A Fecal matter

Posted by Ken Campbell August 9, 2009 0 Comment 822 views

Item for discussion: Backcountry pack and saddle trips.

Horses have a history in the backcountry. From the earliest days of the American era, tales of rugged men, horses and the great outdoors have been blended together to become the stuff of legend. Going into the mountains on horse back has been a tradition since forever, and that tradition has carried through to today. I never actually saw horses on my most recent trip into the Olympics, but they left plenty of signs that they had been there before me.

If you want to take your dog into the backcountry, that’s too bad. Verboten. They upset the natural balance, and they have been wisely excluded from entry. But what of horses? Why should any backpacker have to wade through dung-filled pools and tiptoe among steaming piles of horse excrement simply because others are not willing to leave their animal affectations outside the park boundary? I don’t crap on the trail; why must I contend with their leavings?

I’m sure this touches a nerve for some. So be it. I know it’s tradition and I know that horses are an integral part of many people’s lives. I just don’t think that it’s out of line to ask whether it’s necessary to continue the tradition, whether it may be time for a new approach. I don’t want to dodge other people’s shit when I go into the backcountry: it’s that simple. These rugged riders presumably possess legs of their own… they should use them, and leave their four-legged friends back in the corral.

In my opinion.

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