will be a couple of people on four-wheelers, and they always seem to be polite--will stop and wait for us to pass and turn off the motors if the horses seem spooked. I can't believe how many ignorant and nasty people are out there...

                              A couple portions of the trails do go alongside a busy road, and most people are considerate and slow down a bit--but a National Grid truck the other day was honking at me like crazy as I rode past. I planned to call the company when I got home but forgot about it... wish I had. People don't realize how dangerous horses can be and think it's funny to make them spook and swerve... idiots.
                              "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                              Graphite/Pastel Portraits


                              • #16
                                The trails around our barn are famous for off-leash dogs that have never seen a horse before. Argh!

                                Ostensibly, dogs aren't allowed at the stable at all, so the horses don't have a lot of contact with them.

                                Add kids on bicycles, guys hiding in the bushes for no apparent reason, etc., and trail rides can either be wonderful or make you hate humanity


                                • #17
                                  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!!

                                  INDEED! My SO and I were hacking a pair of seasoned trail horses in a local state park where we ride often year round. There are joggers, hikers, dog walkers, riders, and mountain bikers, and almost always we have a good experience with folks sharing the road with us. Two really icky moments spring to mind:

                                  1) Woman on horse GALLOPS up behind us on modest width woodland trail to assure us that her loose dogs will not bother our horses. SO was on my big alpha mare, a Cleveland Bayx who does not put up with crap; had it been me, she would have stood up nicely, but since it was the novice rider she went into "protect mode" and started backing up with her ears flat, ready to kick stranger up her tushie a good one. Eeeek!

                                  2) Same park, next year. We are riding along with my big mare (me) and SO on his new horse, a cute little Paint. Woman is walking loose dog. It runs up into the faces of a pair of small dogs being leash walked by a gentleman who is not thrilled. Woman is smiling at her rude dog, calling as she backs down the trail towards us. Her dog looks up, sees horses, and runs towards us. I call to her that my mare will kick a strange dog which is up in her feet. Woman answers that she has horses at home and the dog is fine. I respond that the dog will not be fine if my mare takes offense and kicks it. Woman goes past, making no effort to control dog, which is jumping all around my less and less pleased mare. I turn the mare's nose to the dog and leg yield past to remove kicking temptation. Dog bounces at mare's nose. Mare gives dog the stinky eye with a clear, 'any second I will crush you' expression. Dog clues into the fact that she is not his friend and bolts for his owner. We continue ride.

                                  When we got back to the trailer, she had left a note on my rig telling me that if my horse could not handle dogs while being ridden in a park with gun dog privileges I should stay in a ring or get a real trail horse! Sheesh!! Like I was the one breaking the rules. There IS a leash law in the park, gun dog season was not for several weeks, and gun dogs are only allowed off the leash while actively being hunted or trained. She was just a lady taking a dog for a walk and not controlling it.

                                  I guess if I see her again I'll let my mare kick the dog (not that I would do that to the dog--it's not the dog's fault his owner finds rude behavior funny and appropriate).


                                  • #18
                                    This was a huge story last year when a lady was riding her horse on a trail in the forest above Sacramento. A loose dog came up and started attacking her horses back legs, he threw the lady and the horse took off with the dog after it. People saw the attack and came to her aid and other people took off after the horse. The horse got onto a main road and was running for the expansion bridge; people parked their cars across the entrance to the bridge and caught the horse. Severe damage to his hind legs. The man that owned the dog said nothing, put his dog in his truck and took off; but people got his license plate number and he was caught later. I don't remember the exact charges but he did have to pay all of the Vet bills and ladies medical bills. Luckily there were a large number of witnesses. So scary with that expansion bridge!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Ambrey View Post
                                      Add kids on bicycles, guys hiding in the bushes for no apparent reason, etc., and trail rides can either be wonderful or make you hate humanity
                                      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!

                                      I loff my Quarter horse clique

                                      I kill threads dead!


                                      • #20
                                        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!

                                        Yes! Freaked everyone out, I am pretty sure someone called the police on him!