The Equestrian Common Rules of Etiquette

Riding a horse can be dangerous. One must fully understand the rules and riding etiquette’s put in place for both their safety and their horses. Disruptive riders can spook horses and cause other riders to be injured. To keep everyone safe and having fun, follow these common rules of etiquette:

Left shoulder to Left Shoulder: It is more convenient to ride in the same direction, however, this may not be possible, so, the left shoulder to left shoulder rule should apply. (Some European countries ride right shoulder to right shoulder.)
Slow on the Inside, Fast on the Outside: If you are warming up/cooling down, you are generally slower and therefore, should keep on the inside track. Riders that are working at a faster pace such as a canter or extended trot should stay on the outside track.
Announce Your Intentions: Tell the other riders what you plan to do: “passing left”, “circle”, “jumping Oxer”, “cross poll”, “trot polls”, etc..
No Lunging in Riding Arena: Do not lunge your horse in the riding arena while people are riding. It is best to use another arena or a specified lunging arena if your barn has one.
Mount/Dismount Out of the Way: When you hop on and off make sure you are out of the way of any other riders.
Cue Quietly: Voice commands should be done quietly.
Try Not to Interrupt Lessons: Try to ride at times when a lesson is not taking place in the arena, or use another arena in order to avoid interrupting a lesson.
Take Care When Using your Whip: Do not touch or frighten other horses with it, ever.
Stay Observant While Riding: Do not distract yourself with texting on your phone, listening to music while riding in order to hear and see your surroundings.
Keep A Horse Length Away: Don’t crowd other riders and keep at least a horse’s length between you and the horse in front of you.
No Smoking: Do not smoke while riding, or in an arena or stable. It is a hazard to other riders and the horses.
No Loose Horse: Never turn your horse loose in an arena while people are riding.
Close the Gate Behind You: Aways keep all doors or gates closed as to avoid horses bolting out in case there is an incident.
Be Respectful:  Try to always give way, and keep in mind others maybe beginners, or riding green horses.
Always Ride Safe: Wear a helmet and proper boots.

Keep these in mind whilst riding, whether at home or at a show, in order to avoid any incidents.


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