Promoting RiverSmart behaviour among those who get out and enjoy our rivers
Horse riding in sensitive areas, such as along rivers, can have major impacts - follow the suggested code of conduct (see at right) to ensure you minimise those impacts.
The Australian Trail Horse Riders Association has developed the following 'Thirteen Environmental Rules' and Code of Conduct. You can find out more by visiting their web site at www.athra.com.au
ATHRA’s Thirteen Environmental Rules
1. Always be observant and avoid unduly disturbing unstable or erosion prone soils.
2. Avoid horses denuding vegetation especially during stays of more than one night by regularly relocating nightlines and portable yards.
3. Rather than risking damage to fragile creeks, streams and riverbanks, select firm, stony crossings. Use bridges wherever possible and when safe as this will help to ensure good water quality and limit erosion.
4. Carry and use canvas or collapsible buckets, and/or pump and hose, where possible to water and wash horses. Wash horses at least 50 meters away from watercourse.
5. Only allow your horse to eat weed free feed at least 48 hrs prior to entering bushland areas. Weed free feed includes clean chaff, pellets and cracked, rolled or steamed grains. Never take meadow hay as it often contains weed seed.
6. Undertake some basic education in weed identification, and possibly even assist land managers in quickly identifying and eliminating new outbreaks of problem species.
7. Dispose or disperse manure from overnight camp sights.
8. Use tree protectors and suitable length stops to prevent damage to trees caused by nightlines and horses.
9. Where possible make nightline length 15 metres or more to reduce concentrated impact.
10. Avoid horses not already familiar with each other being yarded together. This will avoid conflicts in establishing a new social order.
11. Always camp horses well clear of watercourses – at least 50 metres.
12. Remove all rubbish from campsites, don’t bury it as feral animals may dig it up. Where possible remove unsightly litter left by others. What you take in take out.
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 the general public.
If your group is camping as well, see the recommended code of conduct for this through the following link.
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