Whether you’re a seasoned rider or you’re just starting to hit the trails, it’s important to always keep proper etiquette in mind when riding in a group, or even by yourself. Here are some important rules that should be followed.
1) Identify “kickers” in the group you’re riding in: Tie a ribbon, traditionally red, on the tail of any horse that is known to kick.
2) Cell phones are essential: If you’re riding by yourself, make sure you have a phone in case of an emergency. If you’re in a group, it’s important that at least 1-2 people have phones.
3) Agree on speeds: Loping through an open field is fun, but make sure that all riders agree on a speed. Most riders, at some point, have witnessed a horse bolt off with an inexperienced companion aboard, trying to catch up with another horse and rider that suddenly took off. This is such an easy issue to avoid!
4) Proper distance between horses: Ask any rider what their biggest pet peeve is out on the trail, and it’s almost guaranteed that they will say riders who ride right on their horse’s tail. Don’t be this person.
5) Let people pass: If you’re in a group and there’s another group approaching you, ride single file.
6) Keep dogs under control: If your dog can’t contain themselves out on the trail, keep them at home.
7) Assess the group you’re riding in: Do you have a horse that will need to be schooled out on the trail? Do this in the company of other experienced riders, not in a group of beginners.
Do you agree with this list? Comment and let me know what tips you think every trail rider should follow.