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Horse Riding

Australia has a long, controversial history of recreational horse riding in protected areas. Read more

Australia has a long, controversial history of recreational horse riding in protected areas.

  • Impacts are primarily biophysical however social impacts such as user conflicts are also evident.
  • Horses can cause considerable damage including soil erosion and compaction, vegetation trampling and loss of vegetative cover, alteration to plant species composition, tree damage and the introduction of foreign material.

Recommendations for bridle trails development include:

  • purpose-build trails to suit the characteristics of the location (e.g. wider trails designed for horse riders, use of trail hardening material);
  • manage trail impacts or degradation problems (e.g. management of erosion);
  • use monitoring programs and key performance indicators (such as trail surface soils, slope degrees, incision depths, and management features) to identify management issues and sections in need of maintenance;
  • use a targeted maintenance program to repair any problem sections and to prevent degradation; and
  • involve the local horse riding community in designing, maintaining and managing the trail.
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