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$30 Fee and Liability Insurance to be required at Percy Warner Park in 2011 !

$30 Fee and liability insurance to be required to ride at Percy Warner Park in 2011 !  Click on the link to read the story.



What are your thoughts and could this happen on our other trails in Tennessee?

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Great information and feedback on this discussion. Just a couple of observations.

It would seem that Metro will now need to have a full time employee at the entrance to the facility collecting fees and inspecting documentation...proof of negative coggins, proof of liability coverage and as stated in the news story proof of being "free of disease" (health certificate?).

The provision requiring the coggins is State law but the Health Certificate is not for TN horses in state.

The question regarding liability insurance. I have contacted my local Farm Bureau office and they could not give me an answer regarding my policy covering my horses on public trails (I am covered at home). They are contacting their corporate office for an answer and will get back to me with an answer. That would still leave a question about the liability coverage required if, for example, I rented an apartment and boarded my horse. And again, I know of NO OTHER facility that requires liability insurance to use their trails.

I don't have an issue with a reasonable day fee or annual pass if I use the park frequently, but I don't think the park board used wisdom or equity in implementing the requirements for equestrian use of the trails.

How do they intend to communicate the new requirements to the equestrian community?

The home of the Iroquois Stepple Chase doesn't appear to be equestrian friendly!
Gary- I don't think they intend to do that. They will have you send in your coggins and other paperwork when you apply for your permit. As for the day fee, not sure how that will be handled. Some parks require you to attach a permit number to your bridle.

There is nothing in their regulation manual that requires liability insurance unless you are conducting an organized ride, again, you would provide that when applying for a permit. The trails are posted as "ride at your own risk".

I would drop the "health certificate" issue...they have not specifically mentioned a health cert...do you want to give them ideas?

By "free of disease" they mean free of equine infectious anemia--was the context that statement was given in reference to--the coggins papers.

Maybe equestrians need to start going to their meetings to find out what is being discussed, or at least checking the minutes on their web site. We can gripe and complain, or we can be reasonable and cooperative--understand their budget woes--and work with them for a solution that works to keep the trails accessible to equestrians. They can't police the bridle paths to keep pedestrians off them, but could we lobby for better signage to help enforce the trail rules?

I am all for being nice and civil when I encounter people on the bridle paths, they are always going to be there, so why not be nice? If I see them doing something that may be unsafe in the vicinity of horses I will simply talk to them about it and help educate them.
Bertie I'm afraid you are right-the joggers and mountain bikers would love to have the horse trails as they are wider and often smoother! They can ride or run 2-4 abreast on horse trails, as I often see them doing just that. They are more in numbers and quite possibly more vocal than riders, and often perceived to be more civil.
Please anybody using the Percy Warner system, turn it into a positive public relations campaign when you encounter anybody even if they are on "our" trails.
I cerainly used the link to let the council members know how I feel on this matter. If they want to regulate something, maybe they ought to consider bicycles first. Lot more accidents with uninsured riders who use not only the park roads, but highways as well. No one ask them to register their bikes or show liability insurance. As a former paramedic, I have only seen a couple of horse accidents with someone hurt needing to go to hospital, but certainly seen hundreds of bike accidents with serious injuries and death. They have more to worry about than a few horse riders in Metro parks.
My only brother died from a bicycle accident and he was on a level road.
I believe there is also the issue of unfairness in this policy. Metro built and maintains a "DOG PARK" next to Centennial Park in Nashville, and I dfon't think you have to pay to take you dog there. I LOVE DOGS AND HORSES! To me it's the same thing for me to take my horse to the park as it is for someone to take their dog.

Here is my note the the metro council, it's members, and the park board:
Fee for riding horses in a Metro Park

I feel that a fee for riding horses in a Metro Park is wrong. Fees are not charged for dogs, and dogs cause a lot more problems than horses. Horses are most always kept under complete control, trail horses are well trained experienced mounts that can be trusted with their riders lives. Dogs are allowed to run free in the parks, although they are supposed to be on a leash. Many times I've been in a park and encountered a dog or a group of dogs, not knowing if I was about to be bitten or mauled, I have never encountered a loose angry pack of horses running loose in the park. Dogs are allowed in most all places, where horses are only allowed in certain areas, if you are in these areas, you expect to encounter horses, you probably came over to look at the horses.

We all know "money's tight, and times are hard" , but this is charging an UNFAIR fee, singling out a group of responsible people already pay more in property taxes, sales tax on feed and tack, fuel and wheel taxes for larger trucks

Ed Elam
1065 Barnes Rd
Yes, the dog park issue is interesting--you did not mention that in your letter to the council.

Can someone please explain why Metro Parks is operating three dog parks for exclusive use for dog exercise and owner enjoyment, and not charging them a use fee?

How is use of the dog park less exclusive than use of the bridle path system in Metro Parks or even the golf course example Mr. Lynch gives?

Does it truly cost more to maintain a bridle path than three dog parks?

Are the Metro Parks financial records open to the public for review?

There was recent talk of moving the Centennial Dog Park and the dog owners through a fit and signed a petition--now the Council is saying the decision isn't final yet.

Maybe we need to get a petition going for fair park use regulations. I don't have a problem with paying a use fee--but why single out the equestrians?
Here is interim director of Metro Parks, Mr. Tommy Lynch's response to the dog parks question:

Good question. The dog park initiative has been a very recent development and will need to be included in our next fee assessment. It would be unwise to provide this service free for as long as we have other services.
Personally, I DO have a problem with fees for parks, when " the government" ( all inclusive) is spending money like it's going out of style. I know a lot of us are aware of some type of government waste, fraud, or abuse, we all know someone that has a position that is over paid, under worked, I know that most government employees are trying to do their job, fighting an uphill battle, but there are many places more efficient ways could be implemented, but that's another matter all together.

Parks are for everyone's enjoyment, even if you don't have a dime in your pocket. I try to think about it like, although I really have no control over it, parks are where I would like to direct my tax dollars, I don't want to bale out anybody, I don't want a goofy looking crashed roller coaster sculpture on the banks of the Cumberland River, how much do you think the naked dancers sculpture at the music row round-a-bout cost? I want a nice park where I can take my wife, kids, horses, dogs, model airplanes, kites, (OH NO!! something else they could charge for, flying kites).
They already charge for flying model airplanes. Not an "expected" free park activity.
The society we live in today is all about taking our money and giving it to the government to waste. If more people don't care about that and start trying to make changes, it won't change. I don't think that many people really care about this issue of the parks charging equestrians, based on the number of posts I've seen on this forum about it.
Today Warner Park, next week the Natchez Trace trails??

Yes this is CA but we all know their ideas frequently spread East. Please everyone get involved, contact your local representatives, State and Federal representatives before there is no need for a Trail Riders group anywhere!

Daniel Boone Distance Riders have a bumper sticker that says "I Ride Horses & I Vote-Open Spaces Open Trails". Contact them at www.dbdr.info for yours.
Thanks for your comments. We all need to be aware of and active in supporting the continued fair use of our public lands whether that be Metro, State or National.

Thanks also for providing the link to the report on the forrest services negative actions in CA. I would encourage folks to read the congressmans statements.



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