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blue indian
08-27-2013, 20:00
If hikers are expected to practice LNT on the trail, why arenít horse riders expected to do the same? Or are they and they just donít? On the trails that I have been on where horses and hikers are both allowed, it seems as though I see much more evidence of horses than humans. Especially when it comes to horse droppings and erosion.




Whether itís along the trail or in camp, I donít understand why the horse riders canít pick up after their horses. Or at least use one of those dropping catch bags. With the regulations, rules, and practices (such as LNT) that are expected out of hikers, it seems as though it would only be fair for horse riders to do the same.




I donít mind that horse riders like to use the trails, but it is frustrating to be stepping over droppings every 15 yards or to roll into camp only to have droppings all over the place. No one wants to hang around horse dung all day. I realize I could hike other trails and such, but many nice trails are designated as ďhorse and hikerĒ trails. Maybe Iím being selfish or just donít understand the regulations for backcountry horseback riding but I was wondering why there arenít more restrictions or if anyone else felt this way.

Tuckahoe
08-27-2013, 20:14
Horses and other animals are not permitted on the AT so it's sort of a non-issue for me. Now as the complaint seems to be about poop, well it's just horse poop and it goes away.

dmath010
08-27-2013, 20:30
Hiking out west this is quite the problem. Especially since it is my dogs favorite snack...

Slo-go'en
08-27-2013, 20:39
I've hiked on some horse trails and they sure chew it up. They can turn a little mud puddle into a lake.

I have no trouble with horse poop - it's mostly hay which will go away soon. I do have an issue with what the riders leave behind. They seem to be especially bad with leaving trash and they don't even have to pack it out on thier back.

MuddyWaters
08-27-2013, 20:43
Horses and other animals are not permitted on the AT so it's sort of a non-issue for me. Now as the complaint seems to be about poop, well it's just horse poop and it goes away.


Horses are permitted on part of the AT in GSMNP.

Rasty
08-27-2013, 20:48
Horses and other animals are not permitted on the AT so it's sort of a non-issue for me. Now as the complaint seems to be about poop, well it's just horse poop and it goes away.


Horses are permitted on part of the AT in GSMNP.

I think both sides. I saw poo and hoof prints going from Fontana to Derricks in February. Didn't see any in April so maybe it was Park staff. Saw two groups of horses going down to Davenport Gap.

10-K
08-27-2013, 20:50
I do know the beer of choice is Bud Light because there's quite often a trail of cans.

Dogwood
08-27-2013, 21:20
I have not one issue with horses or equestrians out west on multi use trails. They seem seem to be conscious and respectful of me and other hikers and I'm certainly conscious and respectful of them. Horse pooh quickly melts away. I'd rather side step horse or bear droppings any day compared to avoiding human and domesticated dog droppings or the garbage humans leave behind outdoors. I also have not one issue with rangers on horseback. All the equestrians I've come across in GSMNP were well behaved, knowledgable as to trail etiquette, and respectful of me as well as other hikers too. If their is an issue I think IT CAN BE related to the type of trail(routing, grade, construction, geology, what type of usage the trail was designed and constructed for, etc), number of equestrians, and number of hikers. I don't have any problems with equestrians though.

I wish dog owners with their dogs on hikes were all as courteous, considerate, and respectful as equestrians.

Another Kevin
08-27-2013, 21:26
I can recall being furious at one equestrian who'd used a trail before me about a year ago. There was unmistakable evidence that s/he'd let the horse drink directly from a spring - when the trail maintainers had placed a bucket and hitching post for the purpose on the side trail leading in. It's not the horse drinking from the spring that peeved me - it's what was no doubt going on at the other end of the horse, six feet from my drinking water.

Attila or Genghis Khan would have had a rider hanged for that!

cliffordbarnabus
08-27-2013, 21:51
all poop goes away....but until it does, it's still poop, eh?

blue indian
08-27-2013, 21:59
I understand that the droppings will eventually be washed away or whatever, but I think that equestrians should be respectful enough to use those collection bags or at least move the droppings off trail or away from where people camp. Its not very fair to other people who make sure they practice LNT

Tuckahoe
08-27-2013, 22:09
http://m.voices.yahoo.com/is-horse-manure-trails-risk-human-health-7666518.html

Are you afraid of the droppings? Honestly its not going to hurt you.

sketcher709
08-27-2013, 22:11
I don't post much here so have no idea of the reaction this post will generate but here goes nothing...

As an avid rider and hiker, I can see both sides of this issue.

It is not realistic to get off your horse and scoop up 10 pounds of manure and then carry if for the remainder of your ride. If they go twice, that is 20+ pounds. You need a container and some sort of tool to pick it up with. You have to be in a place where you can get safely get off and back on again and those safety issues may not be apparent to a non rider. It is just not feasible. Believe me, I have considered it.

When I trail ride, if my horse 'goes' I usually will get off and kick it to the side of the trail but to be honest, it is often so much of an aggravation to ride here in the northeast due to entitled people who think it is just the worst thing in the world to have to step around a single pile of manure it is almost not worth it anymore to try and be polite. If it is a tricky part of the trail which makes it difficult to get back on the horse and the trail is wide so that I can see someone does not have to go out of their way to step around it then I might leave it but most of the time I will get off and kick it off to the side with my boot. Yes, I would rather have horse **** all over my boot then step in a pile of dog crap.

I suppose the problem where I live is that not too many people ride so no one is very familiar with horses. Cidiots move our to the rural towns and then don't like when they experience rural. Cars swerve towards you (on purpose) or honk horse, or yell out the window. People are ignorant of horses.

That being said, it is very offensive to me when riders are inconsiderate. I do not have any heavily ridden trails around here so we do not have to deal with a lot of erosion and manure. And we don't tend to have the ignorant where people ride out with their six pack and a pile of garbage. In this part of the country, it is just too expensive to keep a horse and the people who keep them aren't likely to be the type. I suppose if I were a non horse person, these the manure and erosion would be aggravating to me and the beer cans and garbage would enrage me.

But not all or even most trails are suited for horses (at least in my part of the country and I would imagine other parts as well) and the horse trail world is continually shrinking. It gets harder and harder to find places to ride. So I guess I might hike different trails where there are not so many horses if the horse were making a mess of the trails. (Clearly I am biased) Horses are definitely hard on trails, there is no doubt about that.

And frankly, about the horse drinking out of the spring? Until I started hiking, I would not have thought twice about letting my horse drink out of the water. I am not inconsiderate. It just never would have occurred to me that people would be drinking out of that stream. So, yeah, a bucket and hitching post are a nice idea. There probably should be a small sign asking riders not to let their horses go near the water as hikers drink from it. And if it is a hot day and my horse needs water badly enough and does not like to tie - rather than risk a loose horse and a very long walk home I would simply find a different place for my horse to drink out of the stream where you would not be offended by the hoof prints. And I guess if I have seen the little sign mentioning people using it for drinking water, I would make sure my horse drank downstream from where you might dip your cup;)

The one area nearby me where there are a considerable number of trials and dirt roads, the horses are limited to the dirt roads and only certain trails. That way, there are plenty of places to ride but also plenty of protected trails for hikers. Unfortunately, for horse people that presents an issue as well as we get to share with mountain bikes, dirk bikes, four wheelers and even the occasional group of paint gun enthusiasts all of which have at one time or another have caused me some good spills because many of them do not realize that riding full speed ahead towards a horse can cause a heck of a spook or bolt. So, us trail riders have our own set of pains (often very dangerous ones) with multi use trails.

Dogwood
08-27-2013, 22:25
Cidiots, i have to remember that. Most people are ignorant of horses, AGREE! I get the entitlement thing of some humans(some hikers) too.

blue indian
08-27-2013, 22:36
http://m.voices.yahoo.com/is-horse-manure-trails-risk-human-health-7666518.html

Are you afraid of the droppings? Honestly its not going to hurt you.


Haha. No im not "afraid" of the droppings. I just dont like hanging around poop.

blue indian
08-27-2013, 22:49
Haha. No im not "afraid" of the droppings. I just dont like hanging around poop.


http://m.voices.yahoo.com/is-horse-manure-trails-risk-human-health-7666518.html

Are you afraid of the droppings? Honestly its not going to hurt you.


Thanks for the article though

blue indian
08-27-2013, 23:03
@sketcher709

Thanks for the great post! Its nice to hear from a rider on the subject. Hope I didnt sound disrespectful or "entitled". The thread wasnt mean to be a rant of any kind, more one of curiosity and concern. Im also curious as to what others think about it. I actually think horses are pretty awesome and I respect them.

But from my experiences with horse and hiking trails, I just wish equestrians were more respectful and conscientious to LNT methods as I do my best to do the same. Sounds like you are the model backcountry rider that others should follow.

Youve helped me to understand the difficulty and feasibility of keeping waste off the trail, but I dont think there is an excuse for that at campsites and water sources.