The most common obstacle on the bike paths is horse poop. Or sleeping ducks... But I only have one sister, the horse expert. She is getting up at 430am to go to a show with her horse today... but she managed to read my silly email and answer it yesterday.
The gist of it is to blame the rider, not the horse.
Never the horse.
My questions, her answers.
Q) Does a horse even know that it is pooping?
A) I would imagine that the horse knows it is pooping judging by the grunting noise they emit.
Q) Is it possible to train a horse to poop in one place, like a cat
with a litter box?
A) Yes, you put another horses poop in a corner of the stall and many horses (especially mares and stallions) will poop in that corner to mark it. If you do it long enough, it becomes a habit.
Q) If not a litter box, then would it be possible to train the horse
to sway his/her butt off the bike path so it poops in the ditch next
to the bike path, rather than directly on the bike path?
A) I would say that is highly unlikely.
Q) Is there some indication that the rider can sense when a horse is
about to poop?
A) Most horses like to stop moving when they poop. All will lift their tail and you can certainly feel them straining when you are on them. If they are driving the horse, they would have to be quite stupid to not notice the horse is taking a shit!
Q) Would it be possible (if the horse cannot be poop trained) for the
rider to move the horse off the bike path when it begins pooping?
A) If the rider is aware that the horse wants to defecate, then yes, they could remove the horse from the trail.
Q) Is a horse smarter than a dog?
A) I would say horses and dogs have about the same intelligence, although I find horses easier to train.
Bonus photo for all you that just read about horse poop. Sorry.
The white horse is feeling picturesque again.