Friday, August 26, 2011


Meeting a horse and rider on the trail

When you meet a horse on the trail, make sure it knows you’re a mountain biker, not a mountain lion. Here’s how:
  • STOP Horses spook easily, and may perceive movement, especially quiet movement, as a predator — and bolt. 
  • TALK Human speech is reassuring and comforting for the horse. Continue to talk until the horse has passed.
  • MOVE DOWN to the low side of the trail. If horse gets spooked, you don’t want it going off the steep side or horse and rider can be injured. 
This trail etiquette — stop, talk, and move down - to the low side of the trail — is based on the experiences of hikers, mountain bikers, and horse riders over many years, and is illustrated in our film What a Horse Sees!

Remember too that the person (or horse — or dog) you're about to meet may be brand new to the trail and not know what to do — so be aware, and take care. Also, when possible slow down so you can come to a full stop before meeting another trail user or obstacle that may appear on the trail.

This is a good time for everyone to remind their trail user groups and trail agencies to work together for safe enjoyable visits to the great outdoors for everyone - people, horses and nature.
So before your next ride: visit — and email the What A Horse Sees! announcement to your hiker, biker, and rider friends, too. The more the merrier — and safer and more enjoyable for everyone. 

OR just copy the following into an e-mail:

Hi – Great info on meeting horses and riders on the trail, so everybody stays safe and happy. Check it out before your next hike or ride —

Happy trails!

Everett Lewis
Hiker, Mountain Biker, Horse Rider

Everett Lewis is a horse rider, a mountain biker, and a hiker. A member of Back Country Horsemen, he helps maintain trails in the North Cascades Tree Farm, and helped create the 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest Trail from Glacier National Park in Montana to the Pacific Ocean. Everett and his wife, Karen, live in Arlington, Washington, with four horses and three barn cats.

No comments:

Post a Comment