The pocked marked trails are a real problem for hikers and runners (very
easy to twist an ankle) and I am sure the bikers don't like them either. The
soil at Casper Park seemed very clay-like and I am sure when the mud dried
the depressions left by the horses were terrible, especially 100 horses.
These depressions take a long time and a lot of wear to go away. If 100
mountain bikes rode through on that day it would be just as bad from tire
depressions and the other trail users would not like that either. I am sorry
the horses got the bad press. It is really the responsibility of the park's
management to know how long to keep trail users off trails after heavy rains.
I am sure that the ranger's were trying to work with the ride management so
the ride would not have to be canceled.
In the area where I ride we are asked not to use the trails for one day
after a rain and several days after a heavy rain.
This is a legitimate concern that other trail user groups have and
equestrians should be aware that horses do cause trail damage to certain
types of trail after heavy rain and equestrian use should be limited on these
types of trails until they dry out some. If equestrians are not "perceived"
as responsible trail users by the public horses may be banned from many
county, state and national park trails.