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  1. #1
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    Horses and Bikes - good, bad and deadly

    Hi Bikers,
    There is a lot of tension between the mountain biking community and the equestrian community and the fact is, all our trails are going to be closed if we don't learn to get along and band together to keep them open. We all like to ride fast at times. Nothing like being on my four-legged ride at a full gallop up and down some nasty trails. I am positive you feel the same way. However, there are those who just don't get the fact that doing this around a blind corner is a disaster for the three animate objects and probably your bike too if we all collide at full force. A man with his two young kids came careening around a blind corner at Cheseboro and if my husband's and my horse had not jumped sideways 10 feet in the air, and we had not stayed on, the paramedics would have had a bad day. So, please, if you are come up to a blind curve - especially if you see horse trailers in the parking lot, please know that a horse and rider are probably just on the other side. Just slow a little and MAKE A LOT OF NOISE! The absolute worst thing you can do is think you can get by a horse without him seeing you. They are flight creatures and see almost 360, with the exception of a fist size spot between their eyes. They can cow-kick you off your bike - they are precise - without so much as a missed step. Anytime you see a horse and rider, slow down and talk. They need to hear a voice to know you are human. If we see you, we will stop and let you pass. Just give us a minute to get the horse's rear end away from your head, okay???? We all have the same idea of fun, we just ride different vehicles. Thanks! Happy trails, SaddLLP

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddLLP
    . Just slow a little and MAKE A LOT OF NOISE! The absolute worst thing you can do is think you can get by a horse without him seeing you. They are flight creatures and see almost 360, with the exception of a fist size spot between their eyes. They can cow-kick you off your bike - they are precise - without so much as a missed step. Anytime you see a horse and rider, slow down and talk. They need to hear a voice to know you are human. If we see you, we will stop and let you pass. Just give us a minute to get the horse's rear end away from your head, okay???? We all have the same idea of fun, we just ride different vehicles. Thanks! Happy trails, SaddLLP
    Why do I have to be responsible for the lack of control you have over your animal? I can control my bike just fine and it's never spooked or tried to trample other trail users.

    If you're out there on a horse it's YOUR responsibility to ensure they are calm around bicycles. You are endangering other trail users if you're out there on an animal that you can't control. If you are unsure about your animal it doesn't belong out there on the trails.

    I follow the rules and yield, as we are supposed to. I usually don't meet bad equestrians, just like most people don't usually meet bad riders, but I do have an issue with a 1000lb dumb animal that is "spooked" by other trail users and even other animals on the trail. It wouldn't be much of an issue of equestrians took responsibility and rode bicycles around their own horses to get them familiar, but it's not my experience that they are that responsible, they want everyone else to be responsible for the lack of control they have over their animals.

    Maybe this is comming off a little harsh, as I said I meet a lot of equestrians that seem to be nice people, but answer me this: Have you ridden bikes around your horse to familiarize them for the mutli-use trails you are evidently riding?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  3. #3
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    Huh. I'll be damned!

    In our area we have many equestrians, bikers, hikers, and no conflicts. We build trails and maintain them together, shoulder to shoulder. Our primary source of land acquisition and funding is the local equestrian groups, and they turn the money over to us for trail maintenance.

    http://www.slopost.org/
    http://www.cccmb.org/

    We all ride fast when we want, are courteous, friendly, and non accusatory toward each other. It works.

    You live in the wrong place and place too much blame on someone else.
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

    CCCMB trail work for trail access - SLO, CA

  4. #4
    How do I do that?
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    I have no problem stopping and talking to you folks (I always do) but would you please pick up the huge piles you leave in the middle of the trail. Thanks

  5. #5
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    all the more reason to keep your horses on private property. i can at least keep my bike under control. its comical that mountain bikers were labeled as being more damaging to trails. i hate riding thru horse manure and i loathe the ruts and trail damage done by horses on wet trails. 1500lbs of horse and human on wet trails = major damage.

  6. #6
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    Well, I guess we all read what we want to read. Sorry to have taken space on your forum. Let's hope we all meet under good circumstances on the trail. Sorry to have seemed accusatory - thought I was opening a good dialog to tame the tension, not give it a forum to get worse. Back to my own forum to talk about our uncontrollable poop-machines....

  7. #7
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    The horse thinks we are predators looking for an easy meal. You have to understand that horses are prey animals, and their fight or flight instincts are hardwired and no human will ever be able train that out of them. They can be acclimated to bikes, but a fast moving object coming towards them still throws up the flight mechanism. The unpredictability of an animal is why hikers and bikers yield to the equestrian.
    I was sitting on a green-broke mustang mare when a biker came up from behind to fast, and scared the horse, causing her to kick the biker on the thigh, effectively ruining his day. I did not feel sorry for the guy and thought it was comical because the trail head was very clear that bikers and hikers yield to horses and gave precautions, this guy evidently felt the rules did not apply to him and found out the hard way why.
    I no longer have horses because of the unpredictability issues. I also understand why and do fully agree that bikers and hikers must yield to horses for the safety of all parties. We all have an equal right to use our public lands, and must co-operate making this a win-win situation. Bickering will result in trail access being denied, limited or closed, in which case this is lose-win, and you may find yourself searching for other trails further away from home.

  8. #8
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    Wow, I am surprised with the reception here. Thanks for posting saddLLP and it was really commendable to try to open a dialog here. Sorry for the reception, I think there is a lot of frustration here because of the stigma that is attached to MTB while equestrians seem to be somewhat immune.

    You are right that we need to work together.

  9. #9
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    What I read here is that the bikers are being told to change, and I hear nothing about what the equestrians can do on their side.

    In the area where I live, ride, work on trails (central coastal California, San Luis Obispo county), we have a great relationship with equestrians, they will watch ahead for bikers, get over to the side of the trail and wait, in areas where that is possible. Many times we bikers get off the trail and let the equestrians pass. Yes, on sudden encounters, the bikers yield to horses, but there are times when horses yield to bikers. Cooperation on both sides works both ways.

    But the bikers go to the equestrian meetings and ask, "What can we do to make this good for all of us?" The equestrians go to the bike meetings and ask, "What can we do to make this good for all of us?"

    This dialogue has been the equestrians telling the bikers what they have to do, or else loose trail access. Where is the cooperation in that?
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

    CCCMB trail work for trail access - SLO, CA

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddLLP
    Well, I guess we all read what we want to read. Sorry to have taken space on your forum. Let's hope we all meet under good circumstances on the trail. Sorry to have seemed accusatory - thought I was opening a good dialog to tame the tension, not give it a forum to get worse. Back to my own forum to talk about our uncontrollable poop-machines....
    Welcome to the forum. You've probably noticed there are some folks here who have issues, some who specialize in keyboard combat, and some who have feel they've made lots of concessions to no perceptible effect on being treated as less than welcome. For what it's worth, I appreciate the effort you made to speak out.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Why do I have to be responsible for the lack of control you have over your animal? I can control my bike just fine and it's never spooked or tried to trample other trail users.

    If you're out there on a horse it's YOUR responsibility to ensure they are calm around bicycles. You are endangering other trail users if you're out there on an animal that you can't control. If you are unsure about your animal it doesn't belong out there on the trails.
    The word. Most horses taken out by amateur riders are poorly trained.

    If you want to play with an unpredictable toy that weights a ton it is your responsibility to make sure it is under control.

    Sight of a bicycle should not be regarded as something extraordinary.

    Equestrians have a sense of entitlement and abundance of smugness. They successfully usurped our public lands under false pretenses. Horses actually cause more erosion and damage then bikes. They drop manure everywhere and they are a danger to all other trail users.

    I was hiking with my kids in a local park - that prohibits cycling, as it is near a rich little town. I was nearly pushed off trail by some dumb horse. My kids had to get around stinky piles of manure.

    Nothing like that happens with bikes. Recreational horse riding should be banned from all public lands and cycling allowed on all established trails and roads including wilderness areas.

  12. #12
    North Van/Whistler
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    We get along with horses just fine in the south Chilcotin.

    Apologies about that jayem character and don't even get him started about bike suspension





    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  13. #13
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    Welcome to the ME Generation

    Recent studies show a dramatic rise in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.


    To our Equestrian friends, like saddLLP -- Thank you for all your help over the years in building and maintaining trails that we ALL can use.

    To those that have a "problem" with horses on trails and riding with safety and respect uppermost -- Good Luck with that.

    Happy Trails,

    Marc

  14. #14
    organically fed
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    Seems like we all just get along 'round these parts. I feel sorry for all the complainers. Are all y'all from Texas or something?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lokiboy8
    To our Equestrian friends, like saddLLP -- Thank you for all your help over the years in building and maintaining trails that we ALL can use.
    Where are those trails we can use? In national parks? In wilderness they kicked us out? In local state parks that prohibit cycling?

    Are they doing trail maintenance? Not around here. (SF Bay area)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddLLP
    We all like to ride fast at times. (...) However, there are those who just don't get the fact that doing this around a blind corner is a disaster
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Why do I have to be responsible for the lack of control you have over your animal? I can control my bike just fine and it's never spooked or tried to trample other trail users.
    I think saddLLP made an excellent point here.

    In the example that she gave, she and her husband were in good control of their horses, while some pretty dumb bikers came scorching around a blind corner.

    I rarely meet horses on trails. I have a plenty of blind corners, though. I dare not take them at full speed. I also try to make some noice before those corners.
    Why?
    - There could well be a fallen tree on the other side.
    - There could be another biker coming the other way.
    - There could be a family with little children there.
    - In some places, there might even be a bear.
    - A horse? Unlikely but possible.

    I don't want to run into any of those.

  17. #17
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddLLP
    Well, I guess we all read what we want to read. Sorry to have taken space on your forum. Let's hope we all meet under good circumstances on the trail. Sorry to have seemed accusatory - thought I was opening a good dialog to tame the tension, not give it a forum to get worse. Back to my own forum to talk about our uncontrollable poop-machines....
    Well, you had some good points, but you also essentially said that "mountain bikers need to do this, this, this, and this for horses". No, we don't need to do that because equestrians need to control their animals and if they can't, they don't belong on the trails.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  18. #18
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radair222
    We all have an equal right to use our public lands, and must co-operate making this a win-win situation.
    Only if you are responsible and not trying to pawn off your horse's uncontrolability on other trail users.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  19. #19
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    You know, we all talk about the poop issue in passing but I notice that when an equestrian does make their way over here they don't really address it.

    I want to know, do you feel guilty about leaving piles of horse biology all over the trails? How would you react to me if I walk my dog past your house and he poops on the sidewalk where your kids play?

    In all honesty, I will never forgive an equestrian, no matter how nice they are or how much effort they make to get out of my way or whatever, so long as they let their animals **** all over the trails.

    It might not be wrong for me to leave an apple core out in the woods, but a pile of them in the middle of the trail would not be tolerated.

    You want to reach across the the aisle and make nice nice? Clean up after yourself the way we are all expected to in the name of common courtesy.

    I just can't believe this issue never comes up at whatever meetings you get together at.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL

    Apologies about that jayem character and don't even get him started about bike suspension
    Thanks for the personal words and being concerned about me. It takes two to tango eh?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime

    I rarely meet horses on trails. I have a plenty of blind corners, though. I dare not take them at full speed. I also try to make some noice before those corners.
    .
    I'll take the corners as fast as I can, but I always take them at a speed that allows me to stop on a dime if I need to. How the horse reacts to this is not my problem, as I'm under control and stopping before them. I agree with most of the things said here, just not that we need to do all sorts of special things like talk to the horse and so on. The equestrians need to be responsible for their animans and they need to control them. If they haven't done the necessary training or trained them around bicycles themselves, they should not be out there on the trail. If these things have been done, then enjoy the trails and have a good time.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  22. #22
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    [QUOTE=perttime]I think saddLLP made an excellent point here.

    In the example that she gave, she and her husband were in good control of their horses, while some pretty dumb bikers came scorching around a blind corner.

    QUOTE]

    Reading this thread I was thinking exactly the same thing. The horse rider was addressing BLIND corners and that people will get hurt.

    I started off riding thinking just like everyone one else. That poorly trained horses and inexperienced riders have no business being out on the trail. They are a danger, blah blah blah. Lets use the same standards on ourselves... Did I have any business being on the trail while I learned???

    I came around a corner on loose gravel, and kicked up some rocks. There was a familiy on horses, taking their daughter on her first trail ride. Because she was inexperienced her horse spooked. By Jayem's trail use "rules" I was still in the right. But what right did I have to endanger that little girl. Watching her cling to her horse terrified sure didn't make me feel that I was in the "right". Made me feel like an...

    If you look into the IMBA trail use it describes multi use trails and use designed trails. Use designed are still multi use but designed for hiking, running, biking or horse. Its pretty easy to tell when you are on a trail that horses frequent, and act appropriately. When you ride a trail designed specifically for bikes, let er rip.

    What do we expect Horse riders to do, keep the inexperience horses on the wider easy trails. What do they expect us to do, watch for them and keep it slow on the wider trails.

    SaddLLP hasn't even asked for that much, watch blind corners and make noise. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

  23. #23
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by AscentCanada
    There was a familiy on horses, taking their daughter on her first trail ride. Because she was inexperienced her horse spooked. By Jayem's trail use "rules" I was still in the right. But what right did I have to endanger that little girl. Watching her cling to her horse terrified sure didn't make me feel that I was in the "right". Made me feel like an
    The horse spooked partially because that family didn't ride bikes around the horse THEMSELVES before taking the horse on a multi-use trail. Yes, there is no excuse for inexperienced mountain bikers as well, although we can try to spread the rules the best we can. I actually had to do this a few weeks ago with a very experienced tri/mtb "racer" I was riding with. She actually didn't know the rules of the trail, which was a little strange.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  24. #24
    North Van/Whistler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Thanks for the personal words and being concerned about me. It takes two to tango eh?
    EDIT eh - i was just trying to making a funny. Sorry about that.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  25. #25
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    I do many MTBing trips and have rode many areas. In most areas MTB and horses seem to co-exist just fine. I spend a lot of time riding the same trails as Jayem and of all the places I ride Prescott seem to have the most polite trail-users around.

    In So-Cal I have had my worst horse experiences like when a group decided in was time to get a young horse used to the trail. He was was being lead riderless tied to another horse, when a bike came up and stopped he freaking and starting kicking at everything close then broke free and ran full steam down the trail at some hikers. I don't blame the horse but people who own horses and really aren't "horse people".

    When I ride remote areas I find it comforting knowing that others on horseback are around for support if needed.

    Dean

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterC
    Clean up after yourself the way we are all expected to in the name of common courtesy.
    Those piles are just nature's way of giving the trail crew something to fill the post holes that horses make in the trail with their hooves.

    Yes, I kid.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  27. #27
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL
    EDIT eh - i was just trying to making a funny. Sorry about that.
    To me it sounded like you were trying to make a funny at my expense. If that was not your intent then I am sorry.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Equestrians have a sense of entitlement and abundance of smugness. They successfully usurped our public lands under false pretenses. Horses actually cause more erosion and damage then bikes. They drop manure everywhere and they are a danger to all other trail users.
    Agreed. Equestrians are themost self important, arrogrant people on the trail. Everytime I come to a horse on the trail the rider always thinks I should clear the trail for their animal. They ride through me and at me, often with no warning. Horses make those huge, deep hoof marks all over the trail and leave huge, stinking piles of crap right in the middle. At least dogs usually crap off the trial.

    Horses are dangerous, sometimes unpredictable animals. They do not belong on the trail with hikers and riders. They are easily spooked and are not safe. I can control, predict and manage my bike so I am 100% safe. You can't control an animal, it has a mind of its own, especially a 1000 lb animal.

    To the starter of this thread, I don't want to see any horses on my trail. Please stick to riding around in circles, safely enclosed by fences.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession
    I can control, predict and manage my bike so I am 100% safe.
    Me too. Took a spill during yesterday's ride. Been almost a week since my latest OTB.

  30. #30
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    In my entier life, one, yes one, equestrian has been courteous to me on the trail. On the flip side of that, dozens of them have run me right off the trail and yelled out some derogatory comment having to do with granola, sprockets, or spandex. I think the problem around here is they all think they're cowboys and have to fit the tuffguy stereotype. Unfortunately they only come across as ignorant rednecks.

  31. #31
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    i've only ever had good experiences meeting equestrians on the trail. i don't like the mess their animals leave behind, but people are people.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    The horse spooked partially because that family didn't ride bikes around the horse THEMSELVES before taking the horse on a multi-use trail. Yes, there is no excuse for inexperienced mountain bikers as well, although we can try to spread the rules the best we can. I actually had to do this a few weeks ago with a very experienced tri/mtb "racer" I was riding with. She actually didn't know the rules of the trail, which was a little strange.
    You tend to generalize things into what suits your argument. How do you KNOW this and this as FACT? Do you have some telepathic ability to know these people and how they did train their horse Do you think they put their daughter on their most inexperienced horse?

    As I explained in this case I slowed down and continued to ride past. I hit a rock up at the horse, which spooked it and it took off into the bushes away from me. The horse was still until then. So it seemed that the horse was experienced but the rider not. By not dismounting and letting the horses by I put both myself at risk of being kicked and their daughter in danger.

  33. #33
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    [QUOTE=saddLLP]"So, please, if you are come up to a blind curve - especially if you see horse trailers in the parking lot, please know that a horse and rider are probably just on the other side."

    Slowing down for blind corners should be a given in situations when any other trail users are present. Perhaps it needed to be brought up again? Kinda like me jumping on a skydiving forum and telling them to pull the cord before they hit the ground! Everybody knows that for every given number of trail users there is going to be somebody out there with half a brain and no respect for anybody else. What you said here needed to be told to the father in front of the kids so they learn what sharing the trail entails.

    "Nothing like being on my four-legged ride at a full gallop up and down some nasty trails."

    Let me guess. Nasty trails means horse hooved carpet bombed potholed covered in a thick layer horse dung. Perhaps if the equestrians in my neck of the woods took the time to clean and repair the trails they destroy (at least the busy ones close to town) that statement would not rub me the wrong way.

    "If we see you, we will stop and let you pass. Just give us a minute to get the horse's rear end away from your head, okay????"

    I will assume you mean if the biker is approaching from behind. Just the other day I came upon 3 riders (approaching) on a roughly 8 foot+ wide trail. I went way wide, slowed to about 2mph, took my feet off the pedals, and addressed the horses. I could tell the horses had no problem with me, unlike the lead rider. He pulled the greater than thou, come to a complete stop, and bow down to me and my horses move. By the time he was done with his preaching they had already passed! If you want to give this thread insight you could explain why half of the equestrian population are a bunch of trouser snakes!

  34. #34
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    Horse people always say the same thing,

    " Look, we are allowed out there and we aren't going to stop. So lets make nice nice when we deal with each other and be as safe as possible even if that puts most of the responsibility on you. About the poop thing, 'No comment'. "

    To which I respond, " Die in a fire you lazy, dense, self important jackass for covering your disdain with this thinly layered cordiality and then blaming me for not rolling over when you make your demands. Oh, and clean up your horse ****, dick."

  35. #35
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    My camel never has any "fright" issues and has soft feet that do not erode a trail like a hoof will. She just spits when agitated.

  36. #36
    local trails rider
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    Lesson 1
    -------------

    Never mention the following on mtbr:
    - horses
    - dogs
    - guns

  37. #37
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    Next time I see a guy on a horse, I'm going to shoot his dog with my gun!

  38. #38
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    [QUOTE=AscentCanada]
    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    I think saddLLP made an excellent point here.

    In the example that she gave, she and her husband were in good control of their horses, while some pretty dumb bikers came scorching around a blind corner.

    QUOTE]

    Reading this thread I was thinking exactly the same thing. The horse rider was addressing BLIND corners and that people will get hurt.

    I started off riding thinking just like everyone one else. That poorly trained horses and inexperienced riders have no business being out on the trail. They are a danger, blah blah blah. Lets use the same standards on ourselves... Did I have any business being on the trail while I learned???

    I came around a corner on loose gravel, and kicked up some rocks. There was a familiy on horses, taking their daughter on her first trail ride. Because she was inexperienced her horse spooked. By Jayem's trail use "rules" I was still in the right. But what right did I have to endanger that little girl. Watching her cling to her horse terrified sure didn't make me feel that I was in the "right". Made me feel like an...

    If you look into the IMBA trail use it describes multi use trails and use designed trails. Use designed are still multi use but designed for hiking, running, biking or horse. Its pretty easy to tell when you are on a trail that horses frequent, and act appropriately. When you ride a trail designed specifically for bikes, let er rip.

    What do we expect Horse riders to do, keep the inexperience horses on the wider easy trails. What do they expect us to do, watch for them and keep it slow on the wider trails.

    SaddLLP hasn't even asked for that much, watch blind corners and make noise. Seems pretty reasonable to me.



    I have to agree with you! SaddLLP was addressing blind corners in particular and I think coming up from behind. If you are riding a "multi-use" trail remember that it is multi-use and we ALL have the right and privelge of being there. Sometimes certain groups of trail users (I am talking about us) get a bad name because a few of us bad mouth other users. Respect others' rights to be on the trail and hopefully they will respect yours' too!
    It would be nice if they could clean up after their horses but I do not know much about horses I don't know how difficult that is or isn't.
    Anyway remember being respectful of others gains respect towards yourself! If you want more mountain bike access only trails join your local group and take action and get them. Our trails are brought from hard work by many people! Be one of them!
    And quit your b**ing!
    DirtyMtnBikeHer
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  39. #39
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by shrubeck
    Next time I see a guy on a horse, I'm going to shoot his dog with my gun!
    Now listen you trigger-happy cave man! You should know that a squirt of lemon juice from a bottle is the way to teach a predator a lesson. Leave finishing that guy to the Authorities when they arrive.
    (the stupid herd animal is already dead in the ravine)





  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Lesson 1
    -------------

    Never mention the following on mtbr:
    - horses
    - dogs
    - guns
    and furries..
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  41. #41
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    wow

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterC
    To which I respond, " Die in a fire you lazy, dense, self important jackass for covering your disdain with this thinly layered cordiality and then blaming me for not rolling over when you make your demands. Oh, and clean up your horse ****, dick."
    Do you really hate horses on tha trail that much or was it a joke?

    rules are rules, if any of you see a horse on the trail they have right of way not you, and if theres a blind corner, take it slow enough so that you can come to a quick stop

    i absolutely hate horses sometimes, especially when i went to wales 2 weeks ago and found all the local trails ruined by horses riding them in the wet, but theres nothing the rider or owner can do to "train" the horse not to spook, its a reflex reaction.... if you looked up and saw something flying towards you fast, your not just gonna stand there and look dumb, you flinch yes?
    same thing in a horses case

    so stop complaining about poorly trained horses and their riders, and why dont you just go out on the trail and enjoy them and have a chat to the rider

    and i really doubt any of you actually have a go at the riders like some people say they do. You might tell everyone on here that you do, where nobody can see you or shout back, you can make youself look all big and mr important behind a screen, but either way, thats just pathetic

  42. #42
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    [QUOTE=DirtyMtnBikeHer]
    Quote Originally Posted by AscentCanada
    It would be nice if they could clean up after their horses but I do not know much about horses I don't know how difficult that is or isn't.
    oh come on. if there is one thing that is simple about this discussion, that should be a no-brainer, it is that they should clean up after them and that it can be done with minimal effort.

    Police horses in Washington D.C.

    I rest my case.

  43. #43
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    While I hate the damage the beasts do to the trails, I always get the hell out of the way when I see them coming. No interest in getting kicked anywhere by one of them or having them rear up and buck the rider off. I would feel really bad if that happened, even though i wouldn't exactly consider it 'my fault'. Most of the horse riders I've come across have been mutually respectful though there have been the odd cowboy macho d-bag over the years. They are on top of a very heavy, strong, unpredictable animal...and they do have their right to be out there on the trails. I think we should try to get along because neither group is going away. (So many problems in the world could be improved by recognizing the 'other group' are human beings just like 'our group')
    Slocaus, I wish I lived in your area...Sounds like bike/horse rider utopia!!!

  44. #44
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    I agree with everyone on the poop/potholes/poop filled potholes

    In Nashville we lost one of our best trails to the horse people and I cannot stand it!

    It was the same bs that is always used erosion/spooking horses. There is a group of riders fighting it now but as someone above mentioned the park is in a very wealthy neighborhood, and I think that not allowing bikes also keeps poor people out of their park.

  45. #45
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    I agree with everyone on the poop/potholes/poop filled potholes

    In Nashville we lost one of our best trails to the horse people and I cannot stand it!

    It was the same bs that is always used erosion/spooking horses. There is a group of riders fighting it now but as someone above mentioned the park is in a very wealthy neighborhood, and I think that not allowing bikes also keeps poor people out of their park.

  46. #46
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    Thankfully I ride on trails where horses aren't allowed. I did once ride a trail that was multi-use and though I did not come across any horses it was once of the worst trails I have ever been on. It was flat and clear and wide and relatively rock/root free but it was in such horrible shape from the hoof marks it might as well been a technical rock garden.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by joehspicer@msn.com
    Do you really hate horses on tha trail that much or was it a joke?

    rules are rules, if any of you see a horse on the trail they have right of way not you, and if theres a blind corner, take it slow enough so that you can come to a quick stop

    i absolutely hate horses sometimes, especially when i went to wales 2 weeks ago and found all the local trails ruined by horses riding them in the wet, but theres nothing the rider or owner can do to "train" the horse not to spook, its a reflex reaction.... if you looked up and saw something flying towards you fast, your not just gonna stand there and look dumb, you flinch yes?
    same thing in a horses case

    so stop complaining about poorly trained horses and their riders, and why dont you just go out on the trail and enjoy them and have a chat to the rider

    and i really doubt any of you actually have a go at the riders like some people say they do. You might tell everyone on here that you do, where nobody can see you or shout back, you can make youself look all big and mr important behind a screen, but either way, thats just pathetic
    We call it hyperbole and I only use it when I really need it.

    I will never understand this mentality and it is just...ugh...everywhere. Yeah rules...are rules, I get that. Doesn't make them right.

    Take blind corners slow,yes, thank you for your insight but it toally misses the point. We aren't talking about the OP anymore if you haven't noticed. This thread has digressed into general disdain for horses as they all do.

    But, saying that horses are unpredictable and dangerous is not an argument to support that we should be more careful around them. Us being more careful around them is a result of them being dangerous. You know, in Maryland and many other places, they banned smoking in bars because they didn't feel it was fair to expect normal people, who are damaging their bodies just the same with alcohol, to have to endure someone else's smoke. A danger they could not share the same space with and avoid at the same time. I submit that this is a similar situation.

    Of course the argument to the smoking ban was that people should just not go to the bars where people smoke. So, right or wrong, my point is that rules were rules and people could smoke, someone decided it was wrong to subject others to it and got it kicked out. The rules changed. If smokers could somehow guarentee that they were insulating their smoke from the other patrons they would still be allowed to smoke indoors today. But they can't. And you know what, as much as I felt it was wrong at the time, I like it much better this way and the majority of people seem to also.

    Tellign me that rules are rules and I should just get in line like everyone else is ignorant and lazy.

    And I have never told a lie about an enoucnter with a horse.

  48. #48
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    [QUOTE=MisterC]
    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyMtnBikeHer

    oh come on. if there is one thing that is simple about this discussion, that should be a no-brainer, it is that they should clean up after them and that it can be done with minimal effort.
    I agree. It is just a matter of hopping off the horse and kicking the crap off to the side of the trail or carry a small trail shovel and heave the trail apples up into the woods. If I ever had my dog on a trail and he dumped ON the trail I would at least move it off the trail a distance to prevent someone from riding/walking/falling in it. I have a feeling though that getting down off a horse to clean up poo is not something the majesties feel is their duty. I say this even being a horse owner though my g/f is the one that rides. She rides on horse ONLY trails and not trails that were stolen from mountain bikers.

  49. #49
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    FREE Clue to all equestrians

    Do Trail Work
    Train Your Horse
    Pick up the Mess

    then you will have earned the right to use the trails
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    I used to ride to Win ... Now I ride to Grin

    While my guitar gently weeps, my bike sits there mocking me

  50. #50
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    mmmmm horses...
    http://www.metro.ca/recettes/46/horse-meat.en.html

    goes well with belgium beer...
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    build trail!

  51. #51
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    Hey saddLLP,

    I ride Cheseboro a lot and have had great interactions with horseriders. Of course, there were a few that were less than positive. And that's not because they were equestrians. It's because the people were *******s. Most riders thank me for stopping and tell me to have a nice ride. Other riders even requested me to keep going, either because their horses were cool with bikes, or because they were acquainting their horses to other trail users.

    Thanks for your post, I'm sure a lot more people appreciate it than it seems. See you at the trails.

  52. #52
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    Yes sir, that's my baby

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    To me it sounded like you were trying to make a funny at my expense. If that was not your intent then I am sorry.
    I'd take a jab at that, but you seem to be doing alright on your own.
    Slow-core. -.. .-. .. -. -.- .... --- -- . -... .-. . .--

  53. #53
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    The problems between the equestrians and bikers/hikers in my local community are due to the attitude of the equestrians towards other users. They believe they have the right to use all trails, even trails designated hike'n'bike only, and contribute to little or no maintenance of the trails they ride. Their vehicle completely destroys the land while littering the trails with piles of manure that they don't care to pick up.

    Our local club has volunteered hundreds upon hundreds of hours worth of trail design to the equestrians as well as helping them cut in their very own trails and we *still* have to remind them to stay off the bike'n'hike only trails.

    Their blatant disregard for park trail rules and regulations is getting them dangerously close to being banned at a local county park. A park that has seen our organization rehab old rogue trails, lay out and cut in new trail, and book the Midwest Mountain Bike Fest for 2011 & 2012.

    If it wasn't for completely disregarding the park ranger's rules they wouldn't be in any trouble but their sense of entitlement and smug attitude is doing much more harm than good.
    Last edited by jimithng23; 08-14-2009 at 12:42 PM.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by joehspicer@msn.com

    i absolutely hate horses sometimes, especially when i went to wales 2 weeks ago and found all the local trails ruined by horses riding them in the wet, but theres nothing the rider or owner can do to "train" the horse not to spook, its a reflex reaction.... if you looked up and saw something flying towards you fast, your not just gonna stand there and look dumb, you flinch yes?
    same thing in a horses case
    If what you are saying was really true, they don't belong on trails with other users AT ALL.

    They teach horses to ignore gunshots and cannonballs, police horses also don't spook all the time. Sure they can be trained to be calmer around such events, it just takes work. Are the equestrians going to do what is required to not present a hazard to other trail users, or are they just going to take the lazy route?


    and i really doubt any of you actually have a go at the riders like some people say they do. You might tell everyone on here that you do, where nobody can see you or shout back, you can make youself look all big and mr important behind a screen, but either way, thats just pathetic
    Most of my horse-enslaver encounters come and go with no problems, both parties are nice and respectfull. That doesn't mean that the bad ones don't happen or that we don't exchange some words. I've had encounters where people freaked out because I was a few hundred yards back and riding to them. Well, sorry, but I'm going to ride to within a reasonable distance and pull off there, so shouting and waving isn't really going to do much good. Then there's the ones where you are traveling at a good clip and stop well before the horse and it still starts spooking. I usually let the equestrians know that I'm in control of my vehicle/bike and that I stopped well in front of them.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  55. #55
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    The sense of entitlement that equestrians seem to have will ultimatley be their undoing . How many have you seen pitching in on trail work days? Land managers are aware of the inequities in volunteer hours donated by different user groups .When pressed on these issues volunteer hours many times sway decisions in funding , trail access etc.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoke2
    FREE Clue to all equestrians

    Do Trail Work
    Train Your Horse
    Pick up the Mess

    then you will have earned the right to use the trails
    They earn the "right" to keep usurping our public lands by being generally well-off, having enough leisure time and arrogance to influence land management boards, and having a bunch of anti-human eco-nazis, like Sierra Club, who are oblivious to the fact that cycling is far less damaging, on their side.

    We have been far too accommodating to their arrogance for far too long.

  57. #57
    I'm just messing with you
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimithng23
    Their blatant disregard for park trail rules and regulations is getting them dangerously close to being banned at a local county park.
    Yeah, give the horsers time to hear about it, and a quick wave of cash under the politician's noses will make it all go away.

    No, I'm not a cynic, just old enough to know how things work.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  58. #58
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    I think horses should require blinders when on trails shared with bikers. The horse does not have to see anything but in front of it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blinders Gives an example of driving horses using them so the horse does not spook as easily. It would make the trails a safer place by restricting the animals vision and allowing the rider to control the animal. I guess the equestrians would not like to always put them on their horses for rides.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rushan
    I think horses should require blinders when on trails shared with bikers.
    And a poop bag.

    It is nothing new. Blinders and poop bags had been used for centuries when we had to share our cities with horses.

  60. #60
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    The Lion Sleeps Tonight

    Quote Originally Posted by perttime

    Never mention the following on mtbr:
    - horses
    - dogs
    - guns
    Google Image Search for above:


    Add hot women mountain bikers to the above list.
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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimithng23
    The problems between the equestrians and bikers/hikers in my local community are due to the attitude of the equestrians towards other users. They believe they have the right to use all trails, even trails designated hike'n'bike only, and contribute to little or no maintenance of the trails they ride. .
    Same is happening here but not all the equestrians are mean, just a few. Any way I never had a problem with equestrians but I know they don't like to share the trails... I always try to follow this guidences and they seems to work for me... (Book: Mountain Biking Northern California: a guide to low impact riding on singletrack trails.)

    Minimizing Trail Conflicts...

    It takes more than one person to cause a conflict, so here are some ideas for all trail users to help decrease the severity and amount of conflicts on singletracks.

    The first thing that we must do is check our attitudes. We must not judge others who use the trail. Regardless of the manner in which they use the trail, they are basically out there to enjoy nature and to enjoy their sport, whether it be hiking, backpacking, horse riding, or mountain biking. These forms of trail use have been shown to be similar in impact, and are all valid ways in which people enjoy natural areas.

    All trail users are responsible for being alert and for watching and listening for others. But the faster that a trail user is moving, the more alert that user needs to be. Headphones, loud conversations, and daydreaming contribute to a loss of alertness.

    All trail users should stay to the right of the trail. This allows people to approach and pass each other easily, and removes any indecision about the proper side on which to pass.

    Faster users should slow down when approaching blind curves so as to not surprise a user on the other side. Sometimes this requires a much slower speed than the customary 5 MPH. In general, you are riding too fast if:

    -you must slide your tires to stop or slow down when you are surprised by the presence of other trail users.

    -other trail users seem nervous as you approach.

    -you cannot look up and smile at other trail users as you pass.

    -you feel out of control.

    Faster users should take care so as to avoid throwing dust or mud onto other users.

    Uphill mountain bikers usually have right-of-way over downhill riders. (It is hard to get going again after stopping on an uphill climb.) The rider of the cliff-side of a trail usually has right-of-way over the rider on the bank-side of a trail. (The rider on the bank-side can easily lean on the bank, allowing the rider on the cliff side to safely pass.)

    Hikers and equestrians have right-of-way over mountain bikers. This means that you should stop and move your bike to the side of the trail or off the trail, if necessary, before hikers and equestrians feel compelled to do so. Horses feel more comfortable when you are below them rather than above them. Talk to the horses as they approach. It doesn't have to be anything intelligent; just use a soothing voice. If you approach hikers and equestrians from behind, let them know that you are approaching before you get so close that you frighten them. You may have to wait until equestrians have found a wide place, have moved their horses off the trail, and have turned the horses around so that they may see you. Please be patient! Horses vary a lot in their responses to mountain bikers. More experienced horses may pay no attention to you. Less experienced horses may panic easily. Follow the instructions of the rider.

    Trail users need to get used to (desensitized) other trail users. This will decrease fear. It is interesting to note that bicyclists are not afraid of other bicyclists, and that hikers are not afraid of other hikers, and that equestrians are not afraid of other equestrians. The more we know of each other, the less we fear each other. Concentrate on similarities -- not differences.

    We are all out there for the same reasons: To enjoy nature, and to enjoy what we are doing...

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddLLP
    Anytime you see a horse and rider, slow down and talk. They need to hear a voice to know you are human. If we see you, we will stop and let you pass. Just give us a minute to get the horse's rear end away from your head, okay???? We all have the same idea of fun, we just ride different vehicles. Thanks! Happy trails, SaddLLP
    Make sense to me...

  63. #63
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    Hereís my horse encounter story from last weekend Ė Bear Brook, NH.

    Iím first in the group of riders. Come flying down the trail, super dense foliage, rocky rooty single track Ötrail not suitable for horses. So Iím shocked to see the 3 equestrians coming our way as I fly around a corner, but do stop a good 15 feet in front of them, everybody stops behind me as I give a warning, we dismount and stand to the side of this incredible tight trail. I say hello to the horse, First horse is FREAKING OUT, second horse is FREAKING out, third horse is FREAKING out. But we are all stopped and on the side of the trail off the bikes. The fist equestrian cannot get her horse to move forward as itís stomping its hooves. I decide to talk to the horse in a friendly tone and let him know that Iím not a horse eating alien. This seems to work (kind of )and the first horse reluctantly stomps half kicking by us up the trail. Second horse, again it wonít respond to its riderís commands, so I start up again in a soft tone. ďitís ok horsy, come on, letís go.Ē And this is the part that pisses me off- the second equestrian says to me- quote ďSHUT UP, my horse has never seen bikers before this is her first time out!Ē Now at this point I really wanted to get into a open dialogue about her I.Q. level and explain to her that where they were heading was not suitable for horsesÖ also wanted to state that they were on a popular BIKING trail and they would encounter other riders in worse terrain as they further on, basically tell her that they should stop playing Louis& Clark and turn around!Ö.. but the horse was really freaking out, there was nowhere for us to go, I did care about the riderís safetyÖ so I kept my mouth shut, stepped into the pucker brushes as far as I could go, used my bike as a shield for the kicking massive beast that finally went galloping by on his own terms. Third horse again went running by us with the half kicks, it was kind of scary, since the previous year I witnessed a horse actually go after and kick other biker as he stood to the far side (on a jeep road), the horses foot got caught up on the bike, and then the horse proceeded to stomp into the woods with bike still attached!, it was crazy!

    so yeah anyways... I just thought a would share my recent horse encounter.
    Been there, done that... don't remember it.
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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTR4EVR
    Make sense to me...
    poop.

    that is all.

  65. #65
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    GEEEEEEZZZZZZZZ! You people are wound up tight aren't you!
    How about this! Make up flyers advertising local trail work days, carry a few with you and hand them to horseback riders. Be as friendly as possible and maybe just maybe some of them will help! On occasion they do, I know of one(not me) and she does a lot of work!
    Don't get your panties in a bunch!
    Ok I do agree on the poop bag, happy now?
    DirtyMtnBikeHer
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  66. #66
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    Ahhhhh...like slipping in to a warm bath.

    Also, putting up flyers is littering. Are you telling me to litter?

  67. #67
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    I have a good friend who had her back broken because of a horse on the trail. The thing that gets me is it was during an adventure race... that everyone knew about. Why the hell were they on the trails that day? The race was specifically in that park... only that park... only those trails... ... why??? Because horse riders are arrogant selfish lazy people... at least around here they are. They drop crap everywhere and their 1000 lb animals destroy the trails and we as bikers get blamed for it. They then turn around and use the damage they caused that is being blamed on us to get us kicked off of the trails... THAT WE BUILT!!! If that was not enough they are now ILLEGALLY riding their horses on the trials of our mountain bike only park. Its just for us so we dont bother them on the multi-use trails and they still have to use it and destroy it. I feel no compassion for horse riders... forcing a horse to hoof it up some of the nasty trails around here with their large butts on them while kicking them in the ribs with metal spikes... nope.... dont care what they have to say.. they have burned a bridge that I will not try to rebuild until I see them accepting their part of the blame... instead of pushing it off on us...seriously... how the hell does a mountain bike tire make 55 hoof prints in one 10 square foot area...HOW???

    the pot has been restirred.

  68. #68
    oh Lucky me
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    Quote Originally Posted by notaknob
    Google Image Search for above:


    Add hot women mountain bikers to the above list.

    WTF is that???

    a chow shaved up to look like a lion...poor dog
    ...Dying is the easy part, its living that's the challenge...

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    They earn the "right" to keep usurping our public lands by being generally well-off, having enough leisure time and arrogance to influence land management boards, and having a bunch of anti-human eco-nazis, like Sierra Club, who are oblivious to the fact that cycling is far less damaging, on their side.

    We have been far too accommodating to their arrogance for far too long.
    again, I agree w/ the 'curmudgeon' (what's wrong w/ me? )
    I haven't had issues w/ horse riders on the trails or the DG park here in Chico, CA....but the attempted shutting down of disc-golf in Upper Bidwell was done by "a bunch of anti-human eco-nazis" AKA "friends of bidwell". They are also often 'well off' and 'well-connected'.
    A group that was also said we did damage. - More than MTBrs?, more than horses?, more than the bulldozers that plowed their way through natural vegetation (within old park boundaries - converse to the annexed portion to include the DG course) to make an 18-hole ball-golf course??
    Damage!!?? to trails, vegetation, landscape, will always fit what power's that be definition.
    Asphalt in a protected park is ok...disc golf is not.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  70. #70
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    Most of them are women...

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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    again, I agree w/ the 'curmudgeon' (what's wrong w/ me? )
    I haven't had issues w/ horse riders on the trails or the DG park here in Chico, CA....but the attempted shutting down of disc-golf in Upper Bidwell was done by "a bunch of anti-human eco-nazis" AKA "friends of bidwell". They are also often 'well off' and 'well-connected'.
    A group that was also said we did damage. - More than MTBrs?, more than horses?, more than the bulldozers that plowed their way through natural vegetation (within old park boundaries - converse to the annexed portion to include the DG course) to make an 18-hole ball-golf course??
    Damage!!?? to trails, vegetation, landscape, will always fit what power's that be definition.
    Asphalt in a protected park is ok...disc golf is not.
    Yeah there is a bunch of wackos around here (in Chico/Oroville) who think they have all authority on trail management...

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by notaknob
    Google Image Search for above:


    Add hot women mountain bikers to the above list.
    What a lion....

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterC
    Ahhhhh...like slipping in to a warm bath.

    Also, putting up flyers is littering. Are you telling me to litter?

    I did NOT say to put up flyers I said to hand them out...probably at the parking lot so they had someplace to put them would be best...or just be casual and mention it! Or be an asshat it's up to you but remember our individual actions speak for a whole group!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyMtnBikeHer

    I did NOT say to put up flyers I said to hand them out...probably at the parking lot so they had someplace to put them would be best...or just be casual and mention it! Or be an asshat it's up to you but remember our individual actions speak for a whole group!
    So I can hang them up where they become litter or I can hand them to horseback riders where they become litter.

    Decisions, decisions...

    I do like the idea though. Hand them a flyer that says,

    "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them clean up the piles of **** they leave all over the trail."

    Or

    "Put that thousand pound beast you ride all day where she belongs, in the kitchen cooking dinner for the kids. Oh, and nice horse."

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    again, I agree w/ the 'curmudgeon' (what's wrong w/ me? )
    That's OK, that had happened to the best of us...

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    To me it sounded like you were trying to make a funny at my expense. If that was not your intent then I am sorry.
    yup - i was making a lame joke and it came off all wrong. No worries
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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterC
    So I can hang them up where they become litter or I can hand them to horseback riders where they become litter.

    Decisions, decisions...

    I do like the idea though. Hand them a flyer that says,

    "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them clean up the piles of **** they leave all over the trail."

    Or

    "Put that thousand pound beast you ride all day where she belongs, in the kitchen cooking dinner for the kids. Oh, and nice horse."




    I am not getting a break today am I?? I just am trying to say we represent a whole group so think about that!!! Geez!
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    WOW!!! I am embarrassed to call myself a mountain biker right now. I must apologize to all equestrians out there on behalf of these "top shelf " mountain bikers. I am running into more and more of these types everyday. Most are too cool to even give a friendly wave to another biker... thus the misguide rants toward equestrians. Again, my deepest apologizes. enjoy the ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by classiccanadianblizzard
    WOW!!! I am embarrassed to call myself a mountain biker right now. I must apologize to all equestrians out there on behalf of these "top shelf " mountain bikers. I am running into more and more of these types everyday. Most are too cool to even give a friendly wave to another biker... thus the misguide rants toward equestrians. Again, my deepest apologizes. enjoy the ride



    Thank you! I like you!
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    Quote Originally Posted by classiccanadianblizzard
    WOW!!! I am embarrassed to call myself a mountain biker right now. I must apologize to all equestrians out there on behalf of these "top shelf " mountain bikers. I am running into more and more of these types everyday. Most are too cool to even give a friendly wave to another biker... thus the misguide rants toward equestrians. Again, my deepest apologizes. enjoy the ride
    Yeah, I'm sorry that your self esteem is so fragile that you need my aprobation to feel good about riding a bike.

    But something tells me you aren't a mountain biker, whatever that is.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoke2
    FREE Clue to all equestrians

    Do Trail Work
    Train Your Horse
    Pick up the Mess

    then you will have earned the right to use the trails
    EXACTLY.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyMtnBikeHer
    I am not getting a break today am I?? I just am trying to say we represent a whole group so think about that!!! Geez!
    I guess I need to say out loud that I have no intention of getting militant or sabotaging the enjoyment of equestrians on the trails. I just hate them is all. Oh, and I have logic, reason and ethics on my side as well.

    So there is that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterC
    Yeah, I'm sorry that your self esteem is so fragile that you need my aprobation to feel good about riding a bike.

    But something tells me you aren't a mountain biker, whatever that is.




    something tells me you are an ahole!
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTR4EVR
    Same is happening here but not all the equestrians are mean, just a few. Any way I never had a problem with equestrians but I know they don't like to share the trails... I always try to follow this guidences and they seems to work for me... (Book: Mountain Biking Northern California: a guide to low impact riding on singletrack trails.)

    Minimizing Trail Conflicts...

    It takes more than one person to cause a conflict, so here are some ideas for all trail users to help decrease the severity and amount of conflicts on singletracks.

    The first thing that we must do is check our attitudes. We must not judge others who use the trail. Regardless of the manner in which they use the trail, they are basically out there to enjoy nature and to enjoy their sport, whether it be hiking, backpacking, horse riding, or mountain biking. These forms of trail use have been shown to be similar in impact, and are all valid ways in which people enjoy natural areas.

    All trail users are responsible for being alert and for watching and listening for others. But the faster that a trail user is moving, the more alert that user needs to be. Headphones, loud conversations, and daydreaming contribute to a loss of alertness.

    All trail users should stay to the right of the trail. This allows people to approach and pass each other easily, and removes any indecision about the proper side on which to pass.

    Faster users should slow down when approaching blind curves so as to not surprise a user on the other side. Sometimes this requires a much slower speed than the customary 5 MPH. In general, you are riding too fast if:

    -you must slide your tires to stop or slow down when you are surprised by the presence of other trail users.

    -other trail users seem nervous as you approach.

    -you cannot look up and smile at other trail users as you pass.

    -you feel out of control.

    Faster users should take care so as to avoid throwing dust or mud onto other users.

    Uphill mountain bikers usually have right-of-way over downhill riders. (It is hard to get going again after stopping on an uphill climb.) The rider of the cliff-side of a trail usually has right-of-way over the rider on the bank-side of a trail. (The rider on the bank-side can easily lean on the bank, allowing the rider on the cliff side to safely pass.)

    Hikers and equestrians have right-of-way over mountain bikers. This means that you should stop and move your bike to the side of the trail or off the trail, if necessary, before hikers and equestrians feel compelled to do so. Horses feel more comfortable when you are below them rather than above them. Talk to the horses as they approach. It doesn't have to be anything intelligent; just use a soothing voice. If you approach hikers and equestrians from behind, let them know that you are approaching before you get so close that you frighten them. You may have to wait until equestrians have found a wide place, have moved their horses off the trail, and have turned the horses around so that they may see you. Please be patient! Horses vary a lot in their responses to mountain bikers. More experienced horses may pay no attention to you. Less experienced horses may panic easily. Follow the instructions of the rider.

    Trail users need to get used to (desensitized) other trail users. This will decrease fear. It is interesting to note that bicyclists are not afraid of other bicyclists, and that hikers are not afraid of other hikers, and that equestrians are not afraid of other equestrians. The more we know of each other, the less we fear each other. Concentrate on similarities -- not differences.

    We are all out there for the same reasons: To enjoy nature, and to enjoy what we are doing...
    What the? HTR4EVR, are you making this stuff up? That's not all about ME and what I want! All trails are for me, screw everybody else!

    I know it sounds funny, especially in the context of this thread, but I'm thankful the U.S.F.S. saw fit to include us in the same category as equestrians and hikers, and remove us from the ATV / Moto category. Here's the rub, contained in the same language that gives us the privilege to join the equestrian, hiker user group it states that user conflicts will be examined on a trail by trail basis. Their not talking about equestrian-vs-hiker. Our access is up to us. Like it or not equestrians and hikers are the 500lb gorillas of the trails, they won't lose their access, make it tough for them on the trails, and we will.

    Oh, and when it comes to the post holes and poop, do I like it? No! But a few decades ago I said to myself "Man-Up and deal with it Shelbak, it's all part of mountain biking."
    Last edited by Shelbak73; 08-16-2009 at 06:57 PM.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyMtnBikeHer


    something tells me you are a genius!
    ftfy

    and thank you

  86. #86
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    So now we have mtbers turning on each other . Its little wonder that the mtb community cannot make aliances with other user groups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by classiccanadianblizzard
    WOW!!! I am embarrassed to call myself a mountain biker right now. I must apologize to all equestrians out there on behalf of these "top shelf " mountain bikers. I am running into more and more of these types everyday. Most are too cool to even give a friendly wave to another biker... thus the misguide rants toward equestrians. Again, my deepest apologizes. enjoy the ride
    Word!

  88. #88
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    Hey, if there were skateboarders in here sympathizing with poop factories I'd be turning on them too. No bigotry here, no sir.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    So now we have mtbers turning on each other . Its little wonder that the mtb community cannot make aliances with other user groups.


    I apologize for my part....I really don't care if people talk to me I just want all trail users to be curtious (which does not mean you have to talk about the weather)!
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  90. #90
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    No sympathy here, just the realization that we have to share the trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyMtnBikeHer
    I apologize for my part....I really don't care if people talk to me I just want all trail users to be curtious (which does not mean you have to talk about the weather)!
    Hey! We want the same thing!

    I knew you were smart for thinking I was smart. Well played.

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    Can't we all just get along??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
    Can't we all just get along??

    My point excactly

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    Ok, fine. Post count +1 Whee!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbak73
    Like it or not equestrians and hikers are the 500lb gorillas of the trails, they won't lose their access, make it tough on them and we will.
    This assumption is not getting us anywhere. Horses are destructive and dangerous and they should lose access. Sooner or later that will happen. Bending over is not helping us - that is quite clear.

    This is our public land, bought on our tax dollars, cycling is less dangerous and destructive then horse riding and we should be assertive in our rights.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyMtnBikeHer
    I apologize for my part....I really don't care if people talk to me I just want all trail users to be curtious (which does not mean you have to talk about the weather)!
    Being curteous during an encounter has nothing to do with being realistic about this group of users, about their impact and motivation.

    I am Mr. Congeniality with any person on a trail. But I do despise equestrian lies and politics that keep me out from a whole lot of public parks and lands that my taxes paid for. I do despise their crap on local park trails, their poorly trained horses that endanger my children, and I do despise their attitude.

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    So, I hate to keep one of these debate threads going unnecessarily, but I've been reading this with real interest. I happen not to ride in a place with lots of equestrian traffic, and while I've backpacked in areas in which I've encountered horses on trails, I don't have sufficient experience to comment on the general/average attitudes that characterize equestrian trail users as a group.

    It sounds to me like there are two categories of gripes being voiced by folks in the MTB community regarding velo-equine relations. First, if I understand things, it sounds like some bikers resent the fact that they (and everyone else, as well) are expected to defer to equestrians, combined with the perception that equestrians display a sense of entitlement and/or superiority.

    The second category involves the perception that equestrians are frequently "free-riders", in the "cheater" sense (not the saddle-less sense ). That is, the perception is that horses do more than their fair share of damage to the trails, and that equestrians do less-than their fair share of work to maintain trails (plus display an attitude of entitlement on top of that, making it even more offensive). On top of this, horses pollute the trails in a way that imposes a bunch of sh*tt*ness on other trail users (literally), negatively impacts the ecology of wilderness areas, and makes a mess.

    Did I get this right in terms of the different categories of complaints?

    If so, for present purposes I'd like to skip the issue raised by the first category (since folks could go round and round about who should defer to whom, etc). However, as somebody who doesn't [yet] have strong feelings one way or another regarding these issues, I guess I'd really like to hear comments from equestrians out there regarding the second category. What do you have to say about the extent to which equestrians are doing their share, by comparison with other groups, to "pay" for their trail use? In addition, what do you have to say about the fact that your vehicles leave so much fecal matter on trails and in wilderness areas? It does sound a bit like crickets chirping (i.e. silence) coming from equestrians on this issue.

    Comments equestrians?

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    The horse people around here have almost completely ruined a trail system that was built by the MMBA. The only people that do trail upkeep are the mountain bikers. I forget the acreage of the area....4000 maybe but the horse people seem to only use the small amount set aside for bikers. I'm not all that thrilled about horse damage but at the moment it's a stalemate situation. I can handle riding through and around crap but when the equestrians have the nerve to trim the canopy on the singletrack and leave the debris in the middle of the trail, I get really pissed. That's unexcusable.

  99. #99
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    Money

    I'm ambivalent about horses.

    On one hand I've been driven off of a fireroad by two riders horses at full gallop that never bothered to slow down. On the other hand they're mighty tasty on a pizza with Ruccolo if they're seasoned properly.

    That frivolty out of the way, I've noticed the government has a method of categorizing just about anything in a cost-based manner. The Forest Service/BLM will determine the amount of impact for each user and then charge accordingly when possible.

    As an example, in 2000 the Valles Caldera Preservation Act created the Valles Caldera National Preserve, which has to produce a sustaining income. I refer to it as "pay-to-play-after-you've-already-payed" on government owned land. The Valles Caldera is managed by the US Forest Service

    • If you want to ride a horse in Valles Caldera, it costs $20 per horse.
    • If you want to ride a mountain bike, it costs $10 per rider.

    Based upon the use charges above, bikes create less impact upon the land than horses.

    Rant on all you want about pluses, minuses, death, taxes and crap on a stick but it is this type of artifact that is useful in displaying the impact of different users in a National Preserve/Forest.
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    This is coming from a long time mountain biker and a horse trainer. Ive done both equally for a long time. And both are very fun. A little tip for you Mtn. biker guys: The horse guys get the hot chicks! Get a hottie on a horse and your in like Flint! It works 9 times out of 9.5! (don't ask) Ok, it didn't work on the midget. Oh sh!t, did I just say that?

    Anyway, all you guys are a bunch of wussie winers! All I hear is, horses this, horses that, mountain bikers this, mountain bikers that! You sound like your crying to you mommies. Grow up! We all have the right to be out there. But if the trails are going to be taken away, it will be taken away from us mountain bikers. The horses have had the trails, for literally, thousands of years, no one is going to take them away from the horses. And believe me, 95% of the horse people, don't want to have the trails taken away from anyone. They are affraid they will be next. They're not stupid people.

    So my suggestion, in biking, horseback riding and in life in general is to: Go into each and every situation with the attitude that at the back end of that situation, you can hold your head up high, and have respect for yourself, knowing you did your best to do the right thing. And knowing that the others around you, respect you because you did your best to do the right thing. Yeah, sometimes you'll run across a fresh poop. Big deal! If you ride your bike through it, it's your own fault. And yeah, sometimes someone will come around the corner and scare you and your horse. Big deal! Don't ride your horse on a public trail untill it's ready for it. Yep, you have to slow down on your bike from time to time, big deal. Yep, you'll have to pull the pony over to let a bike by, big deal. It all sounds pretty equal to me! So just get over it and have fun! That's what it's all about. For all you people winning to your mommies, I am sure she told you that if you have nothing positive to say, then don't say anything. My mom told me to go for a ride and dont come back until I had a positive attitude. I had to do a lot of riding, but it eventually works!

    P.S. I almost forgot: No mater what, there is always going to be that one a$$hole. You just have to deal with that the best you can. I suggest the horse and Mtn bike people getting together and dragging him/her for a mile or two!

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