Yo, I enjoyed some good trail riding this weekend. We rode out on the back 100 acres and enjoyed God's wonderful creation. Bonnie (my lady friend) is quite new at riding and over 50, having never riden before, so I am teaching her the very basics and working on her balance, strength, posture and confidence....controlling the horse and connecting, getting to be firm, assertive and show her horse that her leadership can be trusted. It is a slow process and I have to accept that she may never get up to a gallop. I don't want her getting hurt!
Anyways, a few other conderations is being able to deal with the horse spooking and being careful of surprises and the unexpected. I'm getting used to looking for animals and finding them before my horse does. So far this year I've seen 4 bears. Three times while riding and I saw them and turned around before my horse did. I'm not yet sure how my horses will react or just how to get both of us (my horse and I) prepared for it, but the time will come, I'm sure. Grasshopper...I'm not too worried about (when I'm on her) but Gypsygirl....we're still working on our "partnership". But coming across a bear with Bonnie on Gasshopper (whom she rides) ....uuuuhhhh, NO! Not yet! Please!
But the other day when we were riding I was explaining to her that we need to try and spot bears before the horses do, and sure enough I had no sooner said that and I saw a bear through a clump of trees. I was riding ahead of Bonnie so I told her to turn around and head back, that there was a bear up ahead. So we got turned around and trotted back. Whew! Turned out it was a black bear...mother and cub. Most times they will run from the sight of humans, but I'm concerned with our horses reactions if they see them.
We've heard of a few things that can be done to ward off bears, from whistles to bells, but if anyone has any advise, knowledge of how horses react and some information to prepare for an "incident"...it wouold be appreciated. Thanks.