San Mateo County Horsemen’s Association – Trail Etiquette
- Check all tack carefully before starting out on each ride.
- It is highly recommended that all riders wear boots with heels, helmets and user ID on their person
- Follow all instructions of the trail boss (usually the lead rider).
- Do not ride ahead of the trail boss without his/her permission.
- Do not fall behind the designated drag rider (last rider).
- Do not separate yourself from the other riders.
- Maintain one horse length between your horse and the horse in front of you.
- Don’t stop at the top of a hill or on a narrow section of trail if there are riders behind you. If you must stop, keep moving until there is a wide spot to get completely off the trail, so other riders can safely pass.
- Notify riders behind you of any trail hazards you observe, such as holes in the trail, wire, branches, etc.
- Do not hold on to branches when you go through trees or bushes.
- Do not gallop up to or away from other horses.
- Don’t ride off from a gate or watering spot until all riders are mounted and ready to move on.
- Walk down into gullies or inclines at a safe distance from the horse in front of you. Never trot or gallop into or out of them.
- If you have a slow walking horse, or you are having problems with your horse, ride to the rear of the group, in front of the drag rider.
- If you must leave the main group, notify the trail boss or the drag rider.
- There will be no smoking on the trail. Smoking at rest stops and luch stops will be at the discretion of the trail boss.
- Do not leave paper, cans or trash on the trails or at lunch sites.
Riders should carry a halter and a lead rope at all times. They will be needed at rest stops and lunch breaks, and for any emergency which may arise.
If your horse is known to kick at the horse behind, a red ribbon should be placed on the tail of your horse. If you do not have a ribbon, ask the trail boss.