talking shit

 A correspondent to this blog is getting annoyed at what he sees at an abundance of horse manure being left on the Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail in Dundas Valley:
Basically we have private horse riding private businesses making use of public space, churning up the path with their hoofs, leaving potholes and shit all over the place, and basically taking over the public space, while making money off of it.  This does not include the one bicycle rack that was ripped out of its moorings at the Trail Centre by a wild horse.

When I get to the Brant county section of the trail, I notice that they have scoop signs, which are sort of ambiguous, but at least it is something.  I get this shit in my mountain (bike) tires and have to clean it out with water.

The shit sometimes is deposited between the two barriers at the crossings, so one would only have about four square feet to work your trick bike.

 Well, on my ride out there last Saturday I found two piles of horse droppings on the trail, about a kilometre in each direction from the Trail Centre. I will admit, I was a bit shy about taking pictures of poop, but, all in a day's blogging. I have a photo of the second pile, but I hope this one will suffice as a a sort of synecdoche of shit.

A little further on down the trail, just east of the Trail Centre I found this scat, which I will guess is perhaps Coyote poop, which would make leaving it behind a bit more legitimate, being wild and all.

The correspondent (I'll call him CCRider) took my advice and called to complain at the Hamilton Conservation Authority, but he was not pleased with the response. The administrator, according to CCRider
implied that horse riders are the most important clients of the trail, and the real problem is dogs, not horses
I am not sure where to go from here: I do enjoy seeing the horses, though they can be skittish, therefore potentially dangerous around other trail users. I wish the riders would, as I seem to recall was required from an earlier trail etiquette brochure (i failed to find it on the new HCA web site),  push the poop to the side of the trail at least.

What do you think? Is horse poop a problem on the Dundas Trails? Use the comment section to have your say.


Anonymous said…
I can understand the attraction of the rail trail to horseback riders, but ... it would certainly be appreciated if they would "poop & scoop." The problem seems to be the effort that would force the rider to dismount and remount the (offending?) animal. Hoof prints, as such, are no worse than some of the thoughtless bike damage to trail edges etc.
shurl said…
I was in the Dundas Valley from Jerseyville Road up to Headwaters today and the amount of horse litter was awful to dance around. I absolutely agree that manure should be at least shoveled off the path. These are not wild horses but pets. Pets are animals attached to humans by leads. Walk your horse CLEAN UP. Walk your dog CEAN UP! The responsibility is in the hands of the be responsible!
Cameikle said…
This brings to mind a nice bicycle trip through the park a few years ago. After many encounters with horseshit deposited at regular intervals on the trail which had us zigging and zagging to avoid crudding up the tires, we encountered two elderly ladies on thier horses. We paused to chat a while and exchanged pleasantries about the beauty of the day and such. Thier fine steed's deposits on the trail never came up in the conversation, we were still entranced by the novelty of coming across people on horseback. As we were parting company and while we were well within earshot, one lady mentions casually to the other "I don't think they should allow those Bicycles on these trails". We had actually stopped to allow these ladies to pass, not carreened on down the trail at full speed like many other bike riders I've encountered, who seem to think the trails are thier own personal race course! It would seem our efforts as ambassadors to cycling were all for naught! Now I feel they should keep thier upper-crusty snippitty selves out on thier own property, doing laps around the perimeter. They can shovel up the shit for thier fancy flower beds. Need I say more...