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Old 27.03.2012, 15:32
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Horses and biking etiquette

Hi All,

Can anyone tell me the accepted etiquette when one comes up on a horse on a Wanderweg? The general best practice would be to stop and dismount to allow the horse to pass but I never see anyone doing this.

If a rider on a horse is approaching me I usually just stop and take the time to take a drink and then carry on once they are past, but it seems that many riders simply ride past them without any regard to the horse (or the rider).

Any ideas?

Thanks.
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Old 27.03.2012, 15:39
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

I always slow, greet the rider no matter what and come to a full stop if the horse looks skittish, but I've seen many people blow past horses at speed.

what is proper, or even what is the law?

sorry charlie. ( don't know )
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Old 27.03.2012, 15:43
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

Horse is bigger, therefore the cyclist has right of way.

Tom
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Old 27.03.2012, 15:55
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

We always stop or slow down.. Most of the time the rider will thank us. It is not so bad when you are passing them from the front as the horse already has seen you. But if you are intending to pass from the back, always slow down, or push your bike.

It is also for your own safety that the horse doesn't get frighten and cause an accident
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Old 27.03.2012, 16:09
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

Simple - horses kick hard, bikes don't - make your decision accordingly, armed with this information.
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Old 27.03.2012, 16:19
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

There is not really a rule (at least I never learned it and I have the so called Swiss Brevet for horse riding). The best thing is what you have described, slow down, maybe stop and take a drink etc. In any case just make sure there is enough room to move away quickly should the horse become scared.
From a horse rider's perspective, I can say that it is really annoying to have bikers speed by you, especially from the back without any notice (if you whistle or call sth that s fine, but just make yourself noticeable for the horse). My horse is very calm luckily, but younger ones or nervous ones can become a danger for themselves, the rider and the biker if they are not prepared for a whizzing by biker. Therefore, all your suggestions sound very reasonable and I would wish more bikers would take a moment to think about them.
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Old 27.03.2012, 16:49
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

Rev..........horn.............blow raspberries in a horse like fashion, and make a loud neeeeeeeey horse sound.

Buckeroo.........what a game!
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Old 27.03.2012, 19:21
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

Not really a joking matter, JordanBarrZurich86. Riders, horses and cyclists have been injured and even died because most people don't think that a horse might be frightened by something suddenly whizzing into view with no warning. Horses are prey animals and as such have a high survival instinct to swerve and run if something suddenly appears out of nowhere. They don't know it's not a mountain lion jumping at them, just a cyclist who isn't considerate of others. The results can be catastrophic and are certainly not funny.
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Old 27.03.2012, 19:58
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

From another rider's perspective, please please please don't silently drive up as close as possible then yank the brakes at the very last second.

Start breaking well in advance, especially when coming from behind.

Shouting something is good as well ("yo, mofo, move yo ass" is just fine) as horses can identify you as human better (yep not kidding).

Can I just say I really like the fact there's hikers and cyclists out there being so considerate
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Old 27.03.2012, 20:02
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

Strange debate this. I was always under the impression that animals had the right of way?
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Old 27.03.2012, 20:21
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

humans are animals last time I checked
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Old 27.03.2012, 20:23
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

I wouldn't be surprised if horses have right of way on a Wanderweg. Bike riders should at least show respect for such a big animal and slow down when they see one. Horses can easily be spooked and the bike rider isn't going to stand a chance against something 500kg +

When my horse was hit by a car back in Oz and I was harassed by the insurer to pay for some idiots car that revved on by, the Roads and Traffic Act said that horses were a vehicle of the road and had priority. My horse totaled the car. Thankfully, I wasn't on the horse when it happened and the guy had a car around him. I think he needed to change his trousers though
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Old 27.03.2012, 20:35
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

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humans are animals last time I checked
Oh yes. Some are descended from simians, and some simply evolved. But horse is animal, very big animal, and human on bike is very puny. Show respect.
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Old 27.03.2012, 20:47
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

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Shouting something is good as well ("yo, mofo, move yo ass" is just fine) as horses can identify you as human better
I always shout "Hello cows!" from a safe distance if I have to cross a herd of cows when hiking, to make sure they have all had a chance to hear me and have a look to see what exactly I am.

Seems to work with Suisse romande cows, not yet tested in Dritte Altmatt or elsewhere around here .
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Old 28.03.2012, 08:09
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

I thought a "Wanderweg" was a footpath. What are people doing there on horses and bikes?
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Old 28.03.2012, 08:12
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

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I thought a "Wanderweg" was a footpath. What are people doing there on horses and bikes?
Both are permitted on most of the ones around here.

Tom
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Old 28.03.2012, 08:22
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

being here in french speaking Swiss (sic) I'm not familiar with the word "wanderweg" but my local woods .. the Versoix woods ... are open for walkers, runners, bikers, horses.. with a few trails specifically reserved for the horsey types.
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Old 28.03.2012, 08:34
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

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being here in french speaking Swiss (sic) I'm not familiar with the word "wanderweg" but my local woods .. the Versoix woods ... are open for walkers, runners, bikers, horses.. with a few trails specifically reserved for the horsey types.
Live near Versoix, so I'm familiar with them. The footpaths are labelled "Chemin pedestre" pretty much a literal translation, i.e. something to do with feet, not wheels. There are tracks, usually a little wider and with a stone surface, which are suitable for bikes.
As you probably appreciate, I'm mildly ranting here, as I particularly find bikers to be aggressive and inconsiderate when on narrow footpaths. Don't get me wrong, I do a lot of cycling, including in the Versoix woods, but I'll stay on the tracks that are suitable for cycling and won't disturb walkers.
Horses I find less of a problem. They move more slowly and tend not to be so aggressive (beware of hidden horse-poo though!)
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Old 28.03.2012, 11:49
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

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Not really a joking matter, JordanBarrZurich86. Riders, horses and cyclists have been injured and even died because most people don't think that a horse might be frightened by something suddenly whizzing into view with no warning. Horses are prey animals and as such have a high survival instinct to swerve and run if something suddenly appears out of nowhere. They don't know it's not a mountain lion jumping at them, just a cyclist who isn't considerate of others. The results can be catastrophic and are certainly not funny.
So much irony here.

I mean, evidently my post was in jest, but on your reasoning, we could argue:

1. Why is the horse on the road? Where cars, bikers frequent if they are unpredictable?
2. Why are people even riding horses, have we considered whether they enjoy being rode on, whipped, metal plates nailed to their hooves and all these other riding accessories you burden them with?
3. Then I could stretch even further, i mean, why dont you have to stop and pick up your horse shiiit? Granted will take a few of those doggy bags but....., creates quite a mess and things should be even

So, please, dont jump on your high horse (no pun intended)

I think most people have not thought about it much as most people dont own or ride horses, and its not part of the driving tests, so they assume that a rider on a horse on a road is in control of that animal and the animal is trained enough to deal with the envirnonment in which its human owner takes it. If its not, then the rider should not expect the rest of the world to know what to do.

That said, I think most people who see a horse in front of them will slow down, and swerve, and probably take a very wide, excessively wide bordering on dangering themselves to oncoming traffic type berth, as people do with cyclists. Normally as they have no idea how big their vehicle really is and think they are in jumbo jets.
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Old 31.03.2012, 18:51
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Re: Horses and biking etiquette

A horse can turn a person into hamburger in about a half a second, so it's wise to let the horse/rider know you are coming up behind them. If the horse seems nervous, slow down and stay out of the way. Most horses are used to everything they encounter daily, but there are a lot of variables... so if you value your body, don't sneak up on them. I think I remember that there is an actual rule in place about it. Maybe 2 meters distance, but I can't remember fore sure.
Also, with dogs, usually they are not a problem at all, but again if the horse looks nervous or overly interested (many horses think it's fun to chase dogs) you might want to hold onto them.
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