The Golden Unwritten Rule is:
--If you are confused, ask! Find the vet or the manager or one of the un-rude longer distance people--they will most likely steer you in the right direction.
1. Always be as courteous as you can. This will get you further than anything. Then if you are in a really bad mood or things are going bad, your courtesy level drops a level and it still doesn`t seem too bad to people.:-)
2. If you come to a water stop and horses are drinking, either wait for them to finish, or ask if you may go through them.
3. At a vet check, never ever walk your horse through the area where they are doing a trot out.
4. When you are getting a P&R, look around and see who else is there. If you finish your P&R and they haven`t, don`t just walk your horse through the group. You will probably raise the heart rate of the others by leaving. You don`t necessarily have to wait for everyone, but when you do leave, be just a little curtious, and maybe even ask if it is alright.
5. If there is a group of horses stopped on the trail, ask if you can pass or if there is something wrong. There may be a horse or rider in trouble up ahead, or there may be a washed out trail that you`ll go sailing off if you push through.
6. Inform the vet if you think there is anything wrong with your horse. The vet will not pull you automatically. They will help you.
7. Inform the vet if your horse kicks, bites, doesn`t like to be touched there, or what ever. A vet that has been kicked at isn`t going to give you a BC.
8. At the vet check, if waiting in line (or where ever horses are bunched up) give space around you. Don`t crowd. I really hate to have some horse back into my horse because the handler couldn`t handle the horse. And the vets get really upset when a horse runs into them.
9. At a gate, if some one must dismount to open the gate, wait for that person to remount before leaving. And always leave in the order that you arrived at the gate. Once underway, you may change the order.
10. At a water tank, don`t dunk your slimey sweaty sponge in the drinking water. Put water in a bucket and sponge from the bucket.
11. At a running stream, it`s ok to sponge from the water. Also look where your horse is putting his feet. Don`t step on some ones reins. And look where the muddy water is coming from.
12. The horses and riders of a higher distance usually have the right away at the vet checks. But, if there is an unoccupied vet, be sure to wave and tell him/her that you are waiting. Generally there is one vet who will do all the BC vetting, so they may not want to deal with anyone other than those presenting for the BC.
13. It is your responsibility to make sure that when you hand over your rider card, that you get *your* rider card back and not some one else`s.
14. Don`t take all the free stuff - water, hay, ice, whatever. Leave some for the next horse and rider.
14. Common, or not so common, courtesy to everyone.
15. And for the helpers and volunteers out there, please forgive us all and not take it personally when DIMR (distance-induced mental retardation) takes over.
THE GOLDEN RULES OF ENDURANCE RIDING
1. To feed and condition as we all know we should.
2. Not to push too hard as a beginner or a pro.
3. To start slow and finish as a winner to yourself.
4. To be friendly and courteous on and off the trail.
5. To encourage new riders and help riders in need of it.
6. To be courteous to P/R volunteers, officials and to ride management.
* Now, "do unto others as you would have do unto you", doesn`t always hold true. Can you imagine stopping before the finish line and letting your competition win?