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Discussion: Horse poop

in: Bash; Bash > 2017-11-23

Nov 23, 2017 11:01 PM # 
I used to think of horse poop on the trails as super gross and would get really mad at horse owners for doing nothing about it. Then I looked it up and it turns out horse poop is, like, hay and water. Not very likely at all to get you sick, plus it disappears really fast. Of course it's still gross to have any kind of poop splash up on your water bottle! But now I don't mind it so much while running. It's a little different on a bike...
Nov 23, 2017 11:06 PM # 
... and now I see from your comments that you know a lot more about horse poop than I do!
Nov 23, 2017 11:12 PM # 
The "hay and water" mythology is a PR ploy by equestrian groups. It gets repeated over and over in different versions until most people believe it. I've been told numerous times that horses are vegetarian and their poop is organic so it's OK if it gets tracked all over my carpets. Well, 'Bent is vegetarian and his poop is organic but I don't think anyone wants it on their living room floor!

It takes some diligent googling to find science since there is so much "fake news" about horse poop. My comment that Cristina referred to was:

"Although it is true that horse feces are less harmful than dog feces, it is a myth that they are always harmless. A couple of examples: manure can carry diseases like salmonella that are transmissible to humans. If horses have taken de-worming medication, their manure can be severely toxic to dogs who sample it.

A 2012 University of Guelph study found e. Coli in 77% of manure samples from healthy horses, and over the course of a year, they found C. Difficile in manure samples from 40% of the horses in their study. It is not unreasonable for a bike rider to prefer not to get this stuff sprayed onto the mouthpiece of their water bottle. (Which has happened to me many times.)"

For those who aren't from around here, the University of Guelph is one of the most respected veterinary schools in the country, and this study was done by Equine Guelph so they like horses.
Nov 23, 2017 11:31 PM # 
Btw I suggested that horses use manure bags, as they are required to do in some other trail networks. I'm not suggesting that horse owners stop, get off and clean up the poop!
Nov 23, 2017 11:43 PM # 
Carbon's Offset:
Happy to hear you are still loving the new bike! And you are so fortunate to have so many bike experts where you live! ;)
Nov 23, 2017 11:45 PM # 
'Bent and I came up with a great idea for where she could put her water bottle, haha. ;)
Nov 23, 2017 11:48 PM # 
Carbon's Offset:
Nov 24, 2017 9:44 AM # 
Are the poop bags uncomfortable for the horses? Unlike in other cities I've lived I notice not even the city horses (police and military) use the bags here in Oslo so we get piles of horse poop on the pedestrian streets. There's certainly no fertilizing benefit to be had downtown.

I'm surprised at how vicious some of the locals were against city people and cyclists. Yeesh!
Nov 24, 2017 2:12 PM # 
Although I’ve learned far too much about horse poop, I don’t know much about the manure bags. It was a neighbour who went to the Olympics with Canada’s equestrian team who mentioned them so I assume/hope they’re not cruel.

Equestrians have lost access to most parks and I know that the Conservation Authority would be happier (secretly) if they weren’t coming into Palgrave Forest either. If I were involved in their advocacy group (which sent a paid representative from the city to our trail committee meetings, even though he was unfamiliar with our forest), I’d give up the battle of trying to convince people that poop is desirable and instead work on a “leave no trace” ethos that could get horses invited back into more places. I think they’ve backed the wrong horse, haha!

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