Trail Courtesy on the NEBDR:
Riding Around Horses
September 25, 2020
September 25, 2020
In our communications with local residents along the NEBDR, we have been made aware that some motorcyclists are failing to Ride Respectfully on the route.
We want to remind everyone, that as BDR riders we are lucky to be able to enjoy some of the most quaint and peaceful backcountry roads in the North East, but we can lose our access to these trails, if we don’t practice the right riding etiquette.
When riding a BDR please be courteous, and share the trails with other land users, like hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers.
Specifically, we want to remind everyone about the etiquette for riding around horses.
Despite being large and powerful animals, horses are a prey species. People think horses are bold and brave, when in fact, they react like many prey species with a flight or freeze response.
If their horses are well trained, they may signal for you to pass, but do so slowly and keep your eyes on horse and rider.
If a horse should spook, or if a rider signals you to stop, then you should stop immediately. Horses can go quickly from calm to very scared, causing them to freeze or run blindly.
Some horse riders may actually pick up the pace to get to a wider place in the road where they can pull off and turn their horses to face the motorcyclists.
If a rider starts moving faster, don’t assume it is an invitation to pass. If you are coming towards horses, slow down and keep your eyes on the rider. You can pass well-trained horses slowly and carefully, but be alert to a rider who asks you to stop or go even more slowly. Some riders may choose to dismount.
Motorcyclists who pull over and stop and sit quietly can actually look like predators to a horse.
Engaging in conversation helps in reassuring the horse that you are not a threat.
After you have passed a horse(s), keep in mind that loud engine noise or backfires could still spook a horse and cause them to run.
Make sure you are well past before picking up speed.
Ride Respectfully. Ride Right. Ride BDR.