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Looking for riders input on horse riders leaving poop behind

Hello, I’m just looking for some advice on an issue I’ve been having with some horse riders. I just recently acquired my grandparents house after they both passed. I moved into it and began fixing it up about 3 weeks ago. There’s a pretty big horse place down the road a bit and have several horse riders going down the street mostly on weekends but sometimes during the week. I’ve always waved trying to be friendly as the new guy on the street, mostly they wave back…OK off to a good start. I’ve noticed some horse poops along the side of the street and even on the edge of my yard a time or 2 but didn’t think much of it. So today I’m leaving to go to the store about 9ish and noticed a horse rider had left a really big pile of poops pretty much right in the middle of my driveway , I mean I had no idea a horse can poop so much! So I kinda thought maybe the rider would have come back by and clean it up just based on in being pretty much in the middle of my driveway. I was out and about doing stuff in my yard today after I got home and the poops still there a couple other riders even passed by I’m sure they must of seen it…but no one ever came back buy to clean it up. What is the edict for when the horse your riding leaves a big pile of poop directly on some ones driveway or yard? I know know nothing about horses or horse riders and I have no problem with them at all but I think I shouldn’t have to deal with cleaning up the poops when I don’t have a horse. I mean on my grass not great big deal, I don’t love it but whatever. It was spread out that time not a huge pile. As horse riders what do you do when this happens? I guess please give me your points of view and maybe advice on what I should do. Thanx for your time


It’s actually really hard to get on and off a horse for many people, and you don’t usually know your horse is pooping. It’s excellent fertilizer. When I was a kid adults would run out and scoop it off the street into their flower gardens.


Yes I do understand the fertilizer but I don’t really need any, I would think the rider would have known that the horse had pooped there. The horse must have stood there for a minute while unloading…it is a pretty big pile

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Go talk to them, put up a sign and maybe leave a shovel at the end of the drive. And then go pour yourself a drink and thank the goddess you don’t live next to a pig farm.


Yea a pig farm would be not great but I don’t think that people ride pigs up and down the road tho. The horse farm is less than a half mile from my house. I was kinda thinking someone may have can back after their ride and shoveled it up or at least into the the little chunk of woods across the street


Horse people tend to have a different attitude to horse poops to those of the wider population - which you have probably already realised. Often, I think, they genuinely don’t even notice it. Certainly, horse people can dismiss it as being a problem because until it hits the ground it is just hay and water.

The good thing is that unlike dog poop, horse poop doesn’t spread diseases that can affect humans. It also doesn’t stink in the same way because horses aren’t eating meat. As a horse person, I don’t even find the smell offensive - but I’m a horse person not necessarily the same as a normal one lol!

My first and best suggestion is that you go down the road, speak to the Manager at the horse barn and discuss what options may be available. Ask them to spread the word rather than the poop.

Secondly, post a notice at the road end of your drive and provide a bucket and shovel. It will make a point. It may work or not. It is not always practical to climb down off a horse to clear up poop and then climb back on board, with the animal standing, waiting, on a road. The safest place for a human to be when on a road is usually on the back of the horse - but if the road isn’t busy, half a mile is not far to lead their horse.

Third, just leave a pile of horse poop until it is dry and simply brush it away. It is dry chewed-up grass. But then, why should you deal with a problem caused by someone else?

I hope you resolve the problem successfully.


I’m old, 66 years old, I have ridden all my life, across two countries, and have never picked up poop on a ride. Horse poop was harvested as fertilizer back in the day, it wasn’t an issue.

Sounds like it’s a well established horse barn, and people are not used to it being a problem. I guess we don’t see it as an issue, :poop: happens, and as horse people we don’t find it offensive, unlike dog pop which is nasty.


In the situation you describe - noticeable, in the middle of a driveway - I would have come back after my ride and shoveled it into the woods or somewhere less obvious.

But I live in an area that is becoming increasingly more suburban. I feel very fortunate that I can ride out from home at all; and keeping my relationship with neighboring landowners is pretty important to me. So I’m very careful about not leaving manure where it would be a nuisance to a non horse owning property owner.

I will say, though, when I ride out of a friend’s barn in a VERY rural area (think gravel roads and no parcels under 25 acres) the assumption is that no one is bothered by the manure.

I like the suggestions of leaving a muck tub and shovel at the end of the driveway, and also have a friendly conversation with the barn manager down the street. Not going in with guns blazing, but introduce yourself as someone new in the neighborhood, wanting to be a good neighbor, and could you ask your riders to come back and clean up after their horses if they leave a load in your driveway. Strive for friendly, accommodating and reasonable.

Whether horse people like it or not, this is going to become a common request as the suburbs encroach on our rural areas.


Our riding center was in the city, we had to ride thru several blocks before getting to open country.
All riders learned to watch for a horse needing to relieve themselves and knew to get the horse over to the edge of the street by the gutters, to a bar ditch, etc.
You definitely would not let a horse stand in the middle of things and dump, like in someone’s driveway!
That was rude.
I think some riders need to learn basic manners.

Is ok to first go talk to the stable manager and ask what they tell their clients about this, before you try to find other ways to keep your place clean, like you needing to provide supplies or clean after them.
Tell them you are new and want to know what to do about this, what do others do?


Do the riders always cross your driveway when they ride by, or are they sometimes in a ditch across the road etc? That may be the simplest solution for when you go talk to the stable manager if they are able to not cross your driveway 90% of the time.

For the “spread out” poop vs one big pile: as a rider (granted I’ve only been riding a few years) I always notice the big poop because that means the horse stopped to drop the load but I have ridden one horse who was a very … discreet pooper. Would keep walking and barely change his gait so there was a trail of road apples that I may or may not have noticed dropped at the time.

Agreed with posters who said it’s tricky to hop off, clean up, and get back on again. Firstly because I’m not nearly athletic enough to mount without a mounting block. Secondly because if there isn’t a shovel to clean the poop with I would have to kick it with my boots which would leave a smear of fresh poo depending on the distance to move it… .which you probably still wouldn’t appreciate while it’s fresh :slight_smile:

So. overall, I’m in the boat of “talk to the stable manager” as a first next step.

Welcome to the horsey neighbourhood! I hope that you will find that horse people are maybe a wee bit crazy but generally a friendly bunch! You might also want to tell the stable manager that you have never lived in a horsey area before so you are studying up on good etiquette for yourself: like passing wide and slow when driving by riders, keeping your dog (if applicable) from running up to them suddenly, and turning off the leaf blower if they are riding past in close proximity.

Maybe you’ll even sign up for lessons yourself and get bitten by the horse-loving bug like I did!


Yea I was kinda thinking who ever the rider was that left it would clean it up at some point during the day. I didn’t see it happening so I wouldn’t know who to ask to clean it up. I mean maybe they didn’t realize it was happening but wouldn’t the rider see it on the way back? Usually on sat and sun I see several riders pass by, I was going to go out and try talking to some of them today.

Yes the riders cross by my place every time, the road is very narrow and the opposite side has a guard rail because it drops off alot. I’m thinking they favor my side to stay off the road more? They have pooped on the edge of my lawn a couple times but that was spread out more so it wasn’t a big deal. Just really don’t want the pile or any amount in my driveway where I’m doing stuff. I’m around today so I’m gonna try and flag one of the riders down and try to talk about it with them.


It is very difficult to pick up after your horse from the saddle, even if you notice that they are leaving a deposit.
However horse shit isn’t like dog shit; it’s not particularly stinky, it dries out and disintegrates rapidly, and subsequently is indistinguishable from grass-clippings from a lawn mower, 'cause, well, that’s pretty much what it is.
If you’re gonna live in a horsy neighborhood, you’re going to have to get used to it. Or carry a grudge and make yourself miserable about it. Ignore it and it will go away on its own. Or take a broom, shovel or rake and move the poop off into the grass/weeds, or back out onto the street. And don’t worry about it. I can assure you that the rider didn’t command Mr. Horse to unload in your driveway, and you will find that if/when it does happen to land in your drive, it is just incidental, and rare.
Trust me on this one. I muck for four horses on a daily basis, and have for years. As such, I have become inured to manure, and hold an honorary PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) in Manure Management :-D.
PS; just FWIW, horse shit isn’t very good fertilizer, and doesn’t compost worth a darn. But it makes an OK mulch once dried out. Think of it as grass clippings if that helps.
Edit to add: Or better yet, find yourself a nice tame Equine companion, who will be happy to teach you about the other side of life.
Edit to assure forum tranquility:
Horse Poop will compost if you 1) live in a compatible climate, and/or 2) care enough to put the required work into making it happen.
Sorry to “Trumpet” misleading information.


I’m not sure how seriously to take this post, but OK. If you move to the country (or any place where horses are kept), you’re going to be dealing with country things. I don’t think you’re saying someone rode a horse right up your driveway, so I assume what you’re describing is a horse poop where your driveway meets the road. People riding horses don’t carry shovels to pick up manure. I’d kill to live that close to a stable. Sell the house and buy something in a neighborhood you like. Sounds like you are a city mouse.


@alpine1 Would you have the same attitude if it was dogs or cows or elephants (elephant shit is both massive and quite smelly) pooping on your drive? The OP is trying to work around this problem.



I think it’s commendable that you would join a horse forum and try to understand the riders perspective!

What you are describing is a growing problem for both house owners and riders. Riders really don’t WANT to be riding down the street – it’s really not the safest option, but we are losing access to trails and open land as developments are encroaching :frowning:. As for dismounting and immediately dealing with the poop - that is also a safety issue for riders. As @Willesdon mentioned, once mounted you are safest staying on the back of the horse. The process of dismounting and remounting can be a very vulnerable position to be in, in a higher traffic uncontrolled environment.

The best compromise is to drive down to the barn, introduce yourself, and in the spirit of community, ask that riders drive back after their ride and clean up.

I have had people scream at me from their luxury SUV as they drive by, or scream at me from out the window of their brand new fancy McMansion, as I have ridden by what used to be undeveloped land in a right-to-farm community. It’s disheartening when people move into a community that has been horse friendly for decades, and start screaming at people through lack of understanding.

Their has to be give and take on both sides.

Riders have to learn to accommodate a changing world, so that we don’t lose access to what little open spaces we do have. And people who move to livestock friendly areas would be well served to learn a little about rural practices.


When a horse poop happens by your house, get your shovel (or purchase a specific manure fork for the purpose) and move it onto your garden or lawn. Spread it around a bit. It’s valuable stuff. Just another bonus to living close to where people keep horses. It’s free for you to take and use!


There are laws about picking up dog poop, and obviously elephants don’t roam around here in the USA. I don’t see this as the OP trying to work around a problem. Something happened once that will likely never happen again, so it’s a massive overreaction to one pile of non-toxic horse poop by the road at the end of his driveway. The manure will disintegrate quickly, or he could just kick it out of his way. If he wants to confront the horse people, he’s going to look like a jerk. I’m assuming he would have learned from his grandparents if the boarding stable was a huge problem. He needs to relax. Also, call me suspicious, but I find it hard to imagine why a non-horse person would go to the trouble to find a horse message board, open an account, find the appropriate place on the forum, and post a question like this. :thinking:


Doesn’t fresh manure burn plants? I’ve always been taught to use the old stuff; the older, the better.

One nice benefit of being a horse owner, I thought, was having easy access to (old) manure to add to my garden soil.


:open_mouth: Why, @George_T_Mule I’m amazed you can think this!
Au contraire, composted manure is excellent fertilizer. My vegetable garden is composed entirely of raised beds I fill every Fall with stall cleanings (so mostly manure, some hay & pine shavings) that compost over Winter & by Spring are gorgeous planting material: rich dark earth free of any odor of horse.
I’ll have to tell the chard, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cantaloupe, basil & mint that produced - chard still growing - like crazy in the stuff they’re wrong :smirk:

@Newtohorseppl IIWM, I’d approach the barn MGMT to ask that riders clear anything deposited on your driveway.
I might also post a sign asking riders to return to remove manure & maybe leave a shovel & muck bucket (cheap at any feedstore, even Target has a version) for the purpose. You can then make use of the contents for your garden once it has composted.
I might also leave a bucket of apples out saying Take One & Thanks For the Cleanup :wink: