Sharing the trail

Expensive, fun, high maintenance, worth the effort. Just a few words that could be used to describe ownership of a trail bike. Or equally, owning a horse.

On any given weekend horse riders and trail riders use the same BOAT's and UCR's up and down the length of England and Wales. It's fair to assume that at some point the two groups are going to meet out on the trail. So, what do you do? Who has right of way? A little bit of patience and common sense can go a long way, after all, whilst both methods of transport can throw their riders, only one is likely to do it at the sight of the other.

Slow down. If the horses are coming towards you, pull over and stop, giving them some easy room to pass. Turn off your engine. Consider taking off your helmet and having a friendly chat or wave with the riders as they pass. Wait till they are safely past before starting your engine and moving on being considerate with noise.

If you come across horses that are heading in the same direction as you, slow down. Chances are the riders will notice you are behind them. Give them a respectful amount of distance and wait till they wave you on. Hopefully they will try and find a safe spot to pull away from the trail to let you by. Ride slowly. Think about giving them a wave and a smile as you pass.

There's no reason why bikes and horses can't share the trail with a bit of consideration and respect. You could argue that every encounter is an opportunity to improve relationships between two groups of countryside users that simply want to be out riding and enjoying the countryside.