In partnership with Equisafety

While there aren’t necessarily rules for a fun ride in the same way that there are for competitions or endurance events, it helps to be aware of etiquette that can make for a more enjoyable experience.

1. Arrive in plenty of time to tack up and get ready before the off

Lots of rides offer starting times to prevent large groups leaving at once which could create bottlenecks. Double check if you have been given a starting time, and then make sure that you arrive in plenty of time to meet it.

2. Set the pace

If you are riding with a group, discuss your plan before you set off. Do you just want to walk, or would you like to fit in a trot or a canter? If there are jumps, would you want to have a go? Making sure that everyone is on the same page before setting off will make for a happier experience.

3. Overtake slowly

If you catch up with riders ahead of you, make sure that you overtake in walk. If possible, call out to let them know that you are going to pass. Not all horses are confident when others overtake, particularly at speed, so it is best to be on the safe side and give other riders a heads up.

4. Check behind for horses approaching

Occasionally checking behind will ensure that you are prepared for anyone who might be approaching, particularly at speed. You could then call out to politely ask them to slow down before they overtake.

5. Make use of coloured ribbons

Many riders know what coloured ribbons symbolise. Use green for a young, green or nervous horse, and red for a horse who could kick.

6. Be mindful of others

Not everyone is looking to do the same thing when on a fun ride — some just want to have a gentle walk around, while others will want to take the opportunity to ride at speed. There could be young or nervous horses and riders about, so keep this in mind.

7. Join the queue for jumps

Some rides have jumps dotted about for riders to make use of. Before steering your horse over, check that there isn’t a queue or a group of riders waiting. Often these spots can become busy and bottlenecked, and this can unsettle some horses.

This content is brought to you in partnership with Equisafety, high viz clothing for horses and riders.

Related articles