encountering wolves on the trail: any experiences? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 27 Old 06-15-2020, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Jolien View Post
I am pretty sure they would react totally different to a wolf or wolf smell...
As others have said, horses don't seem to differentiate between the sight or smell of a wild wolf/fox/coyote versus a tame dog. Once they are used to dogs, they are used to all dog-like creatures. I wouldn't worry about your horses getting upset if you see a wolf. We see coyotes all the time, and many are as big as German Shepherds around here. We've had huskies chase us on the beach, and they must look fairly similar to wolves to horses, but the horses are completely unimpressed.

Now if you run across a dog in a wheelchair, or a dog surfing across a swimming pool on a floatable (a story on @egrogan 's journal), then your horses are likely to freak out. We had one of these chase after us once, and the horses were quite frightened.
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post #22 of 27 Old 06-15-2020, 09:31 AM
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Haha, yes @gottatrot , the pirate dogs on their boat crossing their pond was definitely a spook-worthy experience (Backstory: riding my horse down my dirt road at the end of the spring. At the low part of someone's yard, a large shallow pond had formed from all the spring run off. They had a kiddie pool out there that the kids were playing with. One day, the two very aggressive dogs that live there were on the pool toy floating across the pond. Never saw a horse's eyes get as big as my mare's did that day! )

I feel pretty much like @trailhorserider explained- sounds like even though our geographic areas are really different, our challenges are actually quite similar. Our horses will get snorty and a little nervous when it's clear a bear has crossed our trail, but we don't actually see them on horseback that often (more likely to see them while out walking our dogs). Loose dogs are a constant issue for us.

@rambo99 's story about the sound of bear cub claws coming down the tree reminded me of another weird wildlife experience I had. I was riding alone through the woods when I heard that sound she described in a tree up ahead. I don't ride with my glasses on so details of objects in the distance can be a little fuzzy. Saw something that seemed roughly the size of a bear cub going up a tree and for some dumb reason I got closer (would have been hard to turn around and backtrack on that trail- single track and we were close to home and didn't really have time to go all the way back). Turned out it was a massive porcupine scampering up the tree. I had never seen a live one before, and it was funny looking. We gave it's tree as wide a berth as we could given the trail situation, and it was glad to see us go. I still don't know the answer- can porcupines shoot their quills down at you from up in a tree? I'm glad I didn't find out that day, but does anyone know?
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post #23 of 27 Old 06-16-2020, 03:36 AM
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@egrogan lol No, porcupines cannot shoot their quills. That is an old wives' tale. What they WILL do, however, is turn their back toward the perceived threat, and if the threat gets too close, they will run backward and/or swing their tails, and can stab you that way. I've seen a porcupine run backward ten feet chasing a stupid drunk guy who got too close. He very nearly had sharp objects in an orifice. Porcupines aren't very fast but they can jolt for short distances more quickly than you'd expect from such a lumbering animal, and I swear their reverse is ten times faster than any other gear.

-- Kai
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post #24 of 27 Old 06-16-2020, 10:27 AM
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At least there are no lions around...

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeands...mauled-by-lion

How scary is that?

I never came across wolves but I did come across wild hogs with piglets on a hike (not mounted though). We had our dogs with us but luckily the dogs were leashed. The hogs decided to bolt from their hiding place and run from us when we were only a few meters away from them. They didn't attack us - thankfully. I am certain we would have lost a dog or two in that fight - and we would have been devastated.
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post #25 of 27 Old 06-18-2020, 02:15 PM
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At least there are no lions around...

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeands...mauled-by-lion

How scary is that?
Wow, I read that and it gave me goosebumps!

I came back to this thread because I was randomly cruising You-tube and found this video on the subject of wolf encounters and thought I would post it.

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post #26 of 27 Old 06-19-2020, 06:25 PM
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Very good information! See if I had a wolf following me, I would have automatically assumed it was stalking me or something and would immediately feel threatened. This makes me feel like just because they're back there doesn't NECESSARILY mean they're stalking you.

-- Kai
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post #27 of 27 Old 06-21-2020, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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@Kaifyre It's learned behaviour. Their parents probably stalked humans and the cubs saw that and do that too. Also if all the big predators that stalk humans or come too close get shot by humans they cannot pass on that behaviour. Furthermore the ones that are more skittish will pass on their genes. That's the reason wolves are afraid of people most of the time but not always. Once I was in a zoo (normally I don't go there because it's against my principles) and they had a pack of wolves. They wanted the visitors to see the wolves so they had made an enclosure surrounded by pathways. There was literally no place to hide for the animals. It was really sad because I could sense their needs to hide and feel safe but they just couldn't. They must have been accustomed to people but still they were not like dogs at all in their behaviour.



@trailhorserider Thanks for the info! I've heard some hogs when hiking (I always turn and run away just to be safe) and I do make a noise when in a big turn in the forest so the wildlife can get away in time. I saw some videos on Youtube of wolves coming very close to humans in Russia. I think the soldiers fed them so they got interested or something...
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The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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