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bike vs. horse etiquette on the road

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

bike vs. horse etiquette on the road

Old 10-21-13, 05:48 AM
  #51  
jolly_ross
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Horse riders can be very arrogant, holier-than-thou and self-centred, same as some cyclists. Probably about the same proportion of each population. Just be as nice as you can and realise that some people can never be pleased. If they are troublesome about the encounter then smile to yourself and know that they will surely be the same person you see squabbling over car parking spaces, plumber call out costs, bureaucracy of any form, etc etc on and on.

Their lives are likely riddled with conflict and incensed confusion, they are their own punishment. You are so much better than getting into an argument with them.

Oh - and - air-horn. ; )
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Old 10-21-13, 06:21 AM
  #52  
Kai Winters
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It is your responsibility to control what you are riding...
I agree with the "holier than thou" attitude of many horse riders. If we are sharing an unpaved trail I'll yield only as a matter of safety and "expect" the horse rider to respond with a thank you...if the rider does not I remind them I was courteous while not being required to be.
I pass horses fairly regularly...living in farm country with many "amish type" farms and families around...their horses are never a problem...very well behaved. I've seen children as young as 8ish? sitting on top of a huge pile of hay on a wagon being pulled by two horses go by me on the other side of the road without a concern by either me, the horses or the kid...it is all about control and many "equestrians" are really not in control of their horsies, merely along for the ride hoping for the best...screw 'em...
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Old 10-21-13, 06:56 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Cars and motorcycles make enough noise so that the horse can hear them from some distance away. Bicycles are quiet.
Ahhh, quite the contrary, at least for a motorcycle like a Goldwing, they are whisper quiet. Some cars are extremely quiet too, especially ones like hybrids.

The reason I even bring this up is because I was riding my Goldwing one time when I came up on a horse rider, in my case heading the same direction as I was. I hesitated to pass because I didn't want to spook it. The rider turned and shouted to me to pass, as I did so the rider waved for me to slow and she suggested that I NOT stop like that again, not only was I creating a hazard to traffic behind us but the horse might actually get MORE spooked if it happens to hear stuff like tire crunching on gravel behind it for a long while. I asked if I should honk the horn, she said definitely NOT to and to just wait till it's safe to pass and then do so just like any other traffic. The horse trainer at the place we ride horses said pretty much the same thing as well.

Again, being that the rider in the OPs case was already OFF the road 10 to 20 feet plus whatever distance the bike rider was in on the lane it is unreasonable to require anyone to indicate they are passing, especially when the horse and rider are facing you. And YES, horses have the right of way, as do pedestrians, and WE have the right of way over cars in most situations.

Last edited by Rootman; 10-21-13 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 10-21-13, 07:02 AM
  #54  
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Not sure why there is such a debate on proper etiquette for dealing with horses. I will always stop and dismount when approaching horseback riders from an opposite direction (regardless of whether I'm on my road bike or mt. bike). Riders seem to genuinely appreciate this gesture and will either wave me through or thank me as they go by. If coming up from behind I will make sure the rider and horse know I'm there from a good distance away (50 yds. or so) and wait to be waived by or for the rider to pull off the road and have the horse face me (horses seem less prone to spook if they are facing you and see that you are giving them a wide berth). Also, it is my experience that it is often the younger / less mature horses that are most prone to spooking due to their lack of familiarity with cyclists. The only way to get the horse comfortable with cyclists is to expose them to riders and by default there will be a learning curve. This notion that if a horse spooks it should not have been on the trail / road to begin with is nonsense.

At the end of the day were only talking about a minute or two to get by the horse safely and the image of cyclist will only be enhanced by being courteous and passing safely (especially important for off road riding where conflicts with equestrians can lead to mt. bikers being banned from certain trails or parks all together). Virtually all of my encounters with equestrians (multiple time a week) are pleasant with an appreciation from both sides for allowing one another to safely share the trails and roads.
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Old 10-21-13, 08:09 AM
  #55  
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Horses are NOT sweet.

They are animals.
They are large and powerful.

I knew a horse that had already killed 2 horses and would kick for your head anytime you got in range.

Out in the country my SO and I nearly got hit by the ? 10 foot log on a ? 30-ish foot rope flailing around o behind a bolted horse.

This year 2 young teen girls on horses on the American Tobacco trail should not have been riding those particular animals, and certainly should not have taken them anywhere near people. But they did. Horses bucked, reared and kicked. The girls had little control over the horses regardless of the other people around.

People have bad judgement.
Horses are erratic.

Try and keep a safe distance.
Try to make your presence known in as gentle a fashion as possible as far away as possible.
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Old 10-21-13, 08:32 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Cars and motorcycles make enough noise so that the horse can hear them from some distance away. Bicycles are quiet.
I know I know, but a horse on the road is a horse on the road... responsibility falls on the rider. I'm careful around horses on a bike, but like I said in my OP, that's for my sake and the horses.. not the riders. And what about Prius' and whisper quiet motorcycles should they start announcing themselves too to horses?
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Old 10-21-13, 08:39 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Grambo View Post
Not sure why there is such a debate on proper etiquette for dealing with horses.
Oh, I have an idea... Say, do you know that song by Ludichrist, Most People Are Dicks?
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Old 10-21-13, 08:53 AM
  #58  
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H0ly $h|t!

Originally Posted by 10 wheels View Post
a cow can jump a fence and chase you.



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Old 10-21-13, 08:54 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Oh, I have an idea... Say, do you know that song by Ludichrist, Most People Are Dicks?
More likely because most people these days don't know how to interact with horses.
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Old 10-21-13, 08:55 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by RaleighSport View Post
I know I know, but a horse on the road is a horse on the road... responsibility falls on the rider. I'm careful around horses on a bike, but like I said in my OP, that's for my sake and the horses.. not the riders. And what about Prius' and whisper quiet motorcycles should they start announcing themselves too to horses?
As quiet as one might think MC's or hybrid cars are, they still make noise from tire friction with the road and wind resistance. Those sounds you hear well before any engine noise - especially in a quiet rural area.
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Old 10-21-13, 09:20 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by dmcdam View Post
As quiet as one might think MC's or hybrid cars are, they still make noise from tire friction with the road and wind resistance. Those sounds you hear well before any engine noise - especially in a quiet rural area.
Really? I don't know about your personal experiences but I've been able to hear geared bikes before I've heard electric cars out on rural no traffic roads but again that's my personal experiences. What are yours?
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Old 10-21-13, 09:30 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by RaleighSport View Post
Really? I don't know about your personal experiences but I've been able to hear geared bikes before I've heard electric cars out on rural no traffic roads but again that's my personal experiences. What are yours?
If I'm on my bike with the wind whistling in my ears then yes, quiet cars and MC's can sneak up on me. But if I'm walking, or sitting still, or I imagine travelling slowly on a horse, I can hear the car coming a ways off just due to the wind resistance and the tires vibrating on the pavement. I live right on the edge of the country, and when I'm sitting on my deck can hear a car coming from at least a couple hundred meters.
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Old 10-21-13, 09:41 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by dmcdam View Post
If I'm on my bike with the wind whistling in my ears then yes, quiet cars and MC's can sneak up on me. But if I'm walking, or sitting still, or I imagine travelling slowly on a horse, I can hear the car coming a ways off just due to the wind resistance and the tires vibrating on the pavement. I live right on the edge of the country, and when I'm sitting on my deck can hear a car coming from at least a couple hundred meters.
As do I (living on the edge of the country that is), but the segments I was referring more to are a lot lower speed than my road, or I imagine yours either for that matter. A Prius at slow speed is deadly silent IMO. In fairness I have had one experience where I was doing yard work and a cyclist popped up in my vision which caught me by surprise as I hear them coming normally.. but 1 in thousands isn't bad. (My road is a major cycling route)
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Old 10-21-13, 11:20 AM
  #64  
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I friend of mine was riding solo on a country road. As he rode past a field, he spooked a horse about 100-150 feet away, mounted with a lady, so much so that the horse raised both legs high, almost throwing the lady. No other people or animals were around. Don't know what else he was supposed to do being so far away but my friend, the nice guy that he is, is now inclined to make some type of loud verbal noise to warn the rider/horse in the future. If on the same road as I, I may slow down and pass a mounted horse and far from the horse that I can but that's not always possible since sometimes you happen upon a mounted horse after rounding a curve or cresting a hill at speed.
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Old 10-21-13, 12:13 PM
  #65  
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Horses are vicious, vindictive, unpredictable beasts usually ridden by inept, arrogant, unpredictable people with no regard for their own safety. How often do you see a horseman take the most banal of precautions (wearing a helmet) while riding along the road? I never do. I don't care if they ride on the road, and I also don't care if I spook the beast or what the rider thinks of me. Therefore no etiquette is required.
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Old 10-21-13, 12:50 PM
  #66  
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Vindictive horse??
Now I have and have had-cats that seemed to hold a grudge.
But a horse?
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Old 10-21-13, 01:17 PM
  #67  
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well sure of course, I'd do that were she heading away from me, but she was facing me and we saw each other probably at the same moment.
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
She's absolutely right. And yes, singing might work, but you can call out "Hello! Hello! Good Morning!" or whatever too ... from some distance away.

If you're coming up from behind, start talking quite some distance back, not right next to the horse.
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Old 10-21-13, 01:39 PM
  #68  
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Nobody here has a bell on their bike?



Works for me, anyway.
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Old 10-21-13, 01:52 PM
  #69  
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I'm actually thinking about getting one, more to use on the rails to trail for walkers/joggers in front of me. I usually yell good morning and rider passing on your left.

Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Nobody here has a bell on their bike?



Works for me, anyway.
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Old 10-21-13, 04:56 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by 99Klein View Post
Actually horses learn about 7 times faster than humans. They are very intelligent animals.
I have question this statement. Do you have any references to support this?
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Old 10-21-13, 05:07 PM
  #71  
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Old 10-21-13, 05:38 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by bikepro View Post
I have question this statement. Do you have any references to support this?
I questioned this too. If the average elementary school student can learn all of the state capitals in little over four hours of repetition, a horse could do it in 34 minutes.
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Old 10-21-13, 05:40 PM
  #73  
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Rider saw bicyclist as bicyclist saw rider/horse. As seen many times on TV with The Lone Ranger/Silver and Roy Rogers/Trigger, owner should bend over and pat the horse while informing it of approaching item. From a six approach, a warning from cyclist is proper.
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Old 10-21-13, 05:49 PM
  #74  
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Sorry folks you're not going to teach a horse the state capitols. This will give you a great start: https://horsetalk.co.nz/2012/10/11/un...#axzz2iP2UjDSR it has some interesting information. Here is one that talks about/compares them to dogs https://news.discovery.com/animals/ho...ation-dogs.htm None of these back up my 7x because those are statements made by top trainers. You should see what these people can teach just any old horse brought into a clinic. They are indeed very bright animals. You don't have to believe me as this is the 41 and nothing in here matters in the real world, but I assure you that problems with horses are their humans.
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Old 10-21-13, 06:31 PM
  #75  
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I believe horses are smart. I rescue ferrets and those little buggers are surprisingly smart. Any animal that lives as long as a horse has to have the ability to learn. And remember off forgotten Montpelier.
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