Stop, Stand Back and Speak (A Smile Helps Too): Maximize Your Positive Interactions with People on Horseback

We hope you can join us!

Presented by: National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance

Event Details

** This event has passed **

August 11, 2020

Location: Online

12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

01:00 PM to 02:30 PM (Mountain Time)
02:00 PM to 03:30 PM (Central Time)
03:00 PM to 04:30 PM (Eastern Time)



Most trail users are familiar with the Share the Trail “yield triangle,” which asks that hikers and bikers yield to persons on horseback. The reasons behind such trail etiquette are rooted in animal psychology and behavior. Yet many stewardship volunteers, including hikers, trail runners, backpackers and mountain bicyclists are unfamiliar with the reasons why horses and mules might react adversely when thrust into a surprise encounter. This webinar will provide participants with useful information on ways to minimize trail conflict and how to work comfortably alongside packstock during stewardship projects. The presenters will walk webinar participants through topics such as:

  • The benefits of incorporating users of packstock, which includes horses and mules, into trial work parties and stewardship projects.
  • Horse psychology, including:
    • Horse sense: How a horse interprets its world through sight, sound and smell.
    • Fears and concerns of a prey animal (from the eyes of the horse).
    • Fight or flight: Why even a well-trained horse might occasionally “bolt.”
    • How to “read” a horse’s state of mind (pro tip: Vulcan mind-meld not required!).
  • Trail and weather characteristics that serve to minimize surprise encounters with pack and saddle stock.
  • Fears and concerns of the horseback rider.
  • Best practices to minimize your anxiety or fear, or that of others in your party, when encountering stock on the trail or during joint stewardship projects.
  • Horse poop (aka, manure): Is it something to fear?

The webinar will be interactive, in order to recognize the accumulated experience of webinar participants, with ample time for audience Q&A or story-telling. We implore participants to help us craft an informative webinar, the recording of which can serve as an educational tool for trail users and professionals for years to come.

Register here.




While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff.

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