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Re: [pct-l] RE: pct-l-digest V1 #572

I don't mean to offend any horse riders out there, but I must say
something about the horse after an encounter I had last week on the
JMT.  The last thread about horses I refrained from because they never
really bothered me, but on my last trip I was jogging down the trail
trying to make up time and there was a group of horses entering the
trail a few hundred yards in front of me.  All of the sudden, one of the
riders screamed " Stop running, you are going to spook the horses!"  I
stopped expecting them to let me go by and continue my pace, which was
obviously faster than their walk, but they did not let me by.  Instead,
they continued onto the trail in front of me and never acknowledged that
I was right behind them, five feet away.  The horse trail was very long
(about ten horses) and I could not just walk beside the trail to get in
front due to the trail's topography and the fact that I did not want to
damage the environment any further by creating a new passing lane.  So I
was stuck following this horse train that disgusted me in the following
    1.  I had to smell the horse flatulence( I hope it was horse), which
is quite potent, as      the horse's bunghole is at nose-level.
    2.  I had to dodge fresh horse urine and excrement, and smell it.
    3.  I had to hike at a slower pace than I wanted to.
    4.  I had to breathe in all the dust kicked up by 40+ hooves.

All these annoyances are in addition to the typical ones that horses
cause when you don't have to walk directly behind them, such as:
    1.  The difficult walking through the sandy trail matter that the
horse shoes create by pulverizing the normally firm terrain.
    2.  Dodging and smelling old horse urine/excrement.
    3.  Dealing with commercial outfitters that take huge groups into
the camping areas and use all the available campsites and/or bear box
    4.  Having to filter water because the water along the trail has
been exposed to Giardia due to horse excrement in the streams and creeks
that cross the trails.
    5.  Walking in the extreme mud and slush created around the creek
crossings due to the pounding of horse shoes into the soft and moist
    6.  Having to get off the trail when a horse train comes the other
way.  (who ever said that the horses have the right of way anyway - the
riders always expect the hikers to move for them.  I think next time I
will ask the riders to get off the trail for me!)

I don't want to get into another long debate about horses because the
last one sucked.  But I do want the riders to realize what the hikers
have to put up with.  I think that everyone should be allowed to enjoy
the National Parks/Forests whether on a horse or by foot, but I also
think that riders don't realize how tolerant hikers are of them. We
sacrifice a lot for riders, so the next time you see a hiker on the
trail, please don't ask us to stop hiking so you can get on the trail,
most of us will sacrifice a lot so you can ride, but please don't ask us
to sacrifice hiking/walking/running so your horses don't get spooked.

Dude in TX

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