by Dezmond Remington
Originally printed April 26, 2023
I was running down a gloriously sunny forest trail in the middle of summer, not a care in the world, except all the ice water I was looking forward to drinking when the run was over. Then fate hit me – and fate was a cubic yard of solid horseshit right in the middle of the trail. I landed in it mid stride, right around the bend of the trail. At that moment, I had an epiphany: life just isn’t fair. That thought stuck with me the whole way home, just like the horse shit did.
Why do dog owners have to clean up their dog’s poop, put it in little plastic bags and drag it along with them on their hikes like a grocery bag full of putrid garbage, while the equestrians up there on their fancy steeds like royalty of old get to leave their horse’s crap all over the trail? What the hell is the horse for? Make it carry the poop! The rider doesn’t even have to carry it themselves! I don’t want to hear anything about how there are lots of good nutrients in the horse crap – if that’s the case, put it on the side of the trail, WHERE ALL THE PLANTS ARE! If it’s going to do any good, it sure as hell won’t be in the middle of the trail, a place famously devoid of plants, because THAT is where people walk.
Frankly, the double standard is appalling. I genuinely don’t care if it is inconvenient to get off and go around the back of your animal’s huge ass. It is unfair to put the onus of dealing with your animal’s shit on the public. If you have the money and the time to own an animal that weighs a half ton and eats damn near two hundred pounds of food a week, you have the money and the time to clean up your horse’s crap. If you have the time to load their horse up in their fancy little trailer and drive them over to the forest, you have the time to clean up their turds. Please stop leaving it where I and everyone else could step on it, I don’t want to deal with it. That’s your job, stop being selfish.
I can think of only three simple things needed to take care of it: a small shovel, a bag and about 30 seconds. Equestrians can buy the shovel and the bag from Harbor Freight for probably less than $15. Humboldt’s myriad thrift stores also probably offer creative and quirky solutions for much less. It’s not hard; it’s courteous, and common sense. No other animal owners are allowed to get away with this. How have we, as a society, just allowed you to get away with this for so long? It is time to fix this. It is time to make the horse owners be responsible animal operators. Clean up your animal’s shit like the rest of us have to.