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My other ride is your mom
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Out on my normal shred, I came about a very disturbing sight today on the lower reaches of Mine Trail. As it is spring, the equestrians are out in numbers...and while I respect the use of a multi-use trail and realize that a bit of rain heals a lot....I do not respect the destructive nature of the horses in the hands of inexperienced/ignorant/uncaring riders. In particular, I've noticed more this spring than in other springs before, the abusive behavior of the equestrians in general. To wit, today I found a switchback which had been cut in a rather ugly, irresponsible manner. Pics below....this pisses me off to no end. I'm a tolerant man....but this behavior has to stop!

1st Pic: Looking up the cut
2nd Pic: The cut on left, established trail on right
3rd Pic: Looking down the cut
4th Pic: cut on right, switchback up ahead

I just want to say to these folks....."if you can't ride your dog around the switchback because of rocks, perhaps you should try an easier trail like Usery"........

This new cut is deep kitty litter now which was previously hard packed desert floor. It's, fall-line on a steep slope and will easily erode into a channel at the next rain. I am making it my personal mission to cover this crap up and rehabilite to the best of my ability tomorrow....much as I did with the "boulder stealer" a few years back on the disneyland section of saddleback.
 

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Maad, I think you're right that this is becoming more common...maybe partly because of our unusually dry winter, maybe more riders, maybe a combo. Aside from getting involved in local land-use organizations, do you have any ideas on what we can do?
 

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Wild Horses?

Any chance this is from wild Horses?

There are TONS of wild horse that roam around the area (hence "wild horse"), and I was just as pissed one night when I was on Twisted sister and it was shredded from horse hooves...I didn't take the time to note if the prints showed horse shoes or not though...

I have seen herds at least 20 strong down near Phon D, as well as in the Bulldog canyon area, and closer to the dam at Saguaro lake. If a group (herd) that size happened up mine trail, it would make a significant mark like your pics show...Not sure why they would venture that far from the water, but you never know...it's not all that far really, and those horses cover some ground on their morning and evening jaunts...

Somewhere, I have pics of a wild free ranging horse on the east end of Twisted Sister at the higher elevation. I'll try to find it...
 

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windrider
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MJ,

You have threaded upon two major topics for me tonight. The short version of this one- horses and bikes don't mix.

I met a girl back in '95. She rode mountain bikes but never raced until she went with me to Payson and got 2nd in the amateur uphill, 1st in the downhill, 1st in the 10 gate trials course, and 2nd in the cross country. Her downhill time on a rigid bike was 1 second behind the pro women's winning time on a Pro Flex-something-or-other. There were people who were trying to recruit her on the spot. She went back to Europe.

I caught back up with her in '05 here in the states. Gone was the mountain bike an in its place was a a four legger that ate and shitted-- really, that's pretty much it. We did an experiment one time. I rode and she rode. Her ride could really climb some impressively technical sections(short) that I couldn't do but her ride had no chance of hanging with me on single track even at a slow pace. It didn't work.

After this thread I will now forever spell equines with "whorses." We (mountain bikers) spend money our past-time/hobby but I have seen ridiculous amounts of money spent on whorses. No need to link the threads about recent *****e in the trail with your cutting corners here.

In our (white man's) short history in this neighborhood, whorses are ancient and mountain bikes are recent. 100 years ago "trails," in effect, didn't exist. The photo evidence you put forth here are only evidence of that mind set. Whorses aren't inherently bound by any recent code and you and I on bikes are subject to "Rules of the Trail." Who has right of way?

Fight the good fight and make the equine-ophiles toe the line. One major downturn in the economy and those over grown 'dogs' will be late '1800 Apache barbeque parties.

BRM
 

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Doesn't taste like chicken...

I like horse about as much as Golf....

I have actually eaten horse, Yeah, horse sashimi!...Oh yeah, it's a delicacy in Japan ya know! Uh huh, raw horse meat...mmm..yum-oohhh...

I'm just sayin' in that particular area, there are lots of wild ones..It may not be "Equestrians" ruining the day (although they do excel at such). OK then, let's have a BBQ! I bet it aint so bad marinaded and grilled (I like Filibertos just fine!, whats the difference anyway?)...definitely ruins an otherwise sweet trail...

Check the prints and see if there are shoes...usually, when I see horse riders, they are in limited numbers (I rarely ever see more than 3 at a time)...The damage that Maad's pics show look like a freakin giant stampede went through there...same as I saw out on Twisted Sister...Those trails are not frequented by the horsterbaitors...they always hang near bulldog and south end of Usery...I'm tellin' ya, wild horses...maybe need to do a little aerial recon...
 

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recovering roadie
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I came a across a pack of women riding six horses up Javelina on Saturday. I pulled off to the side to let them by, and proceeded to move the get back on the trail after the last one passed. The lady riding it freaked out and told me to stop moving because her horse gets scared of bikes. Now, why would you ride a spooky horse on a technical trail frequented by bikes? I don't get the appeal for them.

The six horses in a row did do some damage to the trail, but nothing that won't be fixed by a little rain and more bike traffic - and no switchback cutting, thank god. And for some reason, they didn't crap on the trail much. At least for that, I thank them.
 

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My other ride is your mom
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
5bravobravo said:
Any chance this is from wild Horses?

There are TONS of wild horse that roam around the area (hence "wild horse"), and I was just as pissed one night when I was on Twisted sister and it was shredded from horse hooves...I didn't take the time to note if the prints showed horse shoes or not though...

I have seen herds at least 20 strong down near Phon D, as well as in the Bulldog canyon area, and closer to the dam at Saguaro lake. If a group (herd) that size happened up mine trail, it would make a significant mark like your pics show...Not sure why they would venture that far from the water, but you never know...it's not all that far really, and those horses cover some ground on their morning and evening jaunts...

Somewhere, I have pics of a wild free ranging horse on the east end of Twisted Sister at the higher elevation. I'll try to find it...
No chance these were wild horses....wild animals use countours to move across country to conserve energy when not forced by a rider to draw a beeline down a countour. I'm also aware of the wild horses about.... and can tell the difference. Besides, this was far more than the few horses out there wild...and they were being led along by a mounted rider who was turning in circles in spots on the trail, having the group rest in spots, etc....as if giving instructions while others moved along. This damage occurred sometime since Friday when I was last on this trail.....according to friends, they ran into a group of 20+riders on Saturday, mid-day. If this was a tour group, I aim to file a complaint with the operator and the FS which should hold their permit.

As for droppings....whatever, it's a nuisance...but in the scheme of things....it's nothing. What I'm talking about here is real damage with consequences.
 

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Comprende

Maadjurguer said:
No chance these were wild horses....wild animals use countours to move across country to conserve energy when not forced by a rider to draw a beeline down a countour. I'm also aware of the wild horses about....Besides, this was far more than the few horses out there wild...and they were being led along by a mounted rider who was turning in circles in spots on the trail...as if giving instructions while others moved along. This was probably done by a group of 20+ horses on a ride Saturday afternoon according to reports of friends...this damage occurred sometime since Friday when I was last on this trail. If this was a tour group, I aim to file a complaint with the operator and the FS which should hold their permit.
That kind of damage is obscene...Might as well open the trail to dirtbikes too...
 

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bigrigmig said:
100 years ago "trails," in effect, didn't exist.
I completely agree with your points except for the above one. Umm, what? :skep:

Yes this shows that people are careless and selfish regardless of what mode of transportation they use.

But all seriousness aside, they were just enjoying the new trend of freeride horsemanship
 

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My other ride is your mom
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey all......lets not let this thread wander....I'm changing my title to be more reflective of my pragmatic approach here....this is about abusive and irresponsible use of a multi-use trail....it's not about poo or anything else....I'd like this to perhaps (the joke will be on me, I guess) be a more practical wake up call for some of us, if we're so inclined or incensed, to work with agencies to help solve these types of problems.

I think user education is always part of it...but in this case...if this was a tour operation...there should be some kind of notice given to them.
 

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meow
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Wild horses are one thing, but equestrians are supposed to be in control of their horses, Many mountain bikers are interested in keeping trails sustainable and maintained, and get involved with groups to do the work. This keeps us in 'good graces' with the PTB. Do equestrians do the same thing? Don't know that I've ever heard of an equestrian group doing trail building or maintenance. Horses cause a ton of trail damage, and I still can't understand the logic of why they're allowed in wilderness area but bikes are not.
 

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Maadjurguer said:
Hey all......lets not let this thread wander....I'm changing my title to be more reflective of my pragmatic approach here....this is about abusive and irresponsible use of a multi-use trail....it's not about poo or anything else....I'd like this to perhaps (the joke will be on me, I guess) be a more practical wake up call for some of us, if we're so inclined or incensed, to work with agencies to help solve these types of problems.

I think user education is always part of it...but in this case...if this was a tour operation...there should be some kind of notice given to them.
So, I'm assuming you've contacted said operation with your concerns and observations? What about others in the horse community?
 

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My other ride is your mom
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm heading out this morning to add a sign and block off the cut, tamp down the soil the best I can to remove the eyesore. I'm trying to find who does tour operations with horses out this way.....
 

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dirt visionary
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I am with mad...no way thats wild horses. They will stay on trail and only use conturs as mentioned. To cut that switchback were it was you would have knowledge of the tight corner
 

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dirt visionary
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Maadjurguer said:
I'm heading out this morning to add a sign and block off the cut, tamp down the soil the best I can to remove the eyesore. I'm trying to find who does tour operations with horses out this way.....
I have yet to see any Horseback tour companies riding in the east valley. Just loads of like riders meeting and riding with others. But a call to the mesa forest office of ingram might get that info for ya.
 

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Good call

I agree it is wise and responsible to contact the FS. If I can be of any help, I am willing to make the time to do so. Just let me know, I give a crap...Usually I just do my own thing, but I feel it is important to maintain access and keep the trails in order. Honestly I am not sure where/how I can make a difference, or where to begin.

Looks like rain will make a real mess of that...
 

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windrider
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what "in effect" meant in this case...

jmmorath said:
I completely agree with your points except for the above one. Umm, what? :skep:

Yes this shows that people are careless and selfish regardless of what mode of transportation they use.

But all seriousness aside, they were just enjoying the new trend of freeride horsemanship
Obviously, actual trails existed. My "in effect" was merely a statement about the old west being a time and place of blazing your own trail. I cannot state this unequivocally but I doubt there was much concern about erosion/ land damage issues if a horse and rider veered off a main trail in Arizona in say, 1880-1920. Put a sign up in the Arizona Territory back then that says "Do not leave existing trail" and it would get shot up about as quick as the Table Mesa Master Plan sign out at Table Mesa Road in today's Az Territory.
 
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