Arena Horse Riding Safety

When riding with other horses in an arena, are you the rider that everyone else is cursing for being unsafe and inconsiderate?? Check out the following key points in arena etiquette and safety.

  • Always pass left shoulder to left shoulder.? This is a standard rule in every arena, however also be aware that sometimes this is not possible and you may need to give up right of way.
  • Keep a horse-length in between each horse.? Never ride up close behind another horse, as it may kick out at your horse and also unseat its rider.? If a horse has a red ribbon tied to its tail it means that the horse is especially likely to kick out at other horses.
  • Mount in the centre of the arena, in a place that won?t disturb the other riders.
  • Keep fast horses on the outside track and slower horses on the inside.? All horses should be moving in the same direction where possible.
  • All horses should be doing the same type of work.? In other words, it?s not a good idea to have some horses practicing jumps while others are working on their barrel racing skills.
  • Call out to other riders.? If you are about to pass, or are going to open or close an arena gate, let the other riders know what you are doing.
  • Keep your cues quiet and watch your crop.? Some horses are very sensitive to voice commands or even the sight of a crop.? Be aware that accidentally causing another horse to jump forward could be very unsafe for his rider.
  • Always leave the arena in the condition you found it.? This means putting away jumps and cones that you might have set up and removing all manure.
  • Don?t lunge a horse while others are riding, and under no circumstances should there be a loose horse in the arena while people are riding.
  • Be aware of what your horse might spook at while in the arena.? A startled horse can easily unseat his rider, and also cause other horses to spook.? Snow or ice sliding off the roof or drips from condensation are common causes, but know your horse and your environment and above all, be prepared.
  • If another rider is having trouble with their horse, be respectful and give them lots of room.? It?s ok to ask if they need help, but not ok to lecture them on how they should be handling the situation.

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