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[pct-l] Re: Horses on the PCT

Hi everyone-

I've read the posts about horses on the PCT. Let me tell you right
now...I'm a hosey-type person!

Anyway, as a long-distance competive equestrian (I do endurance riding), I
agree to a point that horses can do damage to a trail. We had a contoversy
not long ago in Orange County where we held an endurance ride right after a
rain. Well, it left the trail-tread a wreck! However, bully for us, the
ride manager and a bunch of volunteers went out and fixed the trail. This
is typical of most long-distance horse people.

I put on an endurance ride every year in the Piute Mountains (Section F). I
use about 3 miles of a very seldon used part of the trial. The week before
the ride, you can hardly see where the trail goes. After the ride, the
trail is so well defined and, after 60+ horses go over it, looks like it's
been freshly graded. Because I use this portion of the trail for my ride,
it's important to me to make sure the trail is safe and free of debris.
Consequently, I coordinate with the Forest Service to keep it clear. I
apparently have done a good job because I'm now PCTA Trail Maintenance
Coordinator for the section!

Another point-I rarely see any hiking/backpacking  groups out repairing
trails. I know around here that many trails are maintained by horse-groups.
My Backcountry Horseman of CA puts in many hours of trail maintenance time
every year. My local Equestrian Trails, Inc. group has adopted eight miles
of the PCT that we maintain and monitor. We also made a nice camp site
along Willow-Springs Road (Section E) where hikers can rest under a big
shade tree and actually sit at a real table!

Before we start pointing fingers at certain trail users, take time to get
the facts. By the way, I'd say at least half of the people attending this
year's PCTA Campfest near Berkeley, which I attended, were stock

Carol Barrett
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