KEEP YOUR CELL PHONE IN YOUR POCKET
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.