Northern Colorado
Back Country Horsemen
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Trail Riding Etiquette

Trail Riding Etiquette

We follow the guideline of only 12 heartbeats together on a trail to minimize impact on the trail.  Twelve heartbeats equals six (6) riders and their horses.  If we have more than six (6) riders, we will split into another group of six (6).

All riders pay attention to trail descriptions and suggestions about the need for horseshoes.

Prior to the day of ride, riders obtain documents as needed (Coggins, Health Certificate if out of state and Brand Certificate if more than 75 miles from home).

Members respect other riders by conditioning their horses so they are ready for the distance and/or terrain.  Also respect other riders by honestly evaluating their own riding ability and the horse's condition/ability before attending a ride.

During a ride, we all understand about unexpected tack issues or injuries, however, we expect prior planning by all so we have an enjoyable ride.

All riders bring their own water and/or food and first aid supplies.

If the ride meets at 10 am, be prompt.

Guidelines for the Trail Boss

     The contact person for the ride and checks the information listed on the website calendar; lists
      the trail difficulty; supplies information for appropriate gear and food need.  Communicates
      clearly with all riders about the trail difficulty, ride length and pace.

     Follows the Leave No Trace (LNT) Principles

     Follows the 12 Heartbeat Guideline (6 horses + 6 riders = 12 heartbeats).

     Monitors the pace of each horse and rider and adjusts the speed as needed.

     Knows places along the trail for watering the horses, grazing horses and
     lunch breaks.

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