top of page



1.  Plan your ride:  Have a goal.  Think ahead. Visualize your performance.

2.  Is your horse feeling spooky or energetic?  If so, get to the barn early and longe him.

3.  Check the weather conditions: horses feel especially frisky in cool, windy or rainy weather.

4.  Be alert during feeding times: horses are apt to misbehave when they see other horses eating.

5.  Bring your cell phone to the barn.

6.  Have an up-to-date first aid kit: Attend to injuries right away.

7.  Use the buddy system at the barn – don’t handle horses or ride alone.

8.  Ride Healthy: Don't ride when you are sick, on medication, or impaired in any way.

9.  Remember the maxim: “You are either training your horse, or un-training your horse.”

10. Younger riders take their cues from you.  Set a good example, always.

11. If you make a mess, clean it up.  If you break it, fix it.  If you borrow it, return it.





1.  Helmet – an approved riding helmet with a secure chinstrap.  Mandatory.

2.  Riding Boots with heels.  Mandatory.

3.  Gloves.

4.  Tucked-in shirttail.


1.  Never tie a horse with a rope around his neck: If he pulls back he could strangle himself.

2.  Walk slightly ahead of the horse's shoulder and on his near (left) side.

3.  Walk well ahead of the horse and step to the side when going through a gate.

4.  Never lead a horse by hanging onto his halter - use a lead rope.

5.  Never wrap a lead rope around your hand.

6.  Tie a lead rope only to solid objects.  Learn how to tie a quick release knot.

7.  Learn the proper use of a chain shank.

8.  Don't allow your horse to "chat" - horses can strike, bite, or kick, and injure people or each other.

9.  Don't try to lead two or more horses at once.



1.  Be calm and quiet.  Loud noises or gestures can startle or spook the horses.

2.  Crouch when working on the lower legs, don’t sit or kneel.

3.  Work to the side of the horse, not directly in front or behind him.

4.  When you approach a horse from behind speak quietly to him to let him know you are there.

5.  When saddling up, tighten the girth or cinch gradually in stages.

6.  Never clip crossties to a bridle or a bit.

7.  Buckle your halter around the horse’s neck before removing the bridle.

8.  Put your tack in a safe place where a horse cannot chew on it.

9.  Don’t let horses “chat”.

10. Clean up your horse’s hair, manure, and messes and put all your gear away.

11. Keep the area clear of clutter.  Jackets, saddle and hat covers, and treats belong in your locker.

12. Giving horses treats in the crossties may create bad behaviors like pawing and begging.




1.  Check your tack before every ride, especially stirrup leathers, girths, and bridles.

2.  Mount in an open area clear of objects you could fall on or the horse could get caught up in.

3.  Use a mounting block whenever possible.

4.  Train your horse to stand still while you are mounting.

5.  To dismount, take both feet out of the stirrups before lowering yourself to the ground.

6.  Run up your stirrups as soon as you dismount, and slip the reins over your horse’s head.




1.  Pay attention to what the other riders are doing.

2.  Check your girth and tighten it if necessary.

3.  Give inexperienced horses and riders special consideration.

4.  Pass oncoming horses left-to-left.

5.  Horses jumping always have the right-of -way.

6.  If you are losing control of your horse, ride in a small circle until you have regained control.

7.  If a rider falls off and their horse gets loose, immediately dismount and be ready to help.




1.  Consider the weather and the footing (rocky, muddy, streams ?) before deciding to ride.

2.  Ride with a buddy.

3.  File a “Flight Plan”: Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back.

4.  Take a cell phone with you.

5.  On long rides, take water.

6.  Wear a helmet, boots, gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and chaps.

7.  Longe or ride a fresh or inexperienced horse in an enclosed area before you hit the trail.

8.  Don't let your horse eat on the trail.

9.  On the trail, maintain a safe distance from the horse in front of you.

10. When riding along a road, ride in single file with the flow of traffic.

11. When crossing mud or water, take your feet out of the stirrups in case your horse falls or rolls.

12. Cross roads together as a group. In single file, one horse could be separated and panic.

13. On group rides, NEVER trot or canter without first warning the other riders of your intentions.

14. Carry a knife or multi-tool in case of entanglement or emergencies.




1.  Check your trailer floor, doors, latches, hitch, safety chains, wiring, lights, tires and brakes.

2.  Check your truck tires, hitch, lights, and braking system.

3. Teach your horse to load and unload.  Practice loading starting several weeks before a horse show.

4.  Use a breakable leather shipping halter.

5.  Drive with extra care, with no sudden starts or stops and slow around corners.

6.  Before leaving, ALWAYS double-check everything - tires, hitch, doors, horses, equipment.




1.  Check corral or turnout area for safety.

2.  Make sure your horse’s waterer is clean and working.

3.  Always remove the horse's halter - it could catch on something and he could be injured.

4.  Turn a horse around to face you before unbuckling his halter to turn him loose.

5.  Make sure the corral or turnout gate is closed and latched when you leave.

bottom of page