Judy Reinsma | Get Off Your High Horse About Poop

Letters to the Editor
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This is regarding the letter in the June 21 edition of the Sunday Signal about horse poop on the San Francisquito Canyon trail. 

The dirt path next to the asphalt walking, jogging, biking trail is a BRIDLE TRAIL. A bridle trail is specifically there for HORSES, not for unmounted humans. 

Horses poop. Horse poop does not stink, does not contain any harmful germs and actually improves the soil as it dries out and is incorporated into the surrounding natural area. 

Getting off one’s horse and scooping up a pile of horse poop, and then putting it into a grocery bag (it’s that large) isn’t easy. One would also have to carry a rake or shovel on horseback and that’s not possible. 

So yes, it is too much to ask horse owners to use horse diapers or clean up like dog owners are required to do. 

That’s one reason why there are bridle trails, so horseback riders are not riding their horses on the asphalt trails where people and bikes want to go. 

Yes, sometimes they poop on the streets and sidewalks leading into the actual bridle trail area. Most riders manage to find a way to access a trail without crossing streets or sidewalks, but with the increased urbanization of this valley, it is not always possible. 

Horse poop is not a danger to the environment and is quite visible. Don’t step in it. It’s that simple. 

The San Francisquito Canyon Trail was GPS’d and mapped out by horseback riders who covered the canyon from the Angeles National Forest all the way into the Santa Clara River area and then along the riverbed up to Sand Canyon and toward the Ventura County line. That trail, and many other trails throughout the local area, were put on the city and county map by horseback riders working in the Santa Clarita Valley Trails Advisory Council (SCVTAC) under former L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich. 

This was an effort that went on for many years, and without these dedicated horseback riders, you would not have many of the trails, especially in the county areas, that now exist. 

Perhaps instead of griping about the horse poop, the walkers and joggers could carry a plastic bag and pick up trash wherever they go. The amount of trash disposed of along our roadsides and pathways all ends up in the San Francisquito Canyon creek and the other creeks leading into the Santa Clara River to the ocean. It is much more of a problem than biodegradable, natural horse poop.  

I am a horseback rider and a walker. I always carry a plastic bag when I walk and never, ever come back without a bag full of aluminum, glass, plastic and paper trash that people throw out along San Francisquito Canyon Road. Now that’s a real problem.

Judy Reinsma

Santa Clarita

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