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Author Topic: from The Horse.com...8 ways to be a good trail riding buddy  (Read 78 times)

KysaSD

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from The Horse.com...8 ways to be a good trail riding buddy
« on: November 29, 2018, 02:15:34 pm »

I thought this was a good article, so sharing for those who do not subscribe to TheHorse.com

8 ways to be a good trail riding buddy

You’re out on a pleasant trail ride with several other riders. Without a word, one of the riders suddenly urges her horse forward and gallops off down the trail. The left-behind horses frantically try to follow. The riders struggle to control their mounts. Pandemonium ensues.

This kind of thoughtless behavior on the trail is no fun to deal with and could cause someone to get seriously hurt. Clearly, leaving your fellow riders in the dust isn’t what you’d expect of a good riding buddy. “Never again!” you say to yourself. “I’ll never ride with her again!”

We all want to be the kind of person other trail riders enjoy being around. By using the eight simple techniques below, you can be a good riding buddy who is fun and safe to ride with on the trail.

1. Manage expectations
Make sure everyone planning to attend knows how long the ride is, what the terrain is like, and how challenging the trail will be. That way they’ll know what to expect and can come prepared or, if they or their horses aren’t prepared, bow out ahead of time and wait for a less-taxing ride.

2. Ride at the level of the least experienced horse and/or rider
For safety’s sake, tailor your ride to the level of the least experienced rider or horse in the group. It might be old hat for you and your horse to cross creeks; trot and canter; or share the trail with bicycles, dogs, or motorcycles. But these experiences can be daunting for a green horse or rider, so plan a ride that’s appropriate for their level of experience.

3. Wait for others
Be sure everyone is mounted before riding off. On the trail, make sure everyone has stepped over that fallen log or successfully crossed the creek before you ride away. And when you stop to let the horses drink, allow all the horses to have their fill before you continue down the trail.

4. Ask before you speed up
If you get the urge to canter your horse up the trail, always ask the other riders if it’s okay. If some of the riders don’t want to canter, they can stand together with their horses facing back down the trail while the fast riders canter away. After the canter, the fast riders can wait until the slower riders catch up and the group can continue together.

5. Encourage time-outs
Make sure everybody in the group is comfortable calling a time-out to stop and adjust their tack, get a drink, or take a “training moment” to calm their excited horse or manage his behavior.

6. Share the lead
Everybody in the group should get a chance to be in the front, middle, and back of the group if they so desire. Not only is it good manners, but it’s also a great way to ensure your horse learns to be comfortable in any pack position.

7. When you encounter low-hanging branches, remember the rider behind you
When you encounter low-hanging branches across the trail, you naturally want to push them forward out of the way as you pass. But if you do, the branches can snap back and whack the rider behind you. Instead, lift the branches and pass under them. They’ll fall gently downward into place and won’t annoy the next rider. It also doesn’t hurt to alert riders behind you of the obstacle ahead so they can prepare to encounter it.

8. Train your horse to be a good buddy, too
Nobody appreciates a horse that kicks, bites, tailgates, refuses to cross water, or tries to run home. If your horse exhibits antisocial behavior, or if he doesn’t know how to deal with common trail situations, find a trainer who can help you resolve the issue so your horse can be a good riding buddy, too.

Your actions and those of your horse will determine whether others will want to ride with you or avoid you. Be the considerate rider you want others to be, and you’ll be known far and wide as a good riding buddy.
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, a Curly Foxtrotter and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

loneelk

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Re: from The Horse.com...8 ways to be a good trail riding buddy
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2018, 03:17:34 pm »

Excellent--this should be pinned, IMHO!  Problems w/ folks who didn't respect other riders is a big part of why we quit riding w/ groups.
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KysaSD

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Re: from The Horse.com...8 ways to be a good trail riding buddy
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2018, 03:22:15 pm »

I have to say, I have never ridden with someone from GHS that was not courteous, but I have certainly observed people in other groups not being courteous.  Thus I have become very very picky about who I ride with.  Luckily, I know enough courteous riders that I can always find a partner.  My husband does NOT want me to ride alone.
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, a Curly Foxtrotter and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

NoBite

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Re: from The Horse.com...8 ways to be a good trail riding buddy
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2018, 03:51:44 pm »

Good stuff! I'd like to think they are common sense, but I have found myself with folks that seem uneducated about many of these.
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kckc

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Re: from The Horse.com...8 ways to be a good trail riding buddy
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2018, 04:58:39 pm »

the people who gallop off ahead without notice are quite prevalent around here.   
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luvmysmh

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Re: from The Horse.com...8 ways to be a good trail riding buddy
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2018, 06:45:22 am »

Yep, I remember many years ago when my QH was still young, I was riding with one other lady.  We came to a lovely long stretch of grass and she asked if I wanted to canter.  I was in front and she was behind me.  I said yes and before I could even cue him to canter, she took off at a dead gallop past me.  My horse of course became very excited, and I had my hands full trying to keep him from running off with me.  When I caught up with her, I gave her an earful.  She said that she liked to "blow him out" every now and then.  I told her that was fine but to be sure to tell me before she did it.  She did apologize.  We continued to ride together and never had another incident like that. 
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stablemind

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Re: from The Horse.com...8 ways to be a good trail riding buddy
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2018, 04:43:05 am »

I totally agree about riding with people who take off cantering. I have a riding friend who does this. Once we were on a trail with a series of culverts - each one was a steep dip in the trail. I like my horse to negotiate those carefully, but she was letting her horse dive into the dip and gallop up the other side. The horses behind started getting anxious each time we approached a culvert - maybe because I was holding them back from following the rushing horse in front. I asked the friend to please slow down so the other riders wouldn't have their hands full and she told us she was going to ride her horse however she wanted and if we don't like it, we shouldn't ride with her.

I actually feel that even when all the riders agree to a canter, it's risky in a group. You never know when one of the horses will decide this is the day to ignore the rider and blast off however it wants. Some riders have the skill to handle anything but others might find themselves in trouble.
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luvmysmh

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Re: from The Horse.com...8 ways to be a good trail riding buddy
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2018, 06:27:30 am »

"she told us she was going to ride her horse however she wanted and if we don't like it, we shouldn't ride with her."

Wow.  I can't even imagine being so selfish and thoughtless.  I wonder how she would feel if a horse or rider (or both) were injured because of her actions?  I guess she would probably blame it on the other person.  I would not ride with someone who had that kind of an attitude.
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KysaSD

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Re: from The Horse.com...8 ways to be a good trail riding buddy
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2018, 07:16:00 am »

Neither can I....but then I do know this happens.  One reason I do not ride with strangers, only good friends that I trust for all of the above suggestions.  I hate when people rush steep and or very rocky terrain.  Any horse can loose footing in that sort of stuff.  I want to ride my horses for 20plus years.  They do not need to slip and get injured. 

And I am quite lucky to have good friends who do indeed follow all those rules. 
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, a Curly Foxtrotter and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!
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