Lions, Tiger and Bears?

Beautiful day
It’s so green right now that it looks like a Disney version of a trail

This morning I went on a hack. I didn’t have much time, so I decided to do a short loop that kept me in the open fields, except for one small section of the trail that takes you down through the woods and over a small wooden bridge.

I’ve ridden that trail dozens of times.

But today, Zelda said, “No Way.” She was definite about it. Not in a pissy, I don’t want to work way, but in a turn-spin-get-out-of-here way.

Did Zelda smell a bear in the woods?

I decided to listen.

She was on alert and it was uncharacteristic for her to be so worried. I figured we’d take another trail out and the come back past the “scary” part on the way home. Most things are not so scary when you’re headed toward the barn. Maybe there were deer in the woods, maybe there were dogs.

She was happy to be redirected and we had a nice ride. But coming home, she still wouldn’t go down the trail into the woods. So once again, we took a different route.

Puzzled, I mentioned Zelda’s reluctance to the barn owner.

“Oh,” she said. “A bear’s been sighted in the area.”

I’m not sure if that’s what Zelda sensed in the woods, but she certainly thought there was a monster in there. If she was right, I’m really, really glad I didn’t force her down that trail. Coming face to face with a brown bear was not on my agenda for the morning.

Has your horse ever sensed something was wrong and tried to tell you about it? What did you do?

5 thoughts on “Lions, Tiger and Bears?

  1. Not many lions, tigers or bears in our neck of the woods, but I have tacked up and had that no way feeling, weather she senses something in me or something off the farm, it’s a difficult one sometimes she loves going out luckily we can ride on the property

  2. Many many times I’ve had a horse (or mule) report back “Houston, we have a problem”. It’s tricky when we don’t know each other well. Thank goodness I listened. The mule I didn’t know said “irritated rattlesnake, 3 o’clock. We are not moving”. We stood there until he felt the snake was settled, and then went happily on our way. There are lions and bobcats in our hills….horses from here mostly ignore the Bobcats, but won’t hesitate to inform you a mountain lion is nearby. I’m with you, err on the side of trusting your horse’s instinct, especially when you know them. So glad Zelda took good care of you!

  3. In Virginia at an event Kali and I did a trail agility competition and she was freaked out the entire day. I could not understand what was bothering her there were other horses and riders going along the trails for hours. When I returned to the trailers I overheard people talking about the two bears on the trail. So the light bulb went on and I felt bad for being angry with Kali for giving me such a bad ride. So now I listen to my horses.

  4. Wow! Good thing she warned you.. In general I feel like my horse is much more sensitive to our surroundings than I am… I don’t think there are too many bears near me, but I’d rather not meet up with them either!

Leave a Reply