Dear ATBCB, While we commend the ATBCB’s efforts in this important rulemaking, we believe that a fundamental fact has been overlooked. By far the most frequent and extensive mode of access to public trails, used by persons with disabilities, is riding horseback. The proposed rule refers almost entirely to “pedestrians,”' and the needs of pedestrians, thereby leaving out one of the most important classes of people needing protection under the ABA. Disabled riders have special needs.
We therefore request that the ATBCB either rethink and expand its proposal, or initiate a new proposal, to adequately speak to the needs of disabled riders.
Our request is based in part upon more detailed comments already submitted by the American Horse Council (October 12) which are incorporated here by reference. In particular the AHC says “The horse is by far the most common and most environmentally friendly means of access to trails for physically challenged individuals. In fact, when on a horse, most physically impaired individuals, whether wheel-chair bound or not, are indistinguishable from others and enjoy the same degree of mobility as their less physically-challenged companions.”
David E. Wojick, Ph.D., President
Back Country Horsemen in the Virginias
391 Flickertail Lane
Star Tannery VA 22654