The Unwritten Rules

  1. Leave room between you and the equine in front. DO NOT crowd without permission.
  2. Enter a stream crossing downstream of drinking. DO NOT muddy the water.
  3. Wait for other equines in the group to finish drinking before walking out Il you must leave others who are drinking or sponging, ask them if it will disturb them before leaving. Walk out then pick up speed down the trail so the drinking equines don't want to follow.
  4. If your equine has threatened to kick before, train him not to. Tie a red ribbon on your equine's tall to warn folks of the potential if he's crowded.
  5. If you ride a kicker, point his butt away from riders when around other equines.
  6. If you have mare in season, don't let her get under the noses of every gelding or stallion in the ride.
  7. If you have a stallion, mark him with a yellow ribbon in his tail so the rest know what he is, without looking for that "optional equipment".
  8. Just as stallion handlers should respect the other riders' safety, all other riders should respect the stallion's space. Neither group has any priority over the other, just mutual respect. IF ANY equine needs "special space", it isn't ready to be in "polite company".
  9. Stay out of the entry to the Pulse or Vet areas unless you are ready to enter. It's OK to stand nearby while cooling your equine but let others pass who are ready. DO NOT crowd, ever!
  10. Remember that the first person off the starting line is not necessarily the first person to cross the finish. DO NOT be pushy at the start. DO NOT gallop into or out of vet checks.
  11. If a vet has to stop and treat an animal, be considerate. The rider of the equine being treated didn't try to "ruin your race", and the vet is doing the best he/she can until more help arrives.
  12. Don't sponge your equine directly out of drinking water. Take water out in a bucket or scoop first.
  13. If you see personal hay on the ground, ask before you let your equine snarf it up. Those folks may be counting on more equines eating in their crewing area.
  14. If you want to pass on the trail, call out "passing on left/right please". If the trail is too narrow to pass safely, announce your intention to pass at the next reasonable spot. Don't grumble because that person up front is so darn slow. Use the time for a breather before picking up the pace again. Once you pass, pick up speed slowly until you are well away from the slower equines.
  15. Dogs stay on a leash and under the owner's control. They are not at any time allowed in the vetting area.
  16. If a rider has dismounted, determine whether help is needed. DO NOT BLAST PAST!
  17. If a rider or equine is hurt, determine what help is needed. Get word to ride management as soon as possible.
  18. If you are pulled on a ride, have the good grace to thank the vet and ride management. It isn’t their fault that something happened. Watch, learn and ask questions.
  19. If you require vet or farrier care, be prepared to pay for it. Not everybody brings cash on the trail for unexpected problems, but you should followup on it at the first opportunity. Vet and farrier supplies are not free.
  20. HAVE FUN!
  21. DO NOT walk through the vet check area or through the trot-out.
  22. Inform the vet if you think there is anything wrong with your equine. The vet is there to help, not to automatically pull you from the ride.
  23. Control your equine in the vetting area. Be firm. Teach your equine manners.
  24. At the vet check, if waiting in line, or wherever equines are bunched up, give space around you. DO NOT crowd!
  25. At a gate, where someone must dismount and open the gate, wait for that person to remount before leaving. Once underway you may change the riding order.
  26. The equines and riders of a longer distance usually have the right of way at the vet checks time is pressing. Riders coming back fr rechecks should have right of way over others who have more time. If a vet has to do BC and ongoing rider checks at same time, BC contestants should give right of way to competitors needing to return to trail.
  27. Your rider card is YOUR responsibility. Always check to be sure the card in your hand is actually yours.
  28. Be courteous! Remember, “TO FINISH IS TO WIN”!