To the editor:
For six years, we enjoyed riding our horses to the Moffat County Fairgrounds from our house.
Two years ago, the corridor between the track and the outer fence was enclosed for roping cattle. That meant three gates to open and close to get to the arena.
Soon after that, the back entry gate was padlocked shut, forcing us to use an opening in the fence on the west end of the track.
Using this entry meant skirting the edge of the parking lot past the Pavilion to get to the arena access on the east side, as well as access to the trails north of U.S. Highway 40.
On a recent Monday afternoon, our 13-year-old daughter got permission to ride alone to the arena while we watched from the front porch.
We lost sight of her for a time and were getting worried when we finally saw her returning. She told us that as she was leaving the riding area a man on a 4-wheeler locked the gate we use to get home.
He told her she was not allowed to ride on the pavement because the horse might make a mess.
She told him that would mean she would have to ride down the highway to get home. He told her that was not his problem.
Luckily, the horse she was riding was used to traffic, although she had never ridden her on a main road by herself.
She was in tears by the time she got home.
Since when is the cleanliness of a parking lot more important than the safety of a child?
Are there regulations against riding horses to the arena?
If so, we could have been told any time these last eight years. My husband and I had just made the same ride two hours before.
We have tried to keep away from the pedestrian areas as much as possible, but with each insult, it gets more difficult.
If we must trailer the horses to use the arena, the Routt County arena is much nicer.
Deb and Marty Coniff