KEEP YOUR CELL PHONE IN YOUR POCKET

EQUUS - - Eiv Equine Influenza Virus -

I look where I’m go­ing and what at might be com­ing up be­hind me. I try to stay in tune with my horse and take pre­emp­tive mea­sures when­hen nec­es­sary. No mat­ter who else is on the trail with me---hik­ers, bi­cy­clists, ts, dirt bik­ers or hun­ters---I try to re­mem­ber that hav­ing the right of way ay doesn’t give me the right to need­less­lyl im­pose on peo­ple. Cell phones and ear­buds seem to be pro­lif­er­at­ing on the trails---like ev­ery­where else---so good eti­quette dic­tates that you try to be more aware of your horse and your sur­round­ings be­cause oth­ers might not be pay­ing at­ten­tion.

One af­ter­noon I was out rid­ing on a well-used trail with a friend when we came across a bi­cy­clist who had his head down, with ear­buds in, and was trav­el­ing at top speed around a blind cor­ner. He couldn’t hear us or see us. For­tu­nately, our horses heard him first, and we were able to move out of the way be­fore he whizzed by. I hate to think what could have hap­pened had we, too, been lis­ten­ing to head­phones or talk­ing on the phone and not pay­ing at­ten­tion to our horses. Golden Rule of trail rid­ing—if a trail isn’t marked for horses, don’t go there. Of course, good trail eti­quette en­tails much more than that, though it’s mainly based on com­mon sense as well as com­mon cour­tesy. To avoid en­dan­ger­ing oth­ers or caus­ing dam­age to plants or ter­rain, stay on marked trails. Ride sin­gle file when trav­el­ing over nar­row trails and move at speeds that are sen­si­ble based on ter­rain and vis­i­bil­ity.

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