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Wetland Riders Article

By Nov 9, 2017Mar 13th, 2020NRPA Notification, TreadLightly

Horse Matters – Noordhoek Wetland Riders

The Noordhoek Wetland Riders are focused on all matters related to horses in Noordhoek, because for them, horses really do matter!

They have an active Facebook group for riders in Noordhoek, the purpose of which is to alert riders to incidents occurring in the wetlands and to allow for networking of riders. This group is intended for riders (or parents of younger riders) who ride in Noordhoek, the Noordhoek Wetlands and on Noordhoek Beach.

One of their aims is to improve safety for the riders on SANParks land (the beach and wetland), by trying to stay in contact with SANParks and by enlisting help of interested parties.

The Wetland Riders have been busy!

In a combined effort from On the Verge and SANParks, the Wetland Riders were able to do a cut-back of branches overhanging the main path to the beach – for this clean-up On the Verge was kindly sponsored by a local rider’s company.

When they received reports from riders that, after the fires, parts of the old fences had collapsed over the paths and were posing a safety

hazard some riders and a few rangers from SANParks went out into the wetland on foot to remove the spikes and barbed wire. With generous sponsorship from Noordhoek Pole Yard they were able to arrange for the horse bridge by Lake Michelle to be stabilised. The next project for the bridge is the replacement of the planks – SANParks are still getting quotes for this, however they would love to see this project completed sooner, so they are considering looking for sponsorship for this next project.

On the beach the riders often have incidents involving horses and dogs that are off the lead. A good few riders are also dog owners, and so do understand that dogs need a chance to stretch their legs. However many dog owners continue to allow their dogs to chase horses, or they do not leash their dogs when passing other beach users – the trouble is that horses can do serious injury to a dog while trying to defend themselves from an overzealous canine.

Click on this link for a map of where your dog can walk freely.

https://www.sanparks.org/docs/parks_table_mountain/tourism/dog- walking.pdf

The Wetland Riders feel that courtesy goes both ways though and they ask that riders slow down when passing other beach users, or ask the other user if the rider may continue past them at a faster pace. They ask that if you witness riders upsetting other users, please email a description of the incident to them so they can make the riders aware, and hopefully prevent conflict between different beach users.

Arlene Nelson, one of the representatives for the Noordhoek Wetland Riders, would like to take some SANParks rangers on a horseback tour of the wetland to show them how the riders experience the wetland.

If you wish to contact the group to help or if you have any complaints or issues to discuss please contact:

Arlene Nelson – 084 261 7844 (Whatsapp preferred as she is often unable to answer calls)

noordhoekwetlandriders@gmail.com

Or for any emergencies on SANParks Land please contact 086 110 6417.