I ride alone pretty much every time I ride. I'm lucky to have a really great horse.
We don't have bears or moose here... but we have gators, snapping turtles, hogs, coyotes, deer, bobcats, snakes, and panthers (although you never see them).
I've never had a problem with dogs... I either yell at them or chase them and they run off. A horse can easily outrun most dogs, and even the fastest dogs (sighthounds) can only outrun a horse for a very short period of time.
I bring dogs with me sometimes, but ONLY if they have a reliable recall, will lay down and stay from a run off leash, and know commands for 'stay close' and 'stay right next to me.' I never let them stray.
Coyotes and bobcats would never go after a horse unless there was something seriously wrong with them.
A deer would never do anything and you would never see a panther.
Hogs will occasionally go after horses but usually run away. They can be outrun.
Unfortunately, around here, the venomous snakes seem to be the stupid ones. I really only see black racers and cottonmouths while I'm riding. The black racers always run for their lives the second they feel the ground vibrating. The cottonmouths, on the other hand, coil up in the middle of the trail and refuse to move - even with a horse galloping towards them! I can't tell you how many I've accidentally run over. Luckily, they can't really bite a horse moving that quickly, and if I'm going more slowly I can usually spot them before we get near them.
Snapping turtles won't do anything unless they're cornered or you block their access to the water. Gators are the same, except add when they have eggs or babies or are trying to mate.
SailorGriz - Thanks for the info on the SPOT! I'd never heard of one and it sounds awesome : )
Last edited by CloudsMystique; 02-22-2011 at 01:51 PM.