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Re: [RC] Advice on Mountain Lions - Sisu West Ranch

"...I personally consider it important to train my horses to face and then chase threats..."

I don't know about your horses, but all the geldings I have ridden have been trained to chase dogs and their kin, but still want to boogie at the first whiff of bear. I personally have not been lucky enough to surprise a lion yet. Training horses that scary things like dogs, cows, llamas, trolls, and forest gnomes will move if chased, is good and necessary but not to be depended on.

Given that lions tend to attack from ambush, and from behind, the most likely happening would be that the inattentive horse and rider would catch a glimpse of a speeding form coming up from behind. To chase it the horse would have to do a roll back, and start chasing. My personal feeling is that upon catching a glimpse of a pursuing form, the primitive instincts of the horse would take over and you and the horse would be going 35 mph away before you could even think rollback and chase the cat.

By the way, my personal opinion is that the chance of being attacked by a cat while on horseback are very slim, especially in the enlightened parts of the USA where there population is controlled by hunting. While they live here, the only attack on a human that made the papers* in the last 6 years was on a young teenager who was hunting antlered game. In contrast to the usual stories of how you won't have enough warning, he successfully used his rifle to end the threat. There was a good photo of both him and the cat in the Missoulian.

*There have been a few folk who disappeared in the forest and who have never been found. Perhaps, they were eaten by the cats who do or the Grizzly Bears who don't live in the Bitterroot.

Ed & Wendy Hauser 2994 Mittower Road Victor, MT 59875

(406) 381-5527



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[RC] Advice on Mountain Lions, k s swigart