The Bridleways Code

Responsible Riding

Access to public spaces relies on riders demonstrating responsible horse ownership. Our bridleways code and specific guides for beach, forest, and farmland access will help to ensure that we horse riders can keep the access we have now, and increase public access for horse riding in the future.

Be aware that your actions and attitudes reflect on every other horse rider , so set an example for others!

Trail Etiquette - Share with Care

Greet other trail users.

A smile and hello will create a supportive atmosphere across different groups. It will also ensure that they know you have seen them (and ensure they see you).

Give way.

If the trail is narrow, slow down when approaching other trail users and prepare to stop. Don't assume other trail users will know good trail etiquette. Keep your speed down in areas with other users about.

Remember that a few may be frightened of horses, and most people have little horse knowledge.  Be patient, friendly and polite if you need to provide instructions for their or your safety.

Be considerate of others.

All trail users have the right to enjoy it at their own pace.  Allow faster traffic to pass, and be courteous to slower traffic.

Be respectful of others desire for quiet and solitude.

Acknowledge courtesy from others.

Care for the Environment

Whenever you ride, consider your actions as if you are a guest on another's property (or looking after your own).

Keep to marked trails, if they are provided.

When paddocks or trails are soft, keep your speed down so that you don't leave a muddy mess.

Although public berms are public, do consider the landowner's feelings. If it is safe, use the road in wet weather to avoid damaging a berm.

Clean up, keep natural areas pristine

Take home your litter, and clean up manure!

Use bins if they are provided. Be particularly aware of manure in areas accessed by non-riders. You may not find it offensive but others might.

If you ride in areas with high traffic but can't clean up as you go, go back in your car after your ride to pick up manure. At least kick it under bushes or somewhere it won't cause offence.

Avoid weed spread when visiting native reserves or parks.

Clean out horses hooves, and ensure hay seeds are not carried onboard your truck or float. Take only lucerne hay if requested.

Avoid sensitive areas: historical, natural or archeological.
Respect farms and stock

Leave gates as you find them

Unless there are specific instructions to keep them closed or open.

Don't disturb stock, particularly in spring.


are not always welcome on farms or in parks. Make sure that you are allowed a dog with you BEFORE taking one with you when riding.

If you have a dog with you while riding, you must keep it under close control at all times.

Train the recall!  If the dog will not come immediately to your horse's side when called, you should not be riding with it until it is trained to do so.

Be courteous to other riders. Just because your horse likes dogs doesn't mean everyone's does! Don't let them roam parking areas, and call them to your side when riding past other horses.

Riders, please thank dog walkers for putting their dog(s) on a lead when you meet them.Even if your horse is bombproof around dogs, this is a courtesy from dog owners that should be acknowledged.

Be Safe, Be Seen

Simply taking sensible safety precautions tells others that you are a responsible rider and that you have the right\permission to be riding there.

Wear a standards approved riding helmet whenever you ride.

It doesn't matter how good a rider you are, wear a helmet. They are designed to save your brain from concussion injuries - when your brain sloshes against the inside of your skull. A helmet will protect your brain during minor falls, and hitting your head on low branches (or other obstacles).

Repeated minor brain injuries can still have serious symptoms - loss of memory, inability to multi-task, motion sickness and vertigo.

Major head injuries (when you lose consciousness) can leave you dependent upon others for the rest of your life, or dead.

Many recreation providers now either prefer or require all riders to wear hi-viz apparel when riding.

While some people don't like the standard hi-viz vests there is now an excellent choice of sports apparel in bright colours and hi-viz (cycle and running tops which include things like zippered pockets for keeping keys etc). Even where you are not required to wear this gear, it is a good way to stay safe and to make a good impression on those you meet. 

Join the Riders4Helmets Campaign for Helmet Awareness

Travelling & Parking

For many of us there is no option but to load up our horses in trucks and floats to go somewhere to ride.

If you are towing a float, please remember you are limited to 90kph, and need to check your mirrors and pull over when safe to let other vehicles past on the open road.

When you arrive. Please DO NOT clean out your float or truck making a mess of the parking area. 

 If there are manure bins provided - use them! 

If not, take your manure home in a bin or dispose of it where it will not annoy others. This includes other riders! Leaving manure for other horses to stand in is just poor/ lazy horsemanship.

See Also...