Safety Tips

Emergency Dismount

Both feet are removed from the stirrups/irons. Hands are placed on the pommel, withers or the horses's shoulders as you lean forward and down beside the horse's neck. Swing you leg backward over the cantle. As you swing off, turn your body so that your side (not your stomach) is next to the saddle. Land with your knees bent and holding the rein(s) in one hand.

Trail Safety

Just like any other outdoor sport, trail riding requires careful attention to being prepared "anything can happen".

  • Your Safety
  • Your Horses' Safety
  • Safety of the Riding Group

Your Safety

Your Safety means being responsible for yourself. Ways to ensure your personal safety include carrying a first aid kit and map of the area in which you plan to ride. Do not rely on other for these items. In addition, always carry enough food and water to accommodate a ride that goes longer than you anticipate.

Be sure to carry rain gear and wear moisture wicking clothing in case the weather becomes cold and wet.

Don't ever ride alone! If you must ride alone, be sure to notify someone where you are going and when you plan to be back.

If you are going on an organized ride discuss the type of ride that the Trail Boss is planning Are you and your horse in proper condition for the type of ride planned? Is the terrain flat, rolling, hilly, rocky? Does the condition of the trail require that your horse is shod?

Be sure to let fellow riders or the Trail Boss know if you have any food or medicine allergies or special conditions in case of an accident.

Horse's Safety

p>You and your horse are a team. You have a responsibility to your horse that ensures his safety along with your own.

Be sure to carry basic equine emergency supplies in case your horse is injured on the trail. Tack shops carry convenient kits that you can carry in your saddle bags.

Make sure your horse is in proper physical condition to travel the trail comfortably. Just like human beings, horses need proper conditioning for athletic events such as trail riding. Altitude can add an additional hazard if the horse is not conditioned and is taken several thousand feet above its normal altitude for a trail ride.

Be sure your horse's hooves are healthy and shod if the trail is rocky

Check local maps or with the Trail Boss on horse water availability on the trail. Always have extra water in your trailer in case there is no water on the trail.

It is a good idea to have a tube of equine electrolytes in your saddle bags if your horse becomes over tired during the ride.

A halter or a lead rope is always a good piece of gear for trail riding.

An "E Z Boot" that fits your horses's hooves is a handy piece of gear to have in your saddle bags in case your horse throws a shoe.

Always have a supply of tools including Chicago Screws and a LeathermanTM

Safety of the Riding Group

As the saying goes, the strength of a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. This is very true of the group of people that you ride with.

Trail Etiquette Tips<

Always stay a horse length behind the horse in front of you. Do not permit your horse to crowd the horse in front of you. Ride single file unless the circumstances permit riding abreast.

Do not get out of line and charge up or down the line of horses. This can spook the other horses and easily cause an accident. Do not let any riders get out of sight. Stop if necessary.

Suggested Things to Carry

  • Trail Trial mandatory items
  • Halter lead rope
  • Long pants and shoes with heels
  • Hoof pick
  • Pocket knife
  • Helmet (18 and under required)
Each club or group that sponsors the trail trial may have slightly varying rules.