SOUTHLAND TRAIL RIDERS - LIFE IS BETTER ON THE TRAIL
Southlands Trail Riders are passionate about safety, community and the relationship between human and horse. Our mission is to create harmony between trail riders and the public through education, communication and respect. We strive to maintain our historic relationship with Southlands, the City of Vancouver and Pacific Spirit Park.
Riders: from wearing a helmet to carrying a mobile phone, simple actions can help make your ride safe and enjoyable. Post it on your barn bulletin board or at your local riding facility. Also included: tips for dog walkers, pedestrians, cyclists and more.
MORE ABOUT US
Vancouver’s Southlands Trail Riders represent riders who enjoy the trails of Pacific Spirit Park and have done so since the 1930’s when the park was called the University Endowment Lands. Located in one of Canada’s biggest cities, Pacific Spirit Park provides dog walkers, bikers, pedestrians and horseback riders, over 50 km of well-marked forest trail. The Southlands Trail Riders was originally created to ensure the continued, multi-use nature of the park, with particular respect to equestrian activity. Over time the intention of the group expanded to developing community awareness of horses in urban neighbourhoods, as well as promoting a diversity of equestrian activity for the nearby Southlands community. A dedicated core of Southlands Trail Riders’ volunteer time to establish communication with the GVRD and represent the interests of equestrians in the park through organizations such as the Pacific Spirit Park Society.
The Southlands Trail Riders and their horses represent a range of disciplines practiced in Southlands including, hunter-jumpers, dressage, eventers, western and recreational riding. Although a membership is included in a Southlands Riding Club membership, riders of all levels of commitment are encouraged to join. From young Pony Club members, to grand prix competitors, both horses and riders alike appreciate the mental and physical health benefits of the trails, as a place to take a break from arena training. Not only is the natural, oxygen-rich forest environment a great place to space to stretch the legs but the harder, compacted footing of the trails builds bone density and connective-tissue fitness in horses.
Take advantage of an opportunity to connect with other like-minded equestrians and arrange to enjoy a road hack in the neighbourhood or a trail ride in Pacific Spirit Park by contacting us through the SRC head office.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can you rent a horse for a trail ride?
There are no public trail riding ventures in Southlands. Horses cannot be rented hourly for trail rides. If you are interested in learning to ride horses, please visit our "Instructors" page to find a list of qualified instructors who can teach you the basics of riding before heading out on the trails with you.
How do I approach a horse?
If you encounter a horse on the trails, keep your distance and ask the owner if you may approach the horse. Don’t approach it from behind. Keep your voice calm and your actions to a minimum. If you encounter a horse in a field, it is unwise to try to pet or feed it without the owner’s permission. The horse may accidentally mistake your fingers for carrots! If either of you gets hurt, there could be liability issues.
What scares horses?
Because horses’ eyes work differently than our own, seeing certain objects (especially moving ones) may scare them. Umbrellas, strollers, scooters and other large man-made objects that they don’t see day-to-day may startle them. If you are near an agitated horse, it’s best to stand still and ask the rider what to do. Don’t hide or crouch down, that’s even scarier!
What about manure?
Veterinary studies show that horses, who eat only plants, produce waste which is essentially digested grass. This easily breaks down further, washing away in the next rains. There is no toxicity to affect humans in environments such as the City Greenways and Pacific Spirit Park. Manure is an effective, inexpensive and natural fertilizer.