First Time on an EBA Ride – don't know what to expect?
If you have never taken part in one of our rides before I know some of our new members are a bit worried about what to expect. There's no need to worry – it is just like going out for a hack in a new area.
Some of the questions I frequently get asked are:-
How fit does my horse need to be?
This of course depends on how far and how fast you intend to ride. Most of our rides have a shorter option so if you are worried about how your horse will cope just opt for the shorter route. Our rides are usually about 12 miles long and should take about 2.5 – 3 hrs to complete if you are going at an average speed (walk, trots, with canters on the grassy bits). Most horses that are ridden two or three times a week will cope OK with a longer ride like this once in a while with no trouble (maybe give them the next day off).
Will I get lost?
Our rides are renowned for being very well marked – we rarely have anyone get lost and if they do it is usually because they were too busy chatting and did not look out for our markers. The ride is marked with orange tape and arrows plus we give you a map of the route with our contact number in case of emergency. We check you out and make sure that you get back safely. We also have several marshals along the way to assist and track you. We haven't had anyone go AWOL so far!
Will my horse cope seeing other horses?
This is a difficult one to answer as all horses respond differently but I am always surprised how well they cope. We usually have about 100 riders but we set people off at intervals so you may not even see the group ahead. There is a chance that you may be overtaken but we expect people to be considerate and polite when they wish to overtake.
What happens after I have sent my entry off?
Your entry fee is a one-off charge for the ride – you do not need to collect further sponsorship money. Once we receive your entry we will send you a rider start sheet that gives you directions to the parking at the start and your start time. Please try to arrive in plenty of time so that you are ready to set off at the given time. When you arrive please make your way to the EBA trailer to check in and pick up your number, map and any last minute instructions. Our entries usually close the Monday before the ride but some rides are so popular they can fill up before that date so if you want to do a ride send your entry off as early as possible to avoid disappointment. You can enter rides online from the "Events" page of our website, or send a manual entry form.
What should I wear?
Just wear comfortable clothes that you normally hack out in. This must include riding hat, appropriate footwear and a fluorescent bib. If you do not have a bib we will give you one. Please refer to the rules on the entry form.
What to do when you return?
When you get back please check in at the trailer and let us know that you have got back safely and let us know how the ride went. Don't forget to pick up your rosette and maybe the schedule for our next ride. When it is time to go home please take a look around your horsebox and pick up any mess that you or your horse have made (including muck please).
If you are still worried why not offer to help marshal on one of our rides before attempting to ride on one for yourself. You will see what goes on and prove to yourself that you can do it.
There, you see, it is not so bad after all – you can do it.
Ride Etiquette - Reminder
- When meeting other bridleway users (riders, cyclists, walkers) come back to walk. Thank them if they have stood to one side to let you pass or if they have put their dog on a lead etc. Be nice to them, they have as much right as you to use the bridleway.
- If you catch up with another rider and wish to overtake: ask their permission, leave a wide berth and only move off at a faster pace when it is safe to do so. Look back to make sure their horse is not having kittens.
- Thank drivers that slow down for you by a wave or a nod of the head and a smile. If you do this they are sure to slow down again; ignore them and they will think that all riders are rude and may speed past them in future.