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Safety in the arena, be aware of and practice arena etiquette

The anti-thesis of arena etiquette
The anti-thesis of arena etiquette
Photo from Wikipedia Commons

Due to bad weather or the encroachment of housing developements, large open areas for horseback riding are disappearing.  Meaning that a large number of serious riders are being sqeezed into sharing arenas more often than desired.

Having an understanding of arena etiquette is not only the 'nice' thing to do, it is imperative for safety's sake that everyone at a barn practice the same set of rules when sharing the relatively small space afforded in an arena.  No one wants to get hurt and no one wants to be the one blamed for causing a wreck.

There are no standards set in stone and each barn seems to develop its own ways of dealing with high traffic, oftentimes the rules are unwritten and variable.

When the rules are ambiguous, the unitiated will unknowingly breach them and cause some onsternation.   However, let common sense prevail, get a conversation going with the existing riders and agree upon protocol that will work for those currently in the arena.


  • Pennie 5 years ago

    AMEN! We all obviously have a mission if we are willing to crowd into an arena with riders and horses of all levels, just so we can spend a little time trying to be the best horse people we can be for our horses! So why can't we all have the common courtesy to treat each other with civility and at least talk to each other and make sure the "newbie" knows the "current" arena etiquette? If your riding or training style clashes with the other rider's, suggest splitting the arena. You take an end and they take the other. That way you are less likely to be a burr under anyone's sadlle! Share, be considerate, and remember, unless you own the arena, it's not all about you!

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