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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mostly about passing

I sent off the last post and realized I hadn't responded to comments.  Drat!  So here's a bonus post for the day.
Comment Follow up
So far my favorite response to a difficult person is Karen's camera approach.  Perfect! 
I really appreciate the heads up about the 65 milers.  Even though I rode the 65 last year I hadn't internalized the fact that the 65 top runners are going to be passing me.  Oh Dear.  I usually start near the back and work my way to mid pack because Farley does better with passing than being passed.  Time to formulate a Plan! 
I HATE agreeing to ride with someone because of exactly the reasons Karen posted.  I'm a very A-type personality and even though I'm mid pack to turtle placing, I still get out of the checks on time and I HATE stopping on the trail.  Forward movement please!  As a result I'm very commitment-evasive anytime someone asks me if I want to start with them.  I'm always very clear that we can start together, but I will do whatever my horse needs for the day.  Most people are on the same page, but I've been burned enough times by a person who has tried to dictate my ride that I still feel like I need to make myself very clear when talking to someone. 
Heather - regarding passing....I usually pass at a trot or (very rarely) a canter.  It's very difficult to pass at a walk,  If someone tells me they have a young horse or are obviously having problems, I will usually pass at a very slow trot, as far away from them as I can.  I must admit that when I've seen someone having REAL problems (not dangerous ones, just have their hands full) I have just wanted to GET PAST THEM and OUT OF THEIR way, and they usually feel the same way, and I pass FAST (usually fast trot) just to get away from the situation (in those cases, I'm not escalating the situation as much as they have their hands full and do NOT want to be caught up in it). 
I have found that most people (including myself) would rather if someone wanted to pass to just get on with it and get out of sight and not draw out a process that usually amps my horse up. 
I think it's polite to yell out if you are going to pass.  Unless it's a wide jeep road, I usually ask if it's ok to pass.  Most of the time they say yes.  If they want to wait and pull over while I pass that's fine, I hang back and when they find a space that's safe, I pass them at slow trot.  I usually don't have a problem with a person yielding the trail (except Tevis which is a little different), but if I do, I start pointing out places that they could pull over (politely) so I could get on with my ride.  If all else fails, I find a spot in the trail that I think *I* can get around and I go off to the side of the trail, usually at a fast trot and dart in front of them.  There's a point if the person is being unreasonable, as long as it's safe for both parties, you have to take matters in your own hands.  I'm not going to sacrifice my ride because someone refuses to give up trail in a courteous and timely manner.  Sorry, but I'm not going to babysit your horse because you don't feel safe letting me pass where it's entirely reasonable that I should be able to. 
I think it's rude to blow past a person at top speed, but a trot or controlled canter wouldn't be necessarily rude in my opinion as long as due warning was given and the speed was safe for the trail and you are complying with reasonable requests of the person you are passing. 

1 comment:

  1. What you are saying about wanting to get out of the situation quickly makes a lot of sense. Most of the trouble I had with passing was people going in the opposite direction on an out and back loop. It was really scary for Boomer to have horses cantering right at him and then blow by without giving us a chance to move over.
    I have a feeling that we will be much more confident in traffic this year as we have spent a bit of time in the crowded indoor arena this winter!


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