Letter: Educate Us On Horse Riding Dos And Don’ts

Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to last week’s letter “Horses And Drivers Must Share The Road,” written by Indian Trail Improvement District Supervisor Jennifer Hager.

As a resident of The Acreage, I thank you for the informative letter. I was wondering if you or someone could answer some questions regarding the laws and rights of riders on horses who do so on our community road, right of ways and sidewalks.

I see signs on several of our streets that indicate an equestrian trail. For example, on Grapeview, the signs are posted at most major intersections on the west side of Grapeview, so I presume the swale area of the west side of Grapeview is the designated trail and that any riders on horseback should use the swale area for their travels and not be using the road, or the sidewalks? On Grapeview I have seen horse riders using the swale, and also seen them on the road and sidewalks, so it confuses me when I see riders not using the designated trail.

Is the trail designation just a suggestion, and the rider has the legal right to choose their path, or does it mean the entire road, rights-of-way and sidewalks are the equestrian trail?

What about on roads not designated as equestrian trail, like Temple or 140th Avenue. Should horse riders be using the swales, the road or the sidewalks? If they use the road , are they to ride with or against traffic? I ask these questions because I have seen riders on horses on the both mentioned roads, riding both with and against the traffic and also riding on the sidewalks and wonder, what is the lawful and correct method?

I have lived in The Acreage since 1996 and have no issues with horses or other livestock; that’s the beauty of living out here with no deed restrictions or HOA, so I fully get it. But I do utilize the sidewalks and finding horse droppings covering the sidewalks to me is disgusting. I also find it disgusting when certain folks have so many horses, goats, hens, chickens or other assorted livestock on their property, but they don’t maintain the waste byproduct and the stench blows on the wind for all the neighbors to share, but that is getting off topic.

Are horses allowed to be in our parks that are not designated equestrian? Can they be brought into the parks where baseball, football and soccer games are played, into the parks with children’s playgrounds and such? What about county properties such as the library or schools? How about commercial property like Publix or Walgreens?

Please help educate us to the rights of horse riders, what is the legal way to ride a horse in our community, and where they are permitted to be. I would think by understanding the laws and rights it will help promote a safer, more tolerant atmosphere for all.

Tim Palmer
The Acreage