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.