Horseback Tips for Riding in Trail Environments
Posted by Rusty Spurr on Oct 13, 2019 under Colorado, Horseback Riding, Rusty Spurr Ranch, Vacation
Although Rusty Spurr Ranch has off-trail horseback riding and open-range cattle drives, we want to make everyone aware of the proper precautions to take when trail riding on a single track. Many other stables utilize single track trails that are often multi-use, public Forest Service trails. The trails that you are asked to follow when horseback riding are not just for you; they are also to help prevent the deterioration of the environment. By sticking to the trails, you are limiting the damage your horse might cause to the area you are traveling through. One of the actions we recommend is encouraging your horse to walk through puddles, as riding around the area will widen the trial which will in turn destroy the vegetation. An especially important rule to follow is to stay on the marked trails. Creating new trails, switchbacks, or corners are extremely harmful to the environment. Ride single file to prevent the widening and degrading of the trail. Never leave the trail to go to sensitive areas such as wetlands, bogs, or marshy meadows as areas like these are an epitome of biodiversity and their destruction could ultimately lead to the deterioration of the entire area. Leaving the trail, no matter how little, could result in the harming of wildlife habitats. The sediment from erosion can also cause major water quality problems in streams and other bodies of water. Another important factor that needs to be taken into account is defecation. It is encouraged to have your horse walk while defecating in order to spread the manure out and avoid the buildup of manure piles. Also, if you stop at any time on the trail, make sure that you do not tie your horse to any vegetation that can cause damage. One of the most important things to avoid is invasive weeds, if they happen to be a problem in the area you are riding in. Try to maneuver around the weeds to prevent the seeds from getting attached to your horse and spreading to different areas. Together we can make an impact to help those that enjoy using single track trails to leave the environment intact and keep trails in pristine condition.