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Sandy Trail - Cooyong Rd Terrey Hills - HORSE RIDERS!

midgey's picture

By midgey - Posted on 03 May 2009

Guys a quick comment - this is my first post here, wasnt sure where to put this...

Just got back from a ride along the Sandy Trail, at the end of Cooyong Rd, Terrey Hills and wanted to double check on the legalities of riding it after a run in with a couple of rather animated horse riders.

Long story short, came accros them at the bottoms of hills Twice (once each way). Stopped as soon as id spotted them both times but the horses were spooked. The riders went ape s*#t, to the point I was punched by one of them, and then pushed off my bike and on my wet and muddy ass.

Their cries were that the trial is not open to bikes, and that the signs say so, but I checked the gates and the only signage stated no motorbikes. I looked at the kuringai nat parks web site, and it states that single trails are walking tracks only, and that the fire trails were open to bikes. Futhermore it states it isnt open to horses after rain, as the horses damage the trails!?

Have I got this all right?

Its dissapointing as a MTB'er to be treated like I was. My understanding is that I hadnt done anything wrong. The perception of these particular horse heads was as it was, but im sure it common amongst the pony brigade.
More to the point it left my Girl friend, who's just started to ride pretty shaken. Ive thought about taking the issue to the police as no one wants to be assulted, but I believe it would be more trouble than its worth.

If nothing else I guess it serves as a warning to anyone wanting to ride the trail (its a good shorter ride btw) - watch out for the Terrey Hills Super Horse Riding Club!

Rob's picture

For real? Someone got off their horse to come over and assault you? If you have anything that would ID them then I'd take this to the cops for sure, but as horses don't have rego plates it's highly unlikely that they can do anything. Sad

If you were on a firetrail (which Sandy Trail is) you have just as much right to be there as them.

I wonder what Blondie will have to say about this?

delicious's picture

That's assault and you must report it. Even if you were riding there illegally they cannot assault you and that's all there is to it.
Heaven help anyone who punches me and knocks me off my bike.

herzog's picture

That's appalling. You've got to report that. There must be only a handful of possible stables where these horses could have come from. Shouldn't be hard to track down the perps.

Also, the fact that they can't control their animals properly in a public place is a concern.

mv103's picture

who do these people think they are?? i get the same all the time with horse riders, i always stop and give way. rarely get a thankyou or a g'day.
i know where my next ride is going to be..

dkido's picture

I agree with delicious assult is assult.

Sly's picture

My guess is that the horse riders involved would use the same trail regularly and have probably already told their mates how brave they are, so a large sign posted at the entrance to the trail asking for anyone witnesses to the assault to get in touch with the police may be an idea. You don't actually need to report it to the police. The rider may just think twice next time.

christine's picture know, I wasn’t going to ask anything about this incident but I do have a couple of questions – you said you stopped when you saw the horses who were going mad yes?

Does that mean you stopped when you saw them a metre away, one hundred meters away or about two feet from them? The reason I ask is, as most of you know, I also have a horse – it is common for bike riders not to stop at all or to look at us like we are aliens when we ask them to.

I also know, from being a horse rider that for me to actually HIT a bike rider I would have to be off my horse and they would have to be really close to me – otherwise I would have to drag my horse behind me to run at the bike rider to hope to hit them..which is going to be a bit difficult as my horse at this point is scared of the bikes and is freaking out.. See my point?

Also, you didn’t say whether it was a man or a lady who hit you?

As for the comment about not being out on horses if we can’t control them – yes, in theory that is simply fabulous, however, you do need to take into consideration that horses do in fact have their own brains and imaginations – a dustbin which they go past every day without incident, can one day, for a few hours, morph into a horse consuming alien making dreadful noises that make it a life threatening experience for the horse to go past it... that’s just what they are like...

Nic's picture

As a frequent rider at Terry Hills, we often come across horses. It's usually pretty obvious that they are around when you see fresh trail droppings.

You MUST stop immediately when you see the horse and communicate with the rider how best to pass - horses vary widely as how well they handle bike riders. I have found the riders to always be friendly and polite.

Twice (most recently on Sunday) we have (accidentally) scared a horse when barrelling flat out around a blind corner and the horse has jumped sideways (whatever the correct horsey term for that is). An apology to the rider in those circumstances does not go astray.

On Sunday, the rider was a bit shaken, but we got off the bikes and let the horse have a sniff of us and all was well.

Obviously bikes and horses are somewhat incompatible - let's all be really tolerant and understanding...


CB's picture

Agree with Nic

I always stop ( where possible) if I come across a horse on the trail. If I am coming behind them, I shout a hello to make sure the rider knows I'm there. They usually call you through without any fuss, we exchange pleasantries about the weather and both go our separate ways.

I must say, the horse riders I come across have invariably been pleasant and friendly ( as have the walkers.... well except fot that guy with the dog at the dam....)


Morgan's picture

MTB'ers spooking horses by not stopping, not giving way etc - WRONG.
Horse riders (H'ers?) riding where & when they're not supposed to - WRONG
MTB'ers riding when and where they're not supposed to - WRONG
Being assaulted by someone wearing jodphurs who gets off on sitting legs akimbo atop a ton of moving Tarzan glue - WRONG

Solution - move to CANBERRA!

arghvee's picture

Imagine a MTB'er getting off his bike mid track and dropping a big steaming turd. Horse riders should be responsible for the trail like all of us, and should have poop bags.
Terry Hills trail is full of horse crap. Respect works both ways.

Justin's picture

Horses have a ride range of reaction to MTBers, regardless of 'control' and 'should'

That's why good MTB etiquette is to stop, and get off the bike as soon as you see a horse and wait for them to come past.

You don't want a nervous horse to throw a rider and cause breakages. If something like that does happen, you have a duty of care to stop and assist.

So as you say, if you stopped as soon as you saw them, you did absolutely the right thing.

If they had an issue with you being there, then they need to take your details and take it up with the ranger (that works both ways of course).

However, any form of physical assault is a whole different level - it's criminal and as said below, should be reported - and good on you for not escalating the situation.

I always put on my best smile, cheery hello and a wave... I dunno, girls on horses... bring out the best in me Sticking out tongue

Noel's picture

Yeah we are supposed to get off the MTB well back from them and wait for the rider to call us through.

Use your camera on your phone to photo people like this that you come across. It's easier to show the cops and NPWS a photo than to try and describe them.

Alexd's picture

If I punched someone I would expect to get reported to the police. I make not comment however on the contribution from both parties of course as I wasnt there.

A point of view: in not reporting may be helping to perpetuate it.

christine's picture

it was weeks ago!

lozza6's picture

Lucky that person I murdered was a few weeks ago..

I should be off scot free now Eye-wink

Rob's picture

Actually, it's not too late to report this.

Especially as the NPWS rangers now know who the other party is. In fact, this probably means any reporting will be better dealt with than if it was done to begin with, without anyone knowing who the other party was.

I agree - it's not our job to take sides or try and figure out what the story is... leave that to the police.

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