Riding lessons: DRED improves horse rules
In September, the department proposed a long list of rule revisions for state lands. Horseback riders noticed that the updated rules would be extremely inconvenient for them. For instance, riders would be expected to dismount and clean up any time their horse made a mess. Many riders are women who need a stool to mount. The rule would strand them on trails wherever their horses happened to go.
DRED leadership realized that the department should have involved equestrian groups in the rule-making process from the beginning. Seeing the error, the department rectified it. Horse owners were invited to give their feedback. They were brought in and allowed to help reshape the rules.
Under current rules, horseback riders do not have to pick up after their horses on state trails. Under the new rules, owners have to pick up if their horses go in areas where people congregate - such as trail heads or campgrounds or parking lots - but not on the trails. Riders also have more access to state lands.