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Downed trees blocking trails

This is a discussion on Downed trees blocking trails within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
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    07-08-2012, 08:56 PM
I love jumping downed trees on the trail, I ride english mostly and those trees are usually the perfect little jumps. The ones I hate are the trees that fall & get hung up on another tree making it unjumpable & unduckable. I have to go around through the bush!
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    07-08-2012, 09:24 PM
We usually can go around if it is stuck so that it is sitting too high to jump. I don't mind jumping a little log even in a western saddle if my horse will do it. She sometimes is suspicious that there is a monster there.....
Eventually she will go over it if she can look it over for ghosts and goblins.
I would probably have a heart attack if there were cliffs on both sides.........
    07-08-2012, 10:49 PM
Apparently you guys don't ride out west. Blowdowns are part of life.

I carry a Fiskar saw with me so I can cut out 8" or smaller trees. On pack trips, I carry an axe or a cross buck saw, So I can cut out the larger diameter trees. The Forest Service has trail crews that clear trails. But they just don't get down the trails often enough to keep them cleared. With all the beetle kill, and Fire killedc trees, there are many many dead trees and any wind blows them over.

I've run into some Ponderosa Pines laying across the trail on very very steep hillsides. No going around these trees on those steep hill sides and when you have a 3' in diameter tree with branches holding it additional foot or two in the air, Making a 4-5' tall jump, There is no option except to cut it out or turn around.

When I get into the Pick-up-stick area of blow down trees we often get off and lead the horses through the tangle

When the beetles kills large section of forest like this, You just know that good strong wind will lay down a enough trees to block any trail

But even worse are winter avalanches. The snow breaks off trees and carries them down hill and deposit them in large tangles. If that tangle ends up on top of a trail, It can take a week witha chain saw to clear the debris.
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    07-08-2012, 11:42 PM
If I can the horse and I step over the tree (no jumping) we step over it. If stepping over doesnt' isn't doable I ride around the tree. If that isn't doable I get off and lead them around the tree. That doesn't work? It's time to turn around.

I do carry a small saw for limbs and small trees but just to **** much workf or bigger trees.
    07-09-2012, 12:08 AM
I live in the richest forest region in the world, I have the same terrain as you Painted Horse, except more trees & yours are skinnier. I see you have beetle kill pine as well, ours is all gone now, that is your blow down.
    07-09-2012, 12:08 AM
Well this particular tree was probably 2 ft diameter and about 6 inches above the ground. It would have been a great jump for xcountry but I don't like to jump in a western saddle so I turned around. I am glad that so many people responded because I was close to home and could easily turn back or take a detour, but my mind started thinking about those long rides where there is no other option but to go over it or around it. A hand saw couldn't have cut through this baby. It is in a county you think I could call the m and ask to have it cut through?
    07-09-2012, 12:48 AM
You can call the agency responsible and hope they have budget to get out and clear it.

I often take a chain saw and spend a day clearing my favorite trails. If I don't they well soon be over grown. Many of the government agencies just don't have the budgets to take care of this kind of problem, They would be happy if some of the lessor used trails just disappeared.

Yes we have a lot of beetle killed trees and in some areas wildfires have killed and left a lot of trees standing that eventually fall over in strong winds

    07-09-2012, 01:01 AM
Yeah, I've been on several trail clearing rides. You do those with a different mindset, it's not about getting from point A to B. They are about clearing trail and you make it as far as you make it.

Problem is the trail with most issues are in wilderness areas so it's all by hand, no chansaws allowed.
    07-09-2012, 01:59 AM
Bring a good cross cut bow saw for the wilderness area.
But that is definitely a work out
    07-09-2012, 10:14 AM
Painted horse - that blow down looks like a lot of areas in my bush. But instead of ponderosa pine, it's all black spruce here which also has a million branches all over it. My horse just bulldozes her way over most of them. We have a lot more undergrowth too, which makes can make it treacherous for underground springs, run off holes and so forth.

Almost all of my rides are trail clearing rides, unless I ride the roads. Even if there isn't something directly across the trail, I'm usually trimming as I go. I missed going on my trails for about a month earlier this year and I actually couldn't find my trail when I finally got out again! :)

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