Most of the trails we ride on are shared with other user groups, and for some trails, that includes horses. Our friends at the Horse Council of BC and the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC have put together some recommendations for when equestrians and mountain bike riders encounter each other on the trail.
Say hello! Communicate with the rider to see if it is safe to pass. The horse rider will know if their horse is calm enough for you to pass safely.
If the horse is frightened, take off your helmet and get off your bike to show that you are a person and not a predator
If you are on a hill, move to the low side of the trail. Most predators will try to attack from above, so a horse will feel less threatened if you are lower down
If approaching from behind, the horse rider may wave you to pass if the horse is familiar with bike
When safe, pass the horse slow and wide, ideally giving 3 meters or more space. Horses can kick for self defense. Giving extra space will keep you safe in case the horse kicks
When meeting other trail users, steady your mount and exchange greetings
Remember that a well-trained horse is essential for safe riding
Check out all of the infographics from the Horse Council of BC and the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC here: