Leroy Brown on...

Riders with Class

Trail riding is addictive. Once the bug bites you, it is hard to get rid of it. The people who trail ride are a unique, diverse group who are bound by one thing. They all enjoy getting out with their horses and mules and spending time with friends. I have said that there is no such thing as a bad trail ride. No matter what the weather deals you, what condition the trails are in or how cranky your horse decides to be on any given particular day, it is still a great day!

I often think that everyone else has as much fun as I do when they go to a trail ride or wagon train. Only recently have I realized that some people don’t really get as much out of the experience as others. I started watching closely to see what the difference was and starting ‘Classifying” riders. What follows is not meant to point any fingers, name any names or make anyone feel bad. Face it, we have all seen these people at rides we attend! ~ Leroy Brown

Class 0 Rider
They keep their horses at a boarding stable. They go there 2 or 3 times a week to brush, clip and feed their horses. Occasionally they ride in the paddock or on a short, designated trail. They talk about how much they enjoy riding but would never consider hauling anywhere else to ride. They get nervous around other horses and riders and generally prefer the company of their barn buddies to anyone new. They are always home when darkness falls.


They go to the stable 2 or 3 times a week to care for their horse and ride in the paddock or ride in the designated area. They are just waiting for someone like you and I to invite them to go on a trail ride. When invited, they reply that they can’t go, they don’t know what to do. When you explain that you are going to help them and that they can follow you, they say they can’t go because they don’t know what to take. They agree to go when you tell them that it doesn’t matter, you will take everything needed. You probably have a good beginner.


After you keep insisting that they go on a trail ride, they finally reluctantly agree. The day before you are to go, you receive a call stating that they have found something terribly wrong with their horse and have to rush it to the nearest Vet School. The next time you see them, they tell you how much the Vet School charged, usually in the thousands, and the problem was a result of the horse being so high bred. They also say that it will be a year or longer before they can ride that horse again.

Class 1 Riders
People who get to the ride early Friday, visit every camp, make new friends and talk about how many rides they have been on. They are up early on ride day and tacked up and ready to go. Just before ride out time they find something wrong with their horse or tack and can’t go.


They ride out and 20 to 30 minutes in to the ride find something wrong with their horse or tack and have to return to camp.

Class 2 Riders
They are late getting to the camp and appear to be in a bad mood. They are not friendly and stay to themselves. At ride out time, they haven’t even started to get ready and ask why we are leaving so early. When they do catch up, they say it is the worst trail ride they have ever been on and ask which is the shortest way back to camp. Occasionally they holler out and ask, “Are we having fun yet?” If they do make it to lunchtime, they are sure to return to camp. If they don’t return to camp, they complain the rest of the day.

Class 3 Riders
They are riders just like you and I. They have never been on a bad trail ride and are glad to be there. They visit their old friends and make new friends. They keep their animals and tack in good condition. When ride out time arrives, they are ready to go. They ride the ride without complaints no matter how rough the terrain gets. They often share their lunch and are ready and willing to help others who have problems on the trail. When they get back to camp, they tend to their animals and are ready to visit with their friends and enjoy the evening.

Class 4 Riders
These are really Class 3 riders. On occasion, while on the trail, they just happen to get carried away on a ride and slip off into the woods for a little extra curricular activity.

Class 5 Riders
These are Class 4 riders who just happen to be in a wagon at the time.

No Class Riders
Obviously, I like to have a bit of fun with these 'Classes', however this class is very serious. No Class Riders are the riders who go on an oganized ride or ride the state and national forests and throw trash down with no regard to others who wish to appreciate the beauty of nature. It is these very riders who are the cause of our losing access to many areas in Georgia. Please, if you see someone littering, remind them to 'pack out what they pack in' or if that is too complicated for them, remind them, "DO NOT LITTER".

Additional Classes- As we run across them

Class 6 Riders
These are called Merry Riders. They go on a trail ride, stay 3 days and never saddle up a horse.

Class 7 Riders
These are known as the hotties. They won’t go on a trail ride unless they can get electrical hook-ups.

Class 8 Riders
Riders who attend Wagon Trains then get upset when wagons cause their horses to misbehave.

Check out the Judges Ride List at www.judgesridelist.com

Leroy is often out and about at these rides and always looking to make new friends!