On Sunday morning, July 17, Canyon
Adventures led four customers on a
guided horse ride. Near the Beaver
Creek crossing, the rear horse was
spooked by an approaching mountain
biker, which caused a chain reaction,
scattering the other frightened horses.
The biker claimed to have rung his
bike bell to alert the horses of his
presence, but it went unheard. Two
riders were thrown from their saddles
and one horse impaled itself on a metal
fence post. When stopped, the biker
was described as being indignant for
the horses “not being in control.” The
biker fled unidentified. Unfortunately,
one customer cracked his rib and
the injured horse will be out of commission
for the rest of the summer.
To those at Canyon Adventures, the
Big Sky Mountain Bike Alliance wants
to express our deepest regrets. We
discourage this type of behavior and
expect all of our members to practice
trail-user friendliness. It disappoints
us that a fellow two-wheeler would
endanger your guests, your horses,
and the integrity of your business. At
the least, we ask this unknown biker
to apologize.
We request that all mountain bikers
when approaching horses slow
down, get off bikes, and notify the
nearest equestrian as soon as possible.
Horses don’t like surprises, so please
approach them with soft, yet audible
voices. Guides at Canyon Adventures
said they will be happy to let you pass
as soon as possible. Their suggested
guidelines for biker/equestrian interaction
are on our website bigskytrails.org.
The more cooperation among all trail
users, the more likelihood mountain
bikes will be permitted on trails. The
U.S. Forest Service has already forbidden
mountain bikes from certain trails
in our area. More are at risk of being
lost, particularly if we don’t achieve
harmony among user groups.
For more information on the mission
of the BSMBA, please visit bigskytrails.org. Please note that the site is
still under construction.

Ride on,

The Big Sky Mountain Bike Alliance