The basics to know by themes

Equestrian tourism is not just about the pleasure of riding a horse, there are many additional concepts to know and take into account before any departure. We have them listed for you. 

You wish to share with us other concepts depending on your country, do not hesitate to communicate them to us. After study and validation by our services we will add them.

Broad-leaved trees

BLACK LOCUST
SYCAMORE MAPLE
OAK
CHESTNUT TREE

Broad-leaved trees

In practice

RECOGNIZE TOXIC PLANTS FOR YOUR HORSE

Horses do not have an unfailing sense of taste and their capacity to detect bitter substances can vary from one horse to another. This is why it is important to know the plants that may make them sick to prevent them from eating them. Horses can learn to avoid eating certain plants only if undesirable symptoms occur right after having eaten them. After more than thirty minutes, horses do not make the connection between the ingested plant and sickness symptoms anymore. Thus, horses can’t learn to avoid a plant if the intoxication is chronic and appears due to the accumulation of toxins after a long-term consumption. Be careful ! Some plants can trigger a very fast and acute intoxication, like the English yew for example, of which a few grams can kill a horse.

FERN
CEDAR
CYPRESS
YEW WITH BAYS

Conifers

LABURNUM
IVY
LAUREL
BOXWOOD
PRIVET
Rhododendron

Shrubs

POPPY
DATURA
FOXGLOVE
HEMLOCK
HORSETAIL
RAGWORT
COLCHICUM
THRUSH
JONQUIL
HYPERICUM
BUTTERCUP

Flowering plants

In practice

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR HORSE WHILE ON A WALK

When performing an important effort, large veins on the surface swell, especially those on the neckline. This a natural reaction as blood cools better when veins are bulging. 

At rest, the average breathing of the horse is between 8 and 12 cycles per minute: one cycle corresponds to one inhalation AND one exhalation. 

If your horse doesn’t urinate like the others, its urine being brown or darker than usual, you should immediately warn your guide: it indicates that its urine contains blood from injured muscle fibre. 

You should always check that your horse isn’t injured when brushing him, especially on the girth path and withers location. You shouldn’t ride him before its injury is treated. 

It is important to check that your horse’s tendons are not swollen. A persistent swelling means that your horse is working too much or is having tendons issues. 

Especially while on a long walk, your horse should be offered water at every opportunity.
A horse refusing water when others are drinking is not a good sign. 

International
equestrian
system

©AREF

Switzerland

White horseshoe on a green background to indicate equestrian routes. 
It can also be found with a white rider on a blue background.

©TREC GB

Great-Britain

Blue, purple or red arrows notify that the route is accessible to riders. 

Routes indicated with a yellow arrow are not accessible for riders. 

©FFE

France

Equestrian route similar to the pedestrian's; but in orange. 

Géocheval is a tool helping you to find equestrian routes as well as equestrian tourism centers that can host both riders and horses. 

©FN-DOKR/Gerlinde Hoffmann

Germany

There is no official marking in Germany as trail markings are regulated differently by each Land. Existing signs differ if the route is private or public. 

Germany provides a webpage Pferdetourismus  that assembles all information and provides links to equestrian tourism in the country. 

©RFHE

Spain

Spanish equestrian marking indicates the name of the route, its accessibility and equestrian tourism infrastructures that are on the path : the website Turismo Ecuestre España collects all the useful services for riders.  

Equestrian marking is orange and very similar to the French :
- : route to follow ; x : wrong direction

horse trail
©roadtrafficsigns

USA

Marking in the USA is white on a brown background. It indicates the direction to follow and shows the rider's position. 

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