My home trail, Falcon Trail. Is a multi purpose trail which means horses. These horses can be murder to the trail and I can’t see if the destruction is worth it. The hooves of the horses destroy the soil and rip it from the ground. If it’s muddy, the area turns into a potholed ruin. Then there’s the horse poop. It’s disgusting obviously but it attracts it’s own array of problems. With every land mine dropped on the trail comes a swarm of flies. Some of these flies bite leaving your legs covered in red welts. Although these flies are not usually a big issue if you’re going fast enough, on a steep climb it’s murder. Then there’s the poop itself, it reeks and poses as a hazard. Say you’re cruising down the trail at a good 17 mph. Then you run into that horse poop. Not only does it go everywhere which is disgusting but there’s also the risk of slipping and falling on the trail. Finally, the horses themselves are a problem. On skinny, tight single track the horses are essentially a slow moving boulder blocking your path. Not even hikers can get past sometimes due to fear of “spooking the horse”. If a horse is easily spooked then there is no good reason as to why it should be on a trail where there is high chance of it getting spooked. I honestly can’t stand horses on multipurpose trails and I think they should stick to trails specifically made for horses or keep to the fire roads. Destroying a trail and endangering other users so you can ride a two ton animal at the whopping speed of 5 mph just doesn’t seem right to me. Thoughts?
I have to pick up my dogs poop when I take her hiking. A horse is just a dumber, less fun, more expensive dog. Horse people should have to pick those massive dumps up too.
In general I think the amount of trail set aside for horses is way out of proportion to the amount of people that actually own horses. For instance at Tsali, one of the best places to ride in the East, 2 out of 4 loops are for horses on any given day. I spent several days there in the fall and saw 0 horses/trailers/horse people.