New Hampshire- Hearings on proposed rules - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 31 Old 10-01-2013, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mountains of NH
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I can ride most of these trails now. There are also a whole host of small trails that aren't on the map and maintained by various little snowmobile clubs.

That little parcel of land sits right next door to me. Owned by DRED and crisscrossed by small trails maintained by the snowmobile club which also sits on DRED lands. The snowmobile trail crosses my property from the clubhouse and connects with trails that connect to others all over the state. I could ride to VT. I could ride to Canada. I could ride to Maine.

DRED owns little parcels like that all over the state. Effectively blocking any passage of horse and rider. Most of these trails are wide enough for 2 snow machines to pass each other. Not wide enough for horses by DRED's proposal.
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post #12 of 31 Old 10-01-2013, 08:56 AM
Green Broke
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Hopefully if enough equine advocates attend the meeting(s), and present themselves in adult fashion, the rule changes can be modified.

Rules like some listed here have been the beginning of the end of horse use on some of the trail systems around here, which was exactly the intention of some of the other user groups. A shame everyone can't just coexist.

There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #13 of 31 Old 10-01-2013, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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It will pretty much put an end to the idea of putting a couple small run ins and pens at the back of my property at the trail head for people who want to go horse camping.

I do intend to go to the meeting tonight at the University. I'm hoping others will be there but so far the horse people have been strangely quiet.
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post #14 of 31 Old 10-01-2013, 05:31 PM
Green Broke
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Sue, just saw this too. The hearing is really far from my part of the state but I am going to write a letter at least.

I don't understand who is advocating for this? Is it ATV/snow mobile riders (NOT trying to flame anyone- genuinely curious) who want the trails?

ETA: Just saw there is a hearing on 10/3 in the Monadnock Region- may try to go to that one.

Last edited by egrogan; 10-01-2013 at 05:36 PM.
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post #15 of 31 Old 10-01-2013, 07:49 PM
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I'm sorry, but people who don't know much about a type animal shouldn't write rules/laws that impact it. That's a job that should be done by knowledgeable people

I remember a good example of using common sense in making a law when I looked into being able to ride on Myrtle Beach for a friend. I can respect beaches not being open to equestrian use or being limited to certain times during the year.
The people who drafted the Myrtle Beach law did a pretty good job dealing with the reality of riding a horse vs animals in general since most laws are written with smaller pets (e.g. dogs) in mind. Here someone used their head and took into account the differences.

Under animals:
"Owners are responsible for the removal of pet waste on beaches and other public property."
This is a pretty typical law that we see almost everywhere.
(Skipping laws for the other beaches in the area.....there's more than one )

Under Myrtle Beach:
"Dogs in public must be on a leash at all times. No animals are allowed on the beach or Ocean Boulevard from 13th Ave. S. to 21st Ave. N. in Myrtle Beach during any time of the year. No dogs are allowed on the beach 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 15-Sept. 15. Pet owners are responsible for removing pet waste from any public property, including beaches.

Horses and riders are allowed on the beach within the city of Myrtle Beach from the third Saturday in November until the end of February, in groups of six or fewer. No "staging" is allowed within the city limits (access to the beach is through Myrtle Beach State Park), and riders must clean up droppings west of the high tide line."

Now there is a common sense law that someone with at least some functioning brain cells took the time to think through. Because:
1. It addresses a way of limited problems that a very large group of riders could create along a beach used by the general public by limited the size of each group without out right restricting the use of the beach.
2. It recognizes that a horse is not like most of our domestic pets and riding horse is not like walking a dog. You can't just whip out a little baggie and pick up the poop to put it in the next trash can.
3. It uses common sense that if your horse took it's dump below the high tide mark (or in the water) then mother nature takes care of the clean up when the tide comes in and goes back out. Granted, if your horse does take a dump above the high tide mark (e.g. while you're riding to the beach) then you have to carry it down to the nearest trash can. But at least you have good odds of your horse not making it's nature call before you get near the water.
Good grief, if you horse doing this for the first time it could take several nervous poops within the first mile. Imagine have to pick up each one.

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #16 of 31 Old 10-01-2013, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Comments by email are also being excepted until October 24. Do it and appear in person if you can.

I think a lot of it surrounds Bear Brook in the southern part of the state. It's a whole lot more congested there.

I was too shy to speak up at the meeting but was finally able to pen my thoughts and offer a few solutions to the problem in the south.

I'm very disappointed at the turn out. The room should have been packed and it maybe had 30 people. They used one of the big lecture halls at the college.

No idea where this started. I doubt it was the snowmobilers. My neighboring snowmobile club makes their bridges horse safe and shares nicely. Not a lot of riding going on in the dead of winter anyway. My guess is some city birdwatcher from Mass. stepped in horse doobers wearing her white walking shoes.

I can even imagine having to dismount and clean up after my horse in the woods. I'm short and chubby, my horse is very tall. I'm fortunate that there are usually stone walls or stumps nearby but that isn't always the case.

I'm still pondering the 8 ft. hardened surface they are talking about. Nothing like that here. I have logging roads, deer runs, snowmobile trails, dirt roads. I've got the day off tomorrow and the weather is supposed to be glorious. I will search the trails for it. Might find an abandoned bit of asphalt or cement left over from when all the farms died from other stupid mistakes the government made.
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post #17 of 31 Old 10-02-2013, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Horse owners give officials an earful – and a whiff – over trail rules proposal

Monitor staff
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
(Published in print: Wednesday, October 2, 2013)

State park officials got an earful yesterday afternoon from horse riders who fear proposed rule changes to trail riding will ruin their hobby – even the state of New Hampshire.
“I understand a lot of people come from out of state to ride horses here in New Hampshire,” said Sen. David Boutin, a Hooksett Republican who said he’s fielded complaints from many constituents. “If they get even the perception that we are changing the rules to make it more difficult to ride here, they are going to go somewhere else.”
The rule changes being considered would require horse riders to dismount and clear manure off riding trails, and would limit their riding to hardened trails at least 8 feet wide. Riders could go on more narrow trails only if the trail was posted as open to horses.
Rules already require animal waste be removed from trails, but horse riders said it’s never been enforced. And all trails on state land are open now unless posted as closed.
State Parks and Recreation Director Philip Bryce began a 1 p.m. public hearing yesterday apologizing to the nearly 100 horse enthusiasts before him for not fully appreciating the implication of the proposed changes on their hobby.

After listening to 31∕2 of testimony – and agreeing to smell baggies of horse manure – Bryce thanked the crowd for its comments. “We learned much,” he said.
Bryce and his colleagues at the state Department of Resources and Economic Development held a second hearing in Plymouth last night and will hold three more public hearings this week and next across the state.
They are also taking comments by email and mail until Oct. 24. Bryce will also meet with members of several horse groups Monday evening at DRED’s office at 172 Pembroke Road to further discuss the rule changes. That meeting is also open to the public.
Bryce said those comments will influence what the final rules look like.
“What we did not want to do was make a restrictive change after (the process) was closed to public comment,” Bryce said. “These rules are not final. Whatever we do, we are going to do with the full knowledge of the people in the equestrian community.”
DRED began hearing from horse owners late last month, shortly after unveiling changes it is considering to state park rules. The changes would affect many things – fishing on the Seacoast, geocaching and pets on hiking trails – but it’s been the equestrian community that has responded the loudest.
Bryce reiterated the state’s position that the proposed changes are meant to clarify – not change – the rules governing horse activity at state parks. Horse owners disagreed vehemently yesterday.
Lynne Yeaton of Loudon, like many others, said it would be incredibly unsafe for her to dismount her horse on a trail in the woods to kick manure off the trail. Many horse riders in the audience said they need a mounting block to get atop their horse – something they wouldn’t have along the trail. They also said they can control their horse most safely from atop it.
“To have a person dismount is asking for an accident to happen,” Yeaton said. “You would have ambulances coming all the time to your parks if you did that.”
Joann Lytle of Concord said she moved from Boston to New Hampshire because she wanted to buy a horse and ride. Her taxes, she said, help support the state parks she fears she will no longer be able to use.

“If you push us out (of the parks and) into the road, we are going to get hit by cars,” she said. Several other people said they are routinely harassed while riding on roads by drivers who beep horns, swerve close to them or rev their motorcycle engines.
Carol Karakoudas of Deerfield said she’s ridden at Bear Brook State Park, one of five state parks in New Hampshire open to horses, daily for 25 years. She has seen increasing restrictions on her ability to ride, she said, but believes these go too far.
“These rules are unfair, unnecessary and shortsighted,” she said.
Several riders said they’ve never seen a requirement that a horse trail be at least 8 feet wide.
Becky Bennett, who owns 42 acres in Pembroke and rides with her husband and daughters, came to the hearing with three baggies of horse manure – one fresh and the others a little older. She, like others, reminded park officials that horse manure is biodegradable and, in their opinion, inoffensive.
“Feel how light it is,” Bennett said, handing park officials a “Day 2” baggie. “And Day 3 . . . it smells just like you cut your lawn,” she said.
DRED Commissioner Jeff Rose declined Bennett’s offer to take a whiff. But Bryce obliged.
For information about the other public hearings or how to submit comments in writing, visit and click on “Who We Are.” When the new page loads, click on “Division” and then “Proposed Admin Rules.”

Comments can also be emailed to Leanne Lavoie at
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post #18 of 31 Old 10-03-2013, 10:22 AM
Green Broke
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I sent a message to DRED via their website yesterday, and actually got a response from a real person (whose title was "Rule and Contract Coordinator")- while brief, I was actually pleasantly surprised that they responded at all:

Thank you for your comments. I will see that they are taken into consideration.

I also contacted my state rep directly as I don't think I'll be able to attend the public hearing tonight. Hopefully it will be a good turnout though, and I already feel guilty that I won't be able to be there in person. Saw my farrier yesterday and talked it up with him, hopefully he'll spread the word around here too.
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post #19 of 31 Old 10-04-2013, 09:27 PM
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Wow, so sorry to see even the "live free or die" state is becoming increasingly not free. Give 'em hell up there! Good luck.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #20 of 31 Old 10-05-2013, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Good morning,

Thank you for your comments. I will see that they are taken into consideration.


Leanne Lavoie

Leanne M. Lavoie
Program Specialist (Rule and Contract Coordinator)
NH Department of Resources and Economic Development
172 Pembroke Road – PO Box 1856
Concord, New Hampshire 03302-1856
603.271.3727 Ext. 418
603.271.2629 (fax)

That's all I got. Comments are open until the 24th. Will have to wait and see I guess.
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