trail etiquette cowgirl magazine

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All riders have a responsibility to respect the trails they ride on. Most trail riding etiquette is common sense! Whether riding on private or public land, you should never trash or destroy the property. Generally, leave it how you found it is a good rule to follow.

Etiquette for Trail Riders

  • Always obtain permission to ride on private property.
  • Only ride on public areas that are horse friendly.
  • Never disturb or harass wildlife.
  • Pick up all trash and dispose of it properly.
  • Avoid trails when the ground is really wet.
  • Leave gates how you find them.
  • Stay alert of others on the trails.
  • Be respectful (and friendly) to joggers, bicyclists, and other trail users.
  • Consider using a manure catcher on your horse.
  • Always pick up manure from the parking lot and common areas.
  • It can be helpful to tie a bell in your horse’s mane to alert others of your presence.
  • Ride at the speed of the least experienced rider.
  • Get the group’s consent before going faster.
  • Take frequent walk and rest breaks.
  • When crossing roads, stop and look both ways.
  • If riding on the road, travel single file.
  • Use a tree-saver strap when tying up.
  • Carry a map or your phone (on silent), in case you get lost.
  • Double check your tack’s fit throughout the ride.
  • Choose a trail based on your horse’s fitness and experience level.
  • Never ride with a loose dog.
  • Wear a certified helmet.
  • Don’t drink alcohol and ride.

Trail riding can be so much fun. Follow these rules to ensure everyone has a good experience!