close encounters of the equestrian kind- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    close encounters of the equestrian kind

    I rode my neighborhood loop up through the Berkeley streets to Tilden Park to do a loop up Meadows Canyon- Seaview- Big Springs- Quarry then down Wildcat Gorge and back to the streets and home. I ride these trails/fire roads a lot and I'm very aware of hiker and horse traffic.

    Riding down through Wildcat Gorge I passed more than a few hikers with kids and dogs, so I was riding fairly slowly with my eyes peeled. The Wildcat Gorge trail is pretty overgrown and some what narrow for Tilden. So I'm coming up to a blind corner and meet 2 horses and riders coming the opposite way. As soon as I'm aware of the horses I stop, still about 10 feet away from them. I'm totally in control of my bike but I still skid slightly. At the same time the lead horse panics and bolts backward, The rider was able to get it somewhat under control. I get off my bike and lay it on the ground. But the horse is still freaked and is crab walking sideways. I asked the rider if his horse was ok but he was to busy verbally calming the horse to reply. We all continued on our way.

    So I'm still pretty upset at what could have happened if the rider wasn't able to stay mounted or regain control of the horse or if there were hikers, kids and or dogs in the mix.

    I was riding responsibly, but the situation happened so quickly anyway. I usually don't ride up there in the afternoon because of the heavy use. But I had an opportunity to ride so there I was. Right now I'm feeling that horses are a menace. They are so big and are to easly frightened. I'm thankfull that no one was harmed.

  2. #2
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    rule number 1 for every equestrian should be:

    If your horse can't handle situations with bikes or hikers or dogs, you need to leave it on the ranch. Plain and simple. Teach a horse that bikers are ok, and they're fine! I get laughed at by equestrians in granite bay sometimes. I goto get off my bike and they say....you're fine, if the horse can't handle a bike, it shouldn't be out here!

  3. #3
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    Nice job, Pauly. Like I tell my riders, "just because someone was upset doesn't mean you did anything wrong."

    1) I don't know why they allow horses on the Gorge Trail.
    2) Horses are too big and dependant upon their training and riders to be safe.
    3) Why we have to tippy-toe around these beasts while they are allowed on all the good trails is simply beyond me.
    I don't rattle.

  4. #4
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    why can't they wear those poop bags like you see in nyc? is it bad for the horse or something?
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  5. #5
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    I was once told by an equestrian co-worker that it freaks horses out when they see people get off their bikes. Something about one thing becoming two that spooks them. Anybody else ever heard this?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turd Fergusen View Post
    I was once told by an equestrian co-worker that it freaks horses out when they see people get off their bikes. Something about one thing becoming two that spooks them. Anybody else ever heard this?
    Further proof these animals are too dumb to be allowed on our trails. Horses should be meat, not transportation.
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  7. #7
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    I have come across horses on numerous occasions. I usually slow to a complete stop and let the horse pass or wait for instruction form the rider. I do agree if you can't handle your horse on a multi use trail it shouldn't be there. I rode one of those 1000lb. beasts and can't imagine riding anywhere w/ any traffic.

  8. #8
    Weird huh?
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmr2_man View Post
    rule number 1 for every equestrian should be:

    If your horse can't handle situations with bikes or hikers or dogs, you need to leave it on the ranch. Plain and simple. Teach a horse that bikers are ok, and they're fine! I get laughed at by equestrians in granite bay sometimes. I goto get off my bike and they say....you're fine, if the horse can't handle a bike, it shouldn't be out here!
    This~

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    cmdrpiffle • 7 points •1 day ago
    Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for Cinco de Mayo

  9. #9
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    check out what's going on with horses in my neighborhood

    http://forums.mtbr.com/arizona/signi...ea-731779.html

  10. #10
    Weird huh?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt_Diggler View Post
    check out what's going on with horses in my neighborhood

    http://forums.mtbr.com/arizona/signi...ea-731779.html
    Just read thru the fist few pages including the original letter....just wow. Cycling monsters. It's got a nice ring!

    El Cid is Spanish for The Cid..
    cmdrpiffle • 7 points •1 day ago
    Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for Cinco de Mayo

  11. #11
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    Such a huge difference between trained and untrained horses...I've encountered both.

    My last experience was with the former. We were on a technical, rocky section a couple weeks ago; the 5 in our group came across 6 equestrians heading up hill. They all rode their horses off to the side and told us to keep riding. I was a little sketched out, but they assured us they were good, and smiled as we rode past. I have no issue with trained animals on the trail; the ones that freak out need to stay home.

    Same goes for dogs. I have an awesome dog that I hike with, and also take for runs on the longboard. I wouldn't dare bring her out on the trail with my bike though...as well trained as she is, people on bikes triggers her hearding instinct and trouble ensues. Conversely, I've seen people with dogs on the trail that stay single file behind their owners...good for them on enjoying the trails together.

    Moral? Blame the irresponsible riders/owners, not the animals.

  12. #12
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    there is a big difference in trail rider types in the horse world. Endurance riders: typically their horses are well experienced in mutli user encounters and for the most part don't react to our presence. Weekend riders. Their horses don't get ridden much, the riders a fearfull of encounters and the horse picks up the riders fear. Those are the riders and horses that everyone [ other equestrians, hikers, bikers, atv'rs] has an issue with.

    **** happens
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz Cut View Post
    there is a big difference in trail rider types in the horse world. Endurance riders: typically their horses are well experienced in mutli user encounters and for the most part don't react to our presence. Weekend riders. Their horses don't get ridden much, the riders a fearfull of encounters and the horse picks up the riders fear. Those are the riders and horses that everyone [ other equestrians, hikers, bikers, atv'rs] has an issue with.

    **** happens
    the more I reflect on the incident the more I'm thankful that the rider was skilled enough to stay mounted and regain control of his horse. I think that both me and the horse folks were riding responsibly. We just met at the worst possible spot on the trail.

    ***** does happen.

    The only behavior that I can control is my own. Kids, dogs and horses are unpredictable. I'll just have to avoid that trail on busy afternoons.

  14. #14
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    I tend to think horses are a menace on our crowded urban trail system. I also tend to believe horse ownership is reserved for the wealthy (cash or land). So the horse thing seems like a struggle of the uber-privileged class versus the rest of us.

    There are so many equestrian only areas I wonder why those are not enough and why a horse owner would want to put their expensive animal at risk on a high-use trail system like this.

    I realize they are prey animals but seriously, if they spook that easily they should be anywhere near people. Isn't the owner ultimately responsible for the animals behavior? How did we get into a situation where the horses behavior is the responsibility of everyone else on the trail but the rider/owner?

  15. #15
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    always speak right away to let the horses know your not a menace. I ride with jingle bells on my bars. the horses hear me before we see each other

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrashWorship View Post
    I tend to think horses are a menace on our crowded urban trail system. I also tend to believe horse ownership is reserved for the wealthy (cash or land). So the horse thing seems like a struggle of the uber-privileged class versus the rest of us.

    There are so many equestrian only areas I wonder why those are not enough and why a horse owner would want to put their expensive animal at risk on a high-use trail system like this.

    I realize they are prey animals but seriously, if they spook that easily they should be anywhere near people. Isn't the owner ultimately responsible for the animals behavior? How did we get into a situation where the horses behavior is the responsibility of everyone else on the trail but the rider/owner?
    Ya know most folks look at Mt Bikers as privelged and wealthy. The can't see spending over a couple of hundred for a bicycle ever. How many of us ride bikes worth 2000-5000, spend hundreds on gear, more hundreds on racks for our nice cars that we spent bucks on to take us to go play in the drit?

    Most horse owners outside of Jumpers and Dressage spent less to buy their horse than we spend on our bikes. Most keep them in pastures where they spend a couple of hundred / month to keep them. they have old beat up trucks and trailers and they like getting out and playing in the dirt as much as we do.

    Get off your damn high pedestal, they were using the trails long before we were. you sound like the damn hiker NAZI's like Mike V the trail slasher that wants everyone but hikers off the trails.
    In my book: Share the road, share the trails, is the only way to go

    I had no problems with these guys this morning


    I did almost get blasted head on by the out of control two wheeled dork in a white and black FOX jersey coming down from Jinkoji pond on the fire road
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  17. #17
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    I agree...

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz Cut View Post
    Ya know most folks look at Mt Bikers as privelged and wealthy. The can't see spending over a couple of hundred for a bicycle ever. How many of us ride bikes worth 2000-5000, spend hundreds on gear, more hundreds on racks for our nice cars that we spent bucks on to take us to go play in the drit?

    Most horse owners outside of Jumpers and Dressage spent less to buy their horse than we spend on our bikes. Most keep them in pastures where they spend a couple of hundred / month to keep them. they have old beat up trucks and trailers and they like getting out and playing in the dirt as much as we do.

    Get off your damn high pedestal, they were using the trails long before we were. you sound like the damn hiker NAZI's like Mike V the trail slasher that wants everyone but hikers off the trails.
    In my book: Share the road, share the trails, is the only way to go

    I had no problems with these guys this morning


    I did almost get blasted head on by the out of control two wheeled dork in a white and black FOX jersey coming down from Jinkoji pond on the fire road

    No good is going to come of this debate as long as we turn it into an us vs. them thing. Most eq's are cool, just like most mtbrs are cool. Some are dicks, just like some mtbrs are dicks.

  18. #18
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    One horse just destroyed a trail some folks put some hard work into in my area. They shouldn't be allowed on narrow single track with a fragile bench.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauly mac View Post
    The only behavior that I can control is my own. Kids, dogs and horses are unpredictable. I'll just have to avoid that trail on busy afternoons.

    Unfortunately, in addition to being banned from most of the great trails where these animals are allowed, now we have to choose to exclude ourselves in order to assure the comfort of these animals.

    I don't know why this is such a hard sell to park directors. This should be a slamdunk. These are animals. Why should they have any priority over human users?
    I don't rattle.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz Cut View Post
    Ya know most folks look at Mt Bikers as privelged and wealthy. The can't see spending over a couple of hundred for a bicycle ever. How many of us ride bikes worth 2000-5000, spend hundreds on gear, more hundreds on racks for our nice cars that we spent bucks on to take us to go play in the drit?

    Most horse owners outside of Jumpers and Dressage spent less to buy their horse than we spend on our bikes. Most keep them in pastures where they spend a couple of hundred / month to keep them. they have old beat up trucks and trailers and they like getting out and playing in the dirt as much as we do.

    Get off your damn high pedestal, they were using the trails long before we were. you sound like the damn hiker NAZI's like Mike V the trail slasher that wants everyone but hikers off the trails.
    In my book: Share the road, share the trails, is the only way to go

    I had no problems with these guys this morning


    I did almost get blasted head on by the out of control two wheeled dork in a white and black FOX jersey coming down from Jinkoji pond on the fire road
    Are you for real?

    Equestrians have 90% more exclusive use our public lands in an urban area. That's a fact. Sure sounds like a privileged class of people to me. Oh and by the way, don't give me that horseshit about the poor people with horses. Save it for some bleeding heart cry baby.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrashWorship View Post
    Are you for real?

    Equestrians have 90% more exclusive use our public lands in an urban area. That's a fact. Sure sounds like a privileged class of people to me. Oh and by the way, don't give me that horseshit about the poor people with horses. Save it for some bleeding heart cry baby.
    yeah I'm for real. I happen to know a hell of a lot of those folk down in holister, gilroy, morgan hill, watsonville. they scrape by to pay the bills just like 90% of us

    as for you, stop your whining
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz Cut View Post
    yeah I'm for real. I happen to know a hell of a lot of those folk down in holister, gilroy, morgan hill, watsonville. they scrape by to pay the bills just like 90% of us

    as for you, stop your whining
    We aren't talking about Hollister are we? We are talking about Berkeley. Get your head out of your ass and wake up. Owning a horse in Berkeley, San Jose, Palo Alto ain't exactly the same as in Hollister. It ain't the same people at all. It costs big money to own a horse here: either in cash or land.

    We are not talking about cowboys on the open range here. So who's the little whiny ***** now?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    Unfortunately, in addition to being banned from most of the great trails where these animals are allowed, now we have to choose to exclude ourselves in order to assure the comfort of these animals.

    I don't know why this is such a hard sell to park directors. This should be a slamdunk. These are animals. Why should they have any priority over human users?
    I hear you Mike. I've sat next to you at some of the EBRP meetings. Frustrating.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrashWorship View Post
    We aren't talking about Hollister are we? We are talking about Berkeley. Get your head out of your ass and wake up. Owning a horse in Berkeley, San Jose, Palo Alto ain't exactly the same as in Hollister. It ain't the same people at all. It costs big money to own a horse here: either in cash or land.

    We are not talking about cowboys on the open range here. So who's the little whiny ***** now?
    you if you read your posts.

    I try to refrain from personal attacks and stick to the topic. something you might consider
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauly mac View Post
    the more I reflect on the incident the more I'm thankful that the rider was skilled enough to stay mounted and regain control of his horse. I think that both me and the horse folks were riding responsibly. We just met at the worst possible spot on the trail.

    ***** does happen.

    The only behavior that I can control is my own. Kids, dogs and horses are unpredictable. I'll just have to avoid that trail on busy afternoons.
    My opinion, you were going too fast if you had to slide at all. Plus, you knew the corner was a hazard waiting to happen. Your "glad it was not worse" sounds like guilt to me.
    That said, horses should be steady enough for you to run into them without them freaking or keep them off public trails.
    Just my opinion.

  26. #26
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    Originally Posted by CrashWorship
    We aren't talking about Hollister are we? We are talking about Berkeley. Get your head out of your ass and wake up. Owning a horse in Berkeley, San Jose, Palo Alto ain't exactly the same as in Hollister. It ain't the same people at all. It costs big money to own a horse here: either in cash or land.

    We are not talking about cowboys on the open range here. So who's the little whiny ***** now?


    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz Cut View Post
    you if you read your posts.

    I try to refrain from personal attacks and stick to the topic. something you might consider

    it's fascinating to watch these MTBR discussions devolve in to circular firing squads

  27. #27
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    Hollister???

    Quote Originally Posted by CrashWorship View Post
    We aren't talking about Hollister are we? We are talking about Berkeley. Get your head out of your ass and wake up. Owning a horse in Berkeley, San Jose, Palo Alto ain't exactly the same as in Hollister. It ain't the same people at all. It costs big money to own a horse here: either in cash or land.

    We are not talking about cowboys on the open range here. So who's the little whiny ***** now?
    Gotta jump in here---I live in Hollister!

    Got 4 horses too...BTW they all get along with bikes just fine.

    But I prefer riding mountain bikes

    This whole bike vs horse thing gets so "tribal" and gets so blown out of proportion so fast...

    You may want to dis Hollister in respect to Berkeley, San Jose or Palo Alto but I can also speak from a perspective of 95032 (that's Los Gatos---wealthy enough for you???) I rode motos, horses and MTBs in Sierra Azul before it was Sierra Azul. Before the dark forces of MROSD existed...

    I still pay property taxes up there...

    Point being---for every "wealthy horse owner" there's one who has taken out a second to pay feed, vet bills, etc. Owning a horse is a far bigger commitment than owning a bike--they may cost about the same to purchase---but a horse is a 24/7 thing that's going to cost at least $3k a year to keep (and horses can live for 20~30 years). Any wonder why horse folks are so protective of trails they have access to? Or why most of them are not "wealthy"???

    The simple explanation why equestrians seem to "control" land use policies (besides the historical provenance) is that it takes only one turd to spoil a bowl of punch---and a few MTBers behave like total turds. The rest of us have to suffer the consequences of their actions...

    No doubt about it, horses can tear up trails that weren't designed for their use (as can MTBs or motos for that matter). Which leads into the issue of "multi-use" trails; is the cup half full or half empty???

    In this day and age it's hard to get agency approvals for anything but multi-use trails---get used to sharing or buy some land of your own.

    Your turn...
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWright View Post
    My opinion, you were going too fast if you had to slide at all. Plus, you knew the corner was a hazard waiting to happen. Your "glad it was not worse" sounds like guilt to me.
    That said, horses should be steady enough for you to run into them without them freaking or keep them off public trails.
    Just my opinion.
    The horse was never in any danger. I came to a complete stop more than 10 feet away from it. Do you ride bikes? If you do ride, you'd know you don't have to be going more than walking speed to skid in the dirt.

    I was guilty of riding my bike on a legal trail under the speed limit and in full control, my bad.

  29. #29
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    We had a similar experience on the Hornbeck Trail right near Shasta Dam. Hornbeck is fast no matter which way you are going. Came around the corner going purty fast and encountered two women on horses. They reined up and stopped. We stopped. They had perfect control of their horses. Because i am from the Bay Area, I am mentally on my back foot getting ready for the verbal assault. The one woman said "Hey....can you tell us how to get out of here because we are lost. The trail we nomally ride has been closed by the fire." We said "Sure, follow us" and they did. It seems like anymore equestrians are like Harley Davidson riders: the only people who can ride them are the people who can lay down $40,000. for a bike/horse and it has nothing to do with their familiarity with their machine/animal.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Horses should be meat, not transportation.
    Woah! It's not the horse's choice where their owner chooses to ride them. We all need to be smart and ride responsibly on multi-use trails, and equestrians need to be smart and not bring skittish animals into a multi-use situation. If everyone takes responsibility, there shouldn't be a problem. No horses need to be sent to the meat factory (which is thankfully illegal in the US) for their human's stupidity.

    This just sounds like a classic case of "accidents happen". It sounds to me from the OP and subsequent explanations that both parties handled the situation well. It sounds like the OP was riding carefully, and the equestrian had the skill to calm the horse down. It's a good reminder to always be on the lookout for the other trail users.
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