With more and more people accessing small numbers of recreational areas for such activities as hiking, mountain biking, and horse-back riding, many recreational parks are under heavy use, particularly during summer months.? When you are riding on the trails, always be polite to other trail users and adhere to the following trail etiquette:
- Always call out ahead if you are riding up behind a hiker or biker.
- Never canter unless you are on a straight stretch and can see far ahead.? Do not canter on narrow, winding trails, as you could startle and even trample a hiker.
- Walk single file when crossing roadways and when passing pedestrians.
- Remember that your horse?s hooves can cause damage to trails.? Try to avoid soft trails in wet conditions and don?t run your horse except on trails in good condition.? Stay on the trail and don?t wander into the brush.
- When passing pedestrians or cyclists, move your horse to the side and stop to let them pass.? Allowing your horse to stand and assess the situation means less risk of him spooking and accidentally running into someone.? Also, remember that some people are frightened of horses or simply don?t know how to move around them. ?Keep your horse off to the side where he won?t startle anyone.
- Keep your interactions with other trail users as polite as possible.? If you need to call ahead for someone to leash their dog, or for a biker to slow down, remember that they may simply not be aware of how their actions might affect your horse.? Speak to them politely and stay polite, even if they don?t.
- Clean up after your horse wherever possible, and particularly on roadways and driveways.
- Many areas have organizations that work to protect and maintain recreational areas through public awareness, safety campaigns, and trail maintenance work.? Consider joining and give back to the trails that you enjoy so well.