I walk alone here in dangerous territory.
Hello all, if you have not already guessed from my "tag" I am of the species know as the "mountain biker". I understand our paths (hehe paths get it) have crossed before both verbally and physically, and for the majority they are anything but pleasant.
For a little background I come from a horse back riding family (mother showed, and is now doing what I call the "prancy thing"(excuse my ignorance)) I grew up around them and thus know their likes and dislikes (not just in terms of carrots) I understand that whilst on the trail we must BOTH be cautious, as we BOTH have a right to enjoy the wonderous trails provided.
My reason for "crossing the aisle" to the horse forum from my own mountain biking forum, is to attempt to obtain some form of reconciliation. I'm sure you have had many instances when bikers have come ripping past you and your horses and startled them. Many times this is simply summed up to the fact that we are reckless and have no regaurds for any others..
Firstly, the above stated is (unfortunately) apparent too often. However we here in the mountain biking community are sometimes not the most intelligent or "knowledgable" beings. Simply put, a large quantity of mountain bikers don't know how to act around horses, this paired along side poor judgement and our childish excitement of going fast on two wheels, is usually why we come across this way.
I come before you all today to show you the hate, and arguably the "hole" we are digging ourselves into, with battling for the most optimal line in the trail. the following is a forum post of one of your own (and I say that in the best possible meaning) jumping to our side of the pond.. Be forewarned however of the above stated ignorance, as it is present in the highest degree.
Horses and Bikes - good, bad and deadly - Mtbr.com Forums
Now, I am truly glad the OP Saddllp chose to post this as I think it has given us an open window of which fresh air can flow to a subject matter that has been "shut in" for far too long. There are posts in the above link that are harsh, knowledgeable, hard headed and insightful. But what I ask is to take a look upon it with an "un-biased" eye, in that you are not using past experience to sway your overall position one way or another.
Do we both need to work on things (us probably more than you) Yes, but the only and absolute best way is through co-operation. Yelling and shouting with biased minds will get us no where, it is on the trails especially that we must connect with each other on the human elementl, and not the seperate ones we so often rise from. So if this can be summed up in one word, the obvious answer would be respect, respect yourself, respect each other, and respect nature, and this goes for BOTH of us not just you guys... but keep in mind of the hard headedness thing with us (thats where we probably need some (respectful and nice) talking too over the general nature of your trail riding companions..
Happy trails leads to a happy life.
I read through that thread and the hatred for the equestrian took me by surprise. I guess I never realized it.
Anyway, a couple of people got it over there. If we cannot get along and learn to share, then neither of us will be on the trails. People are complaining about both bikers and horses. If we don't come together and fight those who are complaining, then both of us are going to find ourselves banned.
Some of the reasoning over there was a bit over the top. "don't ride until you have control of your animal." We are riding prey animals. Even the best trained will have a meltdown once in awhile. They are animals, not machines. If I wanted to ride a machine, I'd ride a bike (which I do sometimes too). :wink:
To me, it makes sense that whoever is riding into a blind corner make noise to let anyone, whether or not it's a hiker, biker or equestrian know they were coming. A biker could be flying around a corner and right into someone who is walking the trail. Same with equestrians. I would never ride at a full gallop where I couldn't see what was coming at me.
It wouldn't kill either of us (no pun intended), to be careful and slow down on blind corners. Unfortunately, it could kill both of us if we don't.
I, for one, appreciate you coming over here. If we don't stop arguing with each other, someone else is going to step in and take the trails away from both of us.
bikes don't spook. I think it's pretty obvious here who should get the right of way for safety's sake.
I read through that page, and wow! What a lot of uneducated rudeness!I understand where they are coming from, but many (most) seem very uneducated about horses.
Most trail horses won't spook at bikes, they have seen and been around bikes for years. they WILL spook if I bike comes flying at them unexpectedly (as would I). As for blind corners, going slow and making noise has nothing to do with horses. I would expect a rider, hiker, biker, whoever to be polite and safe enough to slow down and make a warning. What if you run into a hiker who didn't hear you coming? I know I'd be just as angry at a another rider who didn't give warning/slow as I would a biker, or even a jogger
Horses get the right of way because they are large. It is not too hard for a biker or hiker to step off to the side, but on a wooded or narrow trail, it would be very difficult to get a bunch of horses off to side. Plus, for a spooky horse it's better to keep them moving then to stand.
As for the poop, how exactly are we suppossed to clean it up? We can't exactly carry a pitchfork around. Plus, a tall horse is not the easiest to get on after getting off, especially if there are no stumps or rocks around (and you can't always tell when a horse is pooping). Horse poop is pretty natural though, it's much cleaner then dog. cat, or human poop
You can't do things out in nature and complain about poop. Especially horse poop.
We are blessed to live next door to a 1500 acre park with nice riding trails. Years ago the trails were fair game for anyone. We had bikes, atvs, etc. It was hell to come around a corner and have an atv barrelling down the path, but at least you could hear it coming unlike a bike.
However they basically change the rules and bikes can only be ridden on the roads, not the trails and atvs are banned. Now its just hikers and horses and its lovely.
I guess I never knew how lucky we are to have a place like this.
However those darn fishermen casthing with their huge lunge whips !!
if you are really roughing it obviously even people have to leave some some where:-)
Haha, True! Poop is quite natural!
I just finished up reading and was surprised. Our backwoods horseman pair up with the bikers around here to maintain trails. That was one of the more rude threads I have read in awhile. Horses don't belong on trails? They belong there just as much as hikers, bicyclists or ATV riders.
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