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This is a discussion on Cougar? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How do horses react to cougars
  • What to do if you are riding a horse and come across a cougar

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    06-02-2010, 11:44 PM

What do you do if you see a cougar while riding?
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    06-03-2010, 12:43 AM
Hold on and try not to fall off when the horse bolts? LOL

And trust me, you won't see he cougar before it sees you.

Cougars, being a predator, will be a natural threat to the horses. Your horse will feel threatened and either freeze and run like hell the other direction which will cue a predatory reaction from the cougar.

If you are in well-known Lion country, ride in a group and avoid th ehours of dusk and dawn, which is prime Lion hunting times. And for th elove of god, listen to your horse. He's going to see something before you do. Watch his body language. Snorting, suddenly stopping, ears forward, wide eyes.....All signs that the horse sees something. But if you do see a lion, do your best to keep the horse calm and slowly, very slowly, move away. DO NOT RUN! I cannot emphasize this enough. And no disounting unless its absolutely necessary and keep a knife or pepper spray in your saddle bag or fanny pack. If you get thrown from your hrose, get up as fast as you possibly can and don't worry about the horse. He'll get away just fine because the Lion is going to see you as easier prey. Get up and make yourself look big, puff up, wave a jacket, keep eye contact at all times. DO NOT ADVANCE THE LION. If you move toward him he will take it as a challenge and want to fight back. Be defensive, not aggressive.

And I know I've said it twice, But NEVER RUN! You ever seen that tape of cheetahs who were hunting the gazelle, and when the two male gazelle's were fighting they didn't attack because the gazellesweren't running. Running triggers an instinct for the cat to chase and kill. And also, don't play dead. Cats aren't like bears. You play dead and you will be dead.
    06-03-2010, 12:52 AM
Green Broke
If you see a cougar, chances are its already on top of you... or its not hunting you. If I cougar was going to attack you or wwas hungry it would hide and attack you from behind, they don't like a fight.
And if for some weird reason, your horse doesnt bolt, stand up to it, cougars don't want a fight,escpecially if your bigger (aka your on a horse) :)
    06-03-2010, 12:57 AM

I've been kinda worried since this winter. I've seen bones and animal hide (still with blood) and there have been sightings but about minutes away. And really big dog like tracks in the snow.

I ride with at least one, sometimes two or three dogs and my horse, but I still get worried. I'm always by myself when I ride.

I can only stop riding for so long, and the road is not good for my horses legs and I've been riding on it too much.

Have you ever come across one before?
    06-03-2010, 01:26 AM
A few times, but none while riding. I used to take the hounds out on raccoon hunts all the time by the creek and we saw lions all the time. But mostly from a distance. My area is incredibly dangerous and when I'm walking down any dirt road in the area I always look up because I know cats are going to be watching me. I had my hounds attack a cougar before. Thank god they were trained to hunt and were in a large pack (Eleven coonhound) or thy woul have been toaste cougar lunch.

Dogs have a tendency to avoid big cats. Even the most loyal pet will sometimes turn tail and run. One of the reasons I always teach a dog the basics of hunting. It's sort of like a self
Defense class, and I teach them rule #1 NO LIVESTOCK
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    06-03-2010, 01:39 AM
Originally Posted by AQHA    
What do you do if you see a cougar while riding?
Take a picture. It may not happen again for quite a while.
    06-03-2010, 02:47 AM
Most likely your horse will know something is near before you ever come to think about it.
    06-03-2010, 02:50 AM
Horses are not psycic. If the cougar is downwind of you and moving quietly your horse may not know it's there at all.
    06-03-2010, 07:52 AM
Green Broke
If you ever see a kill site go the other way calmly. Chances are the animal that killed it may still be around. Cougars stalk. If it were me,,,, my horse was noticing something frightning... maybe start to make a little noise just so you are making it look like you are a little different than the normal prey the cougar hunts. Not running is the best. Even people who are on bikes get attacked because they are moving at a certain speed that triggers the attack response in predators. If you can get your hands on some pepper spray get it. Good idea Sorrelhorse.
    06-03-2010, 08:28 AM
I see a Cougar every time I go riding.


YES I just made the world's worst joke.

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