Barn Rules

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Under Colorado Law, an equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities, pursuant to section 13-21-119, Colorado Revised Statutes.

These rules are necessary for everyone’s safety and enjoyment of our facility; please read carefully.

All riders, students, family members, friends, guests, users must sign a Release of Liability on arrival at our facility.

HCEC is a non-smoking facility, this includes e-cigarettes, vaporizer pens and any other smoking device. 

General Rules: Be advised that horseback riding and handling horses requires physical fitness, good balance, muscle coordination, mental alertness, the ability to react quickly and the ability to follow directions promptly and accurately. In the interest of everyone’s safety, Hidden Creek Equestrian Center LLC, Susan Borders, James (Bill) Borders, Kerry-Louise Boucher and/or their appointed representative/s reserve the right to advise students and boarders and their guests who appear to be mentally or physically unfit not to ride or handle horses. 

HCEC users must understand that the facility is, at all times, to remain suitable for the entire family of other users, and that no belligerent, malicious, lewd, vulgar, profane or otherwise objectionable conduct or language will be tolerated.  HCEC users hereby covenant that his or her conduct will, at all times, be dignified and civil and hereby authorize his or her immediate expulsion from the facility if he or she breaches this covenant,

Appropriate dress and footwear is required for riding or interacting with horses.  Heeled boots and long pants must be worn.  Open toe footwear is unsuitable. Sleeveless shirts are not permitted.  Jackets must be fastened when riding; horses can be spooked by flapping clothing.

Never shout or scream when interacting with horses: move quietly, confidently and be sure horses are aware of your presence.

Never run towards or around horses; all horses are flight animals, easily spooked by sudden movement.  Do not run or trot your horse past tied horses; always pass other horses with extreme care.

Keep all areas neat and clean; clutter can cause accidents.  Trash cans are in the porta-potty and office.

Do not leave tied horses unattended.  Never tie a horse with the bridle reins. A halter may be slipped carefully over the top of the bridle for safe tying, for short, attended periods of time.  Tie your horse SHORT for safety.  If your horse tends to pull back or is acting restless, stay close by your horse.  Stay vigilant while working around a tied horse.

Gates must be open wide before leading a horse through. Always keep hold of the gate while maneuvering a horse through, never let the gate swing loose or hit your horse.  Never leave a halter on a horse turned loose in a pen or pasture, or while free-lunging a horse in the round pen; haltered horses can easily get caught up and panic.

Do not enter pastures or pens (other than your own/lease horse) without permission. Do not feed treats without permission.

Do not dump trash into muck buckets or manure into trash cans.  Manure is spread onto pastures so must be free of trash, horse shoes, horse shoe nails, baling string, bottles, etc.

Advise management immediately if you notice a horse injured, unwell, or otherwise acting differently to their normal behavior; minor injuries and medical conditions may be treated more successfully if brought to our attention early.

Do not bring your dog or other pets to the facility; however, well behaved, quiet dogs can remain in vehicles.

All ‘non-student’ children under 16 years old must be accompanied by a responsible parent/guardian.  Keep all children under control. Climbing any gates and fences, arena equipment, and running/playing alongside the arenas is not permitted.

Return equipment to its proper place after use; do not borrow equipment without permission from the owner.

If working with a school horse, treat them with kindness and respect, they tolerate being handled by many different people.  Do not hand-feed treats to the school horses unless there is an instructor present. 

Do not listen to or engage in negative gossip about the school horses or boarder’s horses.  Remember that your relationship with a horse is unique and will likely differ to another person’s relationship with that horse.

Report any damages immediately to management. Horses are destructive and can be unpredictable.   If you or your horse are responsible for damages you will be required to pay for any necessary replacements and/or repairs. 

We maintain a clean, tidy facility. It is the absolute responsibility of the boarders and students to clean up after themselves, their farriers, and their horses when they are present on our facility. There are adequate trash containers as well as muck forks and muck tubs for the disposal of manure, hair, hoof clippings, horse shoe nail clippings, and trash.  Please use these, and do not leave unsightly messes around the facility.

Parking: Cars may park on the grassy area south of the east arena, park as far away from the arena fence as possible.  Trailers may park on the grassy area between the two driveways, please clean up any droppings.  If the east arena is in use we appreciate you remaining quiet and in control of children in vehicles, so as not to cause a distraction to arena users; please do not slam car doors, or shake car mats, clean out trash, or cause a disruption while lessons/training/riding/lunging are taking place.

Arena Rules: Horse droppings in the arenas and round pen must be removed; muck tubs, wheelbarrows and forks can be located by boarder’s sheds, at the end of the south row of pens, and hanging in the barn.

To maintain the footing and fences in good condition for lessons, training and events, no horses are to be turned loose in the arenas.  You may use the round pen for ‘roll time’.  To help prevent accident or injury, always fully remove your horse’s halter before turning loose.

Lunging is NOT permitted in arenas unless you have received prior permission from management.  Please use the round pen for lunging.

Always wear a safety helmet certified to current ASTM/SEI standards when mounted, and for groundwork when working with a young and/or difficult horse. Gloves are recommended for riding and for groundwork.  Boots should be sturdy with a heel appropriate for riding.

Always tighten your girth before you mount and check your girth periodically throughout your ride, be particularly diligent before canter work or before working over fences.  If you cannot tighten your girth while mounted, then dismount, tighten, and re-mount.


The universal rule is ‘left-shoulder-to-left-shoulder’ when passing in opposite directions within the arena.  Always keep at least one horse distance between and around other horses. If you get too close, slow down, work deeper into corners, make a large circle, pass to the inside or cross the arena to an open area on the rail. NEVER pass on the outside (between the horse and the rail) of another horse when approaching from behind - always pass to the inside and voice your intentions clearly, stating “inside”.  The left to left rule will not apply if one rider is consistently using the inside track, be sure to observe other riders in the arena and communicate if you are unsure of their intentions.


If you are having difficulty with your horse and must stop, please move to the center of the arena safely out of the way of the other riders.  Let other riders know that you are having difficulties.  Leave the arena if you are creating a hazard for other riders or disrupting a lesson.


Always listen to and follow the instructor's directions; your safety is our top priority.  If a rider falls, stop, dismount immediately and wait quietly with your horse until told it is safe to re-mount.


Facility Use: All users and their guests must sign a Release of Liability prior to visiting or on arrival at our facility.

No outside volunteer/trainer/instructor/equine professional (whether paid or unpaid) is permitted to use our facility without prior permission from the management, and if permission is granted the user must pay a facility use fee of $25 per hour or any part thereof, and, in addition, must present a certificate of  Liability Insurance Coverage of a minimum $1,000,000.00, with Hidden Creek Equestrian Center LLC, and Bill (James) Borders, and Susan Borders, and Kerry-Louise Boucher as ‘additional named insured’ on the policy.


Boarders: The HCEC release of liability form that any user signs, applies only to any situation that may arise between the user and HCEC and its appointed representatives, and does not apply to any situation that may arise with a boarded horse and any other user. If you do not carry personal horse owner’s liability insurance on your boarded horse, and you wish to have persons/volunteers other than your immediate family members work/interact/ride your horse while you, the owner, are not present, then you need to have them sign a release of liability form signed by you and the other party involved in using your horse. You must also notify us of your intention to have other person work/interact/ride your horse. We do not have or supply the necessary release of liability forms for this situation. We recommend that any release of liability form that you provide is approved by an attorney prior to use. HCEC requires a copy of this signed form for our files.