Proper etiquette when encountering horseback riders

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Wookazoid, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    Wooky,

    I've run into them in the Madison County Wildlife area near Eureka many times. I slow to a crawl or stop and let them pass. Then when they are clear I ease off. I don't know if that is the right approach but I figure it's easier than putting a splint on the rider and calling animal control to collect the horse.
    #21
  2. der_saeufer

    der_saeufer ?איפה בירה

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    ^^ this.

    Close to cities (I've lived in Sacramento and LA) here in Californistan, we have a lot of "no motor vehicles" trails. Fair enough--they're busy enough with hikers that I wouldn't want to ride them anyway. But some horse people insist on taking horses on trails that are too narrow for two hikers to pass. Some of them also don't stay off the trails when wet, and guess what--horses erode wet trails just like you'd imagine 1500-lb objects would.

    Motor vehicles are prohibited from a lot of the forest roads during the wet season because the soil makes the roads easy to damage. Horses on wet, highly erosive hiking trails, though? No problem. :fyyff

    Most of them are cool, though. Nearly all the dirt I ride is on FS land, which in CA is only legal to ride if it's a designated road or motor vehicle trail. I slow down to a fast walk and pass as far away as I can. I've never had any issues, but I don't feel like it's my job to stop, kill the engine and take off my helmet--if a horse can't see a vehicle without spooking, it shouldn't be on a road.

    The 'wilderness' thing pisses me off in some places... I can ride a what amounts to a fire road in the dry season with no impact whatsoever, but it's illegal. Meanwhile, horses can damage the trail all winter and shit on it year-round, no problem. I get the purpose of wilderness, but it seems pointless in areas that had roads before they became wilderness, especially now that off-road travel is illegal on most of our FS land.
    #22
  3. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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  4. EggChaser

    EggChaser Been here awhile

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    There was an (in)famous report in the UK a couple of years ago where some do-gooders tried to stop microlights from being based out of a strip near a field that regularly had horses in it. Main thing was they did not go talk to the stable owner before starting their campaign. When the reporters spoke to the stable owner his comment was that he has loads of fields well away from the microlights and that he deliberately rotates his younger horses through the fields near the airfield before anyone rides then on the road to get them used to vehicles whilst they are on a large open space, before they encounter vehicles in the comparatively confined roadside locations. The do-gooders kind of went quiet after that :rofl


    Oh back on topic: There is a biker cafe near me that is also in a horse riding area so you at times we can talk to the riders, most of them said that cyclists (particularly road bikes, but sometimes mountain bikes) are usually more of a problem because they are quiet, fast moving and surprise the horse. All they wanted from motorised vehicles was a slow speed, low revs (including knowing how to mimimize any exhaust popping) and to give as much clearance as is safe to do so.
    To me as much clearance as is safe on some narrow roads is stop and wait although that does assume that the horse is coming towards you.
    #24
  5. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

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    on the road i just slow down and give them room. but you get a lot of horse rides on public roads using them on the wrong side of the road.

    i now this becouse i was riding my road legal pitbike on a back road near my house and had to do a sudden stop. As i met a horse on the wrong side of the road and the horse rider had the balls to tell me i was in the wrong. i just started to tell her to f.ing this and that and to read the high way code and get on to the right side of the road. it was luck i was not going that fast doing about 50mph in a 60mph zone.
    #25
  6. dbuzz

    dbuzz Citizen of the world

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    awww :raabia

    I haven't been horse riding for ages :cry I used to have horses but sadly my pockets weren't deep enough :cry at least motobikes don't keep eating if you're not riding :lol3

    my friend at work rides ... she does eventing and such ... and fell off a few days ago and ended up with a fractured forearm ... "damned dangerous critters" I told her ..."you should get something safe like a motorcycle" :rofl

    I live near a pony club arena ... if I see kids around on their geegees I just go real slow and quiet past them ... or stop if the steed looks fidgety.
    #26
  7. crownhorse

    crownhorse Been here awhile

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    some times the horses are not sure what that thing is all they see is a horse monster {when in atgatt helmet and such the horse do'nt see a human], if they git spooked remove helmet some times so horse can see what you are.
    #27
  8. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware

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    The question has been answered, so i'll go off topic.

    Horse riders are generally treated a a privileged class.
    A good friend road raced a TZ250 in the '80s. He said if he had to do it all over again.
    he would have used an enclosed two horse trailer as he never saw one cited for speeding in his 6 years of towing his trailer in the Western States.
    #28
  9. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

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    On a trail, meeting them head on I kill my engine and get out of their way. Passing them I will stop and wait till they are out of my way, (or till I get tired of waiting for them to do so). On a road, meeting them I will slow and stay as far to the other side as I can, stopping if needed for them to get over. Passing them I will stop back a ways and let them get over if they are going to, then pass. I’ll be very polite, but if they take a horse out in public places, especially a road, they should have a horse that can be controlled. My bikes are quiet and I’ll give them room, but if they have a skittish or high strung horse that’s their problem not mine.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    #29
  10. Wookazoid

    Wookazoid Tree Basher

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    I got the "remove helmet" thing from a lady on the trail who told me that we look like "Predator" to the horses with them on. Ran into the same lady a couple of years later and she told me the exact same thing... guess she had a fascination with that.

    I don't have any problem going out of my way to accomodate the horse riders, but I think it's a mutual deal. My encounter this past weekend was peculiar in the fact that the riders didn't do anything at all for a few moments, other than stare at me. I don't know if they didn't know what to do or what. I've run into several organized trail rides and there is always one or two horses that react to the bike or myself. Last year my wife and I were on the side of a "designated" forest road, off of the bikes and helmets off taking a break when a group of riders came by. I thought one horse was going to pitch it's rider. Found out later that there were stables on down the road and this was just one of their rides with what appeared to be inexperienced riders. That scares me as I don't want to see someone get hurt.

    Greg
    #30
  11. gpounce

    gpounce Been here awhile

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    I grew up rural on a small family farm, among other things we grew hay and sold it to the local horse people. I have approximately zero patience for the horse nonsense after enduring yearly horse "events" where they started putting obstacles out in the public roads for some course or other they were plodding along. Haven't passed one on my motorcycle yet but I'd do it like I did in the old station wagon on the little dirt roads, slow down so as to not be a jackass, do not stop, do not be overly concerned about dust = get on with it. As soon as they start cleaning up their horse droppings I'll be more concerned about not kicking up dust or being the slightest bit solicitous of the horse's "feelings".

    Don't get me started on the damn fox-hunts, quite a few times the horse people lost track of their dogs which then ran amok through our woods. I nearly started shooting the dogs on a couple occasions. It got better once the horse people tightened up their fences to keep their dogs off other people's land- but I guess the foxes learned that and just stayed elsewhere because their "hunts" haven't happened for some time.. its no fun if theres no victim to dismember lol
    #31
  12. vortexau

    vortexau Outside the Pod-bay

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  13. kbuckey

    kbuckey Been here awhile

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    A lot depends on the horse, the rider and the combination. When I had my Morgan he didn't give a shit about anything with an engine. He was almost bulletproof when I was on him. Had coyotes jump out right in front of us. No problem. Rattlesnake? Well, he'd take a little turn and give the snake about 3 feet of room. Herd of deer or elk? No problem. Stupid buck in the rut running rings around us? Look at it like it's weird, but just keep on keepin' on. Bear? He was VERY attentive but most anxious to do whatever I told him to at the moment. However, some asshole on a mountain bike comes blasting down the hill behind us and tries to pass us without a word? Problem. One time damn near killed the guy. Reno "bounced" once and since we were on a trail about two horses wide he ended up taking the whole trail and the dude on the bike went over the side. All they have to do is say something when a ways back and no problem.

    Funny thing is Reno didn't like sticks across the trail. Would walk right over a big king snake, step around a rattler. You'd think the only reason he'd fear a stick would be because it looked like a snake :huh. But, well, he was, after all, a horse....
    #33
  14. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

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    Maybe that lady's horses get to watch movies. I'll bet that most don't.
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  15. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    I'm sure they were waiting to see what YOU would do. One of the problems with "trail etiquette" is that many people don't know it. And that goes for equestrians, hikers, and bikers.

    Many times, on trails shared with hikers and mountain bikes here where I live, I pull the horse trailside and stop because the oncoming hiker or mountain biker will not yield right of way. They just keep coming, and with a blank look on thier face.

    On this particular multi-use trail, horses have the right of way when meeting on the trail. It's about 50/50 on whether the oncoming hiker/biker knows this and will step aside. If being overtaken, it's the obligation of the slower party to move right, which I gladly do for the mountain bikers.
    #35
  16. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    That's because a lot of those guys have thier heads down and aren't looking very far ahead.

    Several times I've had to yell to get the mountain biker's attention because he was looking down at the ground and wasn't aware of two horses on the trail right in front of him. Then the guy panics and slides all over the place. It's kind of funny, if it wasn't potentially so dangerous.

    For me, it's people either not paying attention, or simply not knowing what to do. Having grown up around horses, that's a foreign concept to me, but I know that many people have simply never been around the animals.
    #36
  17. ADW

    ADW 'tard bike restos

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    As you have mentioned, when they're coming AT me, I will pull the bike to the side and shut it off until they pass. Will also open the flipup if that's the helmet I have on so the horsey can see it's a human.

    However, when coming from behind, all you can do is linger a ways back so they'll hopefully pick you up with an over-the-shoulder look when they hear you. Then, after 10 seconds or so (if they haven't seen you), just pull as far to the left of them as possible (I wait until no cars are coming and go all the way to the shoulder of the other lane), then putt by in 1st or second gear just above idle. Stay that way until maybe 200-300 feet ahead of them then go ahead and resume your ride.

    Basically give them time to figure out you're there, then courteously and slowly go by, keeping your noise (exhaust/RPM) low until you're well ahead of them. Seems to work well enough, and hopefully presents them with an image of a courteous cycle rider trying to be kind to them and their horse.
    #37
  18. SlowRide13

    SlowRide13 Veteran n00b

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    ^^^This
    I am a lifelong horseman and dual sport addict. Yes, it is the horse rider's responsibility to control their horse and to train a horse to accept things they are likely to encounter on the trail. And the truth is, a horse is more likely to be freaked out by being asked to pass a parked motorcycle than by being passed by a motorcycle moving at a steady speed. (The exception would be on a tight trail, where you should abandon the trail for your own safety!)

    So the best thing you can do, really, is just try to appear concerned and courteous--this will shine well on all of us, but probably not change whether or not their horse kicks you in the face or bucks the rider off.

    My office:

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    #38
  19. ozmoses

    ozmoses Ride On

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    The above is what any skilled equestrian would expect.


    Grew up in horse country, riding to the hunt & all that crap. As far as horses, we have an understanding now- I don't ride them & they don't ride me.


    This "stop the world, I'm riding my horse" mindset is bullshit.

    If you can't ride the trail, don't leave the paddock. It's not 1812, you damn sure shouldn't be on the road.
    #39
  20. Gummee!

    Gummee! That's MR. Toothless

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    That's because they're usually either married to- or daughters of- the local big-wigs. :nod

    M
    #40