Riding Safety Tips

Preparing for the Ride:

– Clean horse’s feet with hoof pick
– Check that shoes are tight
– Thoroughly groom your horse, especially areas where tack will touch him
– Be sure saddle pad is clean and pulled forward and up into gullet of saddle to create air space over withers and back
– Be sure saddle fits the horse without pressing on the spine or shoulders and that cinch is smooth, clean and tight
– Check bridle for proper adjustment with no pinching or loose straps and that leather is in good condition
– Have a properly fitting halter on under the bridle
– Have a lead rope around the horse’s neck or coiled and fastened to the saddle
– Apply fly spray or wipe on your horse
– Give horses opportunity to drink before starting on trail and allow them to drink on the trail if water is available
– Dress in layers
– Bring or wear a hat and sunscreen to prevent heat exhaustion or sunstroke
– Wearing a safety helmet is an individual and/or parental decision

What to Take:

– Current Coggins/health/brand inspection
. Form of identification
– Pocket knife
– Hoof pick
– Insect repellent
– Fly Spray
. Jacket
– Rain gear
– Water
– Snacks
. Hat
– Sunglasses
– Lip balm
– Sunscreen
– First aid kit for horses and riders
– String or leather for tack repair
– Gloves
– Compass
– Cell Phone in case of emergency

Rules on the Trail:

– Ride a horse that is suitable for your riding skill level
– Remember, even the most gentle horse can or will spook if startled, so be aware of your surroundings at all times
– Tie red ribbon in the tail of a horse that kicks
– Do not bring dogs
– Maintain space between you and the next horse
– Stay with the group or tell someone if you intend to leave
– Stay on designated trail
– Never trespass or ride on someone?s land without permission
– Never leave trash behind
– Never smoke while riding
– On farm land, leave livestock alone
– Leave all gates as you found them (open or shut)
– Don?t let horses injure the environment (Stay on the trail; if you stop and tie horses, spread them out and scatter manure before leaving)
– Observe fire regulations
– Don?t let horses foul the water near a camping spot
– Keep horses away from areas and places where manure will bring flies and be a nuisance
– Be polite and friendly to hikers, bikers, farmers and other people you meet on the trail
– Do not run past others
– If passing another horse on the trail, first ask the rider ahead if you can pass and allow plenty of room when passing
– When making a rest stop, loosen the horse’s cinch and lift up back of saddle and pad so air can get to his back and cool it
– If tying your horse, be sure to tie with the halter and lead rope, not the reins; tie the horse at a level even with his back or higher and use a quick release knot

For more information on riding safety tips go to American Quarter Horse Association

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