TRAIL RIDING RULES
1. Have a group leader. The leader sets the speed. No one should pass the leader.
2. Stay strictly single file when traveling faster than a walk or jog. This helps the horses stay calm.
3. Keep 4 to 16 feet from the horse in front of you. Donít fall behind. This helps the horses stay calm.
4. If you fall behind, need to slow down, or need to stop, signal the riders in front of you.
5. If you have problems controlling your horse or see anyone fall off, signal the riders and leader in front of you to stop.
6. 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.†
7. If you see a hole, dangerous branch, bad footing or other obstacle, call it out and pass the word back.
8. Pass the word back so everyone hears what is called out.
9. Check your girth for tightness before cantering, after going up steep hills, etc.
10. Keep at the pace of the horse ahead of you. Donít 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.
11. Stay at a steady pace. If the horse in front of you is speeding up and slowing down, donít do the same Ė stay back enough so that you can get your own horse into a steady rhythm without falling back or getting too close.
12. If you need to change positions in line, let the other riders know and get their permission before passing.
13. 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.
14. If your horse spooks or is nervous, stay calm and sit upright with your heels down. It is better to keep moving forward (with a calm horse in front of you) than to stop. If your horse tries to bolt or run away, pully-rein and signal the other riders.
15. Keep your horse under control and calm at all times. Ride within your limits and your horseís limits. Donít ride faster than you can safely control. Donít jump any obstacles unless you have practiced jumping in class first.
16. Walk your horse at the beginning and end of the trail for a thorough warm-up and cool-down.