Trail Riding Rules
Horse & Stable Use Agreement
Windy Ridge Ranch Trail Riding Rules
- Have a group leader. The leader sets the speed. No one should pass the leader.
- Stay strictly single file when traveling faster than a walk or jog. This helps the horses stay calm.
- Keep 4 to 16 feet from the horse in front of you. Don’t fall behind. This helps the horses stay calm.
- If you fall behind, need to slow down, or need to stop, signal the riders in front of you.
- If you have problems controlling your horse or see anyone fall off, signal the riders and leader in front of you to stop.
- The leader should go at a speed that is safe for all the riders and should call out changes in gaits, especially when slowing. Let the leader know before the ride if you have a speed limit in mind. Otherwise, be prepared to ride at various speeds.
- If you see a hole, dangerous branch, bad footing or other obstacle, call it out and pass the word back.
- Pass the word back so everyone hears what is called out.
- Check your girth for tightness before cantering, after going up steep hills, etc.
- Keep at the pace of the horse ahead of you. Don’t fall back and catch up a lot. If the rider ahead of you is unable to keep up, you may wish to move up in line.
- Stay at a steady pace. If the horse in front of you is speeding up and slowing down, don’t do the same – stay back enough so that you can get your own horse into a steady rhythm without falling back or getting too close.
- If you need to change positions in line, let the other riders know and get their permission before passing.
- Keep hold of your reins at all times, while on or off your horse. If you fall off, try to keep hold of a rein.
- If your horse spooks or is nervous, stay calm and sit upright with your heels down. It is better to keep your horse moving forward (with a calm horse in front of you) rather than to stop or pull on the reins. If your horse tries to bolt or run away, pulley-rein and signal the other riders.
- Keep your horse under control and calm at all times. Ride within your limits and your horse’s limits. Don’t ride faster than you can safely control. Don’t jump any obstacles.
- Walk your horse at the beginning and end of the trail for a thorough warm-up and cool-down.