Scott Stanfield’s Feb.23 Record article, “Equestrian Has A Message For Cyclists” is something that all users of our multipurpose trail systems should read carefully. As a former rider myself, I am very aware of how spooky our horses can be. So please heed the advice to give a riders a fair warning that you are approaching unannounced. Failure to do so risks injury to the rider, the horse AND the cyclist.
Now—having said that, I have an equally important request for horseback riders on our trails. As a dog owner, I am required to make sure my dogs either do not defecate on the trails or to immediately clean up after them. While admittedly horse manure does not potentially carry the same transmittable diseases as other animals, they are not completely blameless (Google it!) Put yourself in the shoes (literally) of a trail runner or cyclist that accidentally runs into a pile of horse “buns” deposited by the last hay burner that passed down the trail. Yuk!!
Here is the request: Dismount and clear the trail for the sake of the other non-mounted users. It’s the respectful thing to do … and I might suggest it will mute some of the comments that I have heard from runners and others, that perhaps horses should be banned if they are not wearing a bag. Fair is fair.