On the Anzac long weekend those of you out and about will have noticed a lot more people on the trails you usually use around paddocks. It some places there was carnage with mountain bikes using trails as racetracks. Several people came off horses and were otherwise injured. Quite a few cyclists seemed totally unapologetic about their impact and implied, or even said, they were within their rights!
Given that the high use of public spaces is probably going to continue for a COVID while, ACTEA became concerned that someone would end up in hospital, or worse a horse could be injured. Since there are not nearly enough police, rangers or other government officials to monitor trail use it seemed wisest to go to the source. So we did 2 things
1. The President wrote the a letter to the Canberra Times which was published a on 7 May
2. The President contacted Darren Stewart, the Vice-President of the Canberra Off Road Cyclists, and asked for his help. Darren is a trail builder and has lots of experience working around horses at Stromlo Forest Park and the Arboretum. Darren was happy to help and offered to contact Pedal Power as well. I sent Darren some text and the a Utube film made by Parks & Conservation some years ago and gathering dust on their own website.
Feedback since then suggests that cyclists are behaving more respectfully and a ride in the sunshine seems less like an ordeal.
So here is your chance for you all to be ambassadors for the horses!