Ban the horses
After a particularly great ride last monday on a firm and smooth Tour trail void of any horse tracks, I have decided it's time to ban the horses. It was soo nice not feeling like I'm riding rumble strip and dodging 40# piles of horseshit. This is the first time I can remember that I've been able to catch some fairly recent grooming without all the post holes. I think the horse crowd must call the grooming hotline to find out exactly when they can show up to ruin fresh comb. They don't care that they're shredding the trail for everyone else. We've had run ins with this crowd for years-horses galloping past toddlers, *****y riders,"My horse doesn't like skiers/bikers." Then why the hell are you on a trail groomed by the ski club used predominately by skiers, runners and cyclists? This is the one user that doesn't play well with others. It's time to revise the definition of multi-use on the TOA trail.
They could give back to the community,
By harvesting some of that horse meat for the rest of us to eat. But they always seem mortified at the mere suggestion, so f@#k em.
I agree this is one user group that the majority does not maintain a mutual respect of trail use; and those massive piles of sh1t! Bob a tail and hang a bag you sick lazy bastards! You know who you are,too. Jesus H Christmas, you would'nt crap on the trail (or side of the road) or let your dog, so why does your horse get carte blanche?
One word - GLUE.
I'm glad someone else feels the same about the jackasses sitting on top of the horses. I also had a great ride the other day around the Campbell Tract trails until the last little section by the BLM HDQS and airfield. Because of the horse holes in the trail, I ended up walking part of it 'cuz it hurt so bad even on a full suspension.
As a user group they have zero respect for anything but themselves and do not do anything to help maintain the trails. They were the exact same way in the North Carolina MTNs where I used to live. They tear up trails more than all of the user groups combined. Plus the big piles of crap they leave around.
I agree BAN the HORSES.
I believe this is the group of users that also
removes obsticles from our trails. Since recently (the last two summers), I've seen a surge in horses on Llama trail and on the prospect trails. Both the llama and blue-berry hollow trails have had the major cruxes removed. At first I blamed mountain bikers for this, but I have since changed my mind about "who done it." These obsticles posed a much greater risk to horses than to humans.
I agree.... ban them. Also, don't give them an inch on the trail. If the horse can't handle bikes or people or are difficult to control then they shouldn't be on the trail. Treat them as they treat you. If they're being *******s, be an ******* back and if they're nice be an ******* anyway.
My advice and $3 will buy you nothing more than a tunafish sandwich.
Wu-Tang Academy Alumni
4 legs baaaaaad
2 wheels good
I hear horses love those whistling bottle rockets
.....cheatin' life, and peelin' out on the lawn.........
Mountain biker needs a butt whuppin'
Mooseberry Mesa trashed by horses
I remember reading about these a while back and did a search. I have noticed more destruction on the trails from horses the past couple of years and reading the first topic actually makes me chuckle. The horse's a**, oh I mean lady, may have even deserved it. From my experience here and NC, horse people in general are very selfish and self centered. It would not surprise me if she was really exagerating the story and forgot to mention she did not make any attempt to share the trail or she could have just flatout been lying. I have been riding the Hillside trails for many years now and come across many trail users which I have never seen anyone with an airhorn.
The second topic proves what we already know. They just don't care.
Horses are great animals but the animals that sit on top and control them are mostly less than desirable people to share anything on the trail with.
Horses = 4 legged backhoe
I'm from Utah
I've been chewed out before my a woman on a horse - who I passed on a wide double-track trail and a crawling pace - for frightening her horse and risking a horrific accident. She wouldn't let it go and I left fuming. That said, I completely agree. If you're not prepared for all of the risks and annoyances of a multi-use trail, then don't use them. That goes for bikers too. I feel frustrated enough about being banned - regardless of conditions - from most frontcountry trails around Juneau in the winter because they have been commandeered by cross-country skiers who can't bear the thought of tread through their courderoy. I wouldn't mind dodging a few horsey postholes if I had a option of riding them on my bike. It's what I always tell skiers - can't we all just get along?
Ahhh, the difference between winter cycling and horseback riding-if we're leaving a trail like a Ditchwitch, then we turn around/go somewhere else. The horseback folks could care less how they leave the trail looking ( the piles are testament to that.) That type of thinking (can't we all get along) is why horses are allowed on the Tour trail now. No, we can't all get along because no matter how you spin it ( who was here when, etc...) the horses damage the trail and are ridiculous obstacles for the majority users to have to accomodate. I have not talked to ANY other user group who is happy to have them there. Next time your out, pay attention to the tracks left by the Endomorphs. They are no worse than the tracks of the skiers. I don't mind sharing trails with skiers, skijorers, and runners. The runners/dog walkers pack most of the singletrack for us. Maybe it's time for fatbikes to be allowed on the ski trails. The Nordic Ski Club doesn't own them.
summer and winter
I just read Aksledhead's link to last years forum posts on this topic and there is one big difference between the two discussions-snow. I don't like them there in the summer either, but I stop and move over as soon as I see them. I'm even polite, cause they're not going away, and on the TOA trail, which is mostly D1 anymore (crushed rock,) they're not doing much harm. I don't think we could get them banned in the summer, but during the winter they have no business on the groomed TOA trail.
I was out skate skiing on the tour trail yesterday along with a few hundred other people, it was a literal freeway of people enjoying the trail's awesome conditions right now. Then, closer to service some guy passes and says there are horses ahead. I came upon 3 other women skiers waiting for these two rich women, both wearing done up hair and gold earings pass on their trail crushing beasts. I couldent believe my eyes. Here are two people that have total disregard to the damage they are doing to the trail. Out of the hundred+ people on the trail that day these two rich *****es are out there stomping 8" holes up and down it. Then came the manure piles. I couldent believe it. And Us bikers get bad rap from up tight skiers for riding fat bikes on ski trails... geeze.
I know legally they have the right. but I agree with petitioning to ban them. The tour trail is in good shape soooo little of the time!
While we're at it,
let's ban paddle track snowmachines from cross country trails. They are a flippin' epidemic out here in the valley and have been totally detrimental to the sport of winter biking, not to mention XC skiing, skijouring and dog mushing. I have lost count of the times I've been far into the backcountry enjoying a nice hard-packed trail only to be reduced to walking after a herd of paddle track snowmachines rips by, churning the trail all apart and leaving large piles of snow everywhere . I don't even think you can buy a snowmachine without a paddle track anymore. So anyway, be thankful snowmachines are largely banned in the Anchorage area. Now if we can do something about those durned moose...
there's one in every crowd
Bearbaits' story is one that is repeated every week. Several times a week. Two weeks ago I was out skiing and the snow piles left from the divets the horses left made it practically impossible to skate. It was like skiing down an avalanche chute.These weren't just holes, they had tailings. This was excavation. If I were back country skiing, that'd be one thing, but the skiers pay to maintain and groom the trails. Skiers and cyclists have sometimes been at odds, though many do both sports. I think it is a different world now with fatbikes.
As for Wildfires' problem-good luck with that one. There is no controlling the Valley sled population. I used to do all my snowmachining out there and that group and industry as a whole are only going in one direction and that's faster and further/higher. That means more power, lighter weight and deeper lugs/ longer tracks. Sounds alot like us winter mtber's. You can still buy machines without paddletracks but they are the work machines and nobody wants to work anyway. These machines have longer lugs than they used to, but not 2" like most powder sleds. The trouble you have out there is that you're riding on snowmobile trails, instead of them snowmobiling on riding trails. Have you heard any news on the Su 100 trail lately?
They are multi-use trails
"The trouble you have out there is that you're riding on snowmobile trails, instead of them snowmobiling on riding trails. Have you heard any news on the Su 100 trail lately?" TW
Not exactly, they are no more snowmachine trails then they are bike or ski trails. They are multi use trails, snowmachiners have no more inherent ownership of the trails then you or I do. The trails were there long before snowmachines came into the picture. Granted, I wouldn't be riding on a lot of them if it weren't for snowmachines packing them down but a lot of the one's I ride are groomed for non motorized sports and they are quickly tore up as well by the paddle tracks. It all comes down to the same problem as you guys are having in Anchorage, thoughtless people who don't care what their form of recreation is doing to others' or feel that they have more of a right to the trails then other people. Anyway, you're probably right there isn't much that can be done about it that doesn't involve bloodshed and violence.
Oh, the Su100 trail is pretty soft right now, we just got another 4" last night. I've been meaning to get out that way but havn't made it yet.
thanks for the update
Don't get me wrong, I'm on your side. I just know that if motorized vehicles are permited, they will totally dominate. The only place I know of where they're under control is on the military bases. There are some nice trails out there and I believe the speed limit is 25. They are never torn up, it's just that gaining access is a problem. Lets hope the Su trail gets rideable soon.
Was just bringing up that things could be worse. Actually we've had our share of horse problems on trails built specifically by and for mountain bikers, namely the Mooseberry Mesa Tr. It wasn't three days after we got it done and buffed out that the horsey crowd hit it hard and left it full of huge craters and horse turds prompting a major rework. Our local club, Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers, teamed up with other user groups and drafted letters to the Mat-Su Borough who owns the land that horses be limited to designated trails only. The borough has so far not acted on it but I think word got out to the horse crowd that maybe they should watch their act.Then we put up a nice trailhead sign/chokepoint politely explaining that the trail was closed to equestrians due to soft soil conditions on the trail. Since then we have had very few problems. They still tear the hell out of the rest of the trails out there, particularily in the spring, but they have been staying off the designated MTB trails.
Originally Posted by thirstywork
So I think that the horse riders are out there for pretty much the same reasons that we are, to enjoy the outdoors. I know they spend loads of money on their horses, shelter, feed, trailers, tack, cowboy hats, etc and thus feel they have a god-given right to ride them anywhere they damn well please. And they tend to be wealthy and well-connected politically so outright banning them probably won't work. It seems that the solution would involve providing an alternate trail or lane for the horse riders and posting signage/ publicity that horses are not permitted on the groomed trails. Also there are horse barrier gates/ choke points that could be erected at the entry points.The question arrises who would pay for all this and ideally it should be the equestrians. Are there any organized horse groups in Anchorage that maybe could be brought on board? If you can make it seem like it's their idea things will go much smoother.
"Bloodshed and violence"
Now you're diggin' where there's 'taters! I got my torch pitchfork ready.
Does anyone ever visit Ruth Arcand park? When my wife and I moved in nearby we were psyched to be so close to "multiuse" trails. But it is pretty much a horse park, being connected to that equestrian center on Abbott (can't recall the name) and we hardly ever go there anymore. The trails are unusable in the winter for anything but walking - even that is hard - or treating the dogs to the tasty horsepucky. Those triangular yield-to signs are posted around to remind the serfs how to behave. But I am ok with this. Let the horsey set have their park. I don't think it gets much use otherwise anyway. But ban them from the more public trails, especially any trail that gets groomed for skiing (duh!) So, maybe the solution is to give them their own space.
To raise a historical perspective, years ago there must have been more space and fewer trail users in Anchorage so that folks actually thought that having horses was a good idea. With the city getting built up around them, the horsey set is understandably defensive. But now I think they need to let go of any romantic visions of what the horse symbolizes and realize that they are basically trying to raise livestock within a city. There are laws in cities against raising cattle, and frequently pigs, sometimes even chickens. Horses are only slightly different. Granted, they are beautiful intelligent animals, but if you want to raise them and be around them, move to the country, which Anchorage, for better or worse, is not anymore.
And about those horseturds, there a signs at some trailheads reminding dog owners that picking up dog turds is not just about removing them from sight and smell, it's also a disease mitigation measure. That is, the policy is that you don't just toss the turds into the woods, but that you pick them up and remove them from the environment. Now, are horses all that less likely to get diseases than dogs? Maybe, but it seems like a double standard to me.
I don't know about equine diseases, but horse droppings are known to spread the undigested seeds of invasive, non-native plants, and that's a great reason to not toss turds into the woods. Depending on the source of hay that it's fed, a single horse could be spreading all sorts of weeds, etc.
Originally Posted by AkEv
I've heard of a park in the Lower 48 (I think it was Grand Teton N.P.) that doesn't allow horses within its boundaries until the owners have fed their animals a tested and pre-approved hay for something like two weeks in order to allow all non-native seeds to be passed out of their digestive tracts.
I'm not suggesting such a rule is needed here, but I think it does pose a strong argument for requiring horse owners to use poop-catching bags so they can remove turds from the trails/park.
Besides, doing so would be common courtesy.
Enjoying the meaningful pursuit of meaningless fun.
Yeah, I don't get it. Symphony lakes trail is closed to Mtn. Bikers, yet open to horse back riders? Why? Wolverine peak trail is closed to Mtn. Bikers. Why? We can't ride trails in Spring because we'll destroythem, I respect that uninforced rule. Mtn. Bikers get a bad rap because the richy riches on horseback think that we are on bikes because we are too poor to be on horseback. Here's my point, since I've just rambled on randomly. Last fall we rode (on a beautiful day) up Devil's pass and out to Hope. Almost the entire ride up Devil's pass was un-rideable, (and a few parts almost impassable on foot) because we were following behind a group of horse backers. After riding with the horse **** and mud holes so deep it could swallow your leg for 30 miles we were pissed by these people taking their horses up the trail. I asked them when we rode up if they realized that between the post-holing and horsecrap all over the place they've made the trail miserable for anyone else. They said it's a multi-use trail and they are allowed to be on it. They missed the point, they feel entitled, and they don't use common sense.
Wood chips are stupid
Originally Posted by Wildfire
Smartest post on this thread.
"Trust me,you don't want a big baby."
Beware of Doggerel
I have nothing of value to contribute but I have a funny story. A while ago I was at one of those trail meetings at the cambell science center when folks were using the term “horse people” to refer to equestrians. So, as usual, I started day dreaming on the phrase “horse people” . I imagined these really indignant centaurs in the back of the room, they were very angry about the fact that they aren’t considered hikers and runners, lots of arguing and crapping on the floor. One horse guy kept saying “...there are five of us here tonight...” and every time he said five he clomped his front leg on the ground five times.
Anyway it seems to me that the problem is the equestrians lack basic horse sense. Here in Anchorage there are times in the summer when the horses would have little to no impact, but for some reasons the riders just ignore the trail conditions and ride when its soft. I don’t get it. If these folks gave a crap they could easily reduce their impact, but they don’t. And of course riding in winter should be right out.
I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.
im not from alaska but the horse problem is pretty bad in northern california. Specifically lake oroville state recreation area. They try to blame the mountain bikers for all the trail problems. Like this one creek crossing that is totally all them. The best part is theres a couple of trails out here that are marked no bikes, but the rangers wont ticket for it at all because the damn equestrians pushed to put those up.
The best part is we have an awesome guy named lyle while who i dunno exactly what he did to em, hes a huge trail advocate there and told us all anytime horse guys give us trouble, you just gotta tell em lyle says hi haha
AZ has the best mountain bike gathering ever
Complain to BLM, not just here
We can post complaints here until we're blue in the face, but unless the land manager - BLM - understands our concerns, there will be exactly no chance for change.
After more than 15 years of multi-sport use of the Campbell Tract BLM trails (TOA included), I finally saw my first ever shiny badge-wearin', gun-totin', green-parka'd civil servant checking out the trails two weekends ago. His name was Ranger Jeff Duhrsen. After having just ridden through a particularly brutal set of horsetrack holes and accompanying crap, I couldn't resist stopping and giving him a piece of my mind about the inconsiderate horse owners. He was sympathetic to my complaints and understands the conflicts between skiers, bikers, horses, dogs, etc on the TOA. But, of course, his hands are tied with the trail's multisport designation. He has an ongoing relationship with the horse groups, and said they are willing to work to improve relations with other users. He said the horse people claim they provide a signigficant "trail watch" function while they are out there. I suppose, but the same could be said for the hundreds of skiers, walkers, runners and bikers as well. He has asked them to try to stay to the side of the trails when walking on them. Sure.
If he showed any weakness in his defense of the horse people, it came when he suggested the horses should use the crap catchers similar to those worn by horse-drawn carriage owners. That would only solve a small part of the problem, but would certainly be a step in the right direction.
Bottom line, call the BLM. Email the BLM. Write the BLM. Register formal complaints against horses. I read some great comments in this posting; send them on to the BLM. They are receptive to comments, and the louder we are as multisport trail users, the more likely we can initiate change. Doing nothing guarantees status quo.
Law Enforcement Ranger
Anchorage District Office
6881 Abbot Loop Rd
Anchorage, AK 99507