ATHRA’s 13 Golden Rules

ATHRA's 13 Golden Rules

The Australian Trail Horse Riders Association has developed a set of 13 Golden Rules for the environmentally aware horse rider.

  1. Always be observant and avoid unduly disturbing unstable and erosion-prone soils.
  2. Avoid allowing horses to denude areas of vegetation, especially during stays of more than one night in one location. Be ready to relocate picket lines and portable yards whenever necessary.
  3. Rather than risk damage to fragile creeks, streams and riverbanks, select firm, stony crossings and use bridges wherever possible as this will help ensure good water quality and limit erosion.
  4. Carry and use canvas or collapsible buckets and/or a pump hose, where possible, to water and wash horses, well away from watercourses, thereby further reducing the potential for water pollution and bank erosion.
  5. Only allow your horses to eat weed-free feed at least 24 hours prior to entering bushland areas. Weed-free feed includes clean chaff, pellets and cracked, rolled or steamed grains. Never take meadow hay into bushland areas as it often contains huge quantities of weed seed.
  6. Undertake some basic weed identification education to help with Point 5, and possibly even assist land managers in quickly identifying and eliminating new outbreaks of problem species.
  7. Dispose of or disperse manure from overnight campsites as this will help to limit flies breeding.
  8. Protect trees from ringbarking by picket/night-line ropes and tree protector straps. Incorporate stops in the line to prevent horses from chewing the bark of trees.
  9. Where possible make picket/night-line length 15 metres or more to reduce concentrated impact.
  10. Avoid yarding horses not already familiar as paddock mates. This will avoid unnecessary impact should they choose to chase each other around establishing a new social structure or ‘pecking order’.
  11. Always camp horse well clear of watercourses, at least 30 metres.
  12. Remove all rubbish from campsites, don’t just bury it and forget it. Where possible, remove litter left by others.
  13. Always be friendly and civil to other bushland users. You should always take the initiative in avoiding any potentially dangerous situations involving your horses and other bushland users.

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