The best way to a horse's heart is through its stomach.

Many of the trails we ride, and some dirt roads, are open for multiple forms of recreation. One of the more interesting ones to deal with is horses. While sudden moves or a loud exhaust won't scare an ATV or side-by-side, they can spook a horse, putting both the horseback and motorcycle riders in danger. This rider shows us some unique tricks for keeping both horses and humans happy.

Upon seeing horses on the trail, the first thing our rider does is pull over, stop, and shut the engine off. He then calls to the horseback riders to come on by. This, alone, is enough to ensure the horse's good behavior, as well as earn the gratitude of the horseback riders for making it safe and easy for them to pass.

This rider goes above and beyond the call of duty, however. He carries mints with him and, with the horseback riders' permission, he shares his mints with the horses. This is a great way for motorcyclists with our loud, greasy, fast bikes to stay on good terms with horseback riders. It also helps horses start to associate motorcycles with good things like getting a tasty treat when they see us, the opposite of that mean predator that roared by and sprayed them with dirt. Of course, it is important to ask the horseback rider's permission to give the horse a treat before you offer it. The horse may have dietary restrictions that would make eating a mint a bad idea.

Sharing the trail with others in a positive way is how we leave other trail users with a positive impression of motorcyclists. If they like us, they're less likely to evict us from their trails, keeping more trails open for all of us to enjoy. You don't even have to catch a runaway horse to do it.

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