The Unspoken (but expected) rules of Ride Camp
- Be Polite
This encompasses many things, but as a newbie, introduce yourself. Let people know it is your first, or one of your first competition rides. Offer your help in some small way if you are able. If you meet “Mrs. Grumpy” try to not take it personal. A representative of the Mrs. Grumpy camp is available at most rides. It has nothing to do with you. That person is probably grumpy everywhere…
- Contain Your Pets
Horse, dog, trained squirrel…keep them contained and out of other’s camp area and ride camp at large. Leash your dog for walking.
- Be Tidy
If you walk your dog, clean up after him. Clean up after your horse as well. This includes loose hay, manure, dumped feed pans. Scoop it up and put it where you were instructed, or have a big tub and take it back with you for the compost pile.
- Manners Extend to Trail
Ask permission to pass. Tell the person which side you are passing on, and then keep going. It is very annoying to have someone pass only to ride on their rump for the next seven miles.
Try not to “draft” (have someone else’s horse pull you along). If you have to stop your horse and let that one get some distance between you (out of sight is good).
Do not litter the trail. That includes water bottles.
- Be a good Samaritan.
If someone’s horse is loose and you find it, either return it if possible, or tie it securely and report to ride management a.s.a.p. If you know where the rider is, and can pony a horse, try to get them back together. A loose horse means someone is on foot. That someone may be hurt. We have a responsibility as riders to look out for each other. If you find a hoof boot, return it to ride management, someone is missing that boot!
Should you find someone hurt, call the ride manager, and give assistance. A person thrown from their horse may “look okay” and actually have internal injuries that you cannot see. You can’t be responsible for an uncooperative person, but you will sleep better at night knowing you tried to help out.
The directionally challenged? If you know the way, just tell someone. A ribbon may have come down. It might be someone’s first and they missed a turn. Be a friend and take the minute to point them the way if you are able.
- Quiet after Dark
As the sun goes down, so should the energy of ride camp. You may be riding the LD which will only take a few hours. Your neighbor might be riding a 50 for ten hours, or a hundred for twenty…let them have quiet to get the rest they will need to enjoy their own ride. The horses in camp will appreciate it to. Keep it quiet. If you are running a generator ask management what time they need to go off.