One of the ways that all horse riders can help in the fight for trail preservation and permission to use public trails is by being considerate. Many of the trails are shared by hikers and bikers and there are also often dogs. It is important that horse riders behave well and keep the people around them in mind when their riding. We have a few tips for how to behave well and considerate.
Pick up manure. In the same way that you need to pick up after your dog, you need to pick up after your horse. You know the signs of when this will happen, so walk him off the main trail and pick up the manure after he is done. This is common sense and it makes the experience much more pleasant for other trail users.
Don’t go trail riding when it has rained. Horses make everything mush when they walk on wet grass and mud. It is best for the preservation of the trails if you don’t let your horse walk trails when the soil and grass are wet. If you do, you may ruin the trail for everyone. It is also one of the reasons why horses are not allowed on all trails because this type of behavior contributes to erosion.
Don’t race. Most of the public riding trails are for recreational purposes and should be relaxed. A speeding horse can cause a lot of havoc and it can also cause damage to the trails and plants. So, if you need to run and go wild, do so on your farm or somewhere private where you won’t disturb others.
Stay on trails allocated for horse riding. Horses are not always allowed on all the trails. Some trails are just for hikers, some just for bikers, and other for horse riders. It would be wise to get some maps of the area and the trails before you set off. This will help you stay on track and avoid trespassing or causing problems for yourself or others.
The basic idea here is to just be considerate and use your common sense. Not everyone is used to horses and they may be frightened or not know how to react. Calmly pass them and strike up a conversation. Educate them so they won’t be scared next time. As long as you keep the people around you in mind and avoid destroying anything, you and your horse will have a good time.