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Author Topic: Horses on O'Bannon Bike Trails  (Read 4614 times)

PKemppainen

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Horses on O'Bannon Bike Trails
« on: June 25, 2015, 11:13:38 AM »
We are aware of horseback riders on the mountain bike trails at O'Bannon Woods. We are working with the State Park staff and the local conservation officers to better educate the horseback riders about the dangers of riding on the mountain bike trails.

We are also aware that some horseback riders have been very ignorant and belligerent when mountain bikers have met them on the bike trails. It seems like some horseback riders are riding the bike trails just looking for trouble.

Remember, it only takes a couple "bad apples" to ruin things for everyone, and these horseback riders are in the process of ruining things for the rest of them. 

If you run into horses on the bike trails, remember to be respectful, and take the high road. Do not get sucked into any altercations, and please avoid any conflict.

If you have a phone with you, contact the park office, and report what trail you've seen the horses on and which direction they are heading. If you happen to have a GoPro, and/or have images of any horseback riders encountered on the trails, save those images and let us know. It may help identify the offenders.

Thanks!

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Re: Horses on O'Bannon Bike Trails
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2015, 09:31:04 AM »
  I talked to the Horse rep at the DNRs Trail Advisory Board yesterday and she has recently ridden at O'Bannon.
 
Most of the trail rider are conscienscious and do not want to be on a mountain bike trails. One thing that she suggested is some signage at spots where the horse trails and mountain bike trails intersect. She said a problem that she has seen, is if one horse rider goes the wrong way and other riders, who are unsure, see horse tracks, they would assume that is the proper way to go, compounding the problem.
 
This does not apply to the riders who willfully are breaking the rules.
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PKemppainen

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Re: Horses on O'Bannon Bike Trails
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2015, 01:23:29 PM »
  I talked to the Horse rep at the DNRs Trail Advisory Board yesterday and she has recently ridden at O'Bannon.
 
Most of the trail rider are conscienscious and do not want to be on a mountain bike trails. One thing that she suggested is some signage at spots where the horse trails and mountain bike trails intersect. She said a problem that she has seen, is if one horse rider goes the wrong way and other riders, who are unsure, see horse tracks, they would assume that is the proper way to go, compounding the problem.
 
This does not apply to the riders who willfully are breaking the rules.

There is no doubt that most of the horseback riders are quite conscientious. Many of them who are aware that HMBA was also responsible for building the new Idlewild Horse Trail are also very appreciative for the new sustainable model trail we added for them.

There are also a small number of riders at O'Bannon who we know are deliberately riding the mountain bike trails, riding past all the signs we have installed. When they've been met on the trails, they've acknowledged that they are quite aware of where they are, but have no intention of turning around or leaving the bike trails.
We'd like to continue to work with the park staff, conservation officers and the horseback riding community to help identify these riders, as these confrontations reflect poorly on the rest of the horseback riders.

Obviously, not every mountain biker is perfect either. Let's set an example of what good trail (and park user) behavior looks like. Be courteous, be friendly and show respect for fellow park users.

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Re: Horses on O'Bannon Bike Trails
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2015, 04:12:50 PM »
We have had discussions with both local and State level Parks staff and there are several actions being taken.


There is going to be increased attention to trail use compliance at O'Bannon.  But this always cuts both ways, so please be sure to stay on trails open to Mountain bikes.


The purpose built mountain bike trails are


Fire Tower
Rocky Ridge
Group Camp
Potato Creek
Breeden Ridge




There are also two old school trails open to mountain bikes


Cliff Dweller
Adventure Trail (AT)


One important clarification the segment of the AT trail that drops off of the new Breeden Trail is open to bikes, but the AT is very muddy and typically unusable once the AT crosses the gravel road (Iron Bridge Road).  The Iron Bridge Road is used as a horse trail and is not open to mountain bikes.  This is the gravel road that the Fire Tower Trail Crosses.  Since the AT is typically too muddy to ride, the AT segment dropping off of the Breeden trail is essentially is an out and back ride.  We do have plans to replace the lower muddy section with a better trail.


Outside of the State Park, the Adventure Trail and Cliff Dweller trails are difficult to navigate, so please take a map and make every effort to stay on the correct trails. 


Stop at intersections and please make sure that you do not disobey any no bike signs. It is each rider's responsibility to remain on trails open to bikes. 


We have asked for enforcement of trail rules, so be aware that riding trails not open to bikes could result in a ticket.
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allmountin

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Re: Horses on O'Bannon Bike Trails
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2015, 12:29:19 AM »
I was wondering, if the aim is to keep riders off the bike trails, why the ranch gates(or whatever you call them) are constructed much taller than necessary for bikes and hikers, and clearly made tall enough to accommodate a horse and rider.  I suspect the answer is 'lawyers'?  Making the rider dismount to poach trails might be enough to solve the problem.   

PKemppainen

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Re: Horses on O'Bannon Bike Trails
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2015, 09:51:17 AM »
I was wondering, if the aim is to keep riders off the bike trails, why the ranch gates(or whatever you call them) are constructed much taller than necessary for bikes and hikers, and clearly made tall enough to accommodate a horse and rider.  I suspect the answer is 'lawyers'?  Making the rider dismount to poach trails might be enough to solve the problem.


At the time the gates were installed, we had run into large rock at the bottom of many of the holes. The gates had already been assembled. Knowing now what we wished we knew then, we will be moving the boards down on quite a few of them to make them more difficult for horseback riders to pass under.


During our next trail maintenance events, we plan to install additional gates, and hope to have enough volunteers to help. We didn't have enough help turn out one of the other days we'd planned to do them.

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Re: Horses on O'Bannon Bike Trails
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2015, 10:31:46 AM »
Turn on Rant now:

So yesterday I follow tracks and horse crap all over the place and see that it's fresh. This all on the fire tower trail for some mile or two.  I finally catch up to the couple and begin to give them a rashin of hell.  They ducked under several no horse arches, passed some 5 or so signs that say no horses and I made sure to point that out to them.  It was obvious they didn't care and the guy even stated, you bikers ride our trails so why does it matter.  So with that said I guess the A-holes that ride bikes on Horse trails are now giving equestrians ideas so it's OK for them to be on our trails. They said they would find a horse trail and get off the bike trail.  Well going down the trail heading to breeders ridge, no clue what the name is it is in a Crazy rock area I come across the same riders.  First thing out of my mouth is, Ya'll are killen me and why are you still on a bike trail??  I thought things were going to get ugly between me and the guy.  They apologized again, sorry don't wanna hear it buddy you know your on marked trails that say no horses.  He rambled on about how they share trails and always have with bikers, blah, blah.  I stopped for a second gave him the stink eye and stated I guess we will see you and horse buddies out here on trail days to fix your shit you tore up????  I told him and his wife thanks for the cooperation and riding the properly marked trails, o wait you guys can't read English.  have a good day and be safe.

I'm usually an easy guy to deal with and professional but I sure as hell ain't going to be nice to some A-hole that ducked under signs, rode past signs that says no horses.  They knew what they were doing and didn't give a crap.  The smirk on the older guys face told me he was busted and guilty.

Rant off
Doin the possum trot

djkouza

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Re: Horses on O'Bannon Bike Trails
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2015, 10:58:00 AM »
airhorns on the bike that would make his horse riding days a bit more exciting...  Probably the best thing you can do is take a picture and report it to the park, not sure what else can be done though, but those are definitely the type of people who really light your fuse.



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allmountin

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Re: Horses on O'Bannon Bike Trails
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2015, 12:19:00 PM »
Not sure why any biker would be compelled to ride the horse trails here, except by pure accident. 

PKemppainen

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Re: Horses on O'Bannon Bike Trails
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2015, 01:05:27 PM »

There are a number of horseback riders who continue to ignore the trail signage.

The way we have been advised to handle it is to avoid any conflict, and contact the park office as soon as possible.

The phone number is (812) 738-8232. Unfortunately, the office may be closed, depending on when you are riding.

Provide them with a location and a direction the riders may be traveling, and a description of the riders. If at all possible without promoting further conflict, take a picture so the park management can possibly identify them. They seem to know many of the horseback riders, and if they see a picture, it may help identify them. Anything like a GoPro video would be great.

Riders will be issued a warning, and in the event they continue to ride the trails and are caught again, they will be ejected from the park and refused future entry for a one year period. If conservation officers catch riders, a ticket could be issued.

Of course, the same applies to any mountain bikers caught on horse trails.

There is a short section of trail from the back of the campground which provides access to the Adventure Trail. The park considers it a "multi-use trail", and with their approval, is being used to create a loop to access the top of the Breeden Ridge Trail. It is the ONLY "shared trail" in the park. All other horse trails are off-limits to mountain bikes.

 

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