When out on the trail and with or without the club;
A great number of our trails are on private land. We use these trails “at sufferance” and at anytime owners may withdraw their goodwill and fence us out.
1. Be courteous, appreciative and polite.
2. If you are a regular user of a private trail make a point of introducing yourself to the land owner and ask about any restrictions.
3. Be invisible; don’t go fast, keep to the perimeter of the property & mind your own business.
4. Don’t bring your dog.
5. Pick up all garbage and kick your horse’s manure off the trail.
6. Don’t mingle or touch noses with pastured horses
7. Keep the trail safe for other users
8. Close all gates
We use these trails at our own risk ~ Return the pleasure received!
Trail Ride Rules:
1. Every rideout will have a designated Trail Boss or Lead rider to set the pace and a Drag rider to be last. All other riders must obey them.
2. Dress Code: Riders: sensible boots with heels all weather clothes (who knows?), personal identification
Horses: red ribbons in the tails if the horse kicks, horseshoes or good strong hooves
Tack: Check cinches and bridles for wear and tear.
3. Make it easy on your horse ! • Please use the buddy system and that means your horse's buddy as well. Novice Riders or riders with green horses should alert the lead or drag rider who will team them, up with mellow horses and experienced riders.
• Keep your horse in sight of others. If a rider/horse have to stop, one other rider should stay back with them.
• Don't canter or trot without first checking with the nearby riders and trail boss. Large groups always walk.
• Don't gallop.
• Be in control up and down hills.
• Leave at least one horse length between horses.
• Always signal a speed change so everyone has time to react slowly.
4. Travel on the right hand side of the road UNLESS, it is unsafe.
5. Always signal a speed change so everyone has time to react slowly.
6. Be courteous at water holes and don’t crowd.
7. A first Aid kit should always be carried by at least one Rider. Play Days , Shows and other Events:
In the Ring:
1. When circling the ring, pass slower horses to the inside, that is to the centre of the ring rather than between the slower horse and the fence.
2. Always leave plenty of room when passing
3. If a horse is out of control or riderless in the ring, all other riders should stop. If the horse is really out of control then all other riders should go to the centre of the ring.
4. Pay attention to the Ring Master.
5. Don’t tailgate other horses
6. Put equipment away when finished with it
7. Poop scoop the ring when you are done.
Dress Code: A sensible boot with a heel, riding approved helmets for youths, Red ribbon in tail of horses that kick
When waiting outside of the ring:
1. No galloping or running in the field
2. When using the small ring, make sure everyone goes the same direction
3. Try to pair up with another rider and look after each other. Young horses and green horses should use the
4. Clean up manure around your trailer & in the stalls before leaving.
BE SAFE AND HAVE FUN!
Trail riding—and traveling to trailheads and horse camps to ride on trails—are relatively new activities. Yet trail riding has fast become the most popular equine activity in the country. Along with its evolution is a steep learning curve. There are very few authorities in the field, no absolute rules to follow, and no one judging your performance.To stay safe, we need to take responsibility for ourselves and the way we ride, and to be cognizant of how our actions affect other trail riders. This is especially true on group rides.
Here’s why: Over the years, we’ve improved our riding skills, training techniques, and communication between rider and horse. We’ve honed our individual abilities and our horse’s skills to an incredible level. However, when you’re in a group setting—whether with a few friends or on a large, organized ride—everything changes. When individual riders get together for a group ride, folks generally don’t ride as a group—they ride as individuals in a group setting.
Many riders are oblivious of how their behavior—and that of their equine friend—impacts others in their group. This lack of awareness can lead to problems not present when riding alone on home trails.
For instance, horses that are normally well-behaved on the trail may suddenly turn into a renegade when riding with other horses. His quiet demeanor can fly out the barn window when he’s following a more energetic horse. This lively behavior, good or bad, seems to rev up even the calmest equine trail partners.
Then there’s the ride back to camp. The one in which the riders say they’re in complete control as they go racing back to the trailer. We’ve all seen them; they’re the ones with fear in their eyes and a death grip on the saddle horn, as others are left to try to control their horses in some sane manner.
Here are a few tips to help you, your horse, and others stay safe on group rides.
•Be considerate. Be aware that other riders may be less experienced than you are. For example, if you want to pass another rider, approach her slowly, and ask her whether passing would be a problem.
•Stay at a walk. If you take off on a dead run with no warning, all the horses behind you brace themselves for the enemy you’re surely fleeing. If you whiz past horses in front of you, they figure there must be a predator nearby, so they’d also better run for their lives. Stay at a walk at all times. And don’t let your horse take you back to camp at his speed. If this is a problem for you, work with him on your home trails to correct his barn-sour behavior.
• Increase your skill level. Some horses may kick, bite, buck, jump, and otherwise behave badly when they find themselves in the midst of strange horses under new circumstances. No matter how tractable your horse may be on home trails, learn how to bring him under control, should he act up in a group.
• Condition your horse. If your horse isn’t used to riding long distances over difficult terrain, he’s at a higher risk for illness or injury than a more prepared horse. He might colic, tie up, overheat, etc. Before a long group ride, condition your horse. Learn to take his vital signs (temperature, pulse and respiration, gum color, and gut sounds), so you know what’s normal for him. Right before you leave on a ride, make sure he’s physically ready. (For a checklist, see “Is He Ready to Ride?” Safe & Sound, September/October ’04).
•Check his hooves. Before you embark on a ride, check your horse’s shoes and/or hoof condition. Be sure to carry a temporary hoof boot on the ride in case your horse loses a shoe or injures a hoof and learn how to use it.