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Horses v Bikes

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  • Horses v Bikes

    Someone emailed me the link, and I thought it might be interesting for off course

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=551137

  • #2
    Very interesting. . .and timely. I was amused by some of the comments by the cyclists that people who own horses have the money to influence trail planning in our favor.

    Two local communities, along with the state and local parks, have joined together to build a ~13 mile paved pedestrian/bike trail between the communities.
    http://www.williamsburgohio.org/New%...ke%20Trail.htm

    The trail will cut through the state park, giving bike access to the people staying in the park's campground. They are pouring a LOT of money into the project, just finished building a beautiful new bridge to cross one of the wider streams, etc. It's not a very horse-friendly bridge (very noisy), but that's fine because the stream is shallow and easy to cross, and a good place to stop and water the horses anyway.

    One section of the planned trail is already an "unofficial" trail. . .it's not marked as a trail, but has been shared by walkers, cyclists and equestrians for several years, and is part of an existing old paved road. Makes for a nice alternate route when the trails are muddy, or if you just want to take a shorter ride. I learned over the weekend (after a friend of mine who was riding that trail was cornered and lectured for fifteen minutes by a woman involved in the trail project) that horses are not allowed there because it's "bikes and pedestrians only" and that "horses and bicycles don't mix well."

    My biggest concern about the project is that they will simply start banning horses from other sections of trail to make way for the new bike path.
    Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.

    Comment


    • #3
      Ok - I'm not a cyclist, nor do I want to be. However, I'm wondering - just how do horses do more damage than bikes? Don't they leave ruts? Yes, horses poop, but that breaks down quickly and becomes a part of the ground. Just how do horses damage trails?
      A proud friend of bar.ka.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't mind sharing "my" trails with bicycles - even though they have their own designated paved path. What I do mind is being treated like a second class citizen on a trail designed for my use!

        Sometime this summer I am going to go and ride along the side of the bike path (there is no rule that says I can't) it will be interesting to see what kind of responses I get. Share and share alike - right?!
        http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

        "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

        Comment


        • #5
          I think horses are more destructive than cycles. Erosion is probably the biggest issue, at least out west. Bikes leave ruts is the trail is wet, but hooves tear up a wet trail even more. But I'm not sure if horseback riders out number bicycle riders.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hunter Mom View Post
            Ok - I'm not a cyclist, nor do I want to be. However, I'm wondering - just how do horses do more damage than bikes? Don't they leave ruts? Yes, horses poop, but that breaks down quickly and becomes a part of the ground. Just how do horses damage trails?
            I've heard hikers and cyclists refer to horses as having "cookie cutters" on their feet. . .referring to the shoes.

            A lot of the damage really depends on the ground. At East Fork (Ohio), the soil has a lot of clay. Even though there are hills and hollows and creeks, the trails themselves don't always drain very well. Horse traffic can, and does, tear up the ground very quickly in those areas. And I don't mean just a little mud puddle here and there. . .I'm talking about standing water on top of ankle-deep mud for most of the trail. You can't get around it, you can't just hop over it. It is the trail. The upside of it is that my horse has no fear of mud puddles, and he just tromps right through it even when he could go around.

            As a member of the local horseman's council, I am also considered a "volunteer" in the parks and bring a folding handsaw and/or pruners with me when I ride. I try to clear some of the heavier underbrush (like honeysuckle) to let the sunlight in and dry out the trails a bit more. I also try to warn visitors to the park away from using certain trails that are known to be the worst of the mud-pits.

            I've been to parks with very well-maintained trails. . .in part, because the soil and terrain are different and allow for better drainage. But they are also maintained through money raised by the sale of riding passes. I would have no problem at all with paying for a yearly pass to ride in the park, as long as that money was going into improvements of the riding trails.

            As far as manure. . .people who aren't used to horses generally find "manure" one of the top things to complain about. It degrades faster than a lot of the garbage that hikers and cyclists and hunters "lose" or "drop" on trail (candy wrappers, water bottles), but they still complain about the smell.
            Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't at all mind sharing the trail with bikes... provided that they yield the right of way. Problem is that many cyclist and Mtn bikers have a "me first" mind set... the same "me first" mind set I see in lots of equestrians, but I digress. It is just nice to have the cyclists realize the saddle I am sitting on is attached to a vehicle that has a mind of it's own. My ASB is used to bikes... they don't bother her (well, unless it is a brightly colored peleton of 75 cyclists, but that's another story for another day.)

              My husband is an avid Mtn biker. There are fewer and fewer trails in our area for him to ride. My horse trails are not being developed, his bike trails are. Most of the bike trails that are maintained by the state/county and that are general use... i.e. horses, hikers, and bikers... are boring to the very good Mtn Biker. They want tree crossings, water, roots, hills, etc... not flat gravel footing double wides.

              Hubby and I like to take the bike AND the pony on rides... at the same time. It would be nice if we could just all get along. I hear that most Mtn bikers hate to share the trail with horses, not because they have to yield, but because of the poop. I got in a disagreement with a guy about that and told him to do what my husband does when he comes across a pile of poop... use it to practice bunny hops and jump over it! He thought I should dismount my horse and clean it up.
              Dreaming in Color

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by drmgncolor View Post
                I don't at all mind sharing the trail with bikes... provided that they yield the right of way. Problem is that many cyclist and Mtn bikers have a "me first" mind set... the same "me first" mind set I see in lots of equestrians, but I digress. It is just nice to have the cyclists realize the saddle I am sitting on is attached to a vehicle that has a mind of it's own. My ASB is used to bikes... they don't bother her (well, unless it is a brightly colored peleton of 75 cyclists, but that's another story for another day.)

                My husband is an avid Mtn biker. There are fewer and fewer trails in our area for him to ride. My horse trails are not being developed, his bike trails are. Most of the bike trails that are maintained by the state/county and that are general use... i.e. horses, hikers, and bikers... are boring to the very good Mtn Biker. They want tree crossings, water, roots, hills, etc... not flat gravel footing double wides.

                Hubby and I like to take the bike AND the pony on rides... at the same time. It would be nice if we could just all get along. I hear that most Mtn bikers hate to share the trail with horses, not because they have to yield, but because of the poop. I got in a disagreement with a guy about that and told him to do what my husband does when he comes across a pile of poop... use it to practice bunny hops and jump over it! He thought I should dismount my horse and clean it up.
                True enough, that there is a lack of trail etiquette on all sides, and horse people are no exception. I've ridden with people whose trail manners (even to other riders) were so terrible that I was embarassed to even be out there with them, and I refuse to ride with them again in the future.

                Most of the other users I've come across are pleasant and friendly, and I have no issues with them. Some are a little clueless and not only stand to one side when they see horses approaching, but actually back into the bushes and go completely out of sight, which is a little overly-dramatic on their part and I try to converse with them a little so that my horse at least realizes that it's just a person.

                I would much rather see trail users of all backgrounds work together to be sure that the lands we use are not turned into more neighborhoods and shopping centers. Otherwise, we all lose out in the end.
                Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by drmgncolor View Post
                  My ASB is used to bikes... they don't bother her (well, unless it is a brightly colored peleton of 75 cyclists, but that's another story for another day.)
                  I have also been a victum of brightly colored, spandex wearing, cyclists. When a herd of silently moving cyclist come at you....it's pretty scary My TB mare was not amused at all There are a bunch of clubs around here that go out in groups of road bikes. To get to the local trails at the barn I did board in, you had to ride along the road for a little bit. So you are very likely to encounter at least a small herd if not a large herd of cyclists.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JollyBadger View Post
                    True enough, that there is a lack of trail etiquette on all sides, and horse people are no exception. I've ridden with people whose trail manners (even to other riders) were so terrible that I was embarassed to even be out there with them, and I refuse to ride with them again in the future.

                    Most of the other users I've come across are pleasant and friendly, and I have no issues with them. Some are a little clueless and not only stand to one side when they see horses approaching, but actually back into the bushes and go completely out of sight, which is a little overly-dramatic on their part and I try to converse with them a little so that my horse at least realizes that it's just a person.

                    I would much rather see trail users of all backgrounds work together to be sure that the lands we use are not turned into more neighborhoods and shopping centers. Otherwise, we all lose out in the end.
                    What Jolly Badger said.

                    It's been awhile since we've had a "bikes are evil" thread. As someone who rides both bikes and horses on both roads and trails, it's really easy-- a little courtesy, a BIG smile, and a friendly hello go a long way to making the trail/ road experience fun and SAFE for everyone. Is it really going to ruin your ride (whether you are on a bike or a horse) to slow down, move over, and smile at the other trail users when you see them coming? Really?
                    ~Living the life I imagined~

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      yep, imapepp.... that too happened to us. Except 1/2 didn't bother to stop when my horse FREAKED out and started cantering in place and spinning in the middle of the road. I didn't see them coming around the bend and the peleton was HUGE~~

                      Throw in a line of cars in either direction and we had quite a pile up. And of course, hubs was there on his mountain bike, riding along beside my horse. She didn't mind him... the colorful silent flying boogers... I can't blame her!

                      WELL SAID Jolly! We will all lose out.
                      Dreaming in Color

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's not to say that I don't ever get my hackles up about the horse vs. bikes issues. . .especially when it comes to the new paved trail being built through the park where I ride and being informed that horses will most definitely not be permitted to use that trail.

                        Not only that, but learning that equestrians will no longer be able to access an old/blocked road because it will eventually become part of the new bike trail. . .well, that has me a little upset and annoyed, and it does create some resentment now when I see people out walking on the designated horse trails, and they give me the attitude that I shouldn't be allowed to be there, that the manure my horse leaves is so unbearable to them.

                        Just makes me want to say "okay, I am out here with my horse in the middle of winter, freezing my ass off, clearing limbs from these trails after an ice storm so that people like you can get through. . .I am here in the spring, up to my calves in mud, clearing fallen branches and new growth so that people like you can get through. . .I am here in the summer, getting scratched by thorns and chewed on by mosquitos so that you have a clear and open trail to hike on. And now the government is funding a PAVED trail for YOU to use, and I'm not going to be allowed to ride my horse on it. . .so don't tell me that I don't deserve to be on this trail! And if you have issues with where my horse poops, you'll have to discuss it with him"
                        Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah, Jolly. I can get my hackles up with this discussion as well. But generally I feel we should be able to share and share alike.

                          As far as the poop, I was told my this certain mtn biker that I was a bad horse owner since I didn't clean up after my horse. There are NO rules about cleaning up after your horse on the trail where I was riding, btw... he was just poopy that he had to ride around a few piles of poop! The rules specifically say to pick up dog poop, but nothing said in the rules about horse poop on the trail. They even go on to mention removing it from the parking lot, but not from the actual trail. FWIW, I did remove it from the parking lot.

                          Things that make you go hmmmm.
                          Dreaming in Color

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, I think the poo should be removed from the lots (definately!) and off to the side of the trail if possible.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would advise all of you to contact your local state, provincial and municipal parks and trails departments and write letters in favour of retaining horses on all use trails.

                              Here in our city, virtually ALL the park trails have been cut, maintained and primarily used by horsemen until about 15 years ago. We rarely saw bicycles and the hikers were becoming more numerous, but not a problem, usually.

                              However, due to a strong bike lobby in this town, several entire parks are now completely off limits to horses at all times. In the ones where horses are still allowed, approximately 80% of the riding trails are off limits to horses. These were trails that WE built! The Trans Canada Trail which was supposed to be a multi use trail across our country with horses allowed, and to which virtually every trail rider I know sent money to help build, has virtually no urban sections where horses are allowed anymore.

                              When trails are "improved" by local governments, they are usually asphalt- not exactly the nicest thing for horses, or packed gravel.

                              In hilly areas, bikes cause serious linear erosion, requiring the trails in our area to be resurfaced every year as the ruts become rivulets and finally chasms down the center of the trail. When a horse' s feet, shod or not, impact the ground, water tends to pool in the hoofprint and actually prevents erosion that is caused by bike ruts.

                              In our area, many of us walk the trails with our dogs and sweep the poop from the trails. However, recently I was accosted while riding, by a bicyclist who said "You're the one leaving the manure everywhere!" It doesn't inspire me to keep cleaning the trails, I ahve to say. And they spend all that money resurfacing for the benefit of bikes, perhaps they could hire some teenager to patrol the trails and clean the manure , also for the benefit of the bikes?
                              "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by lalahartma1 View Post
                                Well, I think the poo should be removed from the lots (definately!) and off to the side of the trail if possible.
                                It's just "processed" grass and grain (and maybe a peep or two) and with one rain is almost gone.

                                I think the prisoners who are rotting away in jail on our dime should walk the trails and clean up after the horses. It would give them something to do besides working out and watching TV.
                                Dreaming in Color

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Here we have multi use trails alot in parks. Horses have the right of way. I can't understand why someone with a child on a narrow trail walking wouldn't move their child off the trail when 2 1200lb animals are approaching Bikers do the same thing. We have one horse that has been abused previously and he is sooo much better but still has a little issue with people running at him. People get so mad when we are on a trail riding and they have to stop jogging for two seconds so our horses can pass and they don't get trampled. We ask them to stop and walk for their safety not ours and they can't seem to understand that. The horses have gotten pretty use to people and bikes now on the trails so its not as bad but I believe that people should have a little fear when a huge animal is approaching and to get the he double hockeysticks out the way esp. when we have the right of way.
                                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I recently learned that the new hike/bike trail being constructed through the state park where I ride (connecting two local communities) may even alter its route so that it will not intersect the horse trails at all. It may be a good thing. . .but, at the same time, one of the people in charge of planning this project has made it clear that she simply does not want horses on "her" trail at all. . .not even crossing over it at intersections. I guess she doesn't want the horses to "dirty up" her beautiful new pavement, not even just to cross the trail.

                                    It will be interesting to see how this works out, because I know where all of the horse trails are and the proposed route of the trail will [I]have[I] to intersect the existing horse trails at least a couple of times in order to get where it is going.
                                    Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Why clean up ? That poop is providing valuable fibre/nutrients to the soil. Where I come from if a pile of poop is spotted it won't take long for somebody with a shovel to scoop it up for the compost pile.
                                      There's no accounting for what idiot people think. When taking my 17h 3yo horse for his very first trail ride, a squalling brat came running at him wielding a long stick. When asking it's parent to control their child I was treated to a stream of profanity and abuse. Go figure ?
                                      ... _. ._ .._. .._

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I really don't understand most of the animosity toward bike riders, and I don't know where this iron-clad rule that they have to yield to us came from. Sure, if a horse is freaking out, it would be polite to do so, but otherwise? When I've encountered bikers on narrow trails, I move out of their way, since my horse can more easily go off trail than they can. If they are going faster than we are, I move. And is it really that hard to get your horse used to a bike? I mean, they startle me sometimes just because they are quiet, but I don't see why they should remain a source of equine fear for ever.

                                        If your horse does have issues specific to sharing a trail, I also don't see expecting others to accommodate you. I've had the fun of dog-sitting a crazy dog that lunged at people. I didn't take her for walks places I expected to find a lot of other people, and then tell them how to behave. It was her issue, not theirs.

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