Hoot Trail is a Multi-User Trail!
Remember that not all users are riding a bike and proper trail etiquette is necessary to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all.
The easiest rule to remember is that equestrians have the right-of-way at all times and bikes yield to everyone else. When like meets like, the user travelling uphill has the-right of-way. However, when it comes to horses, this is oversimplifying things a bit. Horses are prey animals and if a bike approaches a horse at trail speed it can easily be mistaken for a predator. A startled horse is dangerous to both the equestrian and other trail users. The following guidelines from cccmb.org can go a long way toward keeping everyone safe:
- When approaching horses head-on, come to a stop and ask the equestrian whether they prefer you to stop or ride by slowly. Speak naturally so the horse recognizes that you are a human.
- When approaching horses from behind, call out in advance so that the equestrian knows that you are there. It can be disconcerting for both rider and horse to find a bike rider two inches off their “bumper.”
- Although trail rules state that bike riders and hikers defer to horses, it’s best to do whatever the equestrian feels is easiest and safest for everyone.
-Orion Kroeger CFP® -BONC Treasurer/Trail Builder