How Can I Support Development of Horse Trails
In Miami County?
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Horses and Wildlife

1.
Scientific studies indicate that the horse may be more benign to wildlife than hikers, nature studiers and photographers.
2.
Horses are prey animals. They have eyes on the side of the head. They are herbivores and leave the trace scent of an herbivore on the trail. Humans, dogs and cats are predators. Their eyes are on the front of the face. As they walk, they leave the trace scent of omnivore on the trail that can impact wildlife.
3.
Bird watchers on horseback; most wildlife are not disturbed by horseback riders (horses are recognized as prey animals by wildlife, even with riders on their back; recognized by the cadence sound of a four-footed hoofed prey)
4. Sporadic human use can disturb wildlife. However, “many animals are less afraid of horseback riders than hikers.” Riders seldom dismount to touch flora or fauna. Riders can be a dedicated and energetic volunteer and advocacy group. The horse-rider relationship promotes a non-anthropocentric worldview that facilitates ecological understanding.

Source:
http://www.americantrails.org/resources/planning/RBellPlan.html
 
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