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Back Country Horsemen of British Columbia

Hosting a Ride (w/short checklist)

How to Host & Organize a Chapter Ride.

A simple step-by-step guide for chapters wishing to organize a group ride. To download a copy, see bottom of page.


1. Gather the following information and make available to all members and guests:

  • The ride location including directions if needed.
  • Day and date.
  • Ready to ride time.
  • For everyone’s safety, it must be decided by the host chapter, in advance of the ride, if dogs or stallions are to be permitted on the ride and how they are to be managed.
  • Absolutely no loose horses are to be allowed at any time.
  • A short description of the footing, distance, estimated return time, elevation gain. (Some riders will have to decide to shoe or bring boots for their horses.) An estimated rating for the trail can be useful, but depends on the ability of the horses and their riders planning to participate.
  • Approximate duration of the ride. i.e.) whether it will be a day ride, overnight, a pack trip, etc.
  • An RSVP contact number and/or email address.
  • What extra things do riders bring with them? Eg. Personal first aid kit, potluck meal, lunch, chair, etc.
  • Will there be a limit to the number of riders? If so, they should RSVP. A deadline for the RSVP is a good idea.
2. Contact the chapter chair or other executive to let them know the details so no scheduling conflicts arise.

3. If not leading the ride yourself, ask for someone experienced who will be the Ride Master. A group of 4 riders or less may not need a Ride Master depending on the experience of the participants and their horses.

4. Arrange for the Ride Master and their assistants to have access to a group First Aid kit and a copy of the Short and Long form Pre-Ride Check lists.

5. Add the ride information to the website Calendar and make sure the information is passed on to the BCHBC provincial secretary.

That’s it! Wasn’t that easy!

The Pre Ride Checklist (Short form)

The Ride Master should use a Pre Ride Checklist such as this during the pre-ride meeting. This is also a good time to re-evaluate riders and horses while saddling. About 10 minutes before Ready-to-Ride time, gather riders (unmounted) and introduce yourself, the drag rider, the flank riders if needed, and other assistants. Discuss trail features, planned stops, and the length of ride. It is also a good idea to tell the group why we have these guidelines and offer to let any riders who want to ride fast or slow; or would rather not be in a large group (or if allowed, are including dogs or stallions); the option to go ahead or follow behind about 10 minutes apart.

Discuss any trail hazards that may apply to your ride such as:

  • ·     Auto rewind cameras, camera flash ( not such a problem with digital cameras and cells )
  • ·     Opening carbonated drinks
  • ·     Putting on or taking off slicker or jackets while mounted
  • ·     Velcro
  • ·     Riding through dips, jumping creeks
  • ·     Hornets
  • ·     Wildlife
  • ·     Vertigo or fear of heights
  • ·     Slick rock, metal or wood surface bridges, etc.
  • ·     Unnecessary stopping on trail
  • ·     Meeting hikers or other riders
  • ·     Road crossings

Discuss Ride rules such as:

  • ·     Gait – walk only or? (Proceed only according to the ability of the least capable rider.)
  • ·     Stopping for water, photos, bathroom breaks
  • ·     Communication up or down the line, turn to talk to rider behind you
  • ·     Who rides behind whom. Etiquette for passing.
  • ·     Spacing
  • ·     Horse Council membership a must for all participating BCHBC members!


Safety check:

  • ·     Ask if any riders have medical conditions that the group needs to be aware of.
  • ·     Remind everyone they should have a personal first aid with them. Also tell everyone the location of the group first aid kit
  • ·     Ask riders to help each other by watching the rider in front & letting them know about loose cinches, gear coming untied, etc.
  • ·     Cinches, back and front snugged up
  • ·     Cruppers, breast collars, bridles, etc. present and adjusted for safety.
  • ·     Lead rope for each rider
  • ·     Slickers
  • ·     Water bottle
  • ·     Missing shoes
  • ·     Insect repellant applied?
  • ·     Ask if anyone has any problems, concerns, or other questions.


Created: 2016-01-12 15:24:42
Size: 118.41 KB

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