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Dog vs. Horse

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
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Dog vs. Horse

Postby badger4 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:03 pm

After reading rickanderson say that dog poop is a huge problem on trails it got me thinking....Why is it OK for a horse to lay down 7 gigantic turds down the middle of the trail, but people get bent out of shape when a dog takes a dump?

Returning from the Titcomb Basin i passed literally hundreds of piles of horse crap swarming with millions of flies. I was sweating, tired, generally irritable from the hundreds of mosquito bites, and then i had to walk off the trail around all the sh*t. This is not limited to WY as I've encountered this problem on many trails in CO including Sand Creek Lakes and Missouri Lakes.

So, what gives? Why is one OK and not the other?
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Re: Dog vs. Horse

Postby Bobo » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:08 pm

There is some fundamental difference betwen the leavings of carnivores (and omnivores) and herbivores.
"At this point the runner might philosophize a and consider just where he or she is in the Imogene Pass Run. You've climbed 1945 ft of elevation in 5.45 mi, at an average of 356 ft./mi., 6.8% gradient. To reach Imogene Pass you must climb 3365 ft in the next 4.60 mi, at an average of 731 ft./mi., or 13.85% gradient. Your effort so far has simply been a warmup. The steep gradients of the named hills below are now less than the average gradient ahead." - IPR course description

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Re: Dog vs. Horse

Postby Tory Wells » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:12 pm

I agree with you completely..........I think all poop on the trail is unacceptable, so why have horse owners been allowed to get away with "leaving a BIG trace" for so long?

Here's my opinion........horses have been a mainstay in the Western U.S. for so long. One can almost say the West was "settled" on horseback. Therefore, horse owners have a great deal of history on their side, and their reign as "King of the Trails" has gone unchallenged as a result of it.

Everybody knows the forest service doesn't like the horse poop either but they have pretty much given up, or never even attempted, to apply "Leave No Trace" to horse owners.
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?
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Re: Dog vs. Horse

Postby Tory Wells » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:15 pm

Bobo wrote:There is some fundamental difference betwen the leavings of carnivores (and omnivores) and herbivores.


Really? It's all organic material and, therefore, all biodegradable. And they all serve the same function as fertilizer for new life. Is the "fundamental difference" the smell?
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?
-Steve Gladbach

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Re: Dog vs. Horse

Postby smoove » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:36 pm

I'm going to take a wild guess that Bobo's response could've been in pink (his avatar is his dog, after all).

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Re: Dog vs. Horse

Postby NE_Dad » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:39 pm

I think you're right, lantern. The fundamental difference is the smell. The odor of herbivorous animals' feces (think Greeley feedlot) is much less appauling to some, including myself, than dog feces. However BOTH can harbor salmonella, crypto, giardia, etc and therefore BOTH have some potential to create human illness (zoonotic disease). I hate to admit it, but if I stepped in horse apples I wouldn't even care, but if I stepped in or encountered dog crap on the trail, I'd be at least a little annoyed. And that makes no sense. It's just how we're wired.
"The ability to witness two men stand toe to toe in the spirit of sportsmanship and pummel each other into insensibility is what separates us from the animals." Reverend Jim Ignatowski.

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Re: Dog vs. Horse

Postby smoove » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:41 pm

Geez, I guess you're right. I grew up in Greeley. Horse and cow leavings are somehow not that offensive compared to dogs'.

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Re: Dog vs. Horse

Postby Chris P. » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:11 pm

I'm glad that someone brings this up. I think that it's a load of s**t (pun intended) that the National Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Wilderness Preservation System all preach leave no trace like it's the freaking gospel (a search of "leave no trace" on blm.gov, fs.fed.us, and wilderness.net all yield around 2,000 results each), but, in my opinion, don't do well at practicing it themselves.

Since we're talking about horses here, I'll stick with that. I would love it if horses were disallowed from wilderness areas altogether, but unfortunately that will never happen. I think though that the least that could be done is for the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Forest Service to make known to horsepackers and the like that leave no trace principles apply to them as well. I think it should be made known that things like blazing out patches of ground for tents and cooking equipment, building fire rings all over the place, and letting your horses s**t all over the trails are not ok, especially in Wilderness areas and WSAs.

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Re: Dog vs. Horse

Postby geno71 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:26 pm

My guess at their reasoning goes like this...

To clean up after your dog on a long trail, you either need to pack it out or bring a few small grocery bags.

To clean up after your horse on a long trail, you need something along the lines of a garbage truck.

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Re: Dog vs. Horse

Postby badger4 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:32 pm

I have to disagree that one smells worse than the other. I grew up in Wisconsin and have smelled my share of cow/horse crap, it smells awful just like dog crap.

When they had parades in the town i grew up in, the horses had bags behind their behind catching all the crap. I understand that it would be tough to pack out pounds and pounds of this stuff, but maybe dispose of it away from the trail so people do not have to walk off trail to avoid it.

Just some thoughts, i realize that it has been a mainstay of the west and that it won't change. It's just funny how people get bent out of shape about a little dog turd but think nothing of the horses turd.
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Re: Dog vs. Horse

Postby Chris P. » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:34 pm

geno71 wrote:My guess at their reasoning goes like this...

To clean up after your dog on a long trail, you either need to pack it out or bring a few small grocery bags.

To clean up after your horse on a long trail, you need something along the lines of a garbage truck.


I don't buy that at all. Have you seen the stuff that horsepacking guides have their horses carry? huge awnings to cook under, large cooking equipment, big tents, sometimes charcoal or fuelwood etc.... I say, let the horse carry its own crap out. Stick a poop sack on it and let it carry its own waste.

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Re: Dog vs. Horse

Postby Tory Wells » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:38 pm

geno71 wrote:My guess at their reasoning goes like this...

To clean up after your dog on a long trail, you either need to pack it out or bring a few small grocery bags.

To clean up after your horse on a long trail, you need something along the lines of a garbage truck.


You're right, packing out pack animal leavings is a tremendous task, and perhaps unreasonable to expect that of them. I would be okay with them being required to move it off the trail, such as bringing a "pick" with them (like a rake, but for picking things up) and spreading it. It is true, there is no better fertilizer than horse and cow manure.
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?
-Steve Gladbach

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