Designing and Maintaining Sustainable Trails for the Recreational Horse Riders

Horse riding can bring a lot of joy to your life. It’s a great sport and it’s fun. The experience becomes much better when you get a beautiful trail to ride your horses. The public trails are often used for recreational horse rides. However, there have been some objections regarding it as some people found it quite disturbing. There are organizations that are working towards preserving the public trails and educating the horse riders about using the public trails.

When a trail is designed in a way to preserve the nature, it gives the horse riders the opportunity to explore the lovely landscape. A good trail won’t cause any harm to the environment and when a rider passes through the trail, he or she won’t leave any trace of their passing.


Designing  Sustainable Trail

A sustainable trail will give the riders to ride through beautiful landscape without harming the environment. There won’t be any erosion of the land. When designing sustainable trails you must make sure that it meets the expectations and needs of the user and it protects the environment. A sustainable trail will require minimum maintenance. These trails won’t have wet areas, critical habitats, and steep slopes.

It is found that water is the main cause of erosion. So, the key to designing a sustainable trail is to keep the water away. The trail shouldn’t be too steep; it should go with the land’s contour. This way there will be less erosion. If a trail is built on a low elevation area, there is a chance of water getting accumulated due to rain. In order to avoid the damp ground, the surface of the trail must be raised. Repairing trails that have been damaged due to erosion is expensive. So, you should try to minimize erosion on the trails.


Trail Maintenance

You need to maintain the trails regularly. You should trim the branches at least once every season. If the tree branches become too big, it will block the trail and may hurt the horse riders. You should remove any obstacles, like fallen trees, from the trails so that the riders can ride without any problem. In order to get rid of any water on the trial, you should carve a shallow and wide drain. You can use a rolling grade dip also (RGD).


Proper Use of the Trail

The riders are also responsible for keeping the trails in good condition. They should avoid riding when the trail is wet or too muddy. If you ride in this condition, it will result in erosion. The riders must help in maintaining the trails in the proper condition.

A trail is economically sustainable when it requires minimum maintenance cost. We should build more sustainable trails in order to conserve the nature and give the horse riders a better riding experience.

Tips for Horse Trail Riders When They Ride Public Trails

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.