After being at the metroparks and running the dogs while pulling the scooter for NEARLY TEN FRICKIN MONTHS, during which time i was approached by several different park rangers who were impressed with what i was doing and never once told me that i was doing anything wrong: today i got "busted". One of the horse people put a call into the ranger station that i was out there with my wild out of control dogs pulling a scooter and putting her horses in danger because "horses and dogs don't mix". So the assistant-head ranger came and talked to my sister who was waiting in the truck and tells her that i have to have a permit to ride on the trails and that i need a valid reason to get one, simply doing it to exercise my dogs isn't a good enough reason to get a permit.
For one, i never passed a single person on the trails today!! NOT ONE FRICKIN PERSON! The horses usually use the North trail loop, and i almost exclusively use the South. The dogs do barkscream frantically and manically when we're hooking up, but it's because they're so excited to go! Once we're on the trails they don't make a peep. I'm so pissed off that someone would call and complain about me i was practically in tears!!
I never never never ride on the road directly where the trailers are parked if there are horses tied, altho i will ride on the other two paved loops as it's the best place to teach directional cues, however that puts over 50 ft or more between me and the horses and, like i said, my dogs are silent once we start out, they only scream during hook up!
I park way down at the end and hook up so i have a direct path to the trail i'm getting on so in case there are horses out i don't have to ride by.
In the past i have told horse people which trails i will be on. I didn't today as i didn't see anyone out until i was already hooking dogs up (those people had just pulled in and could SEE what path i'm taking).
I ALWAYS yield the right away to anyone else on the trail unless they wave me on. Then I will WALK the dogs around the horses before carrying on.
I've been around horses, i ride, i know that some horses spook easily, but honestly if you're taking your horses on the trails i ride on (which weaves in and out of the woods) you better have already worked on bomb-proofing your horse or you're just a plain idiot!
UGH! I now have the ranger station number in MY cell phone, so the next time some horse people let THEIR dog off leash to ride along with the horses i can put in a complaint (which is the ONLY POSTED rule at the park "dogs must be on hand controlled leash". and i get snitched on cause "dogs and horses don't mix"? pah-leeze) or any other rules i now know about that the horse people are breaking for that matter.
when we were at the ranger station a call came in that someone fell off their horse. the incident happened AFTER i was well off the trails and heading to the ranger station. Looks like the HORSES are a bigger risk to the HUMANS than my dogs are to anything. >_<
I called my dad and he met me over at the ranger station to back me up since i was so flustered and i sent my sister home with the boys. No rangers were there but we talked to the receptionist and got a print out of the complete rules. The receptionist said that you have to have a permit for having any animal pulling something on the trails, and pretty much anything that wasn't riding a bike, scooter, rollerblades that are human powered, walking your dogs, or riding your horses. She also said it shouldn't be that difficult to get a permit, but i have to go talk to the head ranger sometime this week to find out more.
So, in the car on the way home i read the rules - ALL of them. NO WHERE does it say ANYTHING about prohibiting or needing a permit for having an animal pull something on the trails! It says it is prohibited to lead and animal by or have an an animal pull a MOTORIZED vehicle at the parks, so the sled dog teams that use an ATV need a permit, but my scooter doesn't have a motor so i shouldn't need a permit. The only other thing mentioned that the stupid rangers could be mixing up is that you can't pull any bike/scooter/cart/rollerblades etc behind a motor vehicle.
So now i'm even MORE pissed off, because they don't even know their OWN RULES!!!!
Ugh. Not looking forward to talking to her. but they're either going to leave me the hell alone, or give me the damn permit or i'm going to raise such a stink they'll regret they ever brought it up!
Why couldn't they tell me this when it was so stinkin' hot out? it's nice and cool this week so i want to go out a lot!! Guess i have to go in now to talk to mrs. head ranger. bah!