2009 Report on Equestrian Access on Federal Land

A study done by the American Horse Council to gather information about trail closures or attempted trail closures on federal public lands.

by American Horse Council

In recent years a reduction of trails, trail heads and the closure of Federal lands to horses and pack animals has been a growing concern for recreational riders around the country. There is a clear feeling among recreational riders that access to trails historically open to equestrians is being lost and a bias against equestrians by land managers is more prevalent. However, there is a lack of specific information regarding access issues on federal land including detailed examples, data on the scope of the problem, causes for this trend, etc.

In order for the horse community to combat this perceived loss of access the AHC determined that it was essential to gather information concerning this issue. This led the AHC to launch an effort to collect information on access issues equestrians are experiencing on federal lands. The center piece of this effort is an AHC online form riders can use to report their personal experiences regarding trails on federal lands that have been closed to them or other access issues.

Published June 30, 2009

About the Author


The AHC believes that the more opportunities available to use horses in various activities, the better the overall health of the industry and those who participate.