As Published in the December 2016 issue of Horse N Ranch
Just Say Hello
There’s an expression in French: Simple comme bonjour, “simple as hello”.
Do you greet the folks that you’re sharing the trail with? You should. A friendly “Jambo” when you meet someone on the trail will not only help horse riders become everyone’s favorite trail partner it can also help to keep you safe. The hiker you politely greeted could be the vital link that directs Search and Rescue to your location after a wreck that leaves you hurt and scared along the trail. You want the people you encounter on the trail to remember meeting you. Hello is a great way to start a conversation. Ask about the trail conditions ahead, water sources, or how far until the next trail junction or campsite.
Being polite, offering a friendly “Shalom”, and encouraging the people we share the trails with to engage in a brief chat will also help your horse to understand that the strange lycra clad beast ahead is indeed just another odd human, and not an equine eating creature to fear.
An “aloha” when coming across other trail users will help to break the stereotype of horsemen as rude, inconsiderate, and even dangerous. If we want to break the cycle of trail loss, horsemen need to become everyone’s favorite trail partners. We can do that in a variety of different ways starting with being polite.
Have you ever been riding, when someone greeted you with a hello, and it made you feel good? We all have. Those experiences underscore how powerful a simple hello can be. When you say hello to someone you’re acknowledging them, and we all love to be acknowledged. Every time we fail to say hello when we pass another trail user is a lost opportunity to make a positive difference in the world.
You don’t have to say “Konnichiwa” to everyone. Although I try to make it a point to say hello to all I meet on the trail, an exception is the very rare event when you happen upon someone who makes you feel unsafe. Keep moving in those situations, pull out a cell phone if you have one, or pretend that you’re with a group that is just behind you.
If we say “bonjour” just half the time we pass someone on the trail we’ll be making a huge difference and improving the world. It’s as simple as “hello!”
Trailhead Coordinates: 36.072229, -86.317226
Easily located a short drive from both Nashville and Murfreesboro Cedars of Lebanon State park has nearly 13 miles of horse friendly trails to explore in the park and hundreds of miles of trails to ride in the adjoining State Forest.
Park and unload near the riding near the stables and remember to bring your Coggins papers with you when you visit.
For more detailed information on this fabulous park visit www.trailmeister.com/trails/cedars-of-lebanon-state-park/ .