Responsible Horseback Riding
TRAVEL & RECREATE WITH MINIMUM IMPACT
Stay on designated roads, trails, and other areas open to horse use.
Ride single file to reduce trail damage, and don’t cut switchbacks.
Water animals in areas where stream banks and water access can withstand hard use and are downstream from campsites.
Practice minimum impact camping: use established sites designated for horses, camp 200 feet from water resources and trails, and minimize fire use.
Observe proper sanitary waste disposal by burying waste 6-8 inches deep and at least 200 feet from trails, campsites, and water resources, or pack your waste out.
When selecting a campsite, first consider your stock; the site should accommodate your animals without damaging the area.
Inspect grazing opportunities before making camp.
Use yards, paddocks, and hitching rails where provided.
Use hitchlines, hobbles, and staking to confine animals. Erect hitchlines in rocky areas with established trees and use straps or tree savers to protect bark.
If you use temporary corrals, move the enclosures twice daily.
When breaking camp, remove or scatter manure; remove excess hay and straw; and fill areas dug up by animal hooves.
RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS
Be considerate of others on the road or trail.
Ride only where permitted.
Avoid spooking livestock and wildlife you encounter.
Leave gates as you find them. Respect private land.
When riding, be especially cautious around hikers and bikers.
Always obtain permission to cross private land.
EDUCATE YOURSELF, PLAN AND PREPARE BEFORE YOU GO
Check the weather forecast, and have the right information, maps, and equipment to make your trip safe.
Check with land managers to determine if an area is closed to pack animals due to overuse or fragile environments.
Keep groups small, and carry lightweight gear to reduce the number of animals needed.
Pre-plan camp locations that provide plenty of room and the proper environment for confining animals.
If possible, don’t shoe horse(s) prior to a trip. New shoes cut the ground more than worn shoes.
ALLOW FOR FUTURE USE OF THE OUTDOORS, LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT
Bring pellets, grain, or weed free hay to areas where feed is limited or grazing is not allowed. This reduces the chances of introducing noxious weeds.
Wash your gear and check your animal before and after every ride to avoid the spread of noxious weeds.
Carry a trash bag on your horse, and pick up litter left by others.
Avoid sensitive habitats, wetlands, steams, and meadows.
DISCOVER THE REWARDS OF RESPONSIBLE RECREATION
Horseback riding provides the opportunity to get away from the rush of everyday life and builds family traditions.
Respect the environment and other recreationists. By using common sense and common courtesy, what is available today will be here to enjoy tomorrow.
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