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riding trails near and through neighborhoods - dealing with manure

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  • riding trails near and through neighborhoods - dealing with manure

    A neighborhood was built in an area that was previously wide open and accessible for trail riding. There were designated multi-use trails installed, but in a few places horses have to walk along a stretch of sidewalk or cross a road to connect the trails. Predictably residents of the neighborhood forget that the horses were there first and get upset about the poop which is mostly on the trails, but once in a while on the sidewalk or road, because...they are horses. Now some in the neighborhood want riders to come back to remove the poop after they ride!

    How do other neighborhoods manage this?
    Do riders carry a bag and dismount, scoop it up and carry it out, come back for it, station a muck tub and manure fork at trail intersections, kick it out of the path?

    I know a lot of people make the analogy to dogs, but a) dog feces are much more likely to contain harmful bacteria than horse manure and b) dog piles are considerably easier to pick up and carry.
    Last edited by MissAriel; Jun. 4, 2019, 03:51 PM. Reason: extra clarification
    "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

  • #2
    It would be common courtesy to remove the poo from the sidewalk. A sidewalk if for pedestrians. After all, you would not leave dog poo on the sidewalk when walking your dog. Poo in the road or on the trails, leave it.

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    • #3
      If I was riding in that environment I would attempt to move my horse off the trails or over to the edge when I feel them starting to manure. If they manured on the sidewalk I would come back and clean it up.

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      • #4
        Is it possible,as a community to provide manure stations at the most offensive places (road way, sidewalk) in the form of a manure fork (so it can be moved/spread) or fork and bucket with holes in the bottom. And mounting blocks in those areas. It wouldn't be hard to clean up the manure if you had a way that was easy to access and easy way to remount. Maybe someone would want the manure for their garden or compost heap.

        Trails are becoming more and more scarce. It would be good to try to keep an open relationship with the neighborhood.

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        • #5
          If there is an easy place to get back on, I'll get off and kick it into the woods if on a trail. If I know I can't get back on, (since my horse is tall and I can't mount from the ground), I at least try to point his butt toward the side. When we used to ride on roads, we would go back after with the truck and make sure people saw us picking it up. After awhile, we stopped getting dirty looks since they knew we would come back.
          "Do what you can't do"

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          • #6
            If this occurs in an area that isn't horse designated trail or dirt road which I encounter with some of my hacking, I'll go back with my mule (Kawasaki), pitch fork and muck bucket and pick it up after I've untacked and turned out my horse. Most of my neighbors are well aware of this so they don't get too upset if they see it driving by or coming out their driveway and know that it was one of my horses. They know I"ll be back. We have lots of people in this immediate area with horses and we all try to do the same in keeping the neighborhood clean.
            Ranch of Last Resort

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Back to clarify further - I saw a thread on a neighborhood social media group where the neighbors were upset both about the manure on the trail and on the sidewalk/driveway area, although when pressed, were most upset about the sidewalk incidents. It is in an area I have not yet explored on horseback, but could conceivably in the future.

              I might see if the neighbors would welcome a manure station near the crossing - it is really just one small area of sidewalk that connects two dirt trails - or if that would be considered a nuisance as well.
              "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

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              • #8
                I used to trail ride extensively on a horse farm that was also used for weddings (at times when the weddings were not going on). The rule was if your horse pooped near the parking or wedding areas, you went back and removed it when you were done and horse put away. This usually meant just driving over with a fork and chucking the poo into the pasture or woods. It only took a few minutes and was really not difficult. In the interest of keeping the peace and the trail access, this is probably what I'd offer to do in your situation.
                Flickr

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MissAriel View Post
                  Back to clarify further - I saw a thread on a neighborhood social media group where the neighbors were upset both about the manure on the trail and on the sidewalk/driveway area, although when pressed, were most upset about the sidewalk incidents. It is in an area I have not yet explored on horseback, but could conceivably in the future.

                  I might see if the neighbors would welcome a manure station near the crossing - it is really just one small area of sidewalk that connects two dirt trails - or if that would be considered a nuisance as well.
                  I would also assume they’ll have an issue with a bucket full of manure that may or may not be emptied regularly. It’s going to attract flies in the summer regardless, so I would guess they’re not going to be on with it.

                  Were I in your position, I would just go back with my own bucket and fork and clean up. It’ll be slightly more inconvenient for you but will probably work better at keeping the neighborhood peace.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MissAriel View Post
                    Back to clarify further - I saw a thread on a neighborhood social media group where the neighbors were upset both about the manure on the trail and on the sidewalk/driveway area, although when pressed, were most upset about the sidewalk incidents. It is in an area I have not yet explored on horseback, but could conceivably in the future.

                    I might see if the neighbors would welcome a manure station near the crossing - it is really just one small area of sidewalk that connects two dirt trails - or if that would be considered a nuisance as well.
                    You should check to see if there are any equestrian easements for that sidewalk as well as the trails. If there are no equestrian easements then the neighbors can rightfully complain about poo on the trails as well as the sidewalks. If there is an equestrian easement for the sidewalk area and trails, then there would be more leniency towards picking up the poo. But as others mentioned for the sake of keeping things friendly, come back and pick up the poo. Or see if the community would want a compost area in the trails not too far from sidewalk? The best thing to do is find out about the easements though. If things got ugly and there's no easement for equestrian use it could be that legally you cant use those trails now, which would be sad. It's annoying that people want to move to "horse county" but get irritated by the horses. SMH

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by gottagrey View Post

                      You should check to see if there are any equestrian easements for that sidewalk as well as the trails. If there are no equestrian easements then the neighbors can rightfully complain about poo on the trails as well as the sidewalks. If there is an equestrian easement for the sidewalk area and trails, then there would be more leniency towards picking up the poo. But as others mentioned for the sake of keeping things friendly, come back and pick up the poo. Or see if the community would want a compost area in the trails not too far from sidewalk? The best thing to do is find out about the easements though. If things got ugly and there's no easement for equestrian use it could be that legally you cant use those trails now, which would be sad. It's annoying that people want to move to "horse county" but get irritated by the horses. SMH
                      This person has already complained to law enforcement and code enforcement and been told there is nothing that can be done from a legal perspective. Whether that is due to an easement or other mechanism, I'm not sure.

                      "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

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                      • #12
                        MissAriel - Why don't you call code enforcement yourself and find out what your responsibilities are under the law? There's nothing that would limit you from going above-and-beyond the legal requirements for the sake of peace in the neighborhood. Regardless, cleaning up on the sidewalk would be a basic consideration.

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                        • #13
                          Like many others have commented, in the past I have used trails that required passing through a neighborhood or traversing a stretch of public road to get to. Although the area was once farmland, new suburban developments have mushroomed, and the new residents were NOT happy about manure on roads or sidewalks.

                          To keep the peace, we drove back after our trail rides with a pitchfork and a muck bucket, scooped the poop, and brought it back to our barn to dispose of. It sounds more laborious than it actually was, and was a pretty easy practice to adopt.

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                          • #14
                            When I would occasionally ride through a neighborhood I would go back and pick the manure from that road since it was a cul-de-sac. If I was on the main road I didn't. OP in your case I would definately go back and pick it up from the sidewalk.
                            Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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                            • #15
                              Or you can do like they do here. Put the manure in a bag and leave it by the side of the trail. That's what dog owners do, they leave those little purple bags of dog poop next to the trail or sidewalk for the poop fairy to come take it away.

                              If on a sidewalk, I'd probably dismount and try to move it off to the road or come back and pick it up.

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                              • #16
                                When I was a kid, the neighbors used to rush out, pick up manure, and put it into their rose gardens. Different days!

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                                • #17
                                  I went on a beach ride a few weeks ago, and they were required to pick up the horse's poo if they pooed too far up the beach for the water to reach it. She carried a large canvas bag and small shovel on her (western) saddle to do so.

                                  Just because the horses were there first, doesn't mean the people that moved in should have to be okay with poop on the sidewalks. I would expect to pick up the poop on the sidewalk and the street, anything paved. Dirt/trail areas, no.
                                  Custom tack racks!
                                  www.mmeqcenter.com/tacklove.html

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                                  • #18
                                    For those that can't get off to move the manure pile, or for those that going back to pick it up would be difficult time wise, you can use a horse diaper.
                                    Free Shipping on the Catch It! manure bag from Working Horse Tack. Amish made in Ohio. Manure catchers for saddle horses and harness horses, Western Tack, Biothane Headstalls and Reins, harness, horseshoeing stocks.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by jawa View Post
                                      For those that can't get off to move the manure pile, or for those that going back to pick it up would be difficult time wise, you can use a horse diaper.
                                      Huh. I think we would overflow that on the first dump. And I don't like the idea of cantering with a full load. Could be good for parades, that's about it.

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                                      • #20
                                        In our area we have volunteers who weekly or often sooner clean the "trails" We do not let horses poop on sidewalks or near driveways or mailboxes. Hey I don't let my dog do that!
                                        The neighbors feel satisfied that we being responsible and have this group to manage the poop. We also asked neighbors if they would be interested in compost and most did not know about it.. So they got interested and loved the results in happier prettier plants.
                                        work with the neighborhood ,most people will respond to the effort and like knowing they are being respected.
                                        You can also explain how hard it is for some people (also dangerous) to dismount and that you'll come back after the ride to clean up if they poop in the wrong place. My horse will back their butts into the woods to take a dump, not hard to train them to do that and my friends horse pees on command!

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