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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.

http://thatismessedup.com/2010/08/30/horseback-riding-fees-in-david...

 

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

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Gary, I went on this site and voted. Tried to register but they sent me a ridiculous password that I could not get to work. I wanted to make a comment. They are going to cut out those of us who would only come once or twice a year to ride. I usually come on an organized group ride. This is a perfect example of people making rules for horse people when they have no clue what we are about! TTR needs to make a statement about this.
Hi Linda. They do send a ridiculous password combination but if you copy and paste it to register no problem. I commented under the name saddleupgo.

TTR and members do need to comment and use whatever influence they have with Metro Nashville Davidson county to have this changed before it goes into effect in Jan. I have no problem with a reasonable day use fee or an annual pass for those who use the park often but do take issue with the liability insurance portion of the provision. I would hate to see that implemented in other parks and trails and it could be, if left unchallenged.

I am certain that organized rides will drop Percy Warner from their schedules and that will be a shame, it is convienant for a lot of folks and a beautiful park .
Go here to voice your concerns directly to all of Metro Council:

http://www.nashville.gov/council/feedback.aspx
Thanks Bertie. I encourage all TTR members to express their thoughtful opion on this issue. I a member of the TN Walking Horse Breeders Association and have already contacted them to request their involvement. Please ask your associations to become involved as well.
Here is my letter to the council:
"Dear Council,

I have utilized the trails at least monthly, sometimes weekly, during the past 8 years. In all that time, I have seen Park Rangers on the trail system exactly ONCE.
However I have encountered hikers, runners, loose dogs and bikers on the horse trails EVERY time I have ridden. One ride a man and his loose dog running toward us around a corner spooked my horse who turned to bolt and threw me when the dog bit her. I broke my thumb and he just called his dog and kept jogging. Why do you not require joggers and bikers to carry liability insurance? Why is their presence on the horse trails tolerated? Why are they not being asked to pay a fee?

I believe horseback riders are being unfairly targeted with the proposed fees and ask for more consideration.
Horses and their care bring in many more revenue dollars than hikers and bicyclists,even those of us from out of the county who stop for gas and refreshments at local stores as we travel to and from the park. A city park with horseback trails is a great way to "go green" and get your citizens more physically fit as well as attract new residents. And I have personally introduced many young urban children to their first horse as I always stop and talk to children or adults that seem interested. "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man" ~Winston Churchill.

Please carefully consider the unintended consequences of this fee.

Thank you for your attention to this matter."

I am worried this is just the start of a campaign to close the trails to riders-PLEASE everyone that rides there be sure to stay on the horse trails and be pleasant to anyone you encounter on the trails-a smile while you ask "did you know you are on the horse trails" is better received than blasting past them and puts riders in a better light.
HELP SAVE OUR TRAILS!
Well said Jackie. One time I was leading a group ride there with children and came around a curve face to face with a bicyclist. Boy, did I give him a tongue lashing and got him off that trail fast. My horse is great and he just stopped but a child could have been injured. I only ride there once or twice a year and this is unfair to riders like myself.
As far as liability insurance goes, your homeowners insurance covers you and your personally owned horses as long as you are not running a business. Same as would if your dog bit someone. If you are a riding instructor or conducting rides as part of a business, like training horses, you need separate liability insurance and should have this already if you are operating a horse business.
Here is the link to the page with the email of the Park Board members
http://www.nashville.gov/parks/administration.asp
This what the parks manual actually states:

FEES AND CHARGES

4000.9 EQUESTRIAN USAGE FEE

III. TRAILRIDING:

Trailriding is permitted on the bridle paths only, and is strictly prohibited

on the hiking trails. Organized trailrides of 10 or more riders will require

a permit, which may be obtained through the Superintendent of Warner

Parks. Organized trailriders will not have exclusive use of bridle paths

Resident Non-Resident

A. Individual daily fee $ 4.00 $ 5.00

B. Annual fee $ 40.00 $ 50.00

B. Organized trailrides:

10 to 25 horses $ 40.00 $ 44.00

26 to 75 horses $ 75.00 $ 82.50

76 horses and over $150.00 $165.00
I emailed to the Metro Park Board Members at the link I gave above and heard back from Tommy Lynch.
Bertie, I expressed that I did not object to a reasonable day use fee or an annual pass but all users should be required to pay. (this is how metro parks in other areas operate) We already have a STATE LAW that requires us to have proof of negative coggins test. But requiring the horse group over the dog owners, walkers, bikers or golfers to prove we have liability insurance was just silly. A larger percentage of horse owners would have either homeowners or farm insurance and coverage, where the others would have a higher renter rate and less likely to have insurance. In the end it is just silly because any injured party in an incident would have the right to sue whether there was insurance or not. I mentioned that I would keep that in mind if one of those golf balls were to hit either myself or my horse. He just said Thank you back and that a golfer was responsible for where he hits the ball. I sent back that that was my exact point. Everyone is responsible for their actions.

I do not want to see any group not allowed to use the park, and even when meeting a bike on the trail with a less experienced horse, I have used it as a training session and asked the person to let my horse get a close up look at their bike and biking outfit.

Are the fees you listed the right fees? As $30 isn't even mentioned. It is $40 and $50 you have listed. Where and who are going to be collecting this money? I have never seen anyone offical there. Well with this money maybe they will finally get downed trees cleared off the paths! *grin*
I told him the same thing, that it is not so much opposition to a fee that I am hearing, it is that not everyone is going to be required to pay a fee, and equestrians aren't the only ones using the bridlepaths, even though they are supposed to be exclusive.

He said they can not patrol the park to keep pedestrians off the bridal paths, and that they can not charge walkers and joggers a use fee because those are "expected park activities"

The fees I posted are taken straight out of the Park Regulations and Fees manual that is posted on the link you provided...where I found Tommy's email.

He did thank me for having a "reasonable" response. I guess he's getting some pretty outraged people. He thinks that the issue is that we don't want to pay since we having been paying...but that is not the issue, really, it is that we aren't getting exclusive use of the bridal paths and the others using them aren't paying.

I just fear this is the beginning of "let's not allow horses on the park trails". I am sympathetic to their budget woes...the flooding left lots of damage and I'm sure was quite expensive to clean up. The place looks like it hasn't been bushhogged all summer.

Maybe they can at least post better signage on the bridal paths to help people know they aren't supposed to be there, since they can't patrol the trails.

The liability ins. issue is baffling to me. Again, I think the only place that can lead is "we don't want horses on the trails"--I don't understand how this happened without anyone hearing about it before a decision was made?

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