Trail Rider Responsibility
It's not all fun and games out there on the trail. As an equestrian, you inherently have a responsibility to the land owners, other trail users and the horse community. Keep these tips in mind when riding public trails and meeting other trail users or park management.
- Keep to the right of the trail.
- Pass only on the left and announce your intention to pass.
- Stay only on equestrian approved trails.
- Uphill traffic has the right-of-way, regardless if it is a hiker, biker or horse rider however, each situation may warrant a different response. When riding in a large group or meeting a large group, do what is best in that situation.
- Remember that other trail users may not be familiar with horses or their reaction to new experiences. Tell them about your horse if they express an interest. Cheerfully answer questions.
- On a shared trail, if your horse relieves himself, do the "boot scoot & boogie!" Get off your horse; use your boot to scoot the droppings off the trail. Get back on your horse & boogie on down the trail!
- Do not clean out your trailer in the public parking lot. Scoop any horse droppings around your trailer and put back in the trailer and remove from the parking lot.
- Your corral should be left clean of manure and hay. The parks are not our groom.
- Follow the trail right-of-way. Bikers yield to hikers and hikers yield to horses. Use common sense. If it’s easier to move out of the way, do it.
- Stay off of muddy trails. Riding on muddy trails increases erosion. Our riding privileges could be jeopardized with divots on muddy trails.
- Always use the designated switchbacks.
- If you come across a hunter when riding in a wildlife area, remain quiet, turn and head the opposite direction.
- Be polite to all trail users. A conversation started before reaching another trail user can prevent accidents. Greet the other party with a "hello". Keeping a conversation going will lessen the threat in your horse's mind and increase the chance of trail cooperation and goodwill.
- Understand that bikers and hikers, like riders, are individuals. The actions of one do not typify the actions of all.
- Volunteer to participate in trail clearings or clean-up days to show your appreciation for horse trails.
- Thank the park rangers for allowing horses on their trails.
- REMEMBER, you are an ambassador of the trail riding community. Represent us well!