One of the major questions we get from new members is about how fast (or slow) our club rides are, as well as how long they last. It’s understandable that people have different preferences about speed and endurance, and there are certainly ways of accommodating everybody if we all follow trail etiquette and communicate well with others on the ride. Most of our members prefer to walk, giving us plenty of time to enjoy our surroundings and spy on the wildlife. Several members would rather move out at a fast gait. And the length of our rides vary depending on the preferences and capabilities of the people riding that day. We want everybody to enjoy themselves! Points for us all to keep in mind include:
- The main group must always ride to the best abilities and comfort levels of the least experienced horse or rider. Safety is our main concern.
- Questions or concerns about speed, length of ride etc. should be brought to the trail boss BEFORE the ride begins. Those wishing to move off faster should probably be ready to ride earlier than the main group, as the trail boss may ask them to leave 15 minutes earlier than the slower group.
- It is dangerous for people to pass, approach or leave the group at speed. Other horses in the group may panic, spook or attempt to follow.
- If riders decide to break away from the group after the ride has begun, they should notify others in the group. If they are in the front, they should ask the main group to stop and wait until they have moved a reasonable distance away at a walk before picking up the pace. If they are in the rear, they should stop and wait for the main group to move away before peeling off and going faster.