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John Davis
(JNDavis) - F

Locale: Isle of Man
Do you hate horses too? on 08/17/2005 02:39:34 MDT Print View

The same as to dogs in the Philippines.

But I don't want to sound too strident, and this is part of the forum's Chaff, so here's a description of something I saw while driving near Worcester.

A group of men in fancy dress where charging their horses across a field by the River Severn. They were part of the Sealed Knot and were re-enacting the battle of Worcester. Later, on the local news, I heard they had been charging towards men with pikes - presumably less sharp than the real ones used in the Civil War. But perhaps not because 45 people ended the day in hospital, almost certainly a higher casualty rate than in the original battle.

You know you are in a tolerant country when organisations like the Sealed Knot are admired rather than banned!

Stephan Guyenet
(Guyenet) - F
Land Mines on 09/12/2005 21:48:30 MDT Print View

Oh boy am I glad I found this thread. Time to vent. I've been building up resentment against horsepackers for years and it all climaxed this weekend. I was backpacking near Mt. Rainier in a fairly fragile part of the William O. Douglas wilderness. After dodging fresh "land mines" for the entire length of the trail, I finally got to my beloved lake. In the two years since I was there last, the fragile grasses have been trampled into mudholes. Most of the good bivy sites are covered in turd. Plus, I don't trust the lake water anymore because it's probably full of mudpies.

We have to dig catholes 6" deep and sometimes pack out our TP but horses can just unload wherever they want. I think I'm going to start squatting right in the middle of the trail from now on. Seriously though, they should at least be required to wear something to catch the *BEEP*. I've seen those on urban horses before.

I hiked up to a beautiful, fragile alpine meadow near the PCT last year, only to find a fenced-in "pen" full of horses once I got there. These people had packed in an actual electric fence and put it up in the middle of the meadow so they wouldn't have to tie the horses up. Well the electricity went out in the middle of the night and in the morning the horses were running amuck, trampling grass and dispensing fudge.

Here's another problem I have with horsepackers: people bring large, dangerous animals onto the trail and then we're supposed to accomodate them by getting off the trail on the lower side so we don't spook them. If the horse does buck, we might fall backwards and roll down a hill or off a cliff. Ray Jardine had it right when he recommended we get on the high side of the trail so that if it does buck, WE'RE in less danger.

Well I feel much better now. Let me just add that I do respect people who are disabled and have no other means of getting into the backcountry. And I do think that used responsibly and in the right places, they're probably okay. But please put a bag on them to catch the *BEEP*!

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Land Mines on 09/13/2005 00:23:24 MDT Print View

my heart sank as i read of your pristine conditions ruined. here in the east, some state parks have clearly marked bridle trails (as well as x-cntry ski trails). however, the owners/riders often don't like to stay on them and off the easier backpacking trails, so one needs to be careful where one steps. i stay off of the bridle trails. they should have a similar courtesy - too bad, many don't.

grew up right across the street from a farm that also raised Morgan Quarter horses, but don't really know much 'bout horses myself. wonder why someone would take a questionable horse (one easily spooked) on the trail? could be dangerous for the rider as well. in dogs such behavior (excessive fear) generally points to either poor genetics (too much inbreeding before out crossing with another line) and/or poor socialization (i.e., exposure to the intended situation or a similar situation) as a pup.

i know this much, ever since i was a kid, the few time i've actually encountered a horse on the backpacking trails (instead of just seeing evidence of them), i don't move to the low side. it's considered potentially too dangerous. i just move a bit farther off (if possible) the high side of the trail. don't see why i should be the one placed in the greater danger on the "no horses allowed" backpacking trails.

fortunately, out here, many trails have a lot of higher, steep, rocky places that horses can't get up. in many places, i can just move a bit higher, above the "*BEEP*"-line to get water from a small stream.

Alex Orgren
(big_load) - F
Re: Land Mines on 09/13/2005 09:21:54 MDT Print View

My worst inappropriate place for horse plops: in the only water source within ten miles (a little spring). With thousands of acres of desert all around, somebody let their horse take a dump in three square feet holding the only drinkable water I'd seen in two days.

I filtered it twice and drank it for two days on the way out.

Duane Hall
(PKH) - M

Locale: Nova Scotia
Evil horses on 11/06/2005 16:09:31 MST Print View

I didn't use to hate 'em. Thought they were more or less cute, I suppose. But on a recent hike into Pollets Cove (Cape Breton Highlands, Nova Scotia), a semi-wild young filly actually stomped my precious Cloudburst tarptent, snapping the rear pole in two. I got some charming photos but . . . . .

Nah - I hate 'em!!

Cheers,

Duane Hall

Courtney Waal
(d0rqums) - F
Re: Land Mines on 11/07/2005 15:54:54 MST Print View

I would certainly hate them a lot less if the owners were forced to use the NYC police-style crap bags. Stock crap is usually full of more nasties than human crap, and it's larger and plunked down in the middle of the path.

Around here, though, it's mostly the middle-aged outer suburban women who are obsessed with horses, and they wouldn't be caught anywhere near a public trail. Maybe we backpackers should support horse shows and frilly horse farms as a way of distracting horse owners away from the trails.

Katherine Kane
(kekane) - F
good compromise? on 11/09/2005 16:09:11 MST Print View

I was just reading a book (Douglas Lorain, Backpacking Oregon) that had a reasonable sounding suggestion:

"One of the easiest and best ways to reduce horse impact is to keep trails closed to horses, each year, until the tread has dried and hardened. Doing so significanly reduces the problems of mud and erosion. Keeping horses out for as little as two weeks from the typical opening date for hikers makes a huge difference."

I'm a relative newbie to backpacking, but this seemed worth repeating. (and the rest of the book's not bad either)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Horsies on the trails on 12/16/2005 11:42:29 MST Print View

Leave rubber snakes on the trail :)

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
"Do you hate horses too? on 12/19/2009 00:11:56 MST Print View

Do you feel like horse traffic is getting worse in the last few years?

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Re: Land Mines on 12/19/2009 06:36:13 MST Print View

Big Load said:
"My worst inappropriate place for horse plops: in the only water source within ten miles (a little spring). With thousands of acres of desert all around, somebody let their horse take a dump in three square feet holding the only drinkable water I'd seen in two days."

That sounds more like wild horses or burros. The burros in Death Valley seem to enjoy fouling springs.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Land Mines on 12/19/2009 17:31:01 MST Print View

"That sounds more like wild horses or burros."

Nope. I've seen horsepackers loose their animals right on the shore of pristine lakes in the Upper Kern too many times. What a mess!

But don't blame the horses; They're just being horses.
It the "beyond the reach of the law" A$$holes that bring them into the backcountry, at least in the southern Sierra. From the tenor of the posts above, sounds like it's not an isolated phenomenon. I've grown to despise them in general. And, PLEASE, don't anybody tell me it's just a small minority; I've accumulated far too much first hand experience in 35 years that argues otherwise, compellingly so. I used to try reporting them but the backcountry rangers invariably got this weary expression on their faces and told me to save my breath; "We can't touch 'em" was the response, "Too many friends in Washington". The front country types would usually smile tolerantly and tell me, with something between a smirk and a smile on their faces, that they'd "look into it". But nothing has changed.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Horsies on the trails on 12/20/2009 12:42:16 MST Print View

I was 'saved' by horse trekkers when I fell on an ice field and broke my femur. They packed me out to the road and gave me lots of codeine! So no, I don't hate horse trekkers.

I do, however, dislike horses ever since one threw me and smashed my ankle to bits!

Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
Bad Horsie on 01/04/2010 00:03:48 MST Print View

Horses are good to eat... but so are llamas.

P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: good compromise? on 01/04/2010 00:17:45 MST Print View

It isn't just the heavy 'footprint' on the trail, it is their excrement. It seems endless.................

Goats, on the other hand, are cool........

Edited by toesnorth on 01/04/2010 00:18:33 MST.

lisa erwin
(purplesage) - F
tolerance on 08/02/2011 17:26:08 MDT Print View

Wow sure are a lot of haters here. As a backpacker who not only packs light and leaves as little a foot print as possible but also rides horses I can say not all horse packers are bad, just like bad back packers there are both kinds. I can't tell you how many times I'm up by myself enjoying the beautiful wilds and I look down and there is a snicker wrapper. Real bummer I tell you. But horses, I've never had a problem with them either if I'm on the trail ride or I'm packing alone. Here's to having tolerance of each other.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: tolerance on 08/02/2011 17:52:41 MDT Print View

"I can't tell you how many times I'm up by myself enjoying the beautiful wilds and I look down and there is a snicker wrapper. Real bummer I tell you. But horses, I've never had a problem with them either if I'm on the trail ride or I'm packing alone."

I don't know where you do your backpacking, but I can tell it's not the southern Sierra. As for a Snickers wrapper, or even a flag of TP, disgusting as they are, I'm here to tell you they pale in comparison to the shore of a once pristine lake or stream bank trampled and littered with piles of horse $h!t. And that is not the exception to the rule in many areas of the Sierra. Never mind the impact they have on trails. Horses don't belong in high alpine areas. Period.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: tolerance on 08/02/2011 18:15:56 MDT Print View

I recently ran on a horse trail to take a short cut to get water. Became like a game to avoid the horses hit. Don't know if it was the horses hit fumes or what, but I became a wild horse for a while. Running and jumping. But I was carrying a water bottle so I was not totally a wild horse, but very close.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: tolerance on 08/02/2011 18:19:38 MDT Print View

Go ahead, call me intolerant, but I too don't particularly care for horse SHIT and the flies they attract.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: tolerance on 08/02/2011 18:27:15 MDT Print View

So nothing has changed in six years of this thread.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: tolerance on 08/02/2011 19:22:05 MDT Print View

Horse owners do maintenance of trails and campgrounds that non-horse owners use.