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  1. #1
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    Holy cow, or should I say holy horse?

    So I did a ride and noticed that lower winsor was super loose. Not what I have been use to with that trail. Are there more horses on that trail now days or is it just an April thing?

    Is it horses that I am seeing on Sidewinder? It seems odd because the canopy on that trail is barley high enough for bikers. Seems like a rider 9 feet off the ground is going to have some problems.

    Another question. How is the trail maintenance, and stewardship from the horse riding community? Are they out there with you guys on trail work days? I have stayed at Bishops lodge in the past. Considering how poorly maintained the trails are on their property my guess is that they at least are not very active in the community.

  2. #2
    I ride with tools
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    Yeah, equestrians. Self-entitled selfish pricks, at least most of the ones I have encountered. No concern for ANY other trail users.

    I rode Sidewinder last week and it was clear that they had ridden from Bishops Lodge all the way up to the saddle on Chamisa. The trail was chewed up bad and they made no effort to even stay ON the trail. I wouldn't be surprised if they have been over on to lower Winsor as well. Although that section has long been pretty loose. I haven't been on it yet this year so can't comment if it's worse than usual.

  3. #3
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    I was riding Winsor/Sidewinder 2 weekends ago and we came across 30 equestrians together in a group on the Winsor and they were heading back up to Sidewinder. They had DESTROYED the trail. I have no problem with equestrians but this group was huge and the damage they did was obvious since we had climbed before them and saw how the trail was prior and then after they came through.

  4. #4
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    That is what I figured. Im stll interested to know about the riders involvement with the trail maintenance projects and work days. It would be nice if those guys could be pressured into doing their part. And wear some diapers....

    We have similar situations here in central Texas. We have one trail system that gets torn up by horses and another by MX/trial bikes. Both systems are maintained exclusively by mountain bikers. The same mountain bikers that are the first to be thrown out if someone finds out that there is an endangered cave spider 100 feet below the trail.

  5. #5
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    Yup, definitely horses on Sidewinder, noticed the bench is getting pretty dang narrow. Hard to believe they fit. If we just keep riding it a lot to may become less attractive. I can't imagine a good interaction between a fast bike and a horse on those narrow trails that fall off quick.
    nix that, livin la vida bandos is a good idea when you're on a Mojo HD

    "babies don't drink coors" - del norte

  6. #6
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    FYI, I am working this issue with the FS via SFFTS. Stay tuned. BTW, I'm Moab bound Wednesday. Just had to say that.
    nix that, livin la vida bandos is a good idea when you're on a Mojo HD

    "babies don't drink coors" - del norte

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabra cadabra View Post
    FYI, I am working this issue with the FS via SFFTS. Stay tuned. BTW, I'm Moab bound Wednesday. Just had to say that.
    You rock and....
    You suck.


    How long is the drive to Moab from your parts?

  8. #8
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    About 6 hours
    nix that, livin la vida bandos is a good idea when you're on a Mojo HD

    "babies don't drink coors" - del norte

  9. #9
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    Sweetleaf, are you sure it was 30? My understanding is that they leave Bishop's Lodge every morning and afternoon w/ no more than 12, sometimes less. I think they do BL to Little T to Juan to Burn and back. I'm pretty sure I saw tracks all along Sidewinder and I certainly saw bench damage that seemed really sudden. You saw them do upper Sidewinder? Which direction? Trying to get more facts here since we have someone talking to the FS and to BL stable manager.
    nix that, livin la vida bandos is a good idea when you're on a Mojo HD

    "babies don't drink coors" - del norte

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabra cadabra View Post
    Sweetleaf, are you sure it was 30? My understanding is that they leave Bishop's Lodge every morning and afternoon w/ no more than 12, sometimes less. I think they do BL to Little T to Juan to Burn and back. I'm pretty sure I saw tracks all along Sidewinder and I certainly saw bench damage that seemed really sudden. You saw them do upper Sidewinder? Which direction? Trying to get more facts here since we have someone talking to the FS and to BL stable manager.
    Cadabra, We saw them on the Winsor about 1/4 mile below the Chamisa juncture. When we came up to them the girl in the back told us that there were about 30 horses in their group she obviously was one of the guides. She was very apologetic. We then had to follow them for a while til we got to the spot where the Winsor splits. We went right they all went left. We then got ahead of them and went up to sidewinder from there. we didn't see them after that. I was assuming that they went up that way to get back to the Bishops Lodge trails.

  11. #11
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    me and Maka were riding just ahead of you Tim and came across the same group of 20+ equestrians.. it was definitely a guided group based on the gear and there was group leaders w radio... they were certainly experienced and well outfitted. We surmised they might be part of a guided trip out of Bishop's lodge since they were coming over Sidewinder and we were asking ourselves if they had a USFS permit because to run a guided trip for profit, it would have to be approved. I am totally acceptable of multi-use but SIdewinder is not a trail designed for that purpose... it appears as though a roto-tiller hammered through there...big destruction.

  12. #12
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    Tim is spot on correct... 20+ by my count.....I talked to them too... they were organized and courteous and the girl in the back was absolutely smoking hot so after she smiled and apologized, I admit my anger subsided slightly,.. until seeing the destruction further up on Sidewinder... Sidewinder is so dry right now (southern exposure) and the soil type (weathered granite) just has no finer sediments to hold the trail contact.. the horses pulverized it

  13. #13
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    Hey all, I have some more info, but have a request to clarify things. If you are riding and come across a group of horses, please ask what group/company they are with. These groups are bigger than BL groups, so wondering who they are. BL only has 12 horses. Groups need a special use permit to use FS trails, so let's help keep em honest.
    nix that, livin la vida bandos is a good idea when you're on a Mojo HD

    "babies don't drink coors" - del norte

  14. #14
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    More info for everyone watching this thread...

    Last year, for the IMBA ride, we(SFFTS) found out that the lower part of Sidewinder, where it parallels the old fence down to the saddle and the Juan from the saddle down to the Little Tesuque trail/Nun's Corner is on private property that's owned by the Bishop's Lodge corporation. We had to include them in the liability insurance for the event, but they gave permission for the IMBA ride to use "their" trail. Like it or not, they own the land and have the right to use it for their trail rides. From the fenceline up to Chamisa is on FS land and any commercial usage requires a Special Use Permit (SUP) from the FS. Bishop's Lodge does not have a SUP in place is only supposed to be on trails on their property. Another SFFTS member was talking to the stable manager at Bishop's Lodge, before this thread was posted, and was told that they only have 12 horses to that's their max group ride. We don't know, yet, if the large group seen a couple weeks ago was organized through Bishop's Lodge or someone else. I was told that the FS is planning on meeting with Bishop's Lodge and will ask about the big group. Sneidw, Maka or Sweetloaf, let me know the date you saw them.

    As long as no money is being exchanged, groups of up to 75 can have events in the forest, without permit. An example of this is the NMES big friggin loop event. The FS has made requests to NMES not to use certain trails for the event, that have been honored by NMES. If a horse club or group wants to stage a ride on the trails, they have the right to do so. We would hope that the FS would get some advance notice so that they could review the route and request they stay off inappropriate trails, like Sidewinder.

    My understanding from the FS is that ANY commercial use, where someone is paying to take part, be it a bike ride, horse back ride, trail run, or hike, requires a SUP. The FS wants to know about potential violations , is aware of this thread, and wants to be kept informed when large groups of horseback riders are seen in the forest. If you see a group of horseback riders, ask if they are part of a group and it's name. If it's an organized group, repost, pm me or contact the FS and let them know so they can follow up. If it's a commercial group, the FS will follow up about permitting and enforcement. If it's a private group, SFFTS will reach out to them, possibly in partnership with the FS, about trail sustainability and getting involved in maintenance.

    Here's the contact info for Miles Standish, the FS person responsible for issuing Special Use Permits and who will be meeting with Bishop's Lodge.
    Miles Standish
    Recreation Special Uses, Wilderness and Trails
    Espanola Ranger District
    Santa Fe National Forest
    P.O. Box 3307, Espanola, NM 87532
    505.753.7331
    505.753.9411 (fax)

    Let's hope the big group was a one time event, but keep an eye out, just in case.

  15. #15
    but i want to ride now
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    Miles Standish? En serio?
    sweet sweet trails

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldousfilcher View Post
    Miles Standish? En serio?
    es verdad

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