Don’t Leave Your Horse’s Road Apples Behind | SLO Horse News

Don’t Leave Your Horse’s Road Apples Behind

We’re just used to it; horse manure is simply part of life with horses. Others are not so complacent regarding the occurrence of our horse’s road apples. Our neighbors don’t appreciate horse droppings left in residential neighborhoods. Patrons of businesses don’t want to step through a manure pile. So what’s the big deal? Why the fuss about road apples?

SEE UPDATES ON CA AB 233 under the Where You CAN Leave Horse Apples section below


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Why Road Apples Management Becomes Important

Our horse’s road apples are poop. People have an aversion to poop. As home subdivisions spring up in areas where riding trails meandered through, good horse manure management becomes critical. It is our responsibility for horses to be accepted as friendly residential members in increasingly crowded suburban areas. Not leaving horse manure deposits behind is part of being neighborly.

Leave No Trace – Pick up Your Horse’s Road Apples

Don’t Leave Your Horse’s Road Apples Behind | SLO Horse News
Don’t leave road apples behind in residential neighborhoods! Photo credit: Stormy Knight

Several staging areas for trail rides in a variety of Central Coast locations are in residential neighborhoods. Those neighbors don’t want to see plops of horse poop left in an irresponsible manner. Other staging areas are in public places like the beach and state parks.

If we want to keep trail access open, we need to be responsible, considerate neighbors. That means don’t leave your horse’s road apples behind in staging areas, or where a business allows you to tie your horse while you dine or sip. Be prepared to manage your horse’s droppings on the road. If at a business, look for a provided fork and bucket to dump your manure into.


Hey, head’s up. Purchasing products through clicking the the links or product pics that follow may result in providing us a little kick-back money. To learn more see the affiliate disclaimer near the end of this story.

Helpful Tips for Managing Your Horse’s Road Apples

Don’t Miss the Road Apples

Store a manure fork in your horse trailer. A mini manure fork fits right in your trailer’s tack compartment. Pick up any droppings left while you groomed and tacked up before your ride and while you untacked at the end of the ride. Take one more look to scoop up any road apples deposited while you loaded the horse(s) too. Remember, horses poop A LOT!


Take the Road Apples Home

Put the road apples in your trailer to transport back to your horse’s home. Make the process really easy with a transportable manure bucket to deposit the road apples in. When you get home, dump the whole bucket into the manure pile. Get yourself a portable manure bucket or wheelbarrow to help with this.


Where You Can Leave Road Apples

Since carrying a manure bag along with you is really not practical, road apples dropped on a horse trail can be left. However there are areas where even that is not allowed. Please check for rules regarding manure deposits before riding out. If your horse poops on open land where human population won’t be coming across the road apples, you can (usually) just leave them there.


CA AB 233 has been proposed in the California Assembly 3-8-2023

This bill *initially authorized a local agency to require the rider of, or person otherwise responsible for, a horse to collect and dispose of any animal waste deposited by that horse on a street, sidewalk, or other public property.

*The text has now been changed to public and private property.

9/7/2023 UPDATE on CA AB233 Bill Text

Bill ordered inactive by Senator Glazer

The text of AB233 bill has been amended again in the Senate Committee (It passed the house).

The title is now: Disposal of Animal Excrement (changed from Horse Excrement)

Also where the animal excrement is to be removed has been changed to public and private property. (changed from public streets and sidewalks)

The terminology: local agency may require was removed. It now states: would authorize a local agency to adopt an ordinance. Also added:

The bill would declare that these provisions are declaratory of existing law.

Digest Key

This bill has been ordered inactive. It can be brought back to active status at any time. Click button below for a call-to-action letter.

A constituent’s Assembly member or Congressman/woman can be contacted as the bill is scheduled for a vote. Use this link to find your representative: https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

Anyhow here is a place where comments are being left regarding the bill and where the bill can be followed:

https://legiscan.com/CA/bill/AB233/2023

Check back for updates.


Where You Should NOT Leave Road Apples

Not only must you not leave road apples in a staging area, or where a business allows you to tie-up while dining or sipping, don’t leave them along a residential road either. If your horse leaves deposits along the side of a residential road, note the location and plan to return to scoop up the road apples as you drive your horse(s) home.

Again, some multi-use trail areas and state parks may have rules regarding manure deposits. Please check before riding out. Businesses allowing horses to tie-up on their property while the riders dine or sip usually have a rake and a bucket nearby. Please demonstrate good horse manners and leave the area clean.


Be Neighborly and Leave no Trace  – Pick up Your Horse’s Road Apples

Let’s all be good neighbors when we ride in residential neighborhoods, to business who allow you to tie-up while you dine and sip, and in public places. Get in the habit of picking up your horse’s road apples. Your actions will help preserve everyone’s access to riding trails in residential neighborhoods.


Just so you know, clicking the above links takes you to the product on the Riding Warehouse site. This makes shopping easy and convenient for you. We do get a little kick-back from items purchased, giving us resources to bring you more stories, but your price stays the same. It’s a win-win! Also for local riders you can order items online and request pick-up  – during checkout – at the Riding Warehouse store. Happy Trails!


Get Going! Explore the wonder and beauty of the SLO County trails from the best place on earth, the back of a horse. To keep this info at your fingertips we have developed a FREE Hot Sheet that will direct you to a few of these these stories. We’ll continue to add trail ride stories to our website. You can stay up-to-date by becoming a SLO Horse News herd member. Get your Riding the SLO County Trails Hot Sheet here >.

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3 Comments

  1. says: Mary Ann

    Thank you for your article on horse poop in residential areas, it was good! I do wish you would have expanded the article to include ALL staging areas; beach lots in Grover and Atascadero, Montana De Oro and many other areas that have multi use parking.

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