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Whoa there...meeting horses on the trail

Posted by Andrew Engelson at May 09, 2006 05:00 PM |

In this month's issue of Washington Trails, we have a couple articles on horses in the backcountry, including a piece by Chris Bell on how important pack-and-saddle riders are to our Volunteer Vacation program.

Matt on horsebackThis got me thinking about horse-and-hiker encounters. Namely, I can never remember if you're supposed to step to the downhill or uphill side when you approach equestrians on trail.

Well, after looking back on this article, which ran a couple years ago in our magazine, I remembered you're supposed to step to the downhill as you let the horses and riders pass. Other tips to remember:
  • Talk to the riders and horses, so that the animals know you're not a threat.
  • Remain visible. If you suddenly disappear behind a tree, you might spook the horse.
  • Keep dogs under control. A running and barking dog may get trampled underfoot.
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