Sunday October 21 2018

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In Full . . .

We need control on horse numbers

Posted on August 31 2017 at 2:36:58

I have read with interest some of the correspondence about horses in this magazine. I am a horse rider and appreciate them as animals.

I have sympathy on both sides of the debate, but it is clear that there is a problem around the recreational activities of horses and their riders on public highways.

My main issue is that the debate never seems to move on from one side saying: “They create a mess, they foul indiscriminately and horse owners do not clear up any of their mess”, to others saying: “It’s part of ‘rural life’ so pick up the mess and put it on your roses”.

In my opinion the number of horses in some areas is out of control or needing control.

In Rowney Green, for instance, there are approximately 16 separate stable blocks around the village; two of these are fully commercial operations and many of the others have multiple boxes.

This is a village with 130 houses and barely a few hundred yards of pavement. If you take a vantage point at any part of the winding roads in the village, at any time you will more than likely see a deposit of horse waste.

With children, the elderly, the disabled and all other road users sharing the lanes, the situation is at times intolerable.

As a suggestion, horse riders could help themselves by playing more of a part in the communities where they practise their hobbies by clearing up some of what their pets deposit.

Can a rota be operated between the various stables? Can “bun bags” be used on the horses – an attachment that captures the waste, saving it from the road?

I believe the parish and district councils need to play a part, too, in several ways. They ought to consider limiting planning consents for more stables and impose conditions on the operation of stables, such as sweeping-up/cleaning obligations.

Horse-owners ought to be encouraged to be more considerate to the needs of local residents.

The sight of one of our elderly, vision-impaired residents walking on the lane and stepping into a large “deposit” is something everyone needs to take responsibility for.

Neil Harris, Rowney Green

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