Oct 24, 2010

Listen Up!

Horse trail riding in public and private parks is a privilege. There is no law that says they have to let us ride. Horse trail riders have been advocating to keep horse trails and horse camps open and appreciate every one of them. We aren't easy keepers, you know. We come in with big rigs and big animals and poop and hay. And good trail riders try their best to leave no trace. NO TRACE! We put our horse's poop in the designated area and if there is none, we take it home; the same with left over hay. Poop and hay are treated the same as garbage. You don't leave it lying around!

Today I learned from some horse trail riders who were visiting Bader Park that other riders have been less than considerate about their riding privileges and not cleaning up after themselves when visiting Bader. That gives all of us a black eye and puts at risk our riding opportunity at this fine park. It's simple, folks. If you don't know how to clean up after yourself, don't leave the farm. It's not our job to keep apologizing for you, it's not the landowners responsibility to clean up your mess. It is YOUR job to be a good steward of our sport.

It seems every now and then I have to get up on my soapbox and remind those "less informed" about what it means to be a guest. A few years ago I had to out a Pall Mall smoker for polluting a favorite horse camp. Either that person quit smoking or quit riding (hopefully the latter) because I haven't seen their butts since.

I would really like to believe that these uncouth riders are not just lazy bums but perhaps new to the sport and haven't learned the ins and outs or didn't think ahead and forgot the manure fork (trash bag, raker, etc.). So if that's the case, listen up and I'll give you some tips:

  1. Riding in public parks is by invitation of such park. If YOU trash it, WE won't be invited back. And that pisses me off.

  2. Trash includes hay, manure, cigarette butts, cans, and anything else you have brought in with you. If there is no place to dispose of it, take it home with you. It's yours.

  3. Clean out camp stalls thoroughly. Leave no poop or hay. Rake it clean.

  4. If you set up fencing, clean the fenced-in area like you would a stall. Rake it clean.

  5. If you are fencing for more than a day or two days, move your fence so you don't totally kill the grass.

  6. If you simply tied to the trailer to saddle your horse and it pooped by your trailer, spread it or take it home. Don't leave piles.

  7. And for goodness sake, if you don't know – ask!

This may sound nit-picky, but it is a big deal to the parks. So make it a big deal to horse trail riders or we might find ourselves ousted from our favorite place.


  1. Thats good advice. Here we have the same issues. However, the law gives us rights. ie: We,(the horse) are here by RIGHT, car drives et al, are here by licence! Thats the way its looked at generally. But we are required to have 3rd party Insurance, at all times while out on the road etc.
    There is a great lobby group here for us, its called the British Horse Society. Currently it is engaged with gov. to open old routes and old drover roads, including forestry and having had the land Reform Act, we are doing fairly well. But it is the inconsiderate riders the f**k it up for the rest.

  2. I'm nutso about that too these days. I take a rake with me, we just throw all the poops back in the trailer, clean it out when we get home.
    Sad that some people don't get that.

  3. Great Post on having the priveledge of Parks to ride in...and AMEN!
    I'm so tired of Lazy A----- leaving crap behind!

    All summer, as we would be checking into the camping locations...people had left hay(now mouldy, sour & ick) behind..lazy!
    Like I'd allow my horse to eat your horses stuff anywho!

    We pretty much take bags with us...for others stuff they toss on the trails. Pretty amazing mentalities. BUT..all that griping said...
    I do see very nice places too where obviously- all that had gone before..took part in keeping the trails and parking lots nice.

    Woe to you who decide to liter or be lazy-in front of ME! "~'

  4. Do you also pick up your horse's manure while out on the trails riding?
    That is becoming a big problem and complaint of hikers and mountain bikers on our local trails. The horses poop large piles on the trails and the riders don't dismount to pick it up and carry it out.
    Dog owners are expected to scoop up their animal's poop.....why not horse owners, too?


  5. All good advice, whether you're a rider or not. Picking up after yourself is the right thing to do.


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