If you’re spending time with your horse on the trail, it’s important to do so responsibly. Below are many ways in which you can be sure that you ride responsibly.
- Stay on designated roads, trails and other areas open to horses.
- Ride single file to reduce trail damage. Spread out in open country where there are no trails. Spreading out, rather than following each other’s footsteps, disperses impact and avoids creating a new trail.
- Comply with all signs and respect barriers.
- Riders should match their skill level to the temperament and ability of the horse they ride. Learn more about selecting the appropriate horse for you.
- At trailheads or staging areas, park vehicles and secure horses in a manner that provides a safe distance between the horses and passing traffic.
- Less experienced horses and riders should ride behind more “trail-wise” horses and riders.
- Learn more about safety on the trail.
Respect the rights of others
- Be considerate of others on the road or trail.
- Be prepared to let other trail enthusiasts know what needs to be done to keep you, the horse and other passersby safe when you meet on the trail.
- Be alert and aware of the presence of other trail enthusiasts. If possible, pull to the side of the trail when you hear oncoming off-highway vehicles or bicycles.
- Leave gates as you find them. If crossing private property, be sure to ask permission from the landowner(s).
- Do not disturb historical, archeological or paleontological sites.
- Avoid “spooking” livestock and wildlife you encounter and keep your distance.
- Water animals in areas where stream banks and water access can withstand hard use and are downstream from campsites.
- Obtain a map of your destination and determine which areas are open to your type of pack animals.