Recently there has been a lot of talk about horses vs bikers on park trails. There is a new property under planning for public usage called Cemex and I have heard bikers and hikers and riders all talking about who should be using it.
So, I want to share a little story of a recent event that I experienced at Wilder that tells why I love the Wilder community so much, and believe our parks should be open to everyone. It was my birthday, and my granddaughter said she’d go on a trail ride with me. So we saddled up and headed down the bike/horse path to Wilder. Not much activity being a weekday, and we were soon reaching the bottom of that last steep hill on the path just before the tunnel. As we hit the flats, a couple of bikers came whizzing by, and said as they were going by “watch out for that guy up there, he’s dangerous.” My granddaughter and I paused…we could see nothing up ahead except a bike. We slowly approached the section the bikers had gestured to…it was in the narrow sidewalk width section immediately before the tunnel. Finally we saw a large black shaggy thing that looked like a dog. We stopped to watch and figure out what was going on. After a couple of minutes the black thing stood up and we realized it was a guy and probably the guy the bikers had warned us about. He had a pile of fist sized rocks by his side and appeared to have been digging them out of the hillside. Suddenly he saw us watching him, reached into the bushes and pulled out a long pole about 10-12 feet long and started smacking his fist with it while glaring menacingly at us. My granddaughter said “Nana let’s get out of here” and I quite agreed. This guy was dangerous! Just as we started to turn our horses, the bikers who had ridden all the way to the top of that steep hill on the path, had been worried about us enough to turn around and ride all the way back down to check on us and see if we needed help!
I told them no, we were not going by him and I pulled out my phone and called 911. The rangers passed us as we were on the way to back to our barn…their response time was amazingly fast and I appreciate all they do to keep Wilder the safe park it normally is!
But, both my granddaughter and I were touched at the thoughtfulness of those bikers. It all happened so fast, as when they came back, we were trying to get out of there and call 911, and we never got to say thank you. In fact it didn’t hit me immediately just how thoughtful those guys were. But, in reality it was just one of countless experiences I have had of the community effort I see of bikers and hikers and riders all trying to enjoy the park and help others to enjoy the park as well by being courteous and helpful. Yes, there are thoughtless bikers that whiz by and create a dangerous situation for themselves and the horse riders they are passing, but I know that generally that is just ignorance on their parts. So few people these days are exposed to horses and have no reality of the affect they can have on them good or bad. In the main though, my experiences between bikers and I when riding are usually positive!
So if you are one of those bikers that day that stopped your ride to help us, then thank you!!!!
And if you are one of those bikers or hikers that really have no info about horses, but are kind of curious, then by all means stop one of us and take your opportunity to get to know one of our horses!