It’s a Horse, of Course

by Arlyn on May 19, 2009

The Straight Poop…

I’m flying down a rocky fire road, going like a bat out of hell trying to catch Mark. I’m maybe 20 feet off his wheel, looking for a place to pass and his dust is choking me. I think about the amount of horse poop I’ve seen that day and I wonder just how much I’m inhaling. When did it become ok for your animal to leave scads of poop wherever they happened to be when they got the urge?

Horse Poop

Sorry to be so graphic, but this is horse poop.
Photo cc Horrortaxi

If my dog pooped on that trail, I’d be expected to clean it up, no? If I pooped on that trail, I might just get arrested and charged with a sex crime.

I don’t understand why horse poop is special.

No Bikes Allowed!

Mark and I climbed 1,000 feet in about 1.5 miles to get access to a fire road that leads to some promising backcountry. We sweat and grind our way to the top only to find a “No Bikes” sign on the trail. I see a lot of “No Bikes” signs on trails, usually on the choicest single track. I’ve only seen one “No Horses” sign and that was pretty weird and probably just the exception that proves the rule.

No Bikes Allowed

Can’t we share?
Photo cc micamonkey

Why can’t horses share trails with the rest of us? We happily share with them, even when they are in the vast minority (like in Rancho Penasquitos Canyon Preserve).

Why are horse-people so greedy?

Who is Afraid of Who?

Mark, Andy and I are having the time of our life hammering away at a new section of single track. I can’t begin to describe the beauty of that moment; weaving down and up narrow single track that is often hidden by wildflowers and grass. The sky was clear, a light breeze and perfect sunshine.

We hammer around a corner and see a group of horses and their riders. As we come to a stop, one of the horses kinda freaks out, rearing up and trying what looked to me to “get the hell out of there”. The horses were obviously very frightened of us. The rider did not fall off thankfully, but there were a few tense moments as she got the animal back under control.

We moved off the narrow trail to let the equestrians pass and they were very nice. Pleasantries were exchanged on such a glorious day.

Robotic Horse?

Maybe we could invent mechanical horses that aren’t so afraid – oh wait, that’s a bike.
Photo cc Dan Shouse

Why do people ride 1,000 pound animals that are scared of people on bikes? I can imagine that a frightened, rearing, kicking horse could seriously injure and maybe even kill someone – its rider or maybe me.

But How Do You Really Feel?

I don’t really have a problem with equestrians. I see why they appreciate the beauty and power of these animals. I just don’t get why cyclists are treated so differently. We all want to have a great day on the trail, right? We’re more the same than we are different, that’s for sure.

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