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FatBike Fiend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Despite prominent signs at each end of the new trail saying bike and foot travel only, the horsie crowd is determined to destroy the new trail we just finished at CrevMo. Spent a good part of Saturday filling in all the four inch deep hoof prints down the length of the trail, then went back Sunday and they had been there again and it was worse then before. What is with these people? Will have to rename Mooseberry Mesa Horseapple Hill if this keeps up. They won't lift a finger to help out in building or maintaining any of those trails then claim any new ones as their own as soon as we get them built. Anybody know any good anti horse strategies? The soils on that trail just will not support horse traffic despite our going to great lengths to make it sustainable. We even ran a mechanical compacter over the trail but it can't hold up to one ton horsies with steel shoes.

Wildfire
 

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Yeah, we've got post-hunting season hoof prints out the wazoo too. In my limited experience the horse crowd is even more rabid (little pun) than the dog crowd when it comes to being self righteous "natural" trail users.

I worked in Rocky Mountain National Park in the 70s and there was a serious movement afoot (another little pun!) to limit the use of vibram soled hiking boots on trails that STILL ALLOWED HORSES!!!!!!!!!

good luck widdalldat.

Ken
 

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ABC Rec Div / STA Trails
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287 Posts
Hey.. we are experiencing the same thing

Wildfire,
We experienced very similar things on the new 'yet to be named' STA trail. The day after the IMBA trail building school was out there with there were shoe'd hoove prints down our trail and it showed us where we had some weaker spots, but it infiriated us.
Especially when not a single equestrian turned out, we had Skiers and Skijorrers even turnout to help though even though we knew they would most likely be using our trail for such activities.

The new section that we completed our cut of the trail on Saturday already has some too already but so far is standing up to them ok. We found that making the trail "very" narrow so if they did encounter someone else on the trail they had no where to go works to a degree (on the STA trail they literally could go down the hill in a few spots), they also don't like large loose rocks, and low cut brush overhangs (though equestrians tend to carry loppers with them). I would figure short steep rock ramps, forced log rides, and very sharp turns on steep imbankments.

We aren't sure exactly what to do about controlling it. We purposefully have "A LOT" of pinch points and obstacles in the trail to act as filters and we are tossing around the idea of creating a large "whistler" style filter on the Gasline entrance though. Not sure if the muni would allow this though.

I personally would like to get it 'officially' designated as a 'human powered' (hike/bike/ski/snowshoe) trail only, again I don't know if the Muni would let us.

Christopher

Wildfire said:
Despite prominent signs at each end of the new trail saying bike and foot travel only, the horsie crowd is determined to destroy the new trail we just finished at CrevMo. Spent a good part of Saturday filling in all the four inch deep hoof prints down the length of the trail, then went back Sunday and they had been there again and it was worse then before. What is with these people? Will have to rename Mooseberry Mesa Horseapple Hill if this keeps up. They won't lift a finger to help out in building or maintaining any of those trails then claim any new ones as their own as soon as we get them built. Anybody know any good anti horse strategies? The soils on that trail just will not support horse traffic despite our going to great lengths to make it sustainable. We even ran a mechanical compacter over the trail but it can't hold up to one ton horsies with steel shoes.

Wildfire
 

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FatBike Fiend
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974 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Those are some good ideas, unfortunately there is a scarsity of rocks out there, just deep clay/loess soils. I havn't noticed any damage from the hikers, they seem to help pack down the trail evenly. We did try to make the trail narrow (18" or less tread width) but' it's wider then that in the switchbacks. We have quite a few choke points as well put it seems like if it's wide enough for a MTB, the horses can squeeze through as well. Have resorted to hanging spruce poles across the trail at a 6 foot height to discourage the horses but they'll just tear them down most likely. We do have a good supply of freshly cut spruce poles and logs from the section line clearing so maybe we could build some structures/ technical trail features through the thickest stands of dog hair spruce to discourage the horses, but am concerned if a horse breaks a leg on them who would be liable? Even thought of triggered bottle rocket and/or pepper spray dispensers but probably legally questionable :rolleyes: What do you mean by filters at the entrances? Places where bikers have to carry their bikes to get to the trail?
crsouser said:
Wildfire,
We experienced very similar things on the new 'yet to be named' STA trail. The day after the IMBA trail building school was out there with there were shoe'd hoove prints down our trail and it showed us where we had some weaker spots, but it infiriated us.
Especially when not a single equestrian turned out, we had Skiers and Skijorrers even turnout to help though even though we knew they would most likely be using our trail for such activities.

The new section that we completed our cut of the trail on Saturday already has some too already but so far is standing up to them ok. We found that making the trail "very" narrow so if they did encounter someone else on the trail they had no where to go works to a degree (on the STA trail they literally could go down the hill in a few spots), they also don't like large loose rocks, and low cut brush overhangs (though equestrians tend to carry loppers with them). I would figure short steep rock ramps, forced log rides, and very sharp turns on steep imbankments.

We aren't sure exactly what to do about controlling it. We purposefully have "A LOT" of pinch points and obstacles in the trail to act as filters and we are tossing around the idea of creating a large "whistler" style filter on the Gasline entrance though. Not sure if the muni would allow this though.

I personally would like to get it 'officially' designated as a 'human powered' (hike/bike/ski/snowshoe) trail only, again I don't know if the Muni would let us.

Christopher
 

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ABC Rec Div / STA Trails
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287 Posts
Liability issues.. Risk Management

There was/is a scarcity of rocks on our trail as well and we have been manually hauling them in. We probably have hauled in two to three large pickup trucks worth of rocks so far, though that amount really didn't go very far as you see very few rocks on the trail itself.

I am not a legal expert, but I can assume if your permit stated that you were allowed to build a trail "designed" specifically for mountain biking and you adequately posted at all access points of the trail that the trail was designed for Mt. Bikers and was explicitly closed to horses using the Mat-Su Burroughs trail sign standards (so it didn't look like an ad-hoc sign, but official) that by them entering the trail was an acceptance of liability to any injuries incurred do to them disobeying or ignoring blantent advisement against the use of horses on the trail as well as the fact that is had been explicitly closed to horses. Maybe Adam might be able to give a little more insight into this..

Yeah, I don't think the bottle rockets, air horns, or pepper spray would be a good idea. There was recently a bad incident down here in Anchorage where a mt.biker used an airhorn on horses and supposedly 'ruined' the horse. Definetly not something we want to be doing if we want access to the trails; though I realize all user groups become irritated with other user groups it is best to try to work out the differences diplomaticly. One of the problems we see in Anchorage is the horse community doesn't seem organized, very similar to the mt. biking community a little over a year ago in Anchorage. So if an issue comes up there is no central voice or body to communicate or advocate to, and then have it diseminate [sic] that information to its members.

I personally haven't been to Whister, but the IMBA crew mentioned filters and I have seen them in videos. You put basically a obstacle (usually a ramp or something) at the beginning of a trail stating.. you should be able to comfortably do this to do this trail. So on the STA trail for example coming off of the trail putting a little jump ramp could get you some serious air as you curve around down a small hill and onto the gasline multi-use corridor. From the Gasline it would almost look like a barricade but would be ridable to a mt. biker but annoying as all heck to an equestrian if built right. I will see if I can find a pic online of some and post it, I would also check the IMBA trail building guide.

See #9 on this IMBA list on the use of them for an introduction to them.
http://www.imba.com/resources/freeriding/risk_management.html

Christopher Souser

Wildfire said:
We do have a good supply of freshly cut spruce poles and logs from the section line clearing so maybe we could build some structures/ technical trail features through the thickest stands of dog hair spruce to discourage the horses, but am concerned if a horse breaks a leg on them who would be liable? Even thought of triggered bottle rocket and/or pepper spray dispensers but probably legally questionable :rolleyes: What do you mean by filters at the entrances? Places where bikers have to carry their bikes to get to the trail?
 

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FatBike Fiend
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974 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was just kidding about the bottle rocket trap. I actually like horses as well as most other animals so wouldn't want to hurt an innocent horse, the problem is the asses riding some of them. After talking to a few people about the problem it seems the likely culprits are a couple of twelve year old girls who have caused quite a few other problems in Crevasse Moraine.. The Borough Parks and Rec staff contacted their mother who was very defensive of her dear little angels and told them they have a perfect right to ride anywhere out there any time they want. There has also been a recent case where a horse fell through a culvert along the road (not sure what the horse was doing on the culvert), broke it's leg and had to be destroyed. The owners successfully sued the Mat-Su Borough and I was told there are two other cases pending regarding horses. So the borough's a little jumpy about horses these days. Anyway, the trail is officially closed to horses so will have to see what transpires. Oh yeah, what were the rocks for on the STA trail, just for trail hardening purposes? It would be possible to haul in some rocks at the entrances to the CrevMo trail and that may be a good deterrent. We want the trail to be fun for all ability levels but not overly intimidating for beginners, if that's possible.

crsouser said:
There was/is a scarcity of rocks on our trail as well and we have been manually hauling them in. We probably have hauled in two to three large pickup trucks worth of rocks so far, though that amount really didn't go very far as you see very few rocks on the trail itself.

I am not a legal expert, but I can assume if your permit stated that you were allowed to build a trail "designed" specifically for mountain biking and you adequately posted at all access points of the trail that the trail was designed for Mt. Bikers and was explicitly closed to horses using the Mat-Su Burroughs trail sign standards (so it didn't look like an ad-hoc sign, but official) that by them entering the trail was an acceptance of liability to any injuries incurred do to them disobeying or ignoring blantent advisement against the use of horses on the trail as well as the fact that is had been explicitly closed to horses. Maybe Adam might be able to give a little more insight into this..

Yeah, I don't think the bottle rockets, air horns, or pepper spray would be a good idea. There was recently a bad incident down here in Anchorage where a mt.biker used an airhorn on horses and supposedly 'ruined' the horse. Definetly not something we want to be doing if we want access to the trails; though I realize all user groups become irritated with other user groups it is best to try to work out the differences diplomaticly. One of the problems we see in Anchorage is the horse community doesn't seem organized, very similar to the mt. biking community a little over a year ago in Anchorage. So if an issue comes up there is no central voice or body to communicate or advocate to, and then have it diseminate [sic] that information to its members.

I personally haven't been to Whister, but the IMBA crew mentioned filters and I have seen them in videos. You put basically a obstacle (usually a ramp or something) at the beginning of a trail stating.. you should be able to comfortably do this to do this trail. So on the STA trail for example coming off of the trail putting a little jump ramp could get you some serious air as you curve around down a small hill and onto the gasline multi-use corridor. From the Gasline it would almost look like a barricade but would be ridable to a mt. biker but annoying as all heck to an equestrian if built right. I will see if I can find a pic online of some and post it, I would also check the IMBA trail building guide.

See #9 on this IMBA list on the use of them for an introduction to them.
http://www.imba.com/resources/freeriding/risk_management.html

Christopher Souser
 
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