Trail riding

« Back to Glossary Index

**1. Types of Trail Riding:**

– Trail riding encompasses riding outdoors on trails, bridle paths, and forest roads, excluding roads used by motorized traffic.
– It includes activities like mountain biking, mixed terrain cycle-touring, and the use of motorcycles and other motorized vehicles.
– Trail rides can vary in length, from short rides to long-distance multi-day trips.
– It can be informal individual or group activities or larger organized events by clubs.
– Trail riding can be combined with activities such as camping, hunting, fishing, orienteering, and backpacking.

**2. Equestrian Use in Trail Riding:**

– Many long-distance trails worldwide have sections suitable for horse riding.
– Equestrian trails range from simple day-use bridle paths to those accommodating pack animals on multi-day journeys.
– Access to trails on private land is usually at the landowner’s discretion.
– Horses under saddle are subject to similar regulations as pedestrians in most states.
– Some trails may have restrictions on horse access or seasonal limitations.

**3. Types of Trail Riding Activities:**

Pleasure riding, also known as hacking in certain regions, is recreational riding for personal enjoyment without competition.
Pleasure riding focuses on having fun and enjoying nature.
– It is interchangeably used with trail riding in some areas.
– Competitive trail riding events test the endurance and riding ability of horses.
– Competitive trail classes at horse shows evaluate horse and rider skills in handling obstacles.

**4. Mountain Biking in Trail Riding:**

– Mountain bikes are designed for trails like mountain paths, fire roads, and logging roads.
– They have sturdy construction, knobby tires, powerful brakes, and lower gear ratios for steep grades.
Mountain biking can involve technical trails, bridle paths, and off-road routes.
– Specific mountain bike trails cater to different riding styles like cross-country, all-mountain, freeride, and downhill.
– Mountain bikes are suitable for handling obstacles like rocks, roots, and steep slopes.

**5. Trail Riding Locations and Controversies:**

– Trail riding locations include Mount Tamalpais in California, bridle paths in England and Wales, and long-distance routes in Europe.
– Controversies exist around trail access for mountain bikes due to environmental impact and safety concerns.
– Restrictions may apply to mountain bikers on narrow single-track trails.
– Some regions, like the US, provide access to multi-use trails for mountain biking.
– Additional resources include information on mountain biking areas, pleasure riding, and resources for bicycle and motorcycle touring.

Trail riding (Wikipedia)

Trail riding is riding outdoors on trails, bridle paths, and forest roads, but not on roads regularly used by motorised traffic. A trail ride can be of any length, including a long distance, multi-day trip. It originated with horse riding, and in North America, the equestrian form is usually called "trail riding," or, less often "hacking." In the UK and Europe, the practice is usually called horse or pony trekking.

Trail riding in Dornbirn, Austria. It is often a group activity.
Mountain bike trail in the Forest of Dean, England

The modern term also encompasses mountain biking, mixed terrain cycle-touring, and the use of motorcycles and other motorized all-terrain vehicles. It may be informal activities of an individual or small group, or larger events organized by a club. Some equestrian trail rides in the USA are directed by professional guides or outfitters, particularly at guest ranches, while many equestrians who own horses trail ride on their own in local, state, and national trail systems. In some parts of the world, trail riding (of whatever kind) is limited by law to recognized, and sometimes function-specific, trails that are waymarked. In other places, trails may be less maintained and more natural. Certain trails are limited by trail use types. Trail riding can be combined with other activities, such as camping, hunting, fishing, orienteering and backpacking.

« Back to Glossary Index