Safety Rules and Trail Etiquette
Los Viajeros has an impeccable safety record and a reputation for leaving all campsites clean and well maintained. LV encourages accomplished trail riders who handle their horses in a manner that never endangers other riders, horses or property. As a result, LV is continually invited back to the parks and campsites we have visited. In order to maintain this reputation and to maintain reasonably priced insurance, LV must enforce some safety rules. In addition, LV has adopted a set of trail etiquette guidelines. Most are common sense and/or universally followed riding practices. As LV members, we are ambassadors for the horse and for fun, safe and courteous trail riding on the trails we share with hikers and cyclists.
Safety Rules for Los Viajeros Rides
- Stallions, dogs, pets and persons under 21 are not allowed.
- Ponying of horses is not allowed.
- Horses and riders should be equipped with appropriate gear and tack. No bareback riding.
- Smoking is prohibited while riding, or near horses at any time.
- Riding alone is not recommended.
- Guests riding for membership are required to ride with a minimum of two members. Each member may sponsor only two guests or candidates for membership, on any given ride.
- Safe speed is required at all times; however, in an emergency situation requiring a faster pace, all riders must be warned prior to acceleration.
- Campfires must be appropriately extinguished and trailer and paddock areas must be clean before leaving.
- Many LV rides are in new venues and only those that have pre-ridden know the trails. LV ride groups consist of a ride leader (LV member) who knows the trails and a drag rider (LV member) that closes all gates. Riders are expected to follow the direction of the ride leader and drag rider and stay behind the ride leader unless he/she gives you permission to pass. In some venues, there may also be a rider designated to be "Ride Guide". This might be a paid guide or, alternatively, a non-member who knows the trails. Such ride guides advise the ride leader on directions; however, the ride leader remains in charge of the ride.
- Maintain a safe distance between horses and let others know you are coming as you approach them.
- Excessive disciplining of your horse is unsafe to others and yourself on a trail ride.
- Alert riders of trail hazards that you see ahead or behind or if you are slowing down or stopping.
- When passing oncoming riders, cyclists or hikers, horses should be on the uphill side of the trail when possible. Some cyclists or hikers do not know this or are uncomfortable perching on the edge of a cliff. Use common sense and courtesy when passing. If the trail is too narrow to pass and there is no turnout nearby, horses have the right of way; but then again, courtesy and tact must be used. If both groups on the trail are on horseback, the party in the uphill direction has the right of way.
- Always leave a gate in the position you found it unless instructed to do otherwise.
- Horses must be tied properly with a lead rope and halter, not with a bridle. No hobbles.
- In order to ensure continued use of private property, parks, and trail systems for horses, riders must stay on designated trails and never trespass, only deviating to navigate around a hazard, such as a fallen tree.
- Driving horses on an LV ride must have prior approval of the Board of Directors and property owners.
- Carry out your food and drink containers and clean up after your horse, leaving all areas litter free.
- Smile and say hello to everyone you pass. You are representing the equestrian community and LV.