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  1. #1
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    Thoughtless Equestrians

    This why I hate horses....
    1. Equestrians never do trail work.(rarely.. in 29 years of trail building I would venture a guess they've logged maybe 200 man/hours total..comes out to about 3 hours per year.)
    2. They have no concerns on how they leave the trail. See pictures..
    3. They expect that those involved in building/maintaining the trails to be sure to make a parking lot big enough to turn their one ton dually with the air-conditioned horse trailer around...yet don't pay for anything....

    This happened after the last rain/snow event around Thanksgiving..over 5" of rain and approximately 8" to "10" of heavy wet snow over the course of a week.
    We, in Pine, have just had over 10 miles of trail damaged to varying degrees by a couple of horse people. The pictures do not begin to show the extent of the damage. Our trail building/maintenance community is livid. I hope these knotheads never come back. And! You can be sure that we will be doing everything in our power to make the horse community feels unwelcome in Pine. Thanks for letting me vent...Thoughtless Equestrians-img_20191220_154023.jpgThoughtless Equestrians-img_20191220_153949.jpgThoughtless Equestrians-img_20191220_153808.jpgThoughtless Equestrians-mvimg_20191220_153750.jpgThoughtless Equestrians-img_20191220_144105.jpgThoughtless Equestrians-img_20191220_144053.jpg

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  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90minIPA View Post
    This why I hate horses....
    1. Equestrians never do trail work.(rarely.. in 29 years of trail building I would venture a guess they've logged maybe 200 man/hours total..comes out to about 3 hours per year.)
    2. They have no concerns on how they leave the trail. See pictures..
    3. They expect that those involved in building/maintaining the trails to be sure to make a parking lot big enough to turn their one ton dually with the air-conditioned horse trailer around...yet don't pay for anything....

    This happened after the last rain/snow event around Thanksgiving..over 5" of rain and approximately 8" to "10" of heavy wet snow over the course of a week.
    We, in Pine, have just had over 10 miles of trail damaged to varying degrees by a couple of horse people. The pictures do not begin to show the extent of the damage. Our trail building/maintenance community is livid. I hope these knotheads never come back. And! You can be sure that we will be doing everything in our power to make the horse community feels unwelcome in Pine. Thanks for letting me vent...
    Sadly my experience with local equestrians has been similar. I've also seen trail damage done by careless off-road motorcyclists (which I find especially painful inasmuch as I'm an off-road motorcyclist, too). I'm also a long tenured trailbuilder.

    I wonder if the common denominators among most trail abusers are 1) they don't make direct physical connect with the ground like say, a hiker does, 2) they're not human powered, and 3) they're selfish.

    The equestrian is insulated from the trail tread by their horse and the off-road motorcyclist is by their machine. Why should they care how rough the trail tread is?

    One could argue that mountain bikers are insulated from direct contact with the trail via their bikes but at least mountain bikers are human powered. It's not easy to plow through mud like that shown in your photos. I hate to say it, but I imagine that if doing so were easy, our list of trail abusers might include mountain bikers, too. It only takes a percent or two to make a whole user group look like trail terrorists. And every user group includes that one or two percent...
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  4. #4
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    The grass is always greener, right?

    When people post about how destructive MTB riders are -for forum becomes defensive.

    Yet in the same breath, we, the MTB riders, point out how rotten the 'other' sport is.


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  5. #5
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    While I feel your frustration, I don't think that kind of blanket statement is true.

    When Black Canyon trail was being built my wife and I attended a number of trail building sessions. Equestrians were usually well represented - usually more than us mountain bikers.

    On AZT trail building sessions I've been on the primary group is usually hikers.

    Back in my old stomping grounds in PA the group that kept the trails in the local park open were mountain bikers.

    So, my experience is that there are people in all interested communities who will step up and do the right thing. And in every community there are self interested ****wads who don't give a damn and are OK with destroying the trails so they can have their ride or hike.

  6. #6
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    I agree with all the heartfelt comments. Thanks to all for adding to this discussion. I have been involved in trail work for 30 years beginning back in the MBAA days when you needed to log 20 hours of volunteer work for your race points to count. From these early days of working in the PMP and AZT I met and worked with a a variety of trail building people with different interests. Obviously the early days of work the crews were mostly MTBers trying to get their hours. As projects became more global it seems hikers made up the majority of the crew. Living part time in Crested Butte I notice it is almost all mountain bikers..gobs of them. Our crew in Pine is mostly retired. We have hikers, trail runners, MTBers ( mostly hikers and trail runners), and a few that just enjoy the work but don't adhere to any group. I can only think of two women who were equestrians who have come to a trail event over the past 7 plus years. When building the bridge over Pine Creek we elicited the horse community for help in laying out and building a safe crossing for horses but they never showed up for trail days... so we didn't build it...

    Our group has also been involved with all user groups developing a master plan for the Tonto National Forest. All user groups and organizations were represented. There were over 150 community members who attended the intial set of mtgs. Over the course of almost two years the only people attending the latter meetings was our Pine trail group and AZT. One by one groups dissolved..the UTVers, equestrians, etc. I understand there are always exceptions. There are great people in every user group. I have just not experienced horse people willing to put in the time to make a difference in any trail system I have been involved with.
    So when we experience this kind of event (which is not the first) and we are left to fix it it kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth. We are building mountain bike trails..the middle user group. If you can ride them you can hike and run them. Our mtb race provides the bulk of our funding for our trails (approximately $150,000 to date). Our trail run in the spring is growing and adding to out trail fund. HORSE community $0 and no cents... no time.. In fact, we have had discussions about changing that little sign that has everyone deferring to horses for right of way to have everyone defer to MTBers... We are serious about that. So in closing, I need all you MTBers to come up and ride these trails back into shape....when it dries out...be more than happy to be your Sherpa guide.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90minIPA View Post
    So in closing, I need all you MTBers to come up and ride these trails back into shape....when it dries out...be more than happy to be your Sherpa guide.
    My GF & I live in Oregon, we drove through Pine last February (or was it March) while snowbirding -- I remember thinking, "Now this looks like a neat place. Bet I could live in a place like Pine."

    At that moment we were cruising from one place to another, think we were heading north to Sedona to stay with friends for a few days and ride, anyway I don't think we broke Trailforks out as we cruised through Pine to see if mountain bike riding ops are present there. Are they? (Evidently. )

    Pine is north of Payson, isn't it? Beautiful country. Are your trails rideable in February? We're considering another desert road trip mid-January through mid-March.

    Thanks for doing trailwork.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90minIPA View Post
    I agree with all the heartfelt comments. Thanks to all for adding to this discussion. I have been involved in trail work for 30 years beginning back in the MBAA days when you needed to log 20 hours of volunteer work for your race points to count. From these early days of working in the PMP and AZT I met and worked with a a variety of trail building people with different interests. Obviously the early days of work the crews were mostly MTBers trying to get their hours. As projects became more global it seems hikers made up the majority of the crew. Living part time in Crested Butte I notice it is almost all mountain bikers..gobs of them. Our crew in Pine is mostly retired. We have hikers, trail runners, MTBers ( mostly hikers and trail runners), and a few that just enjoy the work but don't adhere to any group. I can only think of two women who were equestrians who have come to a trail event over the past 7 plus years. When building the bridge over Pine Creek we elicited the horse community for help in laying out and building a safe crossing for horses but they never showed up for trail days... so we didn't build it...

    Our group has also been involved with all user groups developing a master plan for the Tonto National Forest. All user groups and organizations were represented. There were over 150 community members who attended the intial set of mtgs. Over the course of almost two years the only people attending the latter meetings was our Pine trail group and AZT. One by one groups dissolved..the UTVers, equestrians, etc. I understand there are always exceptions. There are great people in every user group. I have just not experienced horse people willing to put in the time to make a difference in any trail system I have been involved with.
    So when we experience this kind of event (which is not the first) and we are left to fix it it kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth. We are building mountain bike trails..the middle user group. If you can ride them you can hike and run them. Our mtb race provides the bulk of our funding for our trails (approximately $150,000 to date). Our trail run in the spring is growing and adding to out trail fund. HORSE community $0 and no cents... no time.. In fact, we have had discussions about changing that little sign that has everyone deferring to horses for right of way to have everyone defer to MTBers... We are serious about that. So in closing, I need all you MTBers to come up and ride these trails back into shape....when it dries out...be more than happy to be your Sherpa guide.

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  9. #9
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    Unfortunately, finding people who will spend the effort to do these kinds of preservation/building efforts is extremely difficult. It takes motivated individuals (like you) to make these things happen. Most folks are just too self interested to get off their ass to do anything - even when it directly benefits them.

    Back east our trails would get choked by sticker bushes and the like every summer. It was a struggle to get anyone beyond the "usual suspects" out to help hack back the growth. Yet those same trails were used by a ton of bikers.

    Kudos to you and all involved for the work that has been done in the Pine area. That sort of thing is definitely a big effort that benefits way more people than the ones who make it happen.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90minIPA View Post
    This why I hate horses....Click image for larger version. 

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    ^ That's ridiculous, I'm sorry you have to deal with that. I'd be pissed.
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  11. #11
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    In the UK where I started riding bikes off road, pretty much our only 'legal' trails we could use were called bridleways. These were a network of trails that were laid out over the course of the last hundred years or so and allowed horse riders to roam freely on them. Then came MTBs and there were the inevitable 'clashes' between user groups, but we learned to get along. It was often raining in the UK, so many of these trails became muddy and 'hoofed out' by horses that had previously never bothered with causing such damage. Again, we got over it. It would eventually smooth over... Then when I moved here, I discovered that you could actually build new trail, and so started helping with that in my locale here. Most of the existing trails had been built by hikers, and much of my early work groups had a majority of hiking members. I never saw an equestrian join in, but these trails were mostly not horse friendly. Us bikers had to exert some pressure to get the trails more bike friendly too, but good compromises were made by communicating sensibly. I do have to say tho, I have still never knowingly seen any equestrians out helping on any trails, and I work on one particular loop near here that is heavily used and abused by them. Last time out there, I came up behind a group of about 16 riders on the singletrack, but they simply would not let me past, and I had to trundle along for about a mile before we reached the trailhead. I like horses, but not a big fan of the human elements involved.
    Having said all that, I am sure there are exceptions, I just have not seen too many.

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  12. #12
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    I'm not sure what gets me fired up more, horse damage or the person that ripped out all the rock armoring and berms on Pigtail on Christmas Eve. Pigtail is the only directional mountain bike trail in Sedona.

    It all points to more signage and better engagement with the community. I get the disconnect an equestrian might have when sitting on a 1000lb animal. Or the fear a hiker might have when a biker comes up behind them at 20mph. But shared-use trails are just that. We can do better.

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    When the 74-Z speeder bike drops this will no longer be a problem.

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  14. #14
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    I've run into equestrians on the trail before leaving that kind of damage behind them. Pointing out the damage to them and asking them to please stay off the trails until dry, their response was "what damage???" It doesn't affect their horses at all so they don't consider that to be damage. My experience with them doing trail work is cutting out high branches with loppers as they ride along, leaving the cut branches laying on the trail. I wouldn't really expect them to help out with trailwork much. Only a small % of each user group participates, and equestrians are a small (and shrinking) user group. Staying off the trails when wet is all they really need to do.

    It is more disappointing to me to see the small number of MTBers who help out. Having trails in good shape directly affects our riding. When asked most riders claim they don't have time to do trailwork. But seem to have plenty of time to ride, and even more time to bicker about useless shit on internet forums.

  15. #15
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    IME, equestrians do not like mountain bikers. We go too fast which often scares them and their horses. I wouldn't be surprised if that damage was created on purpose to one extent or another. Now, I'm not saying that it is like this always between both parties. Also, could it have been wild burros or open range horses/cattle that did the damage?

    Also, moist/loose ground is what equestrians seek to ride their horses upon. Look at a riding arena, it's loose and moist.
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    most of the assholes i run into on the trails are on horses.
    also i see a lot of commercial horse operations giving tours in big groups that do a lot of trail damage.

  17. #17
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    One can say that it is a group thing, mountain bikers hate equestrians, equestrians hate mountain bikers. It is no different than mountain bikers that hate other mountain bikers who ride through mud and rut out trails. But when it comes down to it, horses destroy trails and the riders rarely do anything about it. like stated above, horse riders do not care how the trail looks or feels because they are not "on it" like a hiker or biker.

    was out at apache wash riding and came up on a very angry lady on a horse. I politely moved off the trail ahead of her to allow her to pass, she demanded me to not only move 20ft off the trail, but get off my bike and move away from it not to spook her horse. if you horse is that easily spooked it should not be ridden with others. another time I had a very good experience with a horse rider there. I approached and rang my bell and stopped. the guy asked me to ride by several times, make noise and ring my bell to help him teach his horse while out riding. unfortunately the bad outnumbers the good.
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    I sure am glad I leave where horse back riders say hi and talk to me while I wait for them to get by. LOL

    The places you people live sound like hell, the way you write about your experiences.

    Wait for it, I live in......gulp...... California. How the hell can I be happy. Must be something wrong with me. LOL

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    Thoughtless Equestrians

    I find that when I am polite to Horse riders they almost always are equally polite. I too am in So Cal and I occasionally run into bikers not familiar with trail etiquette. Equestrians not so much. I greet, slow down and ask them if I can continue. Usually works for me.


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90minIPA View Post
    This why I hate horses....

    Why hate on some poor animal that would rather be lounging in a pasture anyway?

    Equestrians aren't thoughtless, they're probably laughing their @sses off thinking of the misery they're inflicting on mountain bikers as they're punching holes in the trail
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    I sure am glad I leave where horse back riders say hi and talk to me while I wait for them to get by. LOL

    The places you people live sound like hell, the way you write about your experiences.

    Wait for it, I live in......gulp...... California. How the hell can I be happy. Must be something wrong with me. LOL
    Most of the posters in this thread are probably in the valley and you are correct 9 months out of the year. We have horses in Flag, and it is no big deal. They are bigger than a bicyclist so ya, probably better to yield. As long as it is not JD Podiva and his 1800s pack horse train horses are a welcomed trail user in Flagstaff.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinatorj View Post
    Most of the posters in this thread are probably in the valley and you are correct 9 months out of the year. We have horses in Flag, and it is no big deal. They are bigger than a bicyclist so ya, probably better to yield. As long as it is not JD Podiva and his 1800s pack horse train horses are a welcomed trail user in Flagstaff.
    Yep, I haven't had that many negative interactions with equestrians in Flag. But they do pound the shit out of trails. Thankfully they don't frequent many of the trails popular for mountain biking. And the horse trailer thing is a big deal in planning trailheads. How far to you go and to what expense to provide drive-through for big trucks with trailers for what might be less than 1% of the use?

  23. #23
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    I was riding in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve when I turned onto a trail that had recently had horses. Most of the trail wasnít impacted but some of the soft areas had divots a couple of inches deep. I was ready to start cursing when I realized they had ridden through the soft areas a foot or so offset from the center line of the trail. The center of the trail was rarely impacted and the mtb riding experience was only 10% impacted by the horse damage. I used to think of horse damage as black or white but now I realize the equestrian can impact soft trails but largely mitigate the impacts to mountain bikers. Now the only question is how do you get word out to the equestrians.

  24. #24
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    We've had trail work recently at my local trail system.

    The bike tracks through the soft dirt was 2x as deep as the few hoof prints that were also evident.

    I think since it is primarily used for bike riding that the ruts are fine but the horse riders really should have waited for it to dry.
    The trail worker people don't mind filling in tire ruts as often as horse prints. I think the horse people should come to maintain the horse prints since the bike people fill in bike ruts.

  25. #25
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    I simply try to be polite to any other trail users. If you are polite maybe next time they will be polite hopefully and not go on an equestrian forum ranting about some a-hole mtbr.

    I do slow down and stop for horses, unlike a hiker a horse has a mind of its own and doesn't have ear buds in with music blaring.

  26. #26
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    So what are the solutions? Better signage? A trails condition website that is shared amongst user groups? Perhaps this thread can be steered toward some constructive discussion.

    It might be that equestrians are clueless or they just don't care. But really if were going to pick on equestrians we might as well single everyone out. For example:

    Boot prints frozen in time. Stay off trails when they are mushy during periods of freeze-thaw.
    Thoughtless Equestrians-boot-prints_2.jpg

    Bike ruts on Aerie trail in Sedona.
    Thoughtless Equestrians-aerie_1.jpg

    Hiker vandalism of an arch site.
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    Game camera catching a mountain biker blocking a jump line on the AZT in Flagstaff.


    Recent vandalism and destruction of a jump on Pigtail in Sedona. Obviously this person's idea of fun is different than what the builder's intended on this system trail.
    Thoughtless Equestrians-pig-tail-vandalism.jpg
    Last edited by rockman; 12-30-2019 at 08:39 AM.

  27. #27
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    I've had a few encounters up here in Alaska with equestrians on the trail, winter and summer, but it's been strangely different than my experience in AZ, where the horse enslavers were demanding things and freaking out, even when you were following the rules and yielding as required. It's entitlement at it's finest, taking an uncontrollable animal out and making everyone else responsible for your lack of control over it. I think I put up fliers at the trailheads once with pictures of the damage and asking anyone who sees them in those conditions to report it to the land manager.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    It's entitlement at it's finest, taking an uncontrollable animal out and making everyone else responsible for your lack of control over it.
    This is so well stated. Thanks for hitting the nail on the head with this statement, Jayem.

    I rent a studio on a horse ranch, where I've lived for years. My landlord is a trainer -- she trains both horses and riders (for what's called "eventing" in the equestrian world). She's very rational and approaches horses as a business unlike many women (sorry, sexist for sure but anchored in truth*) who often love their horses like giant pets. Anyway my horse trainer landlord says that horse brains are similar in many ways to the average two year old human's brain. She has to relate to horses thusly when training them.

    Why anyone would want to climb atop such an animal escapes me. Beyond this, what Jayem said above.

    A good horse (they're out there, at least for eventing if not for trail riding) can cost over $30,000 -- sometimes way over that. Way, way over that. Care, feeding, transportation, housing and vet expenses make the cost of owning a horse astronomical. An expensive horse can turn up lame overnight, rendering it (sorry) nothing but an expensive and inconvenient problem. Why would anyone want a horse? I simply don't understand. Beyond this, what Jayem said above.
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    *In the decade or so that I've lived on this ranch, all my landlord's students have been women -- 100%. I'm not saying that men don't ride horses, but around here at least, 99% or more of equestrians are female. Not trying to make this a gender issue, simply pointing out an objective fact. Beyond this, what Jayem said above.
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  29. #29
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    It's not the pets fault, but the rider. We as bikers also need to set better examples.
    If it's too wet to ride, grab a shovel and give back to the trails. I find it just as rewarding as a good ride

    I personally have never seen a pet rider do any type of trail work, only destruction unless we needed post holes in the middle of the trail.....
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer View Post
    Who the hell uses pogies in 48 degree weather?????
    The kind of person who blocks a jump line. Haha so weird.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by phatmike2112 View Post
    The kind of person who blocks a jump line. Haha so weird.
    Ya, not so egregious just blocking cheater lines or jump lines when you have a chance to react but she's also been booby trapping advanced trails like CanI, Ginger, and Pickle. In that case it's arguably intent to harm which is of course a felony crime. Not sure if she knows yet that the mtn bike community now has pictures of her on a couple of different trails but her idea of fun is a bit exclusionary.

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    Rim country is horse country. I donít think any equestrian would call that trail damage. And thatís where the argument starts.

  33. #33
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    I'm a horse rider. I bike more lately. Growing up people didn't ride bikes out on the trails like they do today. Horse folks are wonderful people, most simply don't know they're messing up the trails. Maybe its an education thing.
    My father and I did a great deal of trail work on a seven mile trail that he and his brother built back in the 1950's-- mountain biking became big and we are no longer able to use that trail. The horses, and horse people, were using these trails long before bikers were in many cases. The problem is the horses do long-lasting damage that the bikers end up fixing.

    When I'm riding with bikers and we approach horses I find everyone is quiet around the horses and polite to those riding them. When I'm riding with horse people and we see bikers approaching it feels different. Horse folks feel an ownership that I don't understand. I can't explain this. I can only thank those who show a genuine desire to get along and take care of the trails that the biking community work so hard to protect.

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    Sadly you are the exception to the rule. I doubt education would make much difference. I think attitude of most who ride horses is a sense of entitlement. I do find the the level of arrogance is in direct correlation to the proximity of urban areas. The closer you are to the city the more arrogant riders are.

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    Also a horse rider, and live in "HorsetownUSA". Local equestrians bring out chainsaws to trails and do work. But...intended to make the trails better for them, not for MTB riding. But, MTB riders don't build trails to accommodate horses, they build to accommodate bikes. I'm also a runner, and running either trail isn't really ideal either (gravel bike trails are more suitable, no one builds those! ).

    From the equestrian perspective, they aren't damaging the trails, you are. Broken up and soft soil is better on the horses feet, packed down conditions are better for MTB.

    Hate all the other trail users all you want, but you are adding to the problem by being just as selfish for thinking that the trail is only for you (unless of course, it is) and thinking that the ideal conditions for you are ideal for everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Ya, not so egregious just blocking cheater lines or jump lines when you have a chance to react but she's also been booby trapping advanced trails like CanI, Ginger, and Pickle. In that case it's arguably intent to harm which is of course a felony crime. Not sure if she knows yet that the mtn bike community now has pictures of her on a couple of different trails but her idea of fun is a bit exclusionary.
    Really wtf? Hope she is caught and dealt with!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Hate all the other trail users all you want, but you are adding to the problem by being just as selfish for thinking that the trail is only for you (unless of course, it is)
    Calling bullshit on ^this^ generalization. In addition to being a hiker and a mountain biker, I'm also an off-road motorcyclist and 30+ year trailbuilder and dirt steward -- I founded the Disciples of Dirt in 1987. Take it from someone who enjoys 40hp in the palm of his hand, some trail users deserve all the hate they get.

    Hooves destroy trails.

    Beyond this, nobody said they thought the trails are only for them. It isn't hard to tell the difference between undisturbed ground and destroyed ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    and thinking that the ideal conditions for you are ideal for everyone.
    This comment is a smokescreen. Nobody said that, either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Also a horse rider, and live in "HorsetownUSA". Local equestrians bring out chainsaws to trails and do work. But...intended to make the trails better for them, not for MTB riding. But, MTB riders don't build trails to accommodate horses, they build to accommodate bikes. I'm also a runner, and running either trail isn't really ideal either (gravel bike trails are more suitable, no one builds those! ).
    Here in Flagstaff we are building to accommodate equestrians on multi-use trails. Also for hikers and trail runners. Or, we wouldn't be able to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by phatmike2112 View Post
    Really wtf? Hope she is caught and dealt with!
    I'm not sure where it's going to go. This is one of several photographs from a game camera circulating around the mtn biking community. The camera was placed on several trails to see if others were involved. The USFS LEO's primary focus is over-extended camping, vagrants, and public nuisance like intoxication at attraction sites like fossil creek. They don't seem interested or have time to police small infractions on trails (either trail sabotage or building) until it becomes a problem. Which mean until somebody gets hurt.

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    I encountered some horses over the weekend, yeah the trail got rough for a bit but my front suspension ate it up like a fat kid at the candy store.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post

    From the equestrian perspective, they aren't damaging the trails, you are. Broken up and soft soil is better on the horses feet, packed down conditions are better for MTB.
    Would the land managers agree that it's no big deal to tear up the trails because it's good for the horsies feet?

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    This threads proves my point. We need a bike park in AZ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post

    Hate all the other trail users all you want, but you are adding to the problem by being just as selfish for thinking that the trail is only for you (unless of course, it is) and thinking that the ideal conditions for you are ideal for everyone.
    You are so right. Everyone looks at things form their own perspective. Well said.

    Quote Originally Posted by fiveo View Post
    I do find the level of arrogance is in direct correlation to the proximity of urban areas. The closer you are to the city the more arrogant riders are.
    It's an anxious moment when you're on a 1200 pound animal and you see a cyclist in all those bright clothes come towards you fast. To a horse its sometimes a monster. The arrogance you mentioned may in fact be fear from the horse rider. He/she may be giving directions to the bikers or taking up the whole trail to prevent the biker from racing past. If I'm on a young horse and I move off the trail to let a biker go by, and he hauls ass past me and scares my horse I'm not going to move the next time! I know I'm being as asshole by taking up the trail but at least I'm not a dead asshole. As a horse rider I've never had anything but kindness from cyclist. Most understand the situation. The guys or gals on the horse are at way more risk of personal injury than the person on the bike. Lets give them some grace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by curly1 View Post
    You are so right. Everyone looks at things form their own perspective. Well said.
    I disagree. Not with the part about everyone looking at things from their own perspective; of course everyone does this. For example, you were doing it when you added your comments to this thread. But intelligent and compassionate people are able to see and relate to other peoples' perspectives as well. It's the "You are so right" and the "Well said" parts of your post that I disagree with. The comments of Sidewalk's that you praise are little more than hyperbolic rhetoric designed to stir the pot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    It's entitlement at it's finest, taking an uncontrollable animal out and making everyone else responsible for your lack of control over it.
    Now ^this^ statement I can wholeheartedly agree with. It may contain some hyperbole as well, but in essence, it's accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by curly1 View Post
    It's an anxious moment when you're on a 1200 pound animal and you see a cyclist in all those bright clothes come towards you fast. To a horse its sometimes a monster. The arrogance you mentioned may in fact be fear from the horse rider. He/she may be giving directions to the bikers or taking up the whole trail to prevent the biker from racing past.
    I don't blame any equestrian in such a situation and I don't EVER blast past ANY other trail users, least of all mounted equestrians. Those poor souls are in a precarious spot. Why they'd put themselves in such a position and then go out into public on a multi-user trail, I can't imagine. But as foolish as doing so may be, they've done it, so the rest of the trail using community must act accordingly. As you've pointed out, most do.

    Quote Originally Posted by curly1 View Post
    As a horse rider I've never had anything but kindness from cyclist. Most understand the situation. The guys or gals on the horse are at way more risk of personal injury than the person on the bike. Lets give them some grace.
    I am ALWAYS gracious toward equestrians on the trail. If you and your horse have ever met me on a trail (countless have), I guarantee that you left thinking I was the kindest, most respectful human being on the planet. I have yet to have a bad encounter with an equestrian and I'm confident the equestrians I've encountered would say the same thing.

    This thread isn't about being a jerk on the trail toward anyone. It's not advocating disrespect for equestrians whenever we meet on the trail.

    Meanwhile I stand by the statements I've already made.
    Including: hooves destroy trails.
    And agreeing with Jayem's comment about equestrian entitlement.

    Be safe out there.
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    Sparticus,
    You and I are two seemingly civil minded people. We can't even agree on this issue. It's probably wishful thinking to think these two groups will ever see eye to eye. Both groups have those who put their own needs and wants before everyone else. These same people continue to bitch and do nothing to solve the problem. I trust that if I see you on the trail you will be polite, I will certainly do the same. But we can't control the guys who are jerks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by curly1 View Post
    Sparticus,
    You and I are two seemingly civil minded people. We can't even agree on this issue. It's probably wishful thinking to think these two groups will ever see eye to eye. Both groups have those who put their own needs and wants before everyone else. These same people continue to bitch and do nothing to solve the problem. I trust that if I see you on the trail you will be polite, I will certainly do the same. But we can't control the guys who are jerks.
    curly1, thank goodness you've found some common ground for us. Thank you.

    There are many, many self-absorbed, rule breaking off-road cyclists. These I cannot abide. Take for instance the longstanding trail etiquette of yielding to uphill traffic. Not only do some of the bozos in my sport ignore this time honored rule, they actually defend themselves when called out about it. They are defiant when they should be contrite. This is but one example.

    Riding illegal trails. Riding at speeds beyond those dictated by limited sight lines. Damaging waterlogged trails by riding when we shouldn't.

    Please let nothing I said above make you think that I believe there are no bad apple mountain bikers. There are plenty of them -- far too many.

    In the end, in my opinion it is the obligation and should be the goal of every trail user to create harmony in the back country. This may not always be easy but this I know -- it's a lot easier in person than it is on an internet forum. I apologize if I've been inflammatory here. That's a slippery slope in the digital realm and yeah, I've slid down it before, sometimes {wince} even intentionally. So easy knowing I can't be reached behind this keyboard.
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  46. #46
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    This is not about the horse / biker conflict, this is about the horse / trail conflict.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    This is not about the horse / biker conflict, this is about the horse / trail conflict.
    Not sure what your point is?

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    How about put hiking boots or tennis sneakers on the horses hooves so they don't leave post holes and also have better grip??

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    Quote Originally Posted by RustySaguaro View Post
    How about put hiking boots or tennis sneakers on the horses hooves so they don't leave post holes and also have better grip??
    You mean kinda like snowshoes for horses? Yeah, that oughta work. Put tire tread on the bottoms of the horsey-snowshoes and the residual imprints might lead those who come upon them later to believe some sort of vehicle left them. Right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    This is not about the horse / biker conflict, this is about the horse / trail conflict.
    Yep, I get it. The OP posted this shitstorm of a thread and then largey ducked out on the discussion. I want to check out his/her trails though and thanks for the hard work.

    Besides better outreach and education additional signage might help prevent damage to trails by horses during wet periods. But make no mistake if equine owners are going to go to the effort to load their trailers with food and animal then by god it is their divine right to ride said animals once they get to the sweet TH with trailer parking provided by tax payer money.

    Other ideas? Public shaming? Write an editorial in the local rag. Post some flyers?
    Make the rounds at the horse camp? https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlp...816/page24.htm

    Get the Arizona State Horsemen's Alliance at the table or at least reach out to them. https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlp...816/page24.htm

    Complaining on mtbr isn't going to do anything except create more divisiveness between user groups. I mean really the threat that the OP and his fellow trail builders are going to do everything in their power to make equestrians feel unwelcome in Pine is kinda lame. It's public land.

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    Lots of horse created single track around where I live just from them riding it over and over for decades. They don't do any trail work and they really don't seem to need to outside of where they chose a bad path and washes out but even at that, they just move over a few feet and start a new path. They ride it wet and don't seem to care at all as dried up hoof print holes don't really seem to effect a horse much but it sure sucks to ride my bike on them right now. LOL

    I think that the main issue on multi use trails is most horse people don't think about how much it messes it up for other users. I am sure there are some that just flat out don't care but I think more signage would go a long ways. I think most people will do the right thing if they know.

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    Educate not debate. Perhaps some (more) across the aisle interaction? I agree that pontificating about it on emptybeer isn't going to do much but create more division though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rynomx785 View Post
    Lots of horse created single track around where I live just from them riding it over and over for decades. They don't do any trail work and they really don't seem to need to outside of where they chose a bad path and washes out but even at that, they just move over a few feet and start a new path. They ride it wet and don't seem to care at all as dried up hoof print holes don't really seem to effect a horse much but it sure sucks to ride my bike on them right now. LOL

    I think that the main issue on multi use trails is most horse people don't think about how much it messes it up for other users. I am sure there are some that just flat out don't care but I think more signage would go a long ways. I think most people will do the right thing if they know.
    Or just get an ebike and enjoy the plowability afforded by additional power. In other words take yourself to the next level of being insulated from the trail, similar to the way a horse insulates its rider from the trail. What's good for the goose...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Or just get an ebike and enjoy the plowability afforded by additional power. In other words take yourself to the next level of being insulated from the trail, similar to the way a horse insulates its rider from the trail. What's good for the goose...
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    That has crossed my mind but, if I am going to spend $5k on a powered 2 wheeler, it is going to be 50 HP and say "CRF" on the side. lol I rode MX growing up and there is a lot of moto single track not far from me too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Educate not debate. Perhaps some (more) across the aisle interaction? I agree that pontificating about it on emptybeer isn't going to do much but create more division though.
    What a concept. Personally I would reach out to the Rec Staff Officer for the Payson Ranger District of the Tonto National Forest. I would think if they are building trails in Pine they are in frequent contact. It states right in the Management Plan for the Tonto on p. 22 that conflicts between user groups are easily resolved. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...eprd680654.pdf

    Sounds like horse hockey to me but as the steward the USFS should work toward a solution or at least be made aware of a shared-use conflict. In this case, post-holed trails is obviously not a "desired user experience" for one user group but also not meeting the desired objectives and standards for sustainable trails. Especially new ones being built on public land.

    It might be possible to get horses banned from the OP's trails in Pine. It appears there are plenty of places for equestrians to ride in the Tonto National Forest including 8 wilderness areas where they won't be bothered by those pesky mountain bikers.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZmuchacho View Post
    most of the assholes i run into on the trails are on horses.
    also i see a lot of commercial horse operations giving tours in big groups that do a lot of trail damage.
    100% on the point of commercial operations not giving a crap. I ride at Santan and there's a commercial operation that works out of there and they seem to the first out on the trail after a good storm postholing the crap out of the trails. What compounds things at Santan is the lack of trails available. Santan, Moonlight and Stargazer take the worst beating.
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    At one point of human density, we will all be thoughtless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Yep, I get it. The OP posted this shitstorm of a thread and then largey ducked out on the discussion. I want to check out his/her trails though and thanks for the hard work.

    Besides better outreach and education additional signage might help prevent damage to trails by horses during wet periods. But make no mistake if equine owners are going to go to the effort to load their trailers with food and animal then by god it is their divine right to ride said animals once they get to the sweet TH with trailer parking provided by tax payer money.

    Other ideas? Public shaming? Write an editorial in the local rag. Post some flyers?
    Make the rounds at the horse camp? https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlp...816/page24.htm

    Get the Arizona State Horsemen's Alliance at the table or at least reach out to them. https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlp...816/page24.htm

    Complaining on mtbr isn't going to do anything except create more divisiveness between user groups. I mean really the threat that the OP and his fellow trail builders are going to do everything in their power to make equestrians feel unwelcome in Pine is kinda lame. It's public land.
    I've been out of town for a couple of weeks and didn't check all the new posts. I apologize for "ducking out". I've enjoyed the posts that have given me pause. My sentiments are shared universally by our small trail building community here in Pine. We work very hard to make a difference in our community. I would be more than happy to give you a tour of our trail system when the trails dry and weather warms a bit. "Shitstorm of a thread".... wow....come build trail with us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Also a horse rider, and live in "HorsetownUSA". Local equestrians bring out chainsaws to trails and do work. But...intended to make the trails better for them, not for MTB riding. But, MTB riders don't build trails to accommodate horses, they build to accommodate bikes. I'm also a runner, and running either trail isn't really ideal either (gravel bike trails are more suitable, no one builds those! ).

    From the equestrian perspective, they aren't damaging the trails, you are. Broken up and soft soil is better on the horses feet, packed down conditions are better for MTB.

    Hate all the other trail users all you want, but you are adding to the problem by being just as selfish for thinking that the trail is only for you (unless of course, it is) and thinking that the ideal conditions for you are ideal for everyone.
    I don't think the trails are just for me. The damage created by these riders was a choice they made irregardless of trail conditions. Our trail running club now cannot use the trails until the surface improves because of the equestrian's choice to ride... mountain bikers will slog through these sections until they heal because of the equestrian's choice to ride... these two people impacted a "shared" resource.

    There is a science to building trail....sustainable trail. If horses like soft erodible surfaces by all means go out and build them...and maintain them...goog luck...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 90minIPA View Post
    I've been out of town for a couple of weeks and didn't check all the new posts. I apologize for "ducking out". I've enjoyed the posts that have given me pause. My sentiments are shared universally by our small trail building community here in Pine. We work very hard to make a difference in our community. I would be more than happy to give you a tour of our trail system when the trails dry and weather warms a bit. "Shitstorm of a thread".... wow....come build trail with us.

    Sent from my SM-T378V using Tapatalk
    Yeah....shitstorm meaning: a situation in which a lot of people are disagreeing and arguing with each other

    But I guess most posting in this thread are actually in support of your horse-hating rant. Much of what you say is true but dang you are in the middle of horse country. Personally, as a trail advocate I don't go after other user groups in a public forum. But I'd be pissed off as well which is why I tried to offer some constructive suggestions. Anyhow, not sure how your small trail building community is affiliated with the Rim Country Mountain Bike Association or the Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Committee but you'll get more bees with honey if you can get the horsey folks to the table. Is this your project? https://psfuelreduction.org/category/trails/

    As for your offer, I would love to both build and ride. Got plenty of building/maintaining to do in my neck of the woods but keep me (us) posted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Yeah....shitstorm meaning: a situation in which a lot of people are disagreeing and arguing with each other

    But I guess most posting in this thread are actually in support of your horse-hating rant. Much of what you say is true but dang you are in the middle of horse country. Personally, as a trail advocate I don't go after other user groups in a public forum. But I'd be pissed off as well which is why I tried to offer some constructive suggestions. Anyhow, not sure how your small trail building community is affiliated with the Rim Country Mountain Bike Association or the Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Committee but you'll get more bees with honey if you can get the horsey folks to the table. Is this your project? https://psfuelreduction.org/category/trails/

    As for your offer, I would love to both build and ride. Got plenty of building/maintaining to do in my neck of the woods but keep me (us) posted.
    Thanks for your comments... yea... I did create a shitstorm. This event was significantly bigger so my reaction was probably commensurately large..... We post trail info on the PS Fuel Reduction website... available to all...even horse people.

    Come up to Pine...let's talk over a beer after a ride...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rynomx785 View Post
    That has crossed my mind but, if I am going to spend $5k on a powered 2 wheeler, it is going to be 50 HP and say "CRF" on the side. lol I rode MX growing up and there is a lot of moto single track not far from me too.
    Ah yes, another person seeing my point of. View. Way rather have and cheaper than a MTB erector set rc car bastardized hybrid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sinatorj View Post
    Ah yes, another person seeing my point of. View. Way rather have and cheaper than a MTB erector set rc car bastardized hybrid.
    All the single track moto guys record their rides using Strava too. I have ridden a few of the trails on my MTB and was surprised to see a bunch Strava segments and surprised to see how far off pace I was until I realized what I was up against. Lol Flagís own, Rob Naughton seems the the KOM holder in the area.


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    Quote Originally Posted by rynomx785 View Post
    All the single track moto guys record their rides using Strava too. I have ridden a few of the trails on my MTB and was surprised to see a bunch Strava segments and surprised to see how far off pace I was until I realized what I was up against. Lol Flagís own, Rob Naughton seems the the KOM holder in the area.


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    Ha, I'll vouch for Fig his KOMs are legit. The dude is scary fast or was. He also won the Kamikazee downhill at Mammoth and has won at every level or discipline whether moto, trucks, or mtn biking. But for fun he will post a KOM on his moto to get the local strava boys in a tizzy but then quickly remove it. Not sure he actually has any KOMs anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Ha, I'll vouch for Fig his KOMs are legit. The dude is scary fast or was. He also won the Kamikazee downhill at Mammoth and has won at every level or discipline whether moto, trucks, or mtn biking. But for fun he will post a KOM on his moto to get the local strava boys in a tizzy but then quickly remove it. Not sure he actually has any KOMs anymore.
    They are full blown moto trails so itís not like heís poaching MTB trails. All good in my book! I just wasnít expecting to see Strava segments.


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    I saw this in an ultra running group I'm in. My first thought was this thread and it made me laugh.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Thoughtless Equestrians-screenshot_20200111-125053.jpg  


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    This is an interesting read and what happens when some users can't get along or play nice. https://www.outsideonline.com/240774...-jvbWCYO6_XWew

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    why are dog owners expected to pick up their animals poop but not horse owners?

    my guess: the horse people think they are on a wild animal that is in it's natural habitat so, it's natural. as opposed to the dog, who is a domesticated animal now and a pet so, it's not natural. which i think is a load of crap. they are both pets. unless they're wild, then no one will be riding them.

    i'd rather try to avoid dog droppings vs horse droppings, especially when a whole slew of horses have just come through. it can be impossible to avoid the poop splatter without getting off the bike and side stepping off the trail to avoid their deposits.

  70. #70
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    Thoughtless Equestrians

    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    This is an interesting read and what happens when some users can't get along or play nice. https://www.outsideonline.com/240774...-jvbWCYO6_XWew
    I have to admit I see a lot of riders who either donít know trail etiquette, or simply donít care. The most common is downhill riders not yielding to uphill riders. I get that you want to Bomb down the trail to nab your PR or beat your buddies, but it is unsafe to uphill hikers and riders and the uphill rider always has the right of way unless on a one way trail.

    If you really want to push your downhill skills maybe you should hit a bike park or at the very least, give the uphill rider the right of way and be cool about it. The need to be extra friendly to hikers and horse riders should be common sense. We do not need to lose trail access and they always have the right of way, uphill or down.


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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by madduck View Post
    why are dog owners expected to pick up their animals poop but not horse owners?

    my guess: the horse people think they are on a wild animal that is in it's natural habitat so, it's natural. as opposed to the dog, who is a domesticated animal now and a pet so, it's not natural. which i think is a load of crap. they are both pets. unless they're wild, then no one will be riding them.

    i'd rather try to avoid dog droppings vs horse droppings, especially when a whole slew of horses have just come through. it can be impossible to avoid the poop splatter without getting off the bike and side stepping off the trail to avoid their deposits.
    Because horse manure poses no health risks. Dog shit does. Dog waste contains a large amount of bacteria, as well as other hazards to the environment and human health. Horse manure does not.

    https://www.bayequest.com/static/pdf/manure.pdf

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Because horse manure poses no health risks. Dog shit does. Dog waste contains a large amount of bacteria, as well as other hazards to the environment and human health. Horse manure does not.

    https://www.bayequest.com/static/pdf/manure.pdf

    Horseshit. Letís call it horseshit. Thatís what it is. People eat it all the time. Right?

    Horseshit may not be as dangerous as dogshit but intelligent people still donít apply it to their lips. In 2020, there are more trail users than ever. Every animal owner should possess the common courtesy to kick their animalís excrement off a public trail. Tradition is no excuse in the case of the equestrian. Only equestrians feel that it is. Nobody else wants that shit.

    Itís time for equestrians to step boldly into the 21st century by considering the needs, wants and desires of their fellow trail users. Kicking the horseshit theyíre responsible for off the trail may be a horrific inconvenience, but it should be done regardless, just like dogshit to the dog owner. Any animalís excrement on the trail is offensive to trail users and if removing horseshit isnít the responsibility of the equestrian, then whoís is it?
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  73. #73
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    Dog shit is way worse than horse shit. Horse shit is only slightly less offensive than cow manure. Both are grass. God only knows what is going into dog food.

    I would gladly trade some horse shit for the owners not post-holing wet trails but I see two different camps. Private owners and guided horseback rides. In places like Phoenix (for example, Cave Creek Regional Park) where a guided outfitter is running trips every day of the week on the same trails they should be cleaning up after themselves. And I think the do? Not sure if they actually pay for any maintenance but I have seen somebody picking up horseshit. Maybe it was just a concerned hiker.

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    I think this one has outlived any constructive uses./
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