As a CFMOTO ATV enthusiast, you are all too familiar with how thrilling the outdoors can be. Of course you want to share them with everyone! Being a courteous off road vehicle rider, you know, is paramount to your safety and overall enjoyment of your CFMOTO CFORCE ATV experience, as well as the safety and enjoyment of others’ trail experiences, no matter what form that may take for them.
While you may be familiar with passing and driving etiquette for approaching other off-road vehicle riders, horseback riders and pedestrians with dogs can pose unique problems. Horses are easily spooked animals that can quickly escape the control of their riders. Canines can behave in equally erratic fashions. We all know a dog that chases cars. Imagine what that could look like when it comes to ATVs!
In many parks across the U.S., you might increasingly find yourself riding your CFMOTO Sport Side-by-Side or CFMOTO ATV on the exact same trails as these two subclasses of pedestrians; for the well-being of everyone involved, it’s therefore crucial to learn and review some proper safety measures for handling these types of pedestrian-passing situations.
CFMOTO, an ATV company and side-by-side manufacturer, has some tips below.
Passing Equestrians: Slow and Steady is Key
As stated above, horses are large animals with strong startle responses. In other words, sudden noises and movements can easily send them into a panic, which endangers the horse, the rider, and anyone unlucky enough to be in the vicinity! In the wild, horses’ startle responses kept them safe from predators; while under saddle, however, this startle response is one of the biggest dangers that horses pose to the ATV and side-by-side riders that share the trail with them.
Luckily, most horseback riders train their mounts well enough that this startle response becomes easily manageable. Nothing puts a damper on an autumn trail ride quite like a nervous steed, after all. However, ATV and side-by-side riders can do their part to keep both themselves and the equestrians they pass safe by:
● Slowing down around blind corners. If you can’t see what’s around the bend up ahead, take the corner at a far slower pace than recommended. As stated above, horses are likely to spook at sudden movements, and nothing is quite as sudden as a motorized vehicle tearing around the corner.
● Thinking like a prey animal. From a horse’s standpoint, a loud, unfamiliar object barreling toward it at a high speed is very likely to be something that could harm it. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a prey animal and adjust your riding behavior around horses accordingly. In other words, slow down! Pulling to the side of the road also helps, as this can prevent the horse from feeling trapped. A nice rule of thumb to follow is this: if your driving behavior could spook off a deer, it can potentially spook a horse.
● Watching the rider for cues. Some horses, never having seen an ATV before, can startle even if your driving is perfectly respectful. Understand that, in some circumstances, a startled animal is not your fault. When confronted with a startled horse and rider pair, stop your ATV or side-by-side as soon as it is safe to do so. Wait for the animal to calm and the rider to regain control, then ask how you should proceed; every horse and rider will handle the situation differently. Your CFMOTO ATV or side-by-side runs and handles the same way every time, no matter what, so it’s up to you to be the constant when confronting a startled horse and rider.
At the end of the day, equestrians just want the same thing you do: to share the trails and to enjoy some amazing weather while doing what they love. With just a little adjustment to your driving practices, you can keep the trails safe for everyone.
Passing Dogs: Handle Every Situation Individually
Any dog person will tell you that all breeds of dog—even all individuals within that breed—have unique personalities. Unlike horses, canines can behave in a vast number of ways, and their unpredictability makes them sometimes difficult to drive around. Some dogs might lunge towards your ATV or side-by-side, others might not even react to your presence, and still others might panic and want to take off in the other direction.
When approaching a pedestrian with a leashed dog, it’s best to handle things on a case-by-case basis. Slow down once you see them, move to the far side of the road, and look to the owner for cues on how to behave. Sometimes, you might be able to zip right past without a problem!
Just like you, and just like horseback riders, dog walkers only want to enjoy the trails in peace. By respecting canine and owner alike and proceeding on a case-by-case basis, you as an ATV or side-by-side rider can help everyone towards this reality.
Still Itching to Get Out on the Trail? CFMOTO Can Help
Our vehicles are some of the steadiest and most innovative on the market. If you’re looking for a reliable, high-tech off-road machine, check out our ATVs and side-by-sides by locating a dealer today.