Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

[RC] Advice on Mountain Lions - k s swigart

Ed said:

I don't know about your horse, but I can't imagine any
?of my horses facing a charging lion and not doing a
?180 and running at top speed.?

Leaving aside the fact that a mountain lion is unlikely do any charging, I 
personally consider it important to train?my horses to face and then chase 
threats.? I start out by teaching them with dogs, but I consider any loose 
animal on the trail to be fair game, and have used it on goats, pigs, chickens, 
ducks, cows, coyotes, bobcats (although, interestingly, I have never bothered 
to use rabbits for this purpose, although I suppose it would work).? I have 
never had any animal NOT run away from my horse coming towards it.

?The command I teach along with the behaviour is "git 'em" (which I am told is 
an old cowboy cutting/sorting/herding instruction).? And, yes, you can also 
confirm this training by taking your horse team penning or sorting.

The only thing that your horse knows about a mountain lion is that it is big 
and tawny and it moves.? If the horse has already been taught that anything 
that moves will move away if chased, then facing a charging mountain lion is no 
different from facing a dog, a deer, a cow....

I like to teach my horses "If you chase it, it will run."? It isn't a very hard 
lesson to teach, and after the horses learn it, they think it great fun, and?it 
makes them more confident in general because it is empowering.

However, when the mountain lion turns and runs away (which I can almost 
guarantee you it will), there is little to be gained by pursuing it further 
(and you probably won't be able to because all the ones I have seen run away do 
so to someplace completely unaccessible).? I just give them enough time to be 
long gone (a minute is probably more than enough), and then continue on.

Orange County, Calif.

Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!