Jerks driving past while riding alongside the road-Rant! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 12-25-2013, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Clovis, CA
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Jerks driving past while riding alongside the road-Rant!

So I was riding Sock out alongside the road yesterday, and by now he's pretty darned good about cars. This is a pretty easy area anyway being that there are usually 10+ feet of open space to ride on either side of the road and sometimes there is even a row of trees between the road and yet another 10' wide strip on the side opposite the road. Also it's flat and on a grid, so very non-threatening and easy in general. Most of the people who drive through the area are very courteous and slow down to pass. We were just past the end of the property and a few cars had passed us. Some slowed down, some didn't, but Sock didn't flinch or stop at any of them. We came up close to the end of the block and I saw/heard someone in a Cobra turning the corner coming toward us.

As soon as Sock heard the engine his head went up and his ears pricked. The guy in the car slowed, and I was extremely grateful considering the engine was still fairly loud and Sock seemed to be quite wary because of it. The @$$hole gets to about 10 yards in front of us, and FLOORS IT. Sock exploded and tried to turn tail and run. We're all lucky that he didn't jump out right in front of or on top of the car in fear/confusion!!!

If the guy had waited until after he was behind us, then maybe I could let it go with the idea that he maybe didn't know horses and didn't realize that he was still too close to be doing that, but this was obviously on purpose and it makes me SO mad that someone would willfully do something that could seriously injure a person or animal. Not to mention potentially his car!

It scared my dang horse so badly that on the way home (I felt he wasn't very safe to ride along the road anymore that day) we were passed by a slow-going USPS truck while we were on the other side of the trees (I was staying on those stretches as much as was available) and he tried to flip out again.

Honestly I felt bad for him, as I know he wasn't acting out of malice at all and was genuinely scared. He's only reacted any way akin to that when we were passed by a large truck and horse trailer, on a windy road, with less space between us and the road. That time he scrambled and turned around toward home, but was able to get his head together within half a second and calmed down.

Does anyone have any advice on how to better deal with this? I fear we have some "trust building boot camp" to go through before he'll be safe to ride out again. This feels like such a huge step backward. He's normally incredibly calm.
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-26-2013, 12:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Lawrence, KS
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Ugh. :c Honestly I can't offer much advice except keep exposing him to cars really. Basically the entirety of my riding is done on roads and I've dealt with real jerks before too. I honestly prefer people don't slow down because honestly it freaks my horses out. When the cars just go past they're fine, but when a car slows down to the point it is barely moving and creeps pass like a friggen predator stalking them, then I've had to deal with some freak outs. But honestly when they SPEED past it's just as delightful on gravel, I and my horse have been showered with rocks, mud, etc before. Another thing I've dealt with is people that want to honk when they go past, this is usually people I know that are saying 'hello' sort of deal, but it never ceases giving me heart attacks.

One time I had a minivan pull up next to me and this lady jumps out and runs over to my horse to ask me questions about it, what breed is it? what's it's name? etc and then wanted me to bring it over to the window of the van so her kids could pet it.

Anyway, sadly jerks are just something you have to deal with when riding on the roads :/ can't offer much advice, but I hope your horse gets his confidence back!

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post #3 of 16 Old 12-26-2013, 12:49 AM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Nevada
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That would make me so freaking mad!!! I was riding my friend's horse one time along a gravel road. There wasn't shave for us to go much further then about two feet away from the edge. Then this ******ed person comes flying down the gravel road in a LOUD pickup showering us with gravel. The horse freaked out slightly and almost reared! Greer! Then to make matters worse the guy slams on the brakes and BACKS UP and starts making fun of me and my friend. He was probably 19. Sigh.... some people...

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post #4 of 16 Old 12-26-2013, 12:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
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I have this problem all the time, unfortunately. My horses must be at deaths door (just joking) before I consider them quiet enough to ride by the roads around here. People refuse to slow down on gravel or paved roads when passing horses, frequently rev their engines when passing by, and honk just to irritate us further. I wish I could call it in, but I'm always focused on the horse at that point, not the stupid idiots in the vehicle.

My mare has some issues with cars revving by when driving a cart. The guy that trained her had someone else drive her in a big open field while he sped by with his truck at 45 mph. Pretty soon she got over it, although it does resurface now and again. You might think of doing that. Have your horse in hand first, and on a lead line, and have someone drive by. Decrease the distance between the car and the horse if possible, then do it mounted. It may or may not work, but at least it's something! Good luck!
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-26-2013, 01:03 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Canada
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I just believe that people are idiots and u have to protect u and your horse, so be prepared for anything and don't take things for granted. My biggest help was to take my horse to the train because its big, loud and it rattles.
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-26-2013, 01:21 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC
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I was riding a very quiet STB gelding. He wasn't spooky at all, perfect on the road. One day we were riding on the road, and some jackass with the back of his tarp untied was speeding down the road and my horse did spook a little a bit. He was going really fast, he could have atleast slowed down some so his tarp wasn't making so much noise.

It's just one of those things. But I like the desensitizing idea.
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-26-2013, 02:23 AM
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Washington
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:/ people can be so rude! I'm sorry you had to go through that. Maybe try having a friend drive back and forth past you on the road to work on exposure with an element of control via the driver. Good luck!

I've had many people honk and wave as they drove past us- really, where's the logic in that?

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-26-2013, 02:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NW Oregon
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The sad thing is there are way too many idiots out there and it's illegal to shoot them. Although, a few years ago, I did chase down a 4-wheeler driven by a young hormone, right down the hill and into the back yard in the middle of his large family picnic. Told him the rules of the trail in no uncertain terms. It was quite an audience! They were certainly attentive. Guess the horse really impressed them.
I hope your horse is able to pull himself together. Just stay safe.
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-26-2013, 04:24 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New Zealand
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I can't offer any advice since I don't ride my horses on the road for this very reason. I hope you and your horse get it sorted and he overcomes this newfound fear thanks to the idiocy of the person who did this.

A lady who I know around here had the same thing happen to her on her young tb only they bottled her as well if I remember rightly, didn't shake her horse up quite as much as it did to yours, but somehow she chased down the culprit and may have given him a smack with her riding crop.... Yeah, I suggest you don't follow that one, she got done for assault and the idiot that had it coming to him got away free

R.I.P ~ Bubbles - 25yo tb mare - 13.04.2011 ~ 8:30am ~ passed away naturally and peacefully in my arms
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-26-2013, 04:37 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: UK
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That is terrible and in the UK you could report him if he did it on purpose and the driving was dangerous as it is part of our Highway Code to pass horses slowly and wide( ).

All our horses have to be used to traffic as we regularly have double decker buses overtake us on a relatively narrow road, as well as meeting tractors and lorries. Most car drivers slow but not all of them, but we always smile and wave to thank them anyway.
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