Gravel Road into the Forest
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An authentic riding experience for avid equestrians and casual riders alike!

What to wear ... what not to wear.

 

Wear boots or hard-toed shoes to protect your feet. Never wear tennis shoes, sandals or go barefoot. Boots with a small flat heel are best. They prevent your feet from slipping through the stirrups.

Please no high-heels. I know they're pretty and great for photos, but they can also break an ankle. 

Keep jewelry to a minimum. Rings can cut into fingers, and bracelets can get caught in reins or lead lines. Dangling earrings are can get caught on limbs and branches.

Helmets are provided for your use. We encourage you to always wear protective headgear. 

Avoid loose or flowing clothing that can get caught on limbs or flap in the wind and spook a horse. Wear comfortable, well-fitting activewear.

Wear pants that allow you to raise your knee to your chest. An inseam will chaff on long rides. Yoga pants and stretchy jeans are fine, as long as they provide some protection from limbs or brush.

 

Safety tips for being around horses

Be calm, confident, and collected around horses. A nervous person can make a horse nervous.

Always speak to a horse before approaching or touching him. 

Always approach horses from the front. Never approach a horse from the rear. Even if the horse is tied, approach them from an angle at the rear.

Never stand directly behind a horse. Standoff to the side and speak or touch a horse to let them know where you are at all times. 

When leading your horse, walk beside him—not ahead or behind. Standing even with the horse’s head or halfway between the horse’s head and its shoulder is considered safest.

If a horse is pulling away from you, do not try to fight him. The horse is stronger than you, and you will not win. Your guide will take the lead from you and correct the horse. 

 

If a horse runs off, do not chase him. They are faster than you, and once the horse is off, the jig is up. The trail guides will track down the horse. 

Never wrap the lead or reins around your hand, wrist, or body. Never drape a lead line or reins across your shoulders or neck. If a horse pulls back, it can cause serious injury. 

When standing next to a horse, keep one arm's length distance. Horses stomp or kick at flies and if you are standing one arm's length away, the horse is less likely to accidentally hit you or stomp on your foot. 

Safety tips for the trail

 

Listen to your trail guide and do not leave the group. You are not allowed to ride away from the group or out of sight of the trail guide.

Do not change the pace of your horse unless you have permission from the trail guide. If your horse does not slow down on command, immediately turn them in a circle to slow their pace. 

Keep all horses one horse length away from each other. Do not let your horse pass the horse in front of you.

If a horse is wearing a red ribbon it means they may kick and you should not allow your horse to get close to them.

When meeting other horses on the trail, keep to the opposite side of the trail and do not let your horse approach an unknown horse. 

When meeting hikers or pedestrians, do not allow them to approach the horse. 

Avoid overhanging limbs by ducking or lifting them up and out of your way. Do not let them slingback to the next rider. 

 

Watch the rider ahead of you so a limb pushed aside does not snap back and slap you or your horse in the face.

Starting with the leader of a group, every rider should warn those behind of dangers such as broken glass, low branches, poor footing, holes, etc.

When crossing a creek, rocky terrain or bad footing, allow the horse to pick his way at a walk. The trail guide will direct you otherwise if you need to stick to one side of the path or the other. 

Hold your mount to a walk when going up or down a steep hill.

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