Trail riding etiquette (part 2): Being a good steward

Published 05-13-2010 11:01 AM

This blog was written by Essie Rogers, the Director of Education and Welfare at the Kentucky Horse Council. She is also a certified instructor of the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA).

Often we don’t think of trail etiquette immediately since trail riding is often a recreational activity without the formalities of “ring riding” or competition. However understanding and practicing good trail behavior is advisable.

Part of good trail etiquette is ensuring that you are respectful of trails and land areas which begins with your arrival at the trail head. Ways to become a better land steward include:

  • Park only in designated areas
  • Keep your muck in the trailer and dispose of it at home or in a designated area
  • Tie only to your trailer, designated tie areas, or using a safe high tie (do NOT tie directly to trees)
  • Keep your horse moving while he/she passes manure on the trail
  • Take out everything that you bring in (pack it in, pack it out)
  • Stay on the trail – do not create pass-arounds to avoid areas
  • Only enter waterways at designated crossings
  • Avoid muddy trails - if you have to pass through mud – ride your horse at the WALK
  • Obey all signage – do not ride in non-horse areas
  • Abide by all voluntary trail closures
  • Collect muck and scattered hay from your tie site and dispose of it at home or in a designated area
  • Fill in any uneven areas created by you or your horse
  • Follow the leave no trace ethics (more information at
Page last updated: 7/30/2013 4:46:44 PM