Lora Goerlich, American Trails contributor and equestrian expert, shares trail etiquette around horse manure.
by Lora Goerlich
Trail apples - the organic, naturally beneficial, digested balls of vegetation that host nourishing insect meals for birds and game fowl while also providing valuable minerals for butterflies, moths and dragonflies. On unimproved trail tread, manure will break down in about two weeks with a little help from sun, rain, dung beetles and foraging birds. AND unlike tacky, foul-smelling human or dog feces (which are more frequently found trailside) horse manure is not considered hazardous or toxic and carries no pathogens of concern.
Manure on trails, at staging areas and camp sites is unavoidable. Knowing when to take it or leave it can be confusing for both equestrians and non-equestrians. Additionally, park agencies may not understand what to expect from riders and haven’t established or posted clear guidelines. Unless otherwise posted, the standards listed below are appropriate expectations for riders:...