Horse trail preservation is an important issue because of restrictions and the past. For many years after horse trails were first created, they were neglected. People became more focused on other activities and the preservation of trails was not a priority. What also adds to the problem, is the rate at which open land and natural areas are being cut down and rezoned for malls or business buildings. This leaves us with very little space for recreational horse riding.
There are already only a few places where we are allowed to ride our horses in public. Many trails are earmarked for hikers and bikers and do not allow horses. There are several reasons for this including the safety of the hikers and the spreading of weeds. These restrictions have made it very difficult for recreational horse riders to enjoy their favorite pastime.
What does preservation of horse trails actually entail?
Preserving and keeping claim on existing trails – There are few existing trails and therefore it is very important to keep the existing ones in a good condition. It is also important that we keep fighting for the rights to ride there.
Act responsibly when riding on public trails – Many of the issues that the government and other trail users have with horse riders is about behavior. Some riders can be very inconsiderate. It is important to be considerate and mindful of the hikers and bikers around you. If you treat them with respect and follow the equestrian trail riding etiquette, you will be helping us keep access to the trails.
Keep it clean – This falls in with the other two points, but it must be mentioned on its own as well. Littering of any kind must be avoided. You should clean up after your horse and try to leave nothing behind. Part of preservation is to keep the natural beauty and ensure that it remains. Littering does not do that.
Trail preservation is important if we want to be able to ride recreationally. If we don’t take care of our trails and educate riders, we will soon have nowhere left to ride but around the stables. So, help us preserve our trails and our right to ride on public trails.
Elbe Hills in Pierce County is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Washington. It wasn’t like this some years ago. Elbe Hills together with the Tahoma State Forest was almost left barren after extensive deforestation by the timber industry. These areas have been nursed back to health and abundance. This makes Elbe Hills a great example of trail preservation.
Elbe Hills is a national treasure and is protected by several preservation laws. The trails that run through this area are allocated to different types of recreational activities. There are 4×4 trails, equestrian trails, hiking trails, and biking trails. There are even camping spots.
Trail preservation is important because it allows horse riders and their horses the freedom to be in nature and experience its beauty while bonding. Elbe Hills is a place where this can happen. It is one of the few trails that are still open to horse riders and that is why we love it.
Horse trail restoration and preservation is a long road. This is why it is important to make sure that you and your horse respect the trail and the other people and animals that you come across. A horse is a big animal and its hooves can cause a lot of damage with little effort. It is important that you as the rider realize this and take measures to counter any damage. By respecting nature and understanding your horse and his effect on his surroundings, you can be a wiser and more nature-conscious rider. You will be able to prevent your horse from causing erosion or trampling plants. You will also know how to reduce the chances of him spreading weeds to other areas.
Elbe Hills, like most other natural public trails, have rules for riding. You must be alert and aware of hikers and other people sharing the trail with you. You should avoid running with your horse as it will scare people and cause ground damage. You should pass hikers calmly or let them pass you. A horse can be intimidating to people who don’t know or understand them. So, be careful and considerate to your fellow trail users.
Elbe Hills is like a fairy tale of the ugly duckling turning into a swan. Today, it is one of the most beautiful and well-protected forests. It offers many recreational activities including horse riding. If you ever want a great horse riding experience, you must go to Elbe Hills. Both you and your horse will love the experience and find yourselves in awe of the natural beauty that has been restored.
Elbe Hills is now one of the few and very beautiful forests with trails we have. It is important that every horse rider, hiker, biker and other trail users take it upon them to preserve this trail and prevent it from becoming barren again.
One of the ways that all horse riders can help in the fight for trail preservation and permission to use public trails is by being considerate. Many of the trails are shared by hikers and bikers and there are also often dogs. It is important that horse riders behave well and keep the people around them in mind when their riding. We have a few tips for how to behave well and considerate.
Pick up manure. In the same way that you need to pick up after your dog, you need to pick up after your horse. You know the signs of when this will happen, so walk him off the main trail and pick up the manure after he is done. This is common sense and it makes the experience much more pleasant for other trail users.
Don’t go trail riding when it has rained. Horses make everything mush when they walk on wet grass and mud. It is best for the preservation of the trails if you don’t let your horse walk trails when the soil and grass are wet. If you do, you may ruin the trail for everyone. It is also one of the reasons why horses are not allowed on all trails because this type of behavior contributes to erosion.
Don’t race. Most of the public riding trails are for recreational purposes and should be relaxed. A speeding horse can cause a lot of havoc and it can also cause damage to the trails and plants. So, if you need to run and go wild, do so on your farm or somewhere private where you won’t disturb others.
Stay on trails allocated for horse riding. Horses are not always allowed on all the trails. Some trails are just for hikers, some just for bikers, and other for horse riders. It would be wise to get some maps of the area and the trails before you set off. This will help you stay on track and avoid trespassing or causing problems for yourself or others.
The basic idea here is to just be considerate and use your common sense. Not everyone is used to horses and they may be frightened or not know how to react. Calmly pass them and strike up a conversation. Educate them so they won’t be scared next time. As long as you keep the people around you in mind and avoid destroying anything, you and your horse will have a good time.
Recreational horse riding is one of the most amazing experiences you will ever have. If you are a horse rider you understand the thrill and joy it brings you to ride with your horse in open spaces and through forests. If you are a new rider there are some things that you need to learn. PCCBCHW offers events where we educate new riders on etiquette and how to be safe on the horse trails. In today’s feature, we want to give you some guidance on what to pack when you go on a trail ride.
It is good to have a list of things you need so you can tick it off as you pack it. This is the best way to make sure you don’t forget anything.
Always remember the following:
Studs – To help your horse have traction and so he doesn’t slip.
Boots – If your horse is wearing studs, he must have boots. For your horse’s own safety, make sure to never put studs on without boots.
Protective gear – Make sure to pack your horse’s protective gear to keep him safe and to avoid rashes and such things.
Riding gear – The saddle, saddle pad, half pad, and girth is next on my list. These are obviously quite important and some of the bigger things you must take.
Once your horse has all his gear, it is important to remember yours.
Boots and spurs – It is important to have your protective foot gear. Also, make sure that you have thick enough socks as you will be in the boots for a while.
Safety gear – Remember all your own safety gear like protective vests and obviously your helmet. Always keep the weather in mind.
It is also very important to carry some basic essentials like a small first-aid kit that has the basics for both human and horse ailments. One of the most important things you must always have on a trail ride is water. Chances are that there will be water along the way for your horse, but always pack enough for you and your horse. A dehydrated horse is not something you want on a long trail ride.