We as new endurance riders spend a lot of time learning how to condition, and work our way through the learning curve of in-timers, pulse checkers, vets, and holds. But do you often think about the rules of the endurance trail? These are not in the rule books necessarily but do make you a better endurance riding citizen. Do you know those unwritten rules?
Drafting is using the momentum of another horse to pull your’s along or slow your horse down. It can be very annoying to the horse in front. Sometimes the rider doing the drafting doesn’t realize it might be a problem for the leading horse. The rider may also not be intentionally doing the thing because the horse has a training issue they have not solved. No matter the reason, drafting is looked at as a faux paux in endurance riding. Training tips: Deterring a tailgater
Party on down!
Blaring music, excessive noise after dark, is not a welcome part of ride camp. Remember those 50 and 100 mile riders will be getting up at the crack of dawn, and have a long day ahead. Just remember to tone it down, and be a good ride camp neighbor.
Water stop coming and going
Incoming horses might disrupt a horse that needs to drink actually drinking, and leaving horses? A novice horse will naturally want to follow. The herd is leaving! Try your best to be considerate in this regard. This is probably the most common faux paux in the sport. Also if you are in a stream make space for horses coming in. Try to keep a horse length minimum between you and other horses drinking from the stream so nobody gets kicked.
Excitement runs high at a ride. Riders put a lot of sweat equity into readying for an endurance ride, and also a lot of money in camping fees, ride entries, and fuel. Everyone really wants to get through the ride and finish. As much fun as it is, things can go wrong and get you as a rider wound up a little tight. If you are feeling this try to do a re-set of your emotions. Most of the people you will deal with at a ride are non-paid, volunteers, there to help you on your way. Set grumpiness aside, and thank those people for their assistance. Don’t be a curmudgeon!
How much is that doggy in my horse pen?
Leash your pet, use a cable tie, and don’t let your dogs run loose in camp. A loose dog in camp can stir up all kinds of unexpected problems, including going into horse’s enclosures, annoying others at their campsite, aggressing or being agressed by other dogs, not to mention getting lost. If your dog is on the loose do you know where he pooped so you can pick it up and dispose of it? Did some unlikely person step in the poop? Be a good ride camp citizen by keeping tabs on your pets.
In the gate and out the gate
Rides in some areas cross over private lands with gates. If you find a gate open, leave it open. If you find a gate closed, be sure you close it after you pass through it.
Point the way
If you find a rider all kinds of lost and you know the way, please take a moment to point the right direction. It may take a couple minutes off your time, but you might just encourage that rider that the people at this ride are awesome!
Coming into the check
Have your rider card in hand, wait your turn in line, smile and say thank you!
After the ride
Clean up you campsite. Make sure all hay, and manure are cleaned up. Try to make your campsite as clean or better than it was when you showed up. Take manure to the designated spot. If there is no designated spot, fill up your mucking tub and take it with you if necessary for disposal later.