Equine etiquette When
meeting a horse on a trail, remember that the horse has the right of
way. Horses react to anything above them as predators, so step to the
downside of the trail to keep from spooking the horse. Speak softly so
the horse is aware of your presence and knows that you are a human.
Loud noises above the horse can lead to injury for all concerned.
The Peninsula and Buckhorn Range chapters of the Backcountry Horsemen
of Washington have won the 2010 President’s Achievement Award from the
Friends of Olympic National Park.
This is the first time the
award was presented to a group, not an individual. The groups work with
Olympic National Park to keep backcountry trails open and safe.
the national park keeps some major trails open, there are many places
they do not work on, due to limited personnel. For 20 years, the
Backcountry Horsemen have filled that gap.
Hundreds of hours Often
the trails they work on cannot be reached except by horses and pack
strings. Equipment must be brought in and removed by the group.
members have logged hundreds of volunteer hours in 2009: 3,120 hours
for the Peninsula chapter and 680 hours for the Buckhorn chapter.
must take classes to learn safe ways to remove blockages and to rebuild
trails. Trees must be cut and rocks removed using only hand tools,
often old saws used many years ago by the original loggers.
Tom Mix keeps the tools in good working condition, sometimes creating parts that are no longer made.
All volunteers All work is performed on a volunteer basis, with participants paying for their own training.
Backcountry Horsemen keep the trails open for their own use but also to
give back to the community because many others use the trails they work
on. They often work on the Olympic Discovery Trail.
Anyone interested in helping can join the Backcountry Horsemen; a horse is not required. Call Marc Reinertson at 452-5518.
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