I get a lot of e-mail about questionable trail riding establishments - places that provide substandard care and instruction, where horses are suffering and riders often get hurt. These places exist and thrive because beginner horsepeople go into their experiences with horses without the basic knowledge necessary to make good choices. For that reason, I am writing this blog which you may feel free to provide to any non-horsey friends thinking about going riding while on vacation, or just renting horses for the afternoon.
If you have dogs or cats, you're probably familiar with some of the other signs of illness in an animal. Yellow discharge from the eyes or nose, for example, is a sign of a problem. Coughing or heaving when trying to breathe is hard to miss and something that even a novice should pick up on. When you see these things - do not ride.
(Comments on other tips and tricks and things to look for and avoid are VERY welcome!) Remember, we as the humans have the choice - and we choose with our wallets! Make a humane choice that is safe for yourself and your family.