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Old 12-01-07, 11:20 PM   #1
Hermes 
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Horses... Bygone Era?

Velodiva and I went for a ride on singles today - 45 miles. When we started it was 50 degrees and partly cloudy. When we finished it was 53 degrees, sunny and windy. We climbed Kings Mountain 1760 vertical feet 6.6% grade and after our descent (brrrr) we headed out to our favorite coffee shop. On the way back, we came to a corner which is a stopping point for cyclists. On the corner and at a hitching post were two horses with their owners across the street at the deli.

We were in Woodside, CA which consists of large lots and horse farms. We see many people on horseback but this was the first time we saw two horses tied up as they might have been 100 years ago. Here are a couple of photos I took with my mobile phone.





I love the gas station in the background.



Velodiva and one of the horses.
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Old 12-01-07, 11:25 PM   #2
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We have dozens of horse farms in my area. Three of them within a half-mile of my home, one of them having at least 40-50 horses. So I see them all the time.

One of the big problems we are having with the new rail trail is from people riding horses on it. Trail wasn't made for it, the horses tear it to pieces, living it severely rutted and difficult to ride on. The state ripped the old railroad ties up about 5 years ago and the horse riders took to riding on it regularly. This summer they put in the trail surface and banned horses, which has caused many protests.
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Old 12-02-07, 06:29 AM   #3
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We have dozens of horse farms in my area. Three of them within a half-mile of my home, one of them having at least 40-50 horses. So I see them all the time.
Me too. I drive my school bus every day past the farm where the new Budwiser Clydsdale horses are raised.
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Old 12-02-07, 06:42 AM   #4
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I see plenty of horses around here but I've never seen any tied up in this manner. Neat pics, Hermes.
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Old 12-02-07, 06:51 AM   #5
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One of the big problems we are having with the new rail trail is from people riding horses on it. Trail wasn't made for it, the horses tear it to pieces, living it severely rutted and difficult to ride on. The state ripped the old railroad ties up about 5 years ago and the horse riders took to riding on it regularly. This summer they put in the trail surface and banned horses, which has caused many protests.
A few of the paved rail trails in our area have a wide dirt berm made especially for horses. I've seen a few horses on these trails. Most horse riders would rather take their horses to the horse trails in the MetroParks. The parks have several trails designated for horses only....no bikers or hikers allowed.
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Old 12-02-07, 07:27 AM   #6
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Velodiva and one of the horses.
That horse is thinking: "you ain't gonna stick them cleats in me darlin'"

Richard
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Old 12-02-07, 08:52 AM   #7
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I used to ride when I was a kid. We never left any of our horses out like that though. The horse has to be trained to stand at a hitching post. We never bothered to do that with ours. Also so many people have no experience with horses, that I would have been afraid to leave them unguarded lest they get inept and potentially harmful attention from well meaning but totally ignorent people. Our horses were adept at defending themselves from the unwanted attentions of dolts but it wasn't fair to make them operate under too much of a handicap.
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Old 12-02-07, 08:58 AM   #8
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We have around 12 horses now (I lose count) - we are always riding them all over the place. They are a mode of transportation out here. They are often the best way to get from point A to point B.

Yes, we will tie them up like that - or to almost anything. Ours are trained to stay where they are put of course and are totally bored with traffic, etc.
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Old 12-02-07, 09:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
We have dozens of horse farms in my area. Three of them within a half-mile of my home, one of them having at least 40-50 horses. So I see them all the time.

One of the big problems we are having with the new rail trail is from people riding horses on it. Trail wasn't made for it, the horses tear it to pieces, living it severely rutted and difficult to ride on. The state ripped the old railroad ties up about 5 years ago and the horse riders took to riding on it regularly. This summer they put in the trail surface and banned horses, which has caused many protests.
They have the opposite problem in the area ridden in by the OP. The MTB crowd raises holy Hades anytime MTB's are excluded from a trail, so horses and hikers have almost nowhere to go to get away from bicycles flying down the trails they are on.
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Old 12-02-07, 10:59 AM   #10
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We have dozens of horse farms in my area. Three of them within a half-mile of my home, one of them having at least 40-50 horses. So I see them all the time.

One of the big problems we are having with the new rail trail is from people riding horses on it. Trail wasn't made for it, the horses tear it to pieces, living it severely rutted and difficult to ride on. The state ripped the old railroad ties up about 5 years ago and the horse riders took to riding on it regularly. This summer they put in the trail surface and banned horses, which has caused many protests.
The final 9 miles of a local rail trail was paved after 12 years. Horses could ride that section until it was paved. This held up paving that section as all the horse owners and farms would protest paving and completion of that section. The official opening of the trail was held yesterday (Dec-1-2007). This section connected two rail trails for a total of 102 miles. Subsequently horse owners are furious with the loss of "there" section of the trail after it was paved and tried to convince everyone at the opening ceremonies that horses and cyclists could share the trail. This was sort of funny as some county workers had to remove horse manure from the trail where the ribbon was going to be cut. During comments from trail officials one of them stated that horses would be a problem on a paved trail and pointed to the fresh pile of manure his employees had to clean up just the day before. He warned all that anyone caught on a horse on the trail would lose it to the Sheriffs posse and they would only get to see it in parades.
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Old 12-02-07, 12:42 PM   #11
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Great photos, great story I'm very envious.

You live in a wonderful part of the world. Mrs Stokergeezer grew up in Menlo Park. We first got interested in Tandem riding thanks to a demonstration ride from the Bicycle Outfitter in Los Altos - nice people. They let us play for a couple of hours on the Foothills road and up Portola Valley road, Skyline and back down Woodside if I remember right.

Going to be there in 3 weeks time - can't wait. Unfortunately, time will be short - probably no cycling time, as the other priority is skiing at Dodge Ridge - with my young adult kids who learned to ski there when they were 3 and 4.
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Old 12-03-07, 06:08 AM   #12
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Years ago Mrs Poky was into competitive endurance riding - 40 - 100 mile rides. The training regimes for the horses were not unlike what we do on the bike. Horses had to be vetted at each check point, maybe a good idea for over 50's. I tried a few 40 mile rides but was generally the pit crew. We don't have horses now, don't have to feed or clean up after my bicycle.
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Old 12-03-07, 06:34 AM   #13
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Years ago Mrs Poky was into competitive endurance riding - 40 - 100 mile rides. The training regimes for the horses were not unlike what we do on the bike. Horses had to be vetted at each check point, maybe a good idea for over 50's. I tried a few 40 mile rides but was generally the pit crew. We don't have horses now, don't have to feed or clean up after my bicycle.
I would assume you would have to get in shape for 40 to 100 miles too. I ride horses a lot and currently limit myself to about 20 to 30 miles at a time.

We just bought another finca about 12 kilometers from us (less than 10 miles) - using horses to go visit appeals - or my MTB.

Our other fincas are 30 kilometers, which is a bit much for horses, but not for the bike (this is almost all rocky roads - not pavement.)

Horses here in Costa Rica are so different from horses up there it is like another species. They generally are smaller and very very well trained. Super active too with incredible endurance when they are in shape.
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Old 12-03-07, 07:05 AM   #14
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I would assume you would have to get in shape for 40 to 100 miles too. I ride horses a lot and currently limit myself to about 20 to 30 miles at a time.
It's true, good riders would dismount and run up hills, often holding the horses tail so they could run faster. Here's a link to the club we used to belong to.
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Old 12-03-07, 07:33 AM   #15
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A few of the paved rail trails in our area have a wide dirt berm made especially for horses. I've seen a few horses on these trails. Most horse riders would rather take their horses to the horse trails in the MetroParks. The parks have several trails designated for horses only....no bikers or hikers allowed.
This summer, the pedestrian/bike bridge in Valley Forge park, nicknamed the Betzwood Boardwalk because it is constructed of wood planking, was damaged by horses. Someone led a horse across despite the "No Horses" signs, and several of the wooden planks were broken. PENDOT put bollards up at the bridge entrances, which both keep horses off and prevents cyclists from riding across. Beverly has fond memories of that bridge from her first Livestrong ride out here. :-)
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Old 12-03-07, 07:59 AM   #16
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This summer, the pedestrian/bike bridge in Valley Forge park, nicknamed the Betzwood Boardwalk because it is constructed of wood planking, was damaged by horses. Someone led a horse across despite the "No Horses" signs, and several of the wooden planks were broken. PENDOT put bollards up at the bridge entrances, which both keep horses off and prevents cyclists from riding across. Beverly has fond memories of that bridge from her first Livestrong ride out here. :-)
I wouldn't describe them as "fond" memories I actually considered calling 911 to rescue my scared a** when I got to the middle of that thing.
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Old 12-03-07, 09:46 AM   #17
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Great photos, great story I'm very envious.

You live in a wonderful part of the world. Mrs Stokergeezer grew up in Menlo Park. We first got interested in Tandem riding thanks to a demonstration ride from the Bicycle Outfitter in Los Altos - nice people. They let us play for a couple of hours on the Foothills road and up Portola Valley road, Skyline and back down Woodside if I remember right.

Going to be there in 3 weeks time - can't wait. Unfortunately, time will be short - probably no cycling time, as the other priority is skiing at Dodge Ridge - with my young adult kids who learned to ski there when they were 3 and 4.
We moved here last year from LA and enjoy living here. Part of the allure is the diversity of possible activities. The Portola Valley, Woodside and Skyline route is our favorite. Good luck on your skiing and and enjoy the trip.
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Old 12-03-07, 09:50 AM   #18
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I see plenty of horses around here but I've never seen any tied up in this manner. Neat pics, Hermes.
Thanks Beverly...we see lots of horses on farms and people riding them along side of the road. It was the setting that was so interesting.
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Old 12-03-07, 10:34 AM   #19
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Many of us have no problems with horses on the rail trails in the area (unpaved, limestone and some are just graded gravel or hardpack dirt).

Many of the horse owners have a device like dog walkers carry on a long extendable shaft and at the least they manage to push their responsibilities off the trail... Some don't... In return most of us will stop and dismount or ask permission to pass a horse/rider as the trails are only about 6 feet wide at best. There are some riders who just banzai past the horse........they do that to people too.

I've seen hoof prints appear in the trail.......they usually disappear within a day or so. Not so for wheel tracks though as they are continuous and are repeated in the same place every day.

Then there are the ATV's........banned from the trail but seem to show up after dark anyway. It would appear that their favorate game is to lock the brakes and dig holes with the rear wheels.

If you have paved trails though I could see where the horses are going to get excluded...not to mention that it is hard on the horses.
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Old 12-03-07, 10:52 AM   #20
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That's not unusual in Woodside, is it? I grew up in Redwood City (next town over, for you East Coasters), and get back there several times a year. We see horses on every trip, there and in Portola Valley and up over the hill to the coast. A couple of years ago we were riding on Stage Road from San Gregorio to Pescadero and popped around a corner into the middle of a cattle drive. It's not Wild West, but it is still pretty rural, especially for a place 25 miles from San Francisco and 25 miles from the Silicon Valley.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:18 AM   #21
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Then there are the ATV's........banned from the trail but seem to show up after dark anyway. It would appear that their favorate game is to lock the brakes and dig holes with the rear wheels.
Federal funds were used to help pave the rail trail in my area. This allows the County Sheriff and City Police to confiscate any horse or motor driven vehicle caught on the trail. The department confiscating the horse or motor driven vehicle can use it in law enforcement activates or sell it at auction. After a few ATV's and horses are confiscated the word gets out and consequently that sort of thing rarely happens thereafter.
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