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  1. #26
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    Concerning the poop, Back in the 70's there was talk of having diapers on horses to eliminate the spread of non native seeds in wilderness areas. That would have been fun to see!! My pony friends actually buy certified hay that does not have seeds in it.

    In all reality keeping you mouth closed while plowing though poo or using fenders is the best we can do so far.

  2. #27
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    MTBers, I for one think it is totally acceptable to have a voice on this topic (i.e., dislike of horses on GR). IMHO, GR is a terrible place for horses. The trail is very steep in places, which means the horses struggle to find footing and consequently dig deep into the ground when the trail is soft.

    The idea that horses, like MTBs, can't be relegated to certain trails is preposterous. Why not? Just because equestrians have been using the trails longer isn't an argument. Times change, and right now we are seeing an explosion in MTB use that should be recognized and accommodated.

    I ride in Bend often and horses are prohibited from using many MTBing specific trails. Similarly, there are horse and hiking trails that do not allow bikers. It works and makes tons of sense.

  3. #28
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    Re: Grand Ridge and Horses

    Fair nuff spryip on changing the access but its a slippery slope. In this case the boardwalk and all bridges were built specifically to accommodate the weight of horses as horses are currently allowed. We may need you smooth talkers when it comes time to talk the county into closing it to the horsemen.

    We should then start the clock for the siege on our access here or somewhere nearby as a counterattack.

  4. #29
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    Here's one way to think of it: If you advocate for removing horses from Grand Ridge, which trails (or potential trails!) would you be willing to give to the horses and allow mountain bikes to be banned from? Because that's what will happen if we go down this road. Both sides will lose access.

    I understand the desire to ride ****-free trails. But there is a bigger picture here in the constant struggle for better mountain bike access. I've been working with King Co for years on a plan to increase trail mileage in the Grand Ridge area. It will happen some day once a few missing parcels are purchased and certain partnerships are cemented. There are also some very serious political challenges with this plan and particular location, so any monkey wrench such as a fight with equestrians could kill the whole thing. That's how the battle for access goes. It's very political, very hard, very slow, but Evergreen and local mountain bikers are very good at it. Probably the best in the country given how friggin' hard it can be to get things done around here. This is all just a long winded way of saying pick your battles very carefully, since every action in this business has long term consequences, and it's a long term game.

    I also want to acknowledge that equestrians do very important trail work and sawing in much of the deep backcountry. We're more active with trail work in many places, but they're more active in others since they can lug gear over long distances easier than we can.

    I really don't see any point in starting a fight with equestrians. We get along with them really well in most cases, and there's fewer and fewer of them every year.
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpryIP View Post
    The idea that horses, like MTBs, can't be relegated to certain trails is preposterous. Why not? Just because equestrians have been using the trails longer isn't an argument. Times change, and right now we are seeing an explosion in MTB use that should be recognized and accommodated.
    Accommodated yes. But do we just push out other groups to do that is ultimately the question. The reality is that several non-mtb groups would like to apply the same logic against our group and in terms of sheer numbers they like out-number us.

    From some of these groups they believe the chain oil, brake fluid, and synthetic compounds on our bikes are steadily turning natural areas into EPA super-fund sites.

    Outside of a few areas on the GR trail system many of the "conflict" areas have by resolved by addressing the issue as a "trail problem" vs a "user problem".
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  6. #31
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    I am not willing to give the equestrians any thing - MTBs are already prohibited from many trails around the Seattle area. The point of my post was not to advocate that MTBs start an active campaign to eliminate horses from using GR. Rather, I wanted to point out that the voices of MTBers should be heard and considered. We don't need to crawl under a rock and remain silent about stuff that bothers us just because of the historical alignment against us.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Trials View Post
    Dave is right on this, as crabby as he sounds.
    Yes, and one more point before we bury this thread.

    While horse back riding is clearly dying in Seattle as it has been noted, the Grand Ridge trails were kept open for a long time by sustained horse usage; in the early '90s it was quite common to see horses on the trails, and I have no doubt that when trees fell on the trails some horsey folks were the ones to haul the chainsaw up there.

    And further, I think we have to look more globally to see the balance of trail work done by user groups. There are many miles of trails worth riding in north Idaho and western Montana that are kept open by the horse folks.

    So you can't just look at GR and go grrr, grrr, because it all goes around and it'll all come around.
    Rolland

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpryIP View Post
    MTBers, I for one think it is totally acceptable to have a voice on this topic (i.e., dislike of horses on GR). IMHO, GR is a terrible place for horses. The trail is very steep in places, which means the horses struggle to find footing and consequently dig deep into the ground when the trail is soft.

    The idea that horses, like MTBs, can't be relegated to certain trails is preposterous. Why not? Just because equestrians have been using the trails longer isn't an argument. Times change, and right now we are seeing an explosion in MTB use that should be recognized and accommodated.

    I ride in Bend often and horses are prohibited from using many MTBing specific trails. Similarly, there are horse and hiking trails that do not allow bikers. It works and makes tons of sense.
    You do have a voice,Grand ridge is the result of years of planning and public meetings.

    Horses are relegated to certain trails and GR is one of them.

    MTBRs are being accommodated see tiger mtn. or Duthie.

    We do have horse/hiker only trails.

    COTA in Bend is trying to stop winter riding at Phils because the mud puddles can get over 1 inch deep, we don't want to follow what Bend is doing.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kliemann53 View Post
    You do have a voice,Grand ridge is the result of years of planning and public meetings.

    Horses are relegated to certain trails and GR is one of them.

    MTBRs are being accommodated see tiger mtn. or Duthie.

    We do have horse/hiker only trails.
    Really, I didn't know all that. Thanks for providing the insight - so helpful.

    The "voice" I was talking about was that some are advocating that MTBers keep quiet about their dislike of horses on GR. I don't subscribe to that.

    To be clear here, I have no issues with horses on certain trails. Rather, I have issues with horses on GR specifically. The terrain does not seem conducive to horse use. Just ride behind a horse as it struggles to climb out from the bog and simultaneously digs deep holes in the trail and it becomes painfully obvious something isn't right, especially when one considers how hard folks work to keep the GR dirt in great shape.

    Bend dirt does not equal Seattle dirt, but that is off topic. But we here in WA could learn a lot from COTA, since they have achieved a reasonable allotment of trails for MTBers and hikers only. And, yes, I have considered Tiger and Duthie and love riding both locations. That doesn't change my opinion about horses on GR.

  10. #35
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    Don't forget that the Grumpy Old Hiker group turned on the ponies in the early 90's when Harvey said, " now the bikes are gone, so will the horses in ten years". If they would have continue their alliance there would be no Mountain Biking in King County.

    There are political pony people who bring us along with them, not against us...

  11. #36
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    Juice is absolutely right!!!

    I worked with a pony guy on GR and took a week off from work after the inaugural day storm in '92 to clean the trails. He had the tractor and I had the saw and skills to clear GR of down fall. Remember the common needs not the differences between the ponies and us..

  12. #37
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    I'd rather pedal through 100 lbs of horse dookie than one pile of dog s**t.
    "My riding style - like I'm being chased by a clown." - rscecil007

  13. #38
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    Horse crap is only a small step worse than riding through wet grass clippings and far better than cow crap. I avoid dog crap like the plague, including all fir and pine cones because they could be dog turds too.

    Count yourself lucky that people don't take their pigs for walks! I'm dreading the day when the mushroom pickers start using pigs to find truffles like they do in France!
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  14. #39
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    Thanks for the good, constructive dialogue in this thread. Very interesting viewpoints for sure and some background information I was not aware of. I will say, a lot of quotes are dating back to the early 90's with horses and their involvement in GR. Haven't heard of anything since then. I have lived below the Highlands since 1997 and obviously it is a night and day difference as to the what GR is all about now. I still see no logic in horses on these trails now. 15 years ago? Sure, it would make sense.

    I guess we could keep *****ing about it, have a voice and do something about it. Or, we can sit back and let things die out. Maybe it doesn't make sense to pick this battle over a few horses from BN Ranch. Some restrictions or rules for horses would sure be nice though. They shouldn't be above all the rules that hikers and bikers adhere to. I'll leave it at that.

  15. #40
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    If BN Ranch is to the west of GR eventually their access will get cutoff. Current routing of that trail segment actually stops short of Black Nugget RD by several hundred yards with an empty land parcel in between. That parcel was cleared long ago so a McMansion can be built on it and it is up for sale again.

    There is also a spur which heads east to SE 63rd ST but it was pretty much unpassible several years ago when I tried it last. Has this trail been cleared?

    Yes, the county bridged the GR swamp back in 2011 or 2012 (cant remember when it was completed) but I have personally seen more black bears on that trail than I have seen horses.

    The bottomline is that while horses do have access to GR the reality is that they are running out of access points to the park in general.
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  16. #41
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    I blame it on the horse trailer industry. My guess is that there has been an up-tick in purchases as of late since many of the few remaining owners on this side can't ride out their backyards anymore. but, some of those truck-trailer combos, especially the toy-hauler types have to be big bucks. Which means usually those people have leisure time to lobby as well. Personally, though I know they do trail work elsewhere, and it is appreciated, it really irks me when they don't do jack around the greater Seattle area. Except for trimming branches from the saddle so I can get them caught in my derailleur. And, they love to ignore "No horses please" signs. Nothing like repairing post holes when the equestrians ride up and wonder what you are doing....

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    I'm not familiar with Grand Ridge, but I'd be willing to bet the horse groups put in as much trail maintenance time as any other user group. Sometimes we get stuck in our own mtb world and forget to look around.
    I'll take that bet.

    My experience has been exactly the opposite. Every trail build I've attended, every work party I've helped, was all mountain bikers of various ages, levels and skillsets. WA, OR, MT, WY, CO. Every single state. No hikers, no equestrians, no Audubon members, all mountain bikers, all the time.

    I personally know guys who will go out and "work" on trail, just because it needs done. No free pizza, no T-shirts, no group organized anything. Just hard shovel work. Find me a single equestrian who does the same thing, and I'll buy them a beer. No, a case.

    West of the Cascades, Washington/Oregon soil is super soft and volcanic. We all know what a 1500 lb animal does to that trail. In some cases, you can't ride 10 feet. Is the same true reversed? Can a mountain bike totally destroy a path a horse can't navigate? No. A hiker? No.

    My point is we all use the trail, but "impact" is not the same. Add to that a willingness to advocate, fund, and dig, where some might argue in that light the equation gives us a touch more credibility.

    I know we ARE the newest kid on the block, so we need to earn our right at the negotiation table, but I think some of the existing user groups do nothing but rest on their legacy status. That's OK. We'll just keep building trail where we can, and as always, all other user groups are welcome...

  18. #43
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    Don't forget the money and political power of the ponies!!

    It is interesting, the trails my family rides have little mountain biker maintenance and mostly ponies and no hikers. Some of the BCH people have 1000+ hrs on the books for building and maintenance.

  19. #44
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    How about a policy that forces user groups to keep up and maintain the trails in order to use them? If we are specific to GR, does anyone know how many years ago it has been since a horse group actually worked on this trail?

    Not to continue beating this subject into ground, but I rode through about 200 post holes and 4 piles of crap yesterday on GR south side to really improve my enjoyment on the trail yesterday. Some horse really did some damage yesterday. Very sad and I will never understand how they, or any legit user on any trail system should be able to get away with this type of damage.

    It seems to me based on all of these comments that the only argument about horses being allow on some of these trails such as GR, are they used to be here or they were instrumental 20+ years ago in building the trails. Now, if horses are actively maintaining trails, by all means, they should be able to ride them. If there is no maintenance and a ton of damage, what is the logical solution?

    And again, specific to GR, it is too dangerous for horses on this trail. I can barely get by walkers and hikers in certain sections of the trail. I can't imagine trying to get around a horse. I have only had 1 encounter and it was around a blind corner and not pretty. We were both lucky it wasn't a disastrous result.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Trials View Post
    Don't forget the money and political power of the ponies!!

    It is interesting, the trails my family rides have little mountain biker maintenance and mostly ponies and no hikers. Some of the BCH people have 1000+ hrs on the books for building and maintenance.
    Then the BCH, with whom I have little to no problem (well, the Pasayten access they have irks me), should clue in their frakking FCH cousins to do some damn trail work.

    ETA: BCH are Back Country Horsemen, so FCH are Front Country Horsemen, a fictitious group I just made up.
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  21. #46
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    Grand Ridge and Horses

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sagebrush Slug View Post
    Yes, and one more point before we bury this thread.

    While horse back riding is clearly dying in Seattle as it has been noted, the Grand Ridge trails were kept open for a long time by sustained horse usage; in the early '90s it was quite common to see horses on the trails, and I have no doubt that when trees fell on the trails some horsey folks were the ones to haul the chainsaw up there.

    And further, I think we have to look more globally to see the balance of trail work done by user groups. There are many miles of trails worth riding in north Idaho and western Montana that are kept open by the horse folks.

    So you can't just look at GR and go grrr, grrr, because it all goes around and it'll all come around.
    I always thought it was the guys with the motos and chainsaws and jerry cans clearing n idaho trails.


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  22. #47
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    I have to say that I completely agree with DRSpalding. I do see BCH work out there in the high country and it is appreciated. But very little at all in the "front country". Unless riding along snipping branches and letting them fall to the ground to be best use as derailleur killers counts. But, mountain bikers need to tread lightly on the percentage of use versus trail maintenance pulpit. We are not always holier than thou....

    Part of the problem is may horse users are used to that posty soft trail bed so they don;t see it as a bad thing to their own use and don't understand why that plush 6" of travel needs smooth manicured hardpack to have fun.

  23. #48
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    Basically all of Taylor mountain trails were built and maintained by the ponies, just across the HWY from tiger

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    I always thought it was the guys with the motos and chainsaws and jerry cans clearing n idaho trails.
    It depends on the trails. The moto accessible trails over by Sandpoint, yes, total tip of the hat to the moto folks.

    The hoof, foot, and pedal trails around Priest Lake that are on state land AFAIK are mostly sawed by horse folks.

    Of course, my data is now several years stale.
    Last edited by The Sagebrush Slug; 05-28-2014 at 12:22 PM.
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  25. #50
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    1 place among many doesn't really count. It's kind of like claiming mountain bikers do all the building and maintenance at Duthie. And, the maintenance at Taylor, other than what a mountain biking county worker does, is minimal at best. Not a real good comeback.

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