Letters to the Editor

Horse ‘land mines’ equally irritating for park users

With much interest I read your editorial “Here’s the scoop on doggy poop” (Our View, Feb. 8).

I fully agree with the author that dog owners should clean up behind their dogs. It’s a shame that a few irresponsible and careless dog owners cause trouble for the whole community and even get some people angry at all dog owners.

I have three big dogs myself and never leave the house without lots of bags in my pocket.

But what’s the situation with horse poop? We have many parks and trails, which are shared by people, dogs and horses.

One example is Centennial Park in Central Saanich. I don’t mind meeting horse riders, but I do have a problem with the big mines left behind by the horses.

Horse riders never seem to clean up behind their horses and I don’t know if there is a bylaw regulating this. Personally I find it very annoying to step around those big poop piles.

I talked to some horse riders and they tell me horse poop is very different from dog poop: it breaks down much faster, as horses only eat grain and grass. But it still takes many days of heavy rain (or parks staff) to clean the trail and I hate stepping into horse poop as much as stepping into dog poop.

Horse riders also say that it’s impractical for them to stop for cleanups and to carry the cleanup utensils.

Have you every walked three big dogs, where you stop every few minutes if one does its business, clean up and then carry three or four plastic bags in addition to juggling your leashes? That’s not very practical either, but responsible dog owners still do it.

Why can’t horse riders have the courtesy to carry a small plastic shovel, and throw the horse poop off the trail at least?

Hermann Thoene


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