Do You Trail Ride on Public Land?


Equestrian trail ridingThe American Horse Council (AHC) is continuing its effort to collect information on access issues equestrians are experiencing on federal lands. The center piece of this effort is an online form equestrians can use to report their personal experiences regarding trails that have been closed to them or other access issues on federal land. This online form is located at

Shortly, the AHC will be publishing a 2010 Report on Equestrian Access on Federal Land. “It is vital that all equestrians report their experiences on federal land, good and bad,” said AHC Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass. “Equestrians need to relay their 2010 experiences to us by the end of the year so we can include them in the 2010 report. This information is vital to AHC efforts to protect equestrian recreation on federal land.”

Last February, the American Horse Council released its first Report on Equestrian Access on Federal Land. The 2009 report provided a brief overview of the responses the AHC received from equestrians to its ongoing access survey in 2009. The report can be viewed and downloaded on the Recreation Issues page on the AHC website or by clicking here.

The American Horse Council began its effort to collect information regarding equestrian access issues on federal lands in July of 2009. This effort was prompted by a growing concern among recreational riders around the country that they were seeing a reduction in the number of trails and trail heads open to equestrians on federal land.

“Hundreds of thousands of Americans use horses and pack stock to enjoy America’s great outdoors each year. However, it is an experience that cannot be enjoyed without access to public land, trail systems, and trailheads,” said Pendergrass.

“The AHC uses the survey and the year end report to illustrate some of the challenges facing recreational riders,” said AHC President Jay Hickey. “Our federal land managers work hard to provide recreational opportunities and we need to make sure they have adequate information about what some equestrians are experiencing. The annual Report on Equestrian Access on Federal Land is just one part of our efforts to ensure equestrians continue to have recreational opportunities on federal land.”

The AHC asks all recreational riders now and in the future to visit the AHC website and report any access issues they have had using the electronic form at 


  1. Well I don’t know if its considered public land or not but we do ride on the power line/electric fields behind our barn. There is a path that goes right through them so we ride down it sometimes.

  2. Over the past years, horses have been excluded from riding on many public land trail systems. One of the ways this has happened is loss of trail heads available for horse trailer parking. Another is exclusion of horses from trails.


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