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Frequently Asked Questions
Be sure to read this page as it contains rules and regulations. I am assuming you have ridden before, but possibly not in this environment.

1. What should I wear?
Jeans or canvas-type pants work best. They offer the best protection against cactus and other prickly plants. You may also use riding pants or riding tights for summer. Cotton underwear is best for both sexes, however, I do not recommend boxer shorts for the men. I've seen way too many men wince and cringe during their rides! Biking underwear could also be used. For the ladies, I recommend a sports bra.
During the winter, layers work well and I like my flannel-lined jeans. Comfortable shirts, appropriate for the season, and sturdy shoes such as riding boots, high top riding shoes, hiking boots, or even athletic shoes, if made of leather complete the package. I do not allow shorts, open toed shoes of any type, or slip on shoes such as clogs or loafers. Other items you might want would be a bandanna, hat, sun block, insect repellent, and a light jacket or wind-breaker for unexpected weather.

2. Is there a weight limit? Yes. 220 lbs for a half-day or hourly ride. 200 lbs for an all-day ride. I try to match horse to rider by weight, height, and skill level.

3. Is there an age limit? Yes. Only those over age 12 and only if they are over 5 ft.tall.

4. Is there a height requirement? Yes. My adult saddles will only accommodate those 5 ft. and taller. Alternately, an inseam of 28 inches is required. My youth saddle will accommodate a shorter inseam, but your rear end must also fit
this small saddle.

5. What time should I show up for my ride? You should be here about 10-15 minutes before your ride to fit you to the saddle and sign the waiver.

6. Should I wear a helmet? As an adult, it is up to you to wear a helmet or not. However, it is mandatory for those under 16. Riders 16 and older but under 18, may choose either option, but a waiver of refusal must be signed if choosing not to wear a helmet by both minor and parent or guardian.

7. What is the riding waiver? It is a document you must sign in order to participate in a ride or equine activity.
The waiver states that there are inherent risks riding horses and participating in any equine activities. By reading and signing the document you are stating that you understand and agree to the risks.

8. May I bring a camera or other items? Yes. I encourage picture taking. I suggest you bring a not-to-expensive camera or camcorder.  Use a well-padded camera bag and bring along a zip-lock bag to protect it from rain/moisture in the event of unexpected precipitation. Cell phones rarely get reception in this terrain. If you do bring one, use the same protection. Field books and Tupperware containers are just some of the items you may want to bring along to protect your lunch or valuables.

9. What is trail etiquette? Simply, do what you are told. Use common sense and courtesy to your fellow riders and guide. Don't tailgate the horse in front of you. Ride side by side or leave one horse length between you and another rider. Don't litter. Pack it in and out! No smoking on any trails or near the barn. Comply with any trail signs. No bareback riding, No riding double. Close and secure all gates unless already open. Allow all horses in the group ample time to drink at watering area and don't move off until all horses have finished drinking. If your guide has dismounted for any reason, please wait for your guide to remount before moving off/continuing. Tell your guide if there is a need to stop, such as for a bathroom break, for yourself or the horse.

10. What skill level should I possess? You should be familiar with horses and their ability to make sudden moves.
No novice riders! You should have ridden with some regularity at some point in your life. (Lessons or repeated rides)
A minimum of 25 hours or more previous riding time.
1. You will know how to turn, stop, and backup a horse.
2. How to mount and dismount.
3. How to hold and lead a horse from the ground.
4. How to cue a horse to move forward.
5. Show proper posture and correct yourself.
6. Rein position.
7. Emergency stopping techniques.

The area here can have several hazards and can appear simultaneously. The terrain can be rocky, uneven, deep sand or
quick sand, muddy, and steep. Plants can be hazardous. There are cattle, bears, ATVs, and rattlesnakes. Be careful always. There are circumstances that can spook even the calmest of horses. Always be on your guard.

11. What should I bring? You can bring almost anything that will fit in a saddle bag. Extra water is always a good idea. Besides a lunch for longer rides, a moist towelette is good for bathroom breaks. An EPI pen or any medication that you must have with you, as well as pain relievers. Ibuprofen is recommended before and after a long ride to prevent inflammation. This is especially true if you have not ridden in some time.

12. A note about Altitude Sickness and the symptoms. Some riders from lower elevations, especially near sea level, can experience altitude sickness. Some people adjust rapidly, while others can take up to 6 weeks to adjust to this elevation. Complications can include dizziness, shortness of breath, headache, nausea, loss of balance, fatigue, and other symptoms. Everyone is different, some people don't experience any problems at all, others have at least headaches and fatigue. If you regularly travel and enjoy outdoor sports such as skiing, you will likely not have any problems. Most people don't drink enough water at this elevation (much more so in summer) because they don't feel sweaty due to the lack of humidity. Failing to drink enough water only complicates the altitude sickness. Combine all of the above with the exertion of riding a horse and you have a recipe for disaster. Please bring/drink plenty of water/fluids and if you have had any prior problems with altitude sickness, fore go the horseback ride.
The altitude here is close to 6,000 ft and goes up in all directions. Many of the trails go up to 10,000 ft and higher still.

13. Safety. As mentioned before, there is no smoking allowed on the premises or on the trail. You will get an overview of the trail you have selected. You will get a briefing on your horses' personality and quirks. All horses are barefoot. You will be asked to let your horse pick it's own way and walk over rocky areas. The horses automatically slow over uneven terrain. Trash is packed out. I practice Leave No Trace policies. I ask that you do the same.  Many areas contain fragile eco-systems. Stay on the designated trail unless otherwise indicated by your guide. Some areas contain remnants of past civilizations like the Anasazi. In visiting these areas, we tie the horses to nearby trees as to not disturb the ground at the site.
Take only photographs, leave only footprints.
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