[cdt-l] stock use

James McCreight jlmccreight at gmail.com
Fri Jun 15 13:15:08 CDT 2007

That highway dosent look too bad, but as unpalatable as it may be, it's
probably for your safety and your horse's safety to not ride the Z-A trail.
First, your horse would probably hate it and, second, there are many
"crevases" in the lava that i assume would pose significant threat to your
horse's leg. I know my feet were dying after walking across the A-Z.

Yeah, it is too bad that an alternate dosent exists, but contrast that with
the fact that a trail hardly exists in new mexico. you're livin a pipe dream
if you expect them to have horse accesible trail everywhere! at least that
is my opinion. I mean, we did some disgusting road (highway) walks in NM and
we were on foot. This aint the PCT.

I think your only alternative is to simply take the attitude that horses are
acceptable anywhere you want to go - that is live in the spirit of the wild
west!! That's a huge part of the allure of the trail and I would, for one,
salute you for taking this position!! I think many people would be taken by
the novelty of what you are doing and it's relationship to the past. play
that card. :)

good luck, tree/horse hugger!!

all best,

On 6/15/07, erin at ridethegreatdivide.com <erin at ridethegreatdivide.com> wrote:
> I'm in the process of a thru-ride with my two mules
> right now and became very frustrated with the CDNST
> yesterday.  My understanding was that the Trail was
> designated for foot and horse traffic, so imagine my
> surprise when I found that a section of the official
> trail was closed to stock use and likely impassable
> anyways.
> I'm aware that I'm probably the only rider on this
> list, but I hope that y'all can understand my
> frustration especially after riding 25 miles up
> highway 117 yesterday instead of the Zuni-Acoma trail.
> After just barely resisting the temptation to cut
> some wires and ride it anyways, I spoke to the ranger
> station to try and find a way out of riding the
> highway.  I discovered that another section of the
> official trail through Hole In The Wall isn't closed
> to horses but is considered impassable.
> I know stock users do not compose the bulk of trail
> users.  I'm also aware that many hikers, fairly or
> unfairly, have a negative impression of stock in the
> backcountry.  However, this group of trail users
> deserves equal consideration and respect.  Many riders
> are switching to low impact stock use methods: using
> light weight gear instead of traditional equipment,
> tree saver straps, tying stock at night, restraining
> away from water sources, etc.)  In additon,
> organizations like Backcountry Horseman do significant
> trail maintenace to keep trails open.  I am very
> disappointed that the BLM decided to place the
> official route in an area closed to stock.
> I am not suggesting that this section of the trail be
> entirely rerouted.  I understand that the Zuni-Acoma
> trail offers a unique landscape, historical
> significance, as well as an unusual challenge to
> hikers.  However, an official horse alternative needs
> to exist.  Stock users should not be cut out of this
> trail.
> I know many hikers do not enjoy travelling through
> areas frequented by horse traffic.  However, I don't
> think the CDT is in danger of receiving significant
> stock use except in areas where it's already
> established (i.e. Bob Marshall Wilderness, Wind Rivers
> etc).  To the best of my knowledge, no thru-ride of
> the CDT has ever been completed and it may not happen
> this year :)  The trail is simply too challenging for
> the stock themselves for many to attempt it.  Hikers
> will always be the dominant presence on the CDT.
> I have been frustrated for much of this trail because
> of horse inaccesabilty.  Until this point I haven't
> had much right to complain.  I've been following Jim
> Wolf's route, and he makes no claim that his trail in
> southern New Mexico is horse friendly.  In fact the
> number of times the phrase "squeeze through the
> tightly woven fence here" appeared let me know I'd be
> adding a lot of extra miles finding gates.
> However, the Zuni-Acoma is on the designated trail.
> Permanent trail routing decisions were made in Glacier
> based on stock accessability.  Why not in New Mexico?
> I hope that the BLM can take horse users into
> consideration and perhaps have two routes through the
> area.
> Treehuggin' Cowgirl
> Erin Zwiener
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