Mind Your Manners!

red ribbonWell, not yours exactly.  The main characters in both Books 1, Fool Me Once, and Book 2, A Bitter Wind Blows, are trail riders and they know the importance of observing trail etiquette, just as one observes the rules of the road.

Horses are herd animals and they can become anxious when separated from their buddies. When horses must cross a trail obstacle such as a fallen log, it is common practice for the first horse to move up a trail a little and wait for those behind him to negotiate the obstacle, lest the remaining horses rush to catch up and perhaps endanger themselves or their riders.

On the trail, a ribbon tied to the tail of an equine conveys important information about that animal, especially in a group ride. Red is associated with temper, agitation, anger and danger, and a red ribbon is literally adding a  “red flag” to your horse’s tail, a warning to others that your horse is known to kick. Red is very visible and quick to get attention. Green, the color of new growth and renewal, is used to signify a lack of experience. Green ribbons are appropriate, not only for young horses, but also those that have too few trail miles under their hooves. Think of green as the equine version of a “student driver” sign. Yellow is the cautionary color of the roadways, and stallions are often asked to wear a yellow ribbon whereas a pink ribbon, the delicate color of femininity, is tied to the tails of mares in heat to indicate that they may be cranky and a distraction to stallions in the area. A white ribbon simply indicates that the horse is for sale.

You’ll find Ronnie explaining trail etiquette in Book 1 when her guest, Lucinda, comments on how considerate she and her friends are. And you’ll find a red ribbon in Asha’s horse’s tail in Book 3, Signs of Life.


Author: linnhemccarron

Have completed four Contemporary Fiction/Romance novels in The Riverwood Series. The first was released in August 2018; the second is under contract and in the process of edits. The third book and fourth books are in the queue. The fifth is now the current work-in-progress. The setting is Big South Fork, Tennessee which is known as "The Trailriding Capital of the Southeast" so these stories will all appeal to horse lovers who love to read books about horses.

One thought on “Mind Your Manners!”

  1. Great explanation of this trail courtesy. I’ve seen many times where riders should have used (or paid attention to those that did) this signal to keep riders safe. When dealing with 1000lb animals, ignorance can get you or your animal hurt. Good job!


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