Sharing tracks and trails
When using tracks shared with mountain bikers, walkers and four wheel drivers, approach blind corners no faster than a walk because other users may be just around the corner. Pass others at a walk and keep your horse under control at all times
Weeds and disease
- Before entering conservation areas make sure all your horse riding gear is cleaned and free of seeds and soil which may spread weeds and disease. Also thoroughly clean your horse’s hooves, and your floats or trucks.
- Only allow your horse to eat weed free feed at least 48 hours prior to entering conservation areas. Weed free feed includes clean chaff, pellets and cracked, rolled or steamed grains. Never take meadow hay as it often contains seed. If you can’t do this then carry bags, pick up your horses poo and take it home with you.
- When carrying hard feed, take a nosebag for your horse. It minimises spillage and adding to the food supply of rats.
- Consider undertaking some basic education in weed and seed identification, and assisting DOC in identifying and eliminating new outbreaks of problem species.
Protecting the environment
- Do not take horses into fragile natural areas with a high conservation values such as swamp land, sand dunes or fragile alpine areas. They can damage natural ecosystems by trampling and grazing. Be observant and avoid unduly disturbing unstable or erosion prone soils.
- When crossing creeks, streams and riverbanks, select firm, stony crossings, and cross at a 90º angle to the banks. Use bridges or well-used crossings wherever possible to limit erosion of the banks.
- Carry and use canvas or collapsible buckets and/or pump and hose where possible to water and wash horses.
Using campsites and huts
- When staying overnight relocate portable yards each night, to help minimise trampling and vegetation damage.
- Use tree protectors on nightlines to prevent trees from being damaged. Incorporate stops in line to prevent horses becoming entangled around trees.
- Where possible make nightline length 15 metres or more to reduce concentrated impact.
- Always camp horses well clear of watercourses (at least 50 metres away). Wash and water horses downstream from where other campers get their water.
- Remove horse manure from hut and campsite areas. Take it home with you or scatter it so that it degrades faster.
- Take all your rubbish and recycling with you - don’t bury or burn it.