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Last update

15 September 2014



Answers to some of the most common questions asked by New or Non-Members


If you and your horse go out regularly for 2-3 hour hacks (active paces), you are probably covering around 16-24 Km (10-15 miles) and should manage a Pleasure ride without any problems, PROVIDED YOU MAINTAIN A REASONABLE SPEED i.e. 8Km/h (5mph) or over.

Note: All riders will be asked to present their horse for a fitness test. For Pleasure Rides this involves a brief inspection and a trot up for soundness. More thorough inspections are involved for Competitive rides.


The speed category for Pleasure rides is between

8-11 Km per hour (5-7mph) which can be achieved using good forward-going paces at Walk, a fair bit of Trot, but not necessarily much Canter. "SC" (speed category) refers to Competitive rides and there is no need to specify a "SC" for Pleasure rides.

Dress – Rider

Wear whatever you are comfortable in and remember to check the weather forecast beforehand. (Tip: take a spare set of clothes if rain is forecast.)

It is essential to have:

- riding hat to standard PASO15, EN1384, ASTMSEIF1163 or superior

- footwear with a heel, unless a suitable caged front is fitted to your stirrups

- if a whip is carried it must not exceed  75 cm (i.e. no schooling crops)

Dress – Horse, i.e. tack

For distances up to 32 Km (20 miles), use whatever is comfortable and the horse is accustomed to. It must fit the horse and be safe. Do try out new tack at home first.

At some rides there may be a Tack Inspection before the ride. The Tack Inspector will check for fit on the horse and any worn or unsafe leather/stitching, etc.

The following are NOT permitted:

- any form of checking, side, or running reins (inc. market harboroughs).

Footwear – Horse, i.e. shoes

Horses may be ridden with an even number of shoes, i.e. 4 or 2 (e.g. front feet only) or no shoes at all. However, all shoes must be well fitted, have plenty of metal left and have no risen clenches.

First Aid Kits

First Aid Kits are compulsory and must contain: triangular bandage, whistle, vet wrap or similar, glucose tablets, wound bandage, rider ID card, space blanket.

The Branch has a number of spare kits available for loan to

non-members. However, riders are encouraged to have their own first aid kit if they regularly hack out from home.

Medical Cards

There are 2 medical cards. The A5-sized detailed card should be completed, sealed in an envelope and handed in at the event office. It will be returned with your award after the ride. The smaller ID tag should be attached to your bib for the duration of the ride.

Trot-Up for Veterinary Inspection

Horses should be trotted in a straight line between the markers (30 metres apart), turned to the Right and trotted back to the Vet, again in a straight line and on a loose rein. If you’ve never done this, or if your horse may be excited on the day (or if you’re not likely to manage the 60 metres yourself!), please practice at home.

The One-Minute Test

This is used at the end of Competitive rides. It uses the Trot-Up

as described above, and the one minute is started when the horse starts to trot away. The heart rate is taken at the end of the minute. (Tip: trot him/her up at an active pace – the heart rate comes down most during the rest after completing the trot-up.)


All gates, which are part of the route, will be marked in some way (see at Check-In).

Leave gates as you find them. Do not ride away if a single dismounted rider is trying to close a gate.


Even with the start times spaced out, there will be a certain amount of overtaking. When a horse catches up on another, it is obviously going faster, and it is correct to let it pass quietly as soon as possible. The same principle applies when you catch someone up. Then it is helpful and polite to tell the rider ahead that you wish to "pass on the left (or right)".


These are marked with tape over a variety of ground, roads, tracks, moorland, forest, often by kind permission of the landowners. Respect their property and keep off crops, don’t frighten animals, and walk through farmyards. In other words be courteous and responsible and ……. Have fun!!!