If you’re spending time with your horse on the trail, it’s important to do so responsibly. Below are many ways in which you can be sure that you ride responsibly.
- Stay on designated roads, trails and other areas open to horses.
- Ride single file to reduce trail damage. Spread out in open country where there are no trails. Spreading out, rather than following each other’s footsteps, disperses impact and avoids creating a new trail.
- Comply with all signs
Trail Etiquette Reminders
Here are some trail etiquette reminders:
- Need to bring negative Coggins/health papers if traveling out of state, in state, negative Coggins needed only
- Wear an ASTM/SEI approved helmet
- Check cinch/girth before mounting/during ride
- Keep kickers in back; identify them
- Riders should not pass at a different speed than gait you are traveling at
- Let others know when passing and what side you will pass on; choose a clearing
- Keep at least a horse length back
- If passing
Trail riding is a very popular equestrian activity, with millions participating every year. According to the American Horse Council, “the recreational horse industry contributes nearly $32 billion a year to the economy and supports the employment of over 435,000 Americans nationwide and involves 4 million horses.”
The benefits of trail riding for the rider include:
- Ability to enjoy the horse without the stress of competition
- Quality family time
- Ability to socialize with other horse lovers
- Opportunity to observe
Prior to setting out on the trail you or someone in the group should have first aid knowledge. A first aid kit for the rider and horse is a good idea when trail riding. Remember to keep a cell phone or other emergency signaling device on your person, not on the horse, in case you are separated. Either bring a lead rope and have the horse wear a halter underneath its bridle or use a bridle in which the bit …