The purpose of the Marin Equestrian Stables Plan is to provide for comprehensive improvement of equestrian sites, facilities, programs, and stables management within the GGNRA. The Plan is designed to improve visitor services and preserve, protect, and enhance park natural and cultural resources in a manner consistent with NPS plans and policies. Both the Park and the existing stables operators have identified the need for a comprehensive plan that will guide GGNRA stables into the future. During the past 35 years, although many changes have been implemented to improve operations, reduce impacts, and expand public benefit, there has not been a comprehensive management review of the horse operations. The renovated and improved equestrian facilities and management practices proposed in this plan would provide a high quality visitor experience, allow increased access to the facilities, and better protect the natural and cultural resources at the sites.
Identify appropriate sites for long-term stables use. These sites are determined by such factors as site size, topography, proximity to water resources, historic setting and resource sensitivity, cultural landscape protection, natural resource protection, trail and road access, parking, and public transportation.
Serve both the riding and non-riding public with programs, interpretation, training, and outreach programs. Invite the public to ride, and to view and learn about horses, horse husbandry, and history, site cultural and natural resources, and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Examples include websites and signs at nearby visitor centers that invite the public to come to visit and utilize the stables. Increased riding and horsemanship opportunities would be offered for a variety of skill levels and interests. At the stables there could be exhibits about horse husbandry, shoeing, breed information, tack, buggies, and the horses themselves are there to see and enjoy.
In the context of animal welfare, namely reducing the risk of injury to horses kept in boxes, and to prevent compensation claims in the case of injury, infill planks in horse stables have to be resistant to powerful kicks. Because of the common practice of designing infill planks without considering the individual properties of the wood species used, this paper aims to describe the current situation of horse kick load determination, give an overview of possibilities to determine the kick resistance of infill planks and provide ideas for alternative wood species and engineered wood products to replace tropical timbers as plank material. The objective of this effort is to form a basis on which the strength of infill plank can be tested, respectively, impact resistant materials can be developed in future. As a result of the presented findings from impact bending tests on real-dimensioned infill planks, a suitable test set-up for impact bending test is proposed, and mechanical properties of laminated bamboo lumber, a popular plank material, are given. In this context, shock resistance according to DIN 52189 was found to be a useful guide when screening high impact resistant alternative wood species.