Environment

Environment related planning

Also refer Part I – Core Standard. (Page 22)

 

5.1 Horse Trail Ride environment considerations

Specific environment considerations shall include:

  • track or trail features (e.g. water crossings, bridges etc.)
  • other users (e.g. other mountain bikers, walkers, horse riders, vehicles)
  • climate or weather (refer severe weather 5.3 & bushfire sections below)
  • the type of flora expected (e.g. impeding progress, ability to cut or scratch etc.)
  • the type of fauna expected (refer section 5.6 wildlife below)

Track or trail features that shall be considered are:

  • the condition of the track or trail (e.g. after wet weather)
  • the gradient
  • the surface
  • the width
  • the obstacles to be negotiated
  • the expected level of competence needed to negotiate the trails features
  • the expected level of fitness of horse and rider needed to negotiate the trails features.

 

5.2 Horse Trail Rides – Traveling on roads & paths

Any applicable road legislation or regulation shall be complied with.

Appropriate risk management procedures shall be implemented when using roads or vehicle tracks.

When riding on roads, procedures shall be in place to:

  • Make riders aware that horses are considered vehicles
  • Keep to the left and obey all traffic rules and regulations.
  • Have a more experienced rider on the road side if riders are in pairs
  • Crossing of road is suitably controlled by the activity leaders
  • Ride horses abreast no more than 1.5 m apart.
  • Ride in single file or two abreast at most
  • Pair horses that are not aggressive to each other together.

Also refer section 7.8.1 & 7.8.2 trail rides activity management.

 

5.3 Horse Trail Ride – severe weather

The following table details the:

  • current Australian weather warnings
  • associated weather for each warning
  • mainland warning trigger points for issuing warnings for strong winds and hail.

Bureau of Meteorology weather warnings and associated weather Table:

Severe Weather warning Thunderstorm warning Coastal Waters Wind Warning Tropical Cyclone Advice: Watch or warning
High tides
Large surf
Heavy rain/flash flooding Heavy rain/flash flooding
Blizzards Blizzards
Strong winds

Wind >63 km/h

Gusts >90 km/h

Strong winds

Gusts >90 km/h

Strong winds

Wind >48 km/h or >26 knots

Strong winds

Wind >62 km/h or >=34 knots

Tornadoes
Hail

Hail >=2cm

Lightning

 

5.4 Horse Trail Ride severe weather triggers

Also refer Part I – Core Standard. (Page 22)

Trigger points shall be based on the Bureau of Meteorology weather warnings and actual weather conditions.

The risk management plan and emergency management plan should include guidance on relevant trigger points and associated actions for:

  • severe weather warnings
  • thunderstorm warnings
  • coastal waters wind warnings
  • tropical cyclone advice: watch and warning
  • extreme cold temperature
  • extreme hot temperatures.

Actions for severe weather warnings may include but are not limited to:

  • cancellation
  • modification and/or evacuation
  • avoid locations effected by tides or surf
  • avoiding areas and river crossings that have the potential for flash flooding
  • preparations to avoid the risks associated with blizzards
  • moving to areas that are protected from strong winds
  • managing risks of flying or falling items during strong winds.

Actions for thunderstorm warnings may include but are not limited to:

  • cancellation
  • modification and/or evacuation
  • avoiding areas and river crossings that have the potential for flash flooding
  • preparations to avoid the risks associated with blizzards
  • moving to areas that are protected from strong winds
  • managing risks of flying or falling items during strong winds
  • moving to areas that are protected from hail
  • preparations to avoid the risks associated with lightning.

Actions for coast waters wind warnings may include but are not limited to:

  • cancellation
  • modification and/or evacuation
  • moving to areas that are protected from strong winds
  • managing risks of flying or falling items during strong winds.

Actions for tropical cyclone warnings may include but are not limited to:

  • cancellation
  • modification and/or evacuation to a safe location
  • avoid locations effected by tides or surf
  • moving to areas that are protected from strong winds
  • managing risks of flying or falling items during strong winds
  • avoiding areas and river crossing that have the potential for flash flooding.

 

Bushfire, prescribed fire and fire danger

Refer Core Standard section – Bush fire, prescribed fire and fire danger. (Page 24-25)

 

5.5 Horse Trail Ride Water crossings and flooding

5.5.1 Horse Trail Ride water and river crossings

The safety of bridge crossings shall be reviewed prior to use as a crossing point.

Considerations for the safety of bridge crossings include but are not limited to:

  • has appropriate guard rails if deemed necessary
  • provides safe footing including having no missing pieces or significant holes in the crossing surface
  • the design is appropriate for a horse to cross.

When assessing the suitability of a potential creek/river crossings, consideration should be given but is not limited to:

  • if there is debris floating or flowing in the current as this can indicate the risk of being hit and/or swept away by debris
  • how clear the water is and if the base of the crossing can be seen as this can help determine the depth of crossing and its base
  • the depth of the crossing as this can indicate the amount of water and force needed to be overcome to avoid being washed away
  • the speed of the water, as this can indicate the volume of water and force needed to be overcome to avoid being washed away
  • where the water flows, as the flow may wash people into dangerous or deadly situations (g. into trees in the water that act as strainers, into narrow rock crevices)
  • the base of the crossing (g. pebbles, sand, small rocks or large rocks) as moving water can move the base increasing the danger of foot entrapment and/or reducing the likelihood of maintaining stable footing during the crossing)
  • crossing downstream of unusable bridges and causeways.

 

5.5.2 Horse Trail Ride – Flooding

The crossing of swollen creeks, rivers, flooded bridges or fords, or the entry of floodwaters should be avoided.

Areas likely to experience flash flooding should be avoided during severe weather or thunderstorms.

The suitability of water for drinking for human consumption during and after flooding should be assessed.

 

Wildlife safety

5.6 Horse Trail Ride wildlife safety

Procedures should be in place to minimise the risks associated with wildlife that may be encountered.

The types of wildlife that may need to be considered include but are not limited to:

  • Snakes
  • Crocodiles
  • Pigs
  • Wild dogs
  • Kangaroos, wombats, rabbits
  • Birds
  • Ticks.

 

Environmental sustainability procedures

Also refer Part I – Core Standard. (Pages 27-29)

 

5.7.1 Routine Horse Trail Rides – Environmental sustainability procedures

Horse Trail Ride – Travel on durable surfaces

The procedures may include but are not limited to:

  • Identify and avoid disturbing unstable, erosion prone or excessively rain effected terrain
  • Using appropriate and safe bridges wherever possible to avoid impact on water quality, ecosystems and erosion
  • Using firm, stony water crossings where no bridges are available, to minimise the impact on water quality, ecosystems and erosion
  • Using existing tracks, pathways or roads to avoid damage to vegetation.

Horse Trail Ride – Be considerate of your hosts and other visitors

The procedures may include but are not limited to:

  • Planned actions for trail activity leaders and participants to appropriately manage interactions between horses and the general public.

 

5.7.2 Advanced Horse Trail Rides – Environmental sustainability procedures

The procedures may include but are not limited to those listed in Routine horse trail ride sustainability procedures section 5.7.1 above and:

Horse Trail Ride – Travel and camp on durable surfaces

The procedures may include but are not limited to:

  • Always camp horses a suitable distance away from watercourses
  • Avoid allowing horses to denude vegetation
  • Check with land managers regarding the use of nightlines and ensure that portable yards, if used, are relocated each night
  • Use tree protectors on nightlines to prevent trees from being damaged
  • Incorporate stops in each nightline to prevent horses from becoming entangled around trees
  • Where possible, make nightlines 15 metres or more in length to reduce concentrated impacts.

Horse Trail Ride – Dispose of waste properly

Procedures may include but are not limited to:

  • using collapsible buckets, and/or a pump and hose, to water and wash horses
  • Wash horses a suitable distance away from watercourses
  • Dispose of, or widely disperse manure from overnight campsites

Horse Trail Ride – Be considerate of your hosts and other visitors

The procedures may include but are not limited to:

  • Only allowing horses to eat weed-free feed at least 48 hrs prior to entering bushland areas (e.g. eating clean chaff, pellets and cracked, rolled or steamed grains and avoiding meadow hay)
  • Cleaning horse hoofs prior to entry to avoid transporting weeds or invasive species
  • Advising land managers where weeds and invasive species have been identified.

Back to Top