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Thread: Horse Incident

  1. #1
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    Horse Incident

    Well I have been riding for a long time and most certainly know ROW rules and in the pecking order of ROW, horses are king. I also know that at least around here if you get involved with a horse for any reason you will get sued and get taken to the cleaners. So, we always avoid horses and do whatever it takes to keep out of their way. Fortunately, you don't see many horses on the multi use trails as they don't like interactions with others especially MTB's.

    Anyway, yesterday we had a incident that could have turned ugly but we got lucky with a "no harm, no foul". We(wife and I) were riding up a popular multi use trail, it was late AM and hot so nobody else out ridng or hiking. We we about 80% into the climb and we were grinding away. The trail was a moderately steep traverse the exposure was loose and about 30-40 pitch and the uphill side was steep and loose. We then see two gals on horses coming down the trail single file. We immediately stop and get off our bikes. For sure didn't want to try to down climb the exposure as it would have been a slide. Now the horses were there, I tried to climb up the uphill side but couldn't as no traction. So we were kinda stuck and no time to think it out. The lead horse woman didn't really give us any time to discuss options. She drove her horse up the shale and powered around us on the uphill side, the next horse woman followed but her horse was losing traction and sliding/powering around us and was maybe less than ten feet form my wife and barely made it. for sure if this thing would have turned out ugly, we would have been held at blame no doubt.

    So, Fault? Actually, I hold myself at blame as my thinking process was too slow. Should have stopped and turned around immediately and maybe found a place to pull off or just abort the ride. Over the years I have had maybe four incidents with horse, all amazing stories............

    Anybody got any stories....

  2. #2
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    Horse Incident

    Well when youíre riding a dumb giant fucking deer itís almost always actually the horse riders fault for bringing a giant dumb animal on the trail, but youíre right that youíd get the blame.

    My local is multi use and generally have had very few problems with horses, but still not a fan. Giant shit piles, ride after heavy rains, etc. After 15 years here, still havenít ever seen an equestrian at a trail day either. Roll my eyes and move on s life as there are certainly bigger issues.

    /rant

    Few semi remote trails are more horse centric which I ride now and then, where I have no reasonable expectation of them not to be ridden when wet etc. all in all depends on location. Glad around here more trails are being marked as no horses which is awesome. Though Iím sure the horsey folk donít like that, but are really inappropriate for them.


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  3. #3
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    Sounds like those horse people were good riders and knew what they were doing. I hate horses as much than the next guy (probably more actually), but this ultimately sounds like a non-issue. I don't see anything that anyone involved could have done to make the situation better, so credit to the horse people for having reasonably well trained animals and knowing what they're capable of.

    Generally speaking, I find the horse people you find out on legit backcountry rides are mostly fine. Some of them are assholes, but their horses are well trained and both the rider and animal tend to be experienced. The problems come with the casual horse owners that bought a big dumb animal because they like the idea of being a "horse person," but they only ride it a couple times a year and they don't spend much time training it. Those people tend to have a holier than-thou attitude with none of the skills to back it up.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Generally speaking, I find the horse people you find out on legit backcountry rides are mostly fine. Some of them are assholes, but their horses are well trained and both the rider and animal tend to be experienced. The problems come with the casual horse owners that bought a big dumb animal because they like the idea of being a "horse person," but they only ride it a couple times a year and they don't spend much time training it. Those people tend to have a holier than-thou attitude with none of the skills to back it up.
    That's been my exact experience as well. Usually on backcountry/mountain rides when we stop and ask what they want us to do the experienced riders just wave us on by saying their horses are used to people.

    In the city where people buy horses, board them and only ride them a couple times a year (without fail, immediately following a big rain storm) the horses are skittish and untrained, same with their riders. Fortunately there seem to be fewer of them every year.


    In OP's case if the horse riders rode through without giving hikers or bikers time to find a safe way to get off the trail, that is on the horse people if something goes wrong. That's the equivalent of trying to blow past a hiker on trail and then crashing when you went off trail to go around them.

  5. #5
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    I would agree that these gals in particular the lead rider were experienced and knew how to handle a horse and the horses were well trained. But, the unknown factor was how loose the terrain was considering the steepness. For us, riding on crowded single track all the time there is plenty of times we stop and hike up the uphill side to create a easement for riders/hikers to pass in tight places. No big deal, we were going to do that this time but it was so loose that I made about two steps and I lost traction and slide to my knees. So a no go. They tried it and made it but the gal behind almost didn't and if she would have had a yard sale her and her horse would have been right on top of my wife. I didn't yell, scream or anything else just a lesson that in doubt, turn around and created distance.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Sounds like those horse people were good riders and knew what they were doing. I hate horses as much than the next guy (probably more actually), but this ultimately sounds like a non-issue. I don't see anything that anyone involved could have done to make the situation better, so credit to the horse people for having reasonably well trained animals and knowing what they're capable of.

    Generally speaking, I find the horse people you find out on legit backcountry rides are mostly fine. Some of them are assholes, but their horses are well trained and both the rider and animal tend to be experienced. The problems come with the casual horse owners that bought a big dumb animal because they like the idea of being a "horse person," but they only ride it a couple times a year and they don't spend much time training it. Those people tend to have a holier than-thou attitude with none of the skills to back it up.
    The local serious horse folks mostly do a decent job of staying off the multiuse trails that are predominately bike trails. They also do an incredible job of logging out the wilderness hiking trails so all in all I'm pretty happy with them.

  7. #7
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    At best, it's a bit dickish to ride around someone on the high side without communicating your intentions first and providing an opportunity for the other party to backtrack to a spot they're more comfortable with.

  8. #8
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    Which trail was it?
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  9. #9
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    The one thing lacking from that story is verbal communication? Was there any? If I'm going to find fault with the OP, it's that in an encounter such as this, I would have been trying to have a dialogue with the horse people long before they got close enough to me to go around me.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
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  10. #10
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    since when is 10' a near miss?

    Ive had a horse lady yell at me to leash my dog when her horse became skittish as my dog trotted by on the logging road paying no mind to the horse, just following me. It was on timber land where you have to buy a permit to ride that specifically allows offleash dogs. I yelled back she should learn to control her animal. Probably the wrong thing to do, but it felt good.

    Every other time ive encountered a horse person while riding (always at the same riding spot above), the riders have been super cool. Some have even apologized a few times for "stopping your flow". A couple are even active in trail maintenance and brushing/bucking out trail.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by californiagrown View Post
    since when is 10' a near miss?
    Anytime a horse is involved? I will admit that 10' seems like enough space though.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Which trail was it?
    The traverse going up toward Dry Pond from the two switchbacks, us going up, horses going down.

  13. #13
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    Ha, maybe 10' riding in a pasture on a road is not close but when a horse and rider are sidehilling on a steep loose slope and slipping above you bad things can happen. Ever seen a horse panic, not pretty.......

  14. #14
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    on a steep loose slope and slipping above
    10' isn't near enough room in that circumstance.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  15. #15
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    Admin can we get this moved to the Bullfighting Forum? They'll know to best dodge hoofed animals or when to say fuck it just stab them dead and keep pumping.

  16. #16
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    seriously. Buncha wussies in here would wet themselves with how close the bull passes as you shake the red cape in its face. 10 ft??? Pfttt!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadzilla View Post
    The traverse going up toward Dry Pond from the two switchbacks, us going up, horses going down.
    There really isn't enough space for horses to pass there - weird that the horse people decided to go off trail and ride on the rocks. Weird.

    I would've expected bicyclists to step off the trail there while horses went by, but sounds like they didn't give you any time to do that.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  18. #18
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    What if same trail horses are going up and other horses are going down? Is there enough room?
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

  19. #19
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    I assume everybody here knows that hikers and cyclists should always step to the downhill side of the trail to let horses pass, so in the event the horses spook, they spook uphill rather off a steep drop. Sounds like in this instance OP tried to get to the downhill side but it was too steep/exposed, so the horse riders took it upon themselves to pass on the uphill side off trail. Makes sense to me.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTskibum View Post
    Well when youíre riding a dumb giant fucking deer itís almost always actually the horse riders fault for bringing a giant dumb animal on the trail, but youíre right that youíd get the blame.

    My local is multi use and generally have had very few problems with horses, but still not a fan. Giant shit piles, ride after heavy rains, etc. After 15 years here, still havenít ever seen an equestrian at a trail day either. Roll my eyes and move on s life as there are certainly bigger issues.

    /rant
    ďDumb giant fucking deerĒ is a spot on description.


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    I assume everybody here knows that hikers and cyclists should always step to the downhill side of the trail to let horses pass, so in the event the horses spook, they spook uphill rather off a steep drop. Sounds like in this instance OP tried to get to the downhill side but it was too steep/exposed, so the horse riders took it upon themselves to pass on the uphill side off trail. Makes sense to me.
    The fuck if Iím yielding high ground to horses. I donít want a 400 pound dumb animal above me. I also donít have to deal w that situation on high alpine singletrack admittedly. If your horse is that easily spooked it surely shouldnít be in situations like this. I agree w comment above re serious riders and horses, regardless Iím not putting myself in harms way bc you canít control your pet.


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  22. #22
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    Sounds like dismounting and walking the horses around the bikers would have allowed for the biggest margin of safety for animals and humans.

  23. #23
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    It sounds shitty, but from my understanding horses view things above them as potential predators and things below them as not predators. Pretty terrifying to have a horse uphill of you on a loose hillside. Don't know what I would have done there either. Pray?

  24. #24
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    I mean ideally you can get 20 yards off trail and downhill. Then you don't have to worry about the horse squashing your chickenshit ass. Stepping off to the downill side is commonly accepted as proper ettiquette and in a normal situation it's pretty easy to do.

  25. #25
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    I don't mind stepping off the trail for horses.. I do mind having to dodge piles of horse shit though..
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

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