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  1. #1
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    Why I hate horses

    This is one of the many reasons I hate horses. Why I hate horses-image.jpgWhy I hate horses-image.jpg

    I've put years of work into this trail and some horses.... rider decides he needs to take his gazillion pound horse and tear the... Um, make a huge mess out of the trail. They sit on their high horses and don't care that it is muddy because their stupid horse is the one that has to deal with the mud, not the idiot on the horse. Sorry about the rant, but man, it makes me mad.

    Here are another picture from a new section of the trail.

    Why I hate horses-image.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Why I hate horses-image.jpg  

    Why I hate horses-image.jpg  


  2. #2
    zrm
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    No doubt in my mind that horses have the most impact of the non motorized users, but I can give you plenty of photos of MTB impacts that are just as unacceptable as what you've posted.

  3. #3
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    Recently in europe lots of people got tired of their horses and made lasagna and meatball out of them, big scandal all over europe and the uk. So I guess youre not alone hating them.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    I can give you plenty of photos of MTB impacts that are just as unacceptable as what you've posted.
    I imagine that is true. I just have never personally seen as much damage from a mountain bike as from a horse.

    The worst example I can think of from horses is in the High Uintahs is on the trail to King's Peak (highest point in Utah). There is a little stream coming out of Dollar Lake. The horseback riders have turned that area in to a huge quagmire that is impossible to cross without sinking deep into the mud.

    I guess the biggest bur under my saddle is that the horses are allowed into the wilderness area where they destroy the wilderness, yet bikes are not allowed. Mountain bikers and equestrians can both be damaging, but from my experience mountain bikers pale in comparison to the equestrians. If your going to ban the bikes, ban the horses also. However I think with proper restrictions cross country mountain biking is very compatible with the wilderness philosophy.

  5. #5
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    ZRM I have yet to see an equestrian built horse trail destroyed by MTBR's. But then again I have never seen an equestrian build a trail.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABud View Post
    .But then again I have never seen an equestrian build a trail.
    Nail. Head.

    Maybe they'd appreciate it a bit more if they did.

    Also, don't hate horses. They go where they're told. Just like bikes. Take your beef to the irresponsible trail users, whatever their means of use may be.
    Go ride your bike.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sambs827 View Post
    Nail. Head.
    Also, don't hate horses. They go where they're told. Just like bikes. Take your beef to the irresponsible trail users, whatever their means of use may be.
    Yeah, but as I said it is one of MANY reasons I hate horses. We had a horse when I was a kid. I have plenty of things I hate about horses.

  8. #8
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    I've seen plenty of equestrian built trails. The first word I would use to describe them is unsustainable. The second word that comes to mind is unridable. The conditions of the trails are usually so bad you wouldn't want to ride it, but if you did, anyone saw you on them, they'd fuss at you about how bad you're tearing up their trails.

  9. #9
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    My experience: Horse riders cause more damage than any other non-motorized user group, including cows. Hikers are second... they will tromp down a soaked trail without a second thought. Newb bikers who believe those IMBA sanctioned mud commercials are third...
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  10. #10
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbeagle View Post
    I imagine that is true. I just have never personally seen as much damage from a mountain bike as from a horse.

    The worst example I can think of from horses is in the High Uintahs is on the trail to King's Peak (highest point in Utah). There is a little stream coming out of Dollar Lake. The horseback riders have turned that area in to a huge quagmire that is impossible to cross without sinking deep into the mud.

    I guess the biggest bur under my saddle is that the horses are allowed into the wilderness area where they destroy the wilderness, yet bikes are not allowed. Mountain bikers and equestrians can both be damaging, but from my experience mountain bikers pale in comparison to the equestrians. If your going to ban the bikes, ban the horses also. However I think with proper restrictions cross country mountain biking is very compatible with the wilderness philosophy.
    The prohibition of bicycles in designated wilderness has never been significantly about trail impacts.

  11. #11
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    My experience: Horse riders cause more damage than any other non-motorized user group, including cows. Hikers are second... they will tromp down a soaked trail without a second thought. Newb bikers who believe those IMBA sanctioned mud commercials are third...
    This is, IMO one of the biggest problems we have in MTB. That is that attitude that "such and such is worse than we are and we hardly have any impacts" How a particular user group impacts trails is a complex subject with a lot of variables. MTBs can be fairly benign, or tear the s**t out of trails. The same can be said of all other user groups.

    Since this is a MTB forum, I would suggest MTBers concentrate on what they can do to promote the best possible stewardship within their own group - something which is very much needed - before we blame all woes and problems on others.

  12. #12
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    i hate when people break bottles all over trails. why?

  13. #13
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    Why I hate horses-sign.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    I would suggest MTBers concentrate on what they can do to promote the best possible stewardship within their own group - something which is very much needed - before we blame all woes and problems on others.
    Maybe you have not built some exceptional single track only to be destroyed by an equestrian. If I build it and maintain it (trails don't sustain themselves, at least not in these parts) keep your livestock off my trails.

    However you must communicate or expect the consequences.

    And no my name is not Brian.

  14. #14
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    so what? He posted about horses wrecking a trail he has sweat into. Your photo collection has NOTHING to do with his pain. Start a new thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    No doubt in my mind that horses have the most impact of the non motorized users, but I can give you plenty of photos of MTB impacts that are just as unacceptable as what you've posted.

  15. #15
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    In spite of my rhetoric I do have a good relationship with equestrians within the park I have the privilege to build. They respect the signs and I advocate for their needs. We cannot alienate other users. For the most part the lazy bureaucrats would rather we all get off their land. We users must work together for access to OUR land. However that doesn't mean we share all trails.

  16. #16
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABud View Post
    In spite of my rhetoric I do have a good relationship with equestrians within the park I have the privilege to build. They respect the signs and I advocate for their needs. We cannot alienate other users. For the most part the lazy bureaucrats would rather we all get off their land. We users must work together for access to OUR land. However that doesn't mean we share all trails.
    All the bureaucrats that I work with are very hard working people who care about the land and care about people have the best possible experience when they are using it. They also have more people than just me wanting different things from them and they also have to work within whatever laws or statutes applies to the land their charged with managing. I'd lighten up a bit on the bureaucrats you hate so much.

    Other than that I agree with a lot of your post. Here we have more issues with motorized users not respecting the rules than equestrians. In fact in most places I've been, horse traffic is a pretty small segment of the trail user population and the numbers are small enough that it's not an issue at all. The exception is areas utilized by commercial stables who make an absolute mess of the trails they use.

    In my area though, the biggest problem on trails with heavy MTB use is irresponsible use by MTBers. That is: riding trails when wet, braiding trails around mud puddles or other obstacles, skidding and creating braking bumps into corners, shortcutting turns and switchbacks, creating illegal trails which makes us all look bad and makes working with land managers more difficult than it needs to be, not yielding to hikers or uphill riders, etc. Which isn't to say there isn't plenty of blame to go around amongst all the user groups, there are much more destructive recreational activities than even the worse MTB abuses, but this is an MTB forum and we have plenty of work to do policing ourselves before we go ranting about other users.

    Before you call me a hater or ask who's side I am on, I founded the Summit County CO MTB .org and I've devoted 20+ years of my life to working with land managers land owners, and other user groups to further MTB access, trail building & maintenance, and promoting good stewardship. On average over that time, I've probably volunteered 6 days a summer to organized trail projects (not counting prep on the ones where I've been on the organizing team) and many more to minor bits of work here and there like cutting out blow down or hiking with a pulaski cleaning drains. I designed some of the most iconic races courses in CO like the Firecracker 50, the Breck 100 and the Breck Epic. I used to make a living building trails and built some of the most well used - and legal - trails around Breckenridge. So I'd say I know a little bit about mountain biking and trails

    I've been around long enough to see quite clearly that MTBers can be their own worst enemy, especially when they blame everything that's a problem on everyone else but themselves. Back to my original point; yes, I know a horse can chew up a trail badly, but so can bikes and a lot of other things. Get over it and do what you can to fix the problem. Ranting about who and what you hate on an interwebz bike forum does nothing.
    Last edited by zrm; 03-19-2013 at 05:19 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABud View Post
    In spite of my rhetoric I do have a good relationship with equestrians within the park I have the privilege to build. They respect the signs and I advocate for their needs. We cannot alienate other users. For the most part the lazy bureaucrats would rather we all get off their land. We users must work together for access to OUR land. However that doesn't mean we share all trails.
    This is right on for my area! The local public land managers for the most part would rather not have their lands open to anyone! This does not mean that cyclists should have to voluntarily advocate and build trails to handle horses and motorcycles as well as hikers and cyclists. If the horse or motorcycle riders would like to use the trails they need to help make sure the trails can handle their use. Unfortunately most horse riders here think they are entitled to ride anywhere they would like and the motorcycles feel shut out so they just go out law and blast up any trail they can!
    It is way easer to build hiking and biking trails here so how do we get the horse and motor riders to put in the extra work to make trails hold up to their use?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    This is, IMO one of the biggest problems we have in MTB. That is that attitude that "such and such is worse than we are and we hardly have any impacts" How a particular user group impacts trails is a complex subject with a lot of variables. MTBs can be fairly benign, or tear the s**t out of trails. The same can be said of all other user groups.

    Since this is a MTB forum, I would suggest MTBers concentrate on what they can do to promote the best possible stewardship within their own group - something which is very much needed - before we blame all woes and problems on others.
    This thread is about horses. Stay on topic or start another thread.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbeagle View Post
    I imagine that is true. I just have never personally seen as much damage from a mountain bike as from a horse.

    The worst example I can think of from horses is in the High Uintahs is on the trail to King's Peak (highest point in Utah). There is a little stream coming out of Dollar Lake. The horseback riders have turned that area in to a huge quagmire that is impossible to cross without sinking deep into the mud.

    I guess the biggest bur under my saddle is that the horses are allowed into the wilderness area where they destroy the wilderness, yet bikes are not allowed. Mountain bikers and equestrians can both be damaging, but from my experience mountain bikers pale in comparison to the equestrians. If your going to ban the bikes, ban the horses also. However I think with proper restrictions cross country mountain biking is very compatible with the wilderness philosophy.
    I hate to see good work spoiled.

    I will lean on the bureaucrats, though.
    In our area, for the longest time, there were NO MTB trails. It was said, by the self-appointed environmentalists (and the status-quo bureaucrats), that MTB trails were unsustainable, couldn't be shared, cost too much, not enough interest, blah blah blah.
    In the mean time, absolutely NO STANDARDS were applied to equestrian trails (by the bureaucrats) and those trails were destroyed and rebuilt at great cost and resource expense on a yearly basis. The equestrian riders became used to that. They even raised money to help with maintenance.
    But the whole time, nobody (no bureaucrat) said "Don't ride horses on soft trails." So the attitude evolved that "Hey, if it gets torn up this year, we'll just pay the guy who fixes it to come back next year."
    I'm sure none of that kinda money gets into old mtbeagle's hands.

    Once MTB trails were allowed, I even went out and made a photo essay (which I do not have handy) to compare the rigorous standards set forth by the bureaucrats to qualify a MTB trail to the non-existent standards allowed for the torn up equestrian trails in the same park. The disparity was preposterous! Horse trails measured at 30 feet wide in places. Grades with free-flowing water running down the middle that would otherwise not even be there but for the trenched-out horse trail. Horse trail re-routes where one trench is created only yards parallel from the existing trench... er, I mean horse trail.
    Meanwhile, MTB trails had requirements for tread width, slope, proximity, corridor width, not to mention sight lines, pre-approved reroutes in the event that old hiking trails were being re-used or reclaimed by section, and speed-control features (which I'll admit are a necessity that horse trails probably do not need).

    The equestrian mentality was sooo different that the park eventually posted signs and finally trail cameras and issued citations to the horse riders who had that poor behavior and sense of entitlement ingrained. It is just starting to get better. But there haven't been any new horse trails because they are still closing the old crappy ones, and it has been determined that there are almost no more places to build sustainable new ones.
    MTBs, on the other hand, can be accommodated in many areas without over-saturation of trails and without damaging sensitive areas.

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  20. #20
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    We try to make our mtb trails unattractive to horse traffic by pruning low and narrow, and installing trail cattleguards in fence crossings at the average rate of 1 per .75 miles of trail. Trailheads have cattleguards at all entrances/exits. This makes the forest two tracks more attractive to equestrians, and is what horses should be restricted to, IMO. Horse damage is more like motor vehicle damage, maybe even worse, and I'm talking normal, and certainly legal, use here. They weigh 10 times as much as people, a thing you'll realize the first time one steps on your foot. They also tend to step in the same tracks, unlike cows, which mostly don't, so cow trails tend to be considerably smoother.

    All the bureaucrats I work with are on my side, which can also be a challenge at times.
    Last edited by bsieb; 03-19-2013 at 11:15 AM.
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  21. #21
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    Every user group is your enemy.

    Every user group is your friend.

    How you engage them and your resilience in engaging them will determine their long term impact on the goals and objectives you have for trails/access.

    I have parks I work in where:
    -MTB are the worst user group - riding in all conditions, especially freeze/thaw after snow & rain
    -Dogs+Walkers are the worst user group - they destroy the understory in high traffic areas destabilizing river banks and have killed birds, fox cubs, and other wild life in preserves and have attacked/bitten other users... its not the dog though it is their walkers
    -Hikers are the worst - trail braids and unwilling to use re-routes/open old lines
    -Horses are the worst - they go wherever in whatever conditions and don't listen to pleas for responsible use or help while post-holing miles of trail

    I do agree with ZRM, if we were a bit more responsible as a community we'd have more & better trail access. We are a new user group and even though we have just as many idiots as other user groups, our idiots get a disproportionate amount of the negative attention.

    I see it at certain parks where the local community is super self conscious, the Land Managers ask for more guidance from MTB and consider us a favorite user type...

  22. #22
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    It's not so much the horse but the irresponsible rider that allows this kind of damage, whether they are aware or not, education is key.

    Some horses can be put to good use..
    Why I hate horses-horse.jpg

  23. #23
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    ^^^That may be the largest horse poo I've ever seen. Good on them for packing it out.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    I've been around long enough to see quite clearly that MTBers can be their own worst enemy, especially when they blame everything that's a problem on everyone else but themselves.
    I have a slightly different take on this. Each group uses the worst case of the other for their argument. I can swap stupid dog walker-equestrian-hiker-runner-walker-mtb'ers stories ad nauseum. From that perspective I think it's a wash. I think it also important to appreciate that each user has a particular style of impact: a bike trail wears very differently than a hiker trail. That said, there are any number of studies concluding that feet and tires wear things about the same with throttled powered vehicles and horses being much harder on trails.

    Our worst enemy from the start are the arcane regulations which did not include Mtb and have been used to keep them out as something given, and the attitudes applied to the support of such thinking. People did not want change or people simply wanted to exclude us to keep their experience the way they want it.

    Two things have happened to change this:

    1. many of those, people are simply aging out of their sport and society.

    2. Our numbers have grown exponentially in the last 35 years, crossing many generations, and becoming a more accepted part of society.

    Meatheads, however, still abound. Yet here we are and it is getting better.
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  25. #25
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    The amount a damage a horse can inflict on a trail is so far beyond what a bike does it baffles me when comparisons are drawn between the two. Its like trying to have a logical discussion comparing the impact of a splattered egg vs an atomic blast.

    Ever see an equestrian doing trail work?

  26. #26
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    What a hypocrite the OP is. People with horses, building trails, were here way before mountain bikers. If it wasn't for horses riding and making trails, the OP wouldn't have a cozy little home in UT. Just work around it OP, it's not that difficult. You have to share this planet with everyone.

  27. #27
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    ^I'm perfectly willing to share the planet, just keep your horses off bike specific trails and other non-horse trails. There are lots of old trails around here that pre-date the horse in America. Using your logic horses should also be welcome on interstate highways and sidewalks. You sound like a motor head...
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  28. #28
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    The OP said nothing about, " bike specific trails or non-horse trails". I'm left to assume that it's a trail open to both bikes and horses, because the OP did not say otherwise.

    Don't you think it's quite a stretch for anyone to think that horses should be allowed on paved roads and sidewalks, using, "my logic"? I mean really, don't be stupid or try to make me look stupid. Horses were very instrumental in the colonization of the Western United States. So much so, that most of us with roots from the Western U.S., probably would never have been born if it weren't for that colonization. Horses were not instrumental in the development of modern paved roads, that we use today.

  29. #29
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    What about 'my little pony's' do you hate them too ? they do smell pretty bad, my lil sister had them as a kid, i really hated them...
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  30. #30
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    Like this one? This is hilarious!
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  31. #31
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    ^I must say that I have no idea what you are saying here. Are you saying horses belong everywhere because a distant ancestor of yours rode in on one, or is it just the hate of them that you hate? As a trail manager, I'm not hating on horses, I'm just being realistic, a thing that seems to have evaded you. In my area wild horses were once a scourge that eventually had to be euthanized.
    They destroyed a lot of beautiful country, just as cows have done and continue to do.
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  32. #32
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    ^ I guess reading comprehension isn't your strong point. Go back and read it till you understand. And start with the OP.

  33. #33
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    Mountain Cycle Shawn if you think riding a horse IS building a trail then we should give credit to deer, beaver, moose, elk, and buffalo. Currently (since the advent of the automobile) I see very little active SUSTAINABLE trail construction for multi use by the Equestrian Community (not some sort of parks department or government agency) built on public land. Yes Shawn you should give credit to the four legged predecessors but I do not see an active group of equestrians on the ground building and maintaining multi use trails. I do see equestrians absolutely roto tilling the fine work of our dedicated trail builders.

  34. #34
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    Not an uncommon sight in Southeast PA.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABud View Post
    Mountain Cycle Shawn if you think riding a horse IS building a trail then we should give credit to deer, beaver, moose, elk, and buffalo. Currently (since the advent of the automobile) I see very little active SUSTAINABLE trail construction for multi use by the Equestrian Community (not some sort of parks department or government agency) built on public land. Yes Shawn you should give credit to the four legged predecessors but I do not see an active group of equestrians on the ground building and maintaining multi use trails. I do see equestrians absolutely roto tilling the fine work of our dedicated trail builders.


    Many trails in use today were made by settlers coming west years ago on horses. The western U.S. would have taken many more decades to settle if it weren't for horses. Back then horses were the only mode of transportation.

    Listen, horses are never going to go away. The people who decide which trails we get to use will always side with the horse people over us. So, you can either learn to live with that fact and get along with them or you can decide not to live with it and continue to let it make you an angry person. It's your choice. I'm involved on both sides, So, I choose to get along and live with it. It's never bothered me to go down a bumpy trail, caused by horses.

  36. #36
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    The mountain biking community has been overburdened with trail sustainability requirements and mitigating environmental impact. The mountain bike community of trail builders have stepped up to meet these onerous challenges guided by the US Forrest Service and in large part IMBA who has improved, educated and advocated for low impact environmentally prudent trails. Understand I do not subscribe to most environmental doctrine but IMBA guides and oversees an army of us building mtb trails. We all are slowly gaining the confidence of pragmatic land managers. They (land managers) are beginning to see We (mtb trail builders) are putting forth a serious effort of our time and resources. In some cases they like the finished product. Some land managers recognize the destructive nature of a horse on a mtb/ hike trail and little effort from the equestrian community to build and maintain these multi use trails. It's this simple I don't build on existing horse trail, so horse rider stay off my trail. Times change MTB trail builders are becoming a large active force involved in the management of public land. I do not wish to see equestrians shut out of the land the way we are sometimes but they need to get involved and not expect the right to walk where ever they see fit.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABud View Post
    The mountain biking community has been overburdened with trail sustainability requirements and mitigating environmental impact. The mountain bike community of trail builders have stepped up to meet these onerous challenges guided by the US Forrest Service and in large part IMBA who has improved, educated and advocated for low impact environmentally prudent trails. Understand I do not subscribe to most environmental doctrine but IMBA guides and oversees an army of us building mtb trails. We all are slowly gaining the confidence of pragmatic land managers. They (land managers) are beginning to see We (mtb trail builders) are putting forth a serious effort of our time and resources. In some cases they like the finished product. Some land managers recognize the destructive nature of a horse on a mtb/ hike trail and little effort from the equestrian community to build and maintain these multi use trails. It's this simple I don't build on existing horse trail, so horse rider stay off my trail. Times change MTB trail builders are becoming a large active force involved in the management of public land. I do not wish to see equestrians shut out of the land the way we are sometimes but they need to get involved and not expect the right to walk where ever they see fit.
    ^^^This is really good.

    To MCShawn, yes, horses have their place.
    But in our area, what used to be horse trails are now main roads. Paved, with motor vehicle traffic, traffic signals, the whole 9 yards. And while yes, once in awhile a horse is seen being ridden down the road, they don't really belong there. They have every right to be there, and people accept that they can be there, but it's not the best place for them. It is the same with other trails and paths, with other users, with other conditions, etc. There is a better place for [insert user name here], built specifically for [same trail user], with features and construction that benefits both [same trail user] and the land manager and trail steward. Each user should accept that there are limitations imposed on them and they all need to respect those limits.

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  38. #38
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    I'd be cool with horse folk if they weren't so hypocritical. I've been yelled/cussed at more times than I count just for riding my bike near a horse. Usually, no matter my speed, I'm going too fast. I'm gonna spook their horse, they scream...as if screaming on the horse is gonna help calm it. I'm thinkin' if the horse is so skittish, maybe it should be trained before allowed on public trails or in public at all. It's not MY fault you're on a skittish horse. I used to go out of my way, stop, take off my lid, and wait for the horse to pass, but no more. My kindness isn't being returned from the horse community. I now treat them as hikers or other bikes...just another trail user with no special treatment. I tried.

    But the hypocritical part is that they like to tell folks how we tear up trails. I'm lucky enough to have a great trail system right behind my house. I try to ride it every day. The first thing I do is sweep my loop. That is...whenever I encounter horse poop, I stop my ride, find a suitable stick, and sweep the poop off the trail. The horse users are supposed to do this, but they could care less. Another thing I do is stay off the trails 'till dry. Horsies don't get this. They'll ride in any conditions. It's then my job again to get back out there and run the trail 'till the ruts are gone...which takes a while and is kinda rough. When I'm done riding, as long as the horses don't come back, the trail is in perfect condition. That's how I damage trails...working the horse tracks back out of them.

    I had a gun shown to me in Tennessee on coming upon a group on horses who told me I wasn't supposed to be there (I was). So there seems to be some pre-existing animosity among horse riders toward bikes and has been for quite a while. Most horse riders give me nasty looks just 'cause. I don't get the whole thing myself - how a horse rider can poo and track up trails then look at me like I'm the problem.

    I'm just glad Colorado doesn't have the Tennessee problem - trail closures to most users except horses 'cause the horse folk have so much clout there. There are many trails in the Nashville area that have been closed to bikes, but horses are just fine. And yeah, they're in tip-top shape now. That was half the reason behind my move...so I could actually ride my bikes. Best decision I've ever made!

  39. #39
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    Since you asked...

    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    The amount a damage a horse can inflict on a trail is so far beyond what a bike does it baffles me when comparisons are drawn between the two. Its like trying to have a logical discussion comparing the impact of a splattered egg vs an atomic blast.

    Ever see an equestrian doing trail work?

    Here's a trail work day put on by an equestrian group at my local park; of the 18 or so volunteers this day, 4 or 5 were from the hiking community, I was the lone biker and the rest were "horse people".

    Tell you what, my experience has been that, per capita, more hikers/horse folk will show up for a "biker" hosted TWD than the other way around. The "I hate horses" mantra is not a very good way to encourage mutual cooperation.

    When it comes up to damaging trails, show me a dickwad equestrian and I'll show you a dickwad biker. Perfect storm for effin' up a wet trail??? Have 10 horses ride through followed by 10 bikers; horses loosen it up and bikers create the ruts. Guess who gets the blame?


    Where it comes to public land, if horse use can't be eliminated by regulation; either build the trails with proper technique (like with using gravel, puncheons, etc) or don't complain too vocally---it'll come back and bite the biking community in the ass.
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  40. #40
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    ^I'm calling photoshopped and shill.
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  41. #41
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    ^ I'm calling tool!

  42. #42
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    ^
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    ^
    ^

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    The amount a damage a horse can inflict on a trail is so far beyond what a bike does it baffles me when comparisons are drawn between the two. Its like trying to have a logical discussion comparing the impact of a splattered egg vs an atomic blast.

    Ever see an equestrian doing trail work?
    I went on a trail work day on the Tahoe Rim Trail once. I was the only biker. There were several equestrians in the group. Other than that, I have to agree, bikes often get blamed for the damage caused by horses or poor trail design.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    When it comes up to damaging trails, show me a dickwad equestrian and I'll show you a dickwad biker. Perfect storm for effin' up a wet trail??? Have 10 horses ride through followed by 10 bikers; horses loosen it up and bikers create the ruts. Guess who gets the blame?

    pliebenberg, I see hiker foot prints in the mud.... I think hikers are to blame.
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  46. #46
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    Hikers will blame it on the bikers when they're asked why they're widening the tread by going around the slop.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    When it comes up to damaging trails, show me a dickwad equestrian and I'll show you a dickwad biker. Perfect storm for effin' up a wet trail??? Have 10 horses ride through followed by 10 bikers; horses loosen it up and bikers create the ruts. Guess who gets the blame?


    Where it comes to public land, if horse use can't be eliminated by regulation; either build the trails with proper technique (like with using gravel, puncheons, etc) or don't complain too vocally---it'll come back and bite the biking community in the ass.
    It's obviously the builder's fault. The trail is insloped.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by TORQUE-29er View Post
    It's not so much the horse but the irresponsible rider that allows this kind of damage, whether they are aware or not, education is key.

    Some horses can be put to good use..
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Is that a makeshift bulldozer, with the rock acting as a weight, and that scoop thing acting as a plow?
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  49. #49
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    Damned cows...

    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja View Post
    It's obviously the builder's fault. The trail is insloped.
    ...on this trail left both some hoof prints and some poo:


    I have lots of photos of this particular section because of an out-slope "controversy"; the photo I posted previous is a bit of an illusion---it actually has an average out-slope of around 10%:


    We (being a volunteer group mostly comprised of bikers) had built a section of trail with 5~10% of out-slope and frequent rolling-grade dips. This is a multi-use trail in a Calif. State Park and the Park staff cited us for building the RGDs (look too much like bicycle jumps said they). Prior experience had taught us that given the soil conditions on this trail we needed either 15~25% or lots of RGD's, but the horse folk (and old hikers with bad ankles) prefer the out-slope no greater 5%. Trying to make everybody happy with grade reversals, RGDs and moderate out-slope was our downfall; the State's making us take out all the RGD's and increasing the out-slope. Although the State would prefer seeing 15~20% the State Trails Supervisor (who was present when this section was re-worked) had the volunteers build this section to a more horse-happy 8~12%

    After the first heavy rains wysiwyg; soil not thoroughly bedded in, tread loosened by everybody (cows, horses, hikers and bikers) and frosty temps not letting the soil thoroughly dry---and we've got the start of ruts. (Damned bikes!)

    Around a switchback and just below the rutted section is a section where the State allowed some drain dips to remain and the out-slope is a more generous 14%; while the tread is still soft enough to leave prints, water is not being carried down the trail in ruts. Go figure...


    Tool?!?! You want pictures of tools????
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  50. #50
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    Hahaha, Oh, man that was awesome! Perfect mid day lol.
    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    Recently in europe lots of people got tired of their horses and made lasagna and meatball out of them, big scandal all over europe and the uk. So I guess youre not alone hating them.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    All the bureaucrats that I work with are very hard working people who care about the land and care about people have the best possible experience when they are using it.
    All the bureaucrats care about is a) Keeping their jobs b) Not making waves. Given a choice their first reaction is always to exclude as many people from the land they manage as they can get away with.

    If you have got any other impression, that means those bureaucrats had been pretty good at b).

    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    In my area though, the biggest problem on trails with heavy MTB use is irresponsible use by MTBers.
    The biggest problem with trails with heavy MTB use is not enough well constructed MTB legal trails. "Irresponsible use" is a boogey man invented and cultivated by special interests to keep us excluded.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    "Irresponsible use" is a boogey man invented and cultivated by special interests to keep us excluded.
    No, irresponsible use is something I saw a couple weeks ago. A guy in a local park in a full face downhill helmet riding as hard as he could (which was pretty pathetic, actually) on the down hill section of a trail. He was flying past walkers/hikers without saying anything (effectively pushing them off the trail, barging through) and locking up his rear wheel into every turn.

    I call it pathetic riding because he was on a full suspension bike, and clearly pushing hard. I followed him down the hill on my rigid single speed, slowed down for the hikers and said excuse me and thank you (they hadn't made it back on the trail yet from when the other guy when by) didn't lock up in any of the turns, and got to the bottom in time to catch him leaning over his bars huffing and puffing, getting ready to take his helmet off. I politely advised him to yield the trail to hikers, and kindly not skid (like the signs say) going into the switchbacks we put so much work into. Told him we have a trail work day coming up, if he wants to help out. He quit taking his helmet off, stared at me like I was crazy, and rode off, still all out of breath.

    ....maybe he couldn't figure ou the single speed thing?

  53. #53
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    No, irresponsible use is something I saw a couple weeks ago. A guy in a local park in a full face downhill helmet riding as hard as he could (which was pretty pathetic, actually) on the down hill section of a trail.
    You forgot to quote the first part of my response. This guy had nowhere to ride "responsibly".

    There are no accidents, and it is NOT a widespread problem. It is just perception, self fulfilling prophecy, and lies cultivated to keep recreational use of the public lands to a minimum.

    Every time they actually make a somewhat honest study of user conflicts - there are none. Just equestrians whining about "peace of mind". Well, do not ride dumb one-ton slave animals for entertainment then.

  54. #54
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    Most of the trails I ride on have horse access and I almost never run into this problem. As long as everyone is responsible (bikes and equestrians alike) the trail will be fine. I have the same feeling towards anyone who rides a trail when it is so mud slopped they ruin it and rut it up.

    Personally I enjoy sharing the trail and talking with the equestrians in the parking lot after a ride. Most don't even mind my dogs coming to say hi to the horses.

  55. #55
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    Axe- I agree with you. I learned about trickery and deception and thievery from cooperating with the Forest Service. Hard for us joyfully honest outdoor folks. There is a fundamental layer of dishonesty built into public land management practice that stacks it against the least intrusive users. The term "cowboy" comes to mind...

    Cotharyus- A little more tact might have helped, novices by definition don't completely know what they are doing. If you had let him take his helmet off and catch his breath he might have been more receptive. Put yourself in his helmet and you could think you are being assaulted by some crazy yelling about something you don't understand.
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  56. #56
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    Haha, bsieb, I wasn't yelling. I thought I was smiling. But hey....

    Axe, I didn't forget to quote the first part of your response, I was addressing the specific denial of irresponsible use. There ARE MTB only trails in the area, those trails are just a little further away than these trails are. The cold reality is we are hurting for land to put trails of any kind on in this region, but things are getting better. I've recently finalized everything but the trail layout (final layout proposal is still in progress) for an bike only park less than 20 minutes from where this happened.

    The problem with the assertion that this guy did what he did because he doesn't have a place to ride and hence it isn't irresponsible use is absurd. If that's not what you're implying, I apologize up front, but that's what it sounds like you're saying to me. The reason it's absurd is because your saying if someone got hurt, it's no one's fault but the people who haven't allowed trail to be built where he can ride that way. By the same logic, I can assert that because there are no road race courses around here, that if I take my sports car out to turn a few hot laps of the local back roads and run someone off the road, that's not my fault, it's the fault of people who didn't built a race track for me. Again, if that's not what you're saying, I'm sorry - but for all the world, it sounds like to me that's it.

    We have a pretty large group of riders here that stop and talk to other riders on the trail, and invite them to functions, events, rides, trail days, etc. - where etiquette and skills are taught. In fact, this guy rode right past a large group of new and experienced riders - several of whom where wearing trail guide shirts - to get to where he was and do what he did. There are several people in this area who fancy themselves "down hill" riders who want nothing to do with group rides. They want nothing to do with anyone. They want to get their bike to the top of the biggest hill they can find, and ride it down the hill as fast as they can. And people with that mindset cause problems for other users in general, not just mountain bikers.

    Fortunately, we have established a good enough relationship with most land managers in this area that they understand the majority of complaints are isolated incidents. Two years ago, I would have been more concerned about this guy, but honestly, I'm not sweating him now. In 6 months, he'll have a place he can kill himself if he wants to, and have fun doing it. While there are no mountains around here, the venue in progress will be the first dedicated bike trails in the area with "real hills" and the side being done for more advanced riders will have several long crossing descents with some good rollers and such.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    The problem with the assertion that this guy did what he did because he doesn't have a place to ride and hence it isn't irresponsible use is absurd.
    What is absurd is your extrapolation of you perceived "irresponsible" to that being an actual problem. It is not. There had been many studies of user conflicts. It is not a widespread problem. There are no actual accidents. It is perception. Including yourself.

    It is exactly what equestrians and Sierra Club types do - take an unrelated, unsubstantiated anecdote with no actual, measurable, substantial impact and build policy around it. And you are guilty of this faulty logic as well.

  58. #58
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    I don't know Axe, I'm trying to understand you. And I have read a lot of material that says that incidence of user conflict is not as high as a lot of people/organizations claim, but I don't think it's non-existant. I don't think the conflict that does exist is anything that can't be handled through etiquette. Is that closer to what you're thinking? I just have a hard time, especially after seeing the faces of the hikers this guy blew past, that there's simply no such thing as conflict or irresponsible use.

    Certainly, for my part, I've had trail users complain to me personally about "other mountain bikers" (meaning mountain bikers besides me I guess, because they certainly weren't about to ride a bike on a trail) cutting trails and leaving trash on the trail. I have two main issues with what they were saying to me - first, the only trail (short) cutting I've ever seen done in the park in question was by casual walkers, second, no one is going to convince me that a mountain biker carried the venti starbucks cup I was picking up that prompted the comment to the top of the hill we were on riding with one hand. The trail is simply too technical for that. So yeah, there's some misplaced blame there. But what happened with the other guy, I saw. And I can promise you he very much startled those two hikers.

    I think the denial an issue exists may be more problematic than the mislaying of blame. After all, there's that whole "one bad apple" thing, and I think it's easy enough to argue that one person causing a problem shouldn't be grounds to punish a whole community. In the same instance, blind denial that anything of the sort ever happens is likely to leave a land manager pointing at people who HAVE reported conflict saying clearly there is a problem and if you won't do something about it I will.

    Am I making more sense? Less sense? Have we been talking about two different things?

  59. #59
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    I ride in the Capitol Forest in WA a couple fo times a year, quite a few years ago during a late spring ride we had to walk about 2 miles of it because the horse traffic had chewed up the trail very badly, it had dried to an un-rideable roughness. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think they close the Mima Falls area to horses over the winter months. I regularly encounter horses/riders there, and every encounter has been friendly.
    The most unfriendly encounter I have had was with a guy on a horse who had passed a 'no horses' sign onto private land, I asked him to leave and observe the signs in the future, he was obviously very pissed but didn't have much to say. The sign had been put up because of horse traffic on a new road and grass seeded shoulder (poop on both, damage to the shoulder). The owner would have 'banned' anybody who damaged the area.
    A heavy hoof will also push through and collapse tunnels from small animals that go under the trail, making low spots.

    I imagine the increasing costs to keep a horse will eventually lead to less horse traffic.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABud View Post
    ZRM I have yet to see an equestrian built horse trail destroyed by MTBR's. But then again I have never seen an equestrian build a trail.
    really, who do you think was building trails before the mtn bike was invented?
    unfortuantly this thread is like all the other user groups i come accross. You don't do what i do, so you are a bad person. I don't own horses don't want horses, but they are a user group just like bikers, hikers etc.

  61. #61
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    You can gripe about any user group but it does break your heart to see your hard work trampled by someone using a trail during or just after a rain event. You know if they came to trail work days they would respect the trails more.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteuga View Post
    You can gripe about any user group but it does break your heart to see your hard work trampled by someone using a trail during or just after a rain event. You know if they came to trail work days they would respect the trails more.
    Bingo!

    I was out lopping honeysuckle on a hiking/biking section of trail that does not allow horses in a State Park. I saw a lot of hoof prints in the mud all over the prohibitied areas with some prints as deep as 5 or 6 inches to the wet conditions. Coming back to the car in the paved parking lot, there were 2 women on horses walking on the road.

    Horses are allowed on the pavement only in this State Park. They are actually the first horses I have seen in 10 years of doing trail work at this park. Staring at the mud on the hooves of their horses, I casually mentioned to them that horses were not allowed on the non-paved trails in the State Park (which is clearly marked). They both responded they were riding on the pavement only.

    I mentioned that the prints they left behind would make it difficult for hikers and bikers due to the damage. Not sure they got the message, and I wasn't quick enough to think to invite them to a trail work day. If I see them again, I'll have to invite them. Looks like they are from a neighboring farm near the State Park and perhaps have been riding on the trails more than just today.

  63. #63
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    ^ Take pictures of them with your cell phone and let the park ranger know. He'll do something about it.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    ^ Take pictures of them with your cell phone and let the park ranger know. He'll do something about it.
    I let the ranger know. He says he knows who they are.

    Ah, yes - another reason for me to upgrade from the old flip-phone that takes blurry-AZZ pictures...

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    I let the ranger know. He says he knows who they are.

    Ah, yes - another reason for me to upgrade from the old flip-phone that takes blurry-AZZ pictures...
    Yep, the modern phone is a thing of wonder. Actually, my iPhone does everything else great, but I sucks as a phone.

  66. #66
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    if it wasn't for horse, there would not be many trails here in Idaho.

  67. #67
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    That's what I tried to explain here before. If it weren't for horses, the west wouldn't have been colonized from people from the eastern states. The Chinese would have sailed in from the west and taken it from the Indians. And instead if ten million people riding bikes around, there would be 10 billion Chinese riding bikes around with smog masks on.

  68. #68
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    I live near Forest Service owned land and unfortunately the trails their too are torn up beyond ride-ability. My family owned horses while I was growing up so while I know the damage they are capable of, I also respect the equestrian's rights to ride and would never suggest they be kicked off. Unfortunately for this trail route, it seems to be a bunch of yokels who grab a 30 rack of beer, saddle up and go for a ride whenever they want, because it's public land, wet or dry. It's a shame because it's pretty much ruined about 35 miles of trail that is only 15 minutes away from where I live and now if I want to ride, I have to drive 45 minutes away to another park. I would pick up the tools and go to work on it myself but without any organizations behind me, it would be a massive undertaking for just one college student.

    As riders and fellow trail users all we can do is to advocate responsible trail use and pull our weight in work days.

    Here's some pics I took of the damage.
    Why I hate horses-img_0678-2.jpg

    Why I hate horses-img_0681.jpg

    Why I hate horses-img_0687.jpg

    This is just an example of poor trail design and irresponsible use by users.
    Why I hate horses-img_5879.jpg

  69. #69
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    For me, it isn't just that horses tear up trails by riding when it is muddy, they also leave crap everywhere making it unpleasant for anyone not riding a horse to use the trail.

  70. #70
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    I recently joined a facebook group called Horsey Friends in an effort to understand a bit more about the horse folks. In several posts they talked about waiting for the rain to stop so they could ride stating specifically that it was the best time to ride because the trails were too muddy for hikers and bikers. So in other words they do not give a shit that they **** up the trails for others. They even went so far as to mention the fact that they ask bikers to stay off the trail for a few days after the rain so that's the best time to ride.
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    if it wasn't for horse, there would not be many trails here in Idaho.
    If it wasn't for Hitler, there wouldn't be a modern Germany and if it hadn't been for slavery.........

    Horses have a place, just not in sensitive areas or on MTB singletrack

  72. #72
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    It's all subjective. I used to live in an area where walkers thought they should be the ONLY ones to use the trails.....they had the least impact.....were more considerate.......had nicer children......and so it goes.

  73. #73
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    sandmangts,hope you pointed the land manager towards that Facebook posting,, let them sink their own ship.

  74. #74
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    The trail down the gully that I was talking about in the original post has had a few flash floods go down it recently the last one was over 6 feet deep. The trial handled the flash flood remarkably well but of course left it very muddy. Of course that doesn't matter to the horseback riders and they go through and make a huge mess of the whole thing. Oh well another couple of hours fixing the damage they have done.

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