Back in February, I noticed many downed saplings over one of our main access trails. I agreed that they needed cleared, but I was perturbed someone had done it in a way that left them lying across the trail. That's just poor stewardship. Still, they were relatively easy to step over, so we did it. Finally, last month, I took the incentive to throw them off the side of the trail. In the back of my mind I worried someone was trying to "block" us, but not wanting to see zebras in a herd of horses, I dismissed the thought.
But then, last weekend my BO and friends went on a trail ride and reported that there are now sizeable trees that have been dropped all willy nilly over our main access trail. They're still passable, but it's not something you can do from horseback and it really takes some minced steps. As a result of this, my BO was forced to the realization that someone really is trying to block access. This is surprising because for years the property has been a shared lease for a dozen or more folks and we've all shared the area with zero issue.
|Northern part of the image is my BO's property; blue polygon encompasses all prohibited areas; southern part of image has even more trails|
not shown that I also ride, but now I have no way to access them.
But now, a new guy is in town and he's somehow garnered the lease to the lands that contain ~75% of the trails I typically enjoy. In particular, his lease is situated in such a way that my access to any other developed, known trails is wholly blocked. Because not only does this guy have the lease, he's claiming that the lease "prohibits ATVs and horses" and he is not willing to negotiate. He doesn't want us back there at all.
And thus, I'm grounded. No trail riding until I move the horses to Canaan.
It's incredibly disappointing and very poor neighborly behavior, in my opinion. There are a lot of very negative things I'd love to get off my chest in relation to this, but I'm going to choose to keep them to myself. The situation sucks, no way around it. I hate being grounded to one area with fewer options after so many years of beautiful trail access.
While I will be moving the horses in the semi-near future (hopefully), I'm sad I didn't get to say goodbye to my trails in my own way on my own time. I'm also sad that I won't have the luxury of being able to haul down and train on the trails ever again. I've got a lot of history and a lot of miles on those trails. It was already bittersweet to move on to something else, but now even moreso.
|Looking into the future, literally. This is the only thing we'll be riding until we move!|