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Strange attack?

This is a discussion on Strange attack? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        07-29-2012, 10:54 PM
      #31
    Yearling
    We would have black bear sightings when I was a kid. When someone saw a bear, we weren't allowed out on the trail for 2 weeks after. I never understood that concept. The animal was there before the sighting, it will be thereafter the sighting. It doesn't just disappear in 2 weeks. It might wander to another spot in its territory, but it isn't gone forever.

    You can't live in fear. If there was concern about a rabid or diseased animal out there, I can see holding off on trails until the animal was caught. But wildlife is wildlife and it doesn't go away. I would still ride, but I would pack some protection. In Georgia, I carried a .22 revolver. I don't carry anything now that I'm back in Pennsylvania. You bet I'd carry at least an air horn if there was a cougar in the area though.

    Just don't freeze your enjoyment because of fear. Nothing has changed other than the fact that you know what's out there. So, prepare for it.

    It's not hard to desensitize your horse to an air horn.
         
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        07-29-2012, 11:04 PM
      #32
    Teen Forum Moderator
    The thing about our trails though, is that although we do ride them, most of the time its a walking trail (its only about a mile long and splits in three directions, all leading back to the stables) for me to use for my therapy sessions with children. Most of them are highly disabled and out on the trail its usually just me, that child, a 'bombproof' shetland or caspian pony, and a sidewalker. Sometimes I don't even have a sidewalker and its just the three of us. Easy prey if you're hungry.

    So I'm really just not sure what to do. I'm too young to carry a handgun in my area, although I am a seasoned shooter and can aim very well. I keep a pocketknife with me at all times but that would do little in a tangle with a large cat unfortunately :/ I do always make a point to be very loud on the rails to warn ANY critters (especially snakes since I run into them frequently) but that's about it. I'm a bit afraid to go on the trail.

    I think the plan is to ride the entire property with some of the cowboys in the morning (them being armed) and skimming the property for any signs of a cat (prints, poop, etc) and go from there. Hopefully at that point we can determine just what it is and decide from there how to handle things. Until then, I'm not going on or allowing anyone to go on those trails. Not with a cat that has the guts to attack a 900 pound, healthy horse.

    As for the airhorn, that's a good idea. I might try that. My therapy horses are already just about as bombproof as a horse gets without being a stuffed animal, so I'm sure it wouldnt be hard to desensatize them to that. I could probably do it in a single 10 minute session. Me on the other hand...I jump and scream any time I hear one, even if I'm the one setting it off XD
         

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