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Equestrian Roads

surface, road and subgrade

EQUESTRIAN ROADS.

Equestrian Roads or Saddle Paths are ways designed especially for horse-back riding.

Width and crown.

Equestrian roads are seldom made narrower than 12 feet, and in populous districts are often 20 to 30 feet wide. The crown of the narrower road is about 3 inches and of the wider 6 inches. The material of the surface being light and loose, the grade both transverse and longitudinal should be slight, as otherwise there is danger of the surface being badly washed.

Drainage.On the ordinary road or pavement, the surface is compact and acts as a roof to shed the rain water into the side ditches; but on an equestrian road, the surface is loose and absorbent, and therefore the drainage of the road-bed is even more important than that of an ordinary road or pavement.

The ground should have thorough underdrainage—either nat ural or artificial. Since the surface of the road must be loose and porous, it can not have any considerable transverse slope for fear the surface material will be washed away; and therefore to facilitate the drainage, the subgrade should be crowned. In

constructing a wide bridle path, it may be necessary to form the subgrade and lay tile as shown in Fig. 69; but ordinarily this is not required, one of the constructions described below being sufficient.

If the soil is a close retentive clay, a regular telford foundation or a layer of rubble should be placed on the subgrade. The latter was employed in the riding paths of Central Park, New York City, with entire satisfaction. A layer of 3 or 4 inches of clean coarse gravel should be placed upon the telford or rubble foundation, to prevent the surfacing from working into the foundation.

If the soil is somewhat porous, the telford or rubble founda tion is not required; and then the layer of gravel is placed directly upon the subgrade, to aid the drainage and to keep the fine surface material from becoming mixed with the soil below.