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Self defense while riding

While I'm not likely to ever carry a gun out riding, there's no question
but that there are some mighty strange people out on the loose nowadays. 
 Here's what I suggest:  Carry one of those throw-away cameras.    Do not
EVER let a stranger get within grabbing distance of your horse's head and
bridle.  If they approach, turn so that you present the flank or
hindquarters to whomever.    If  someone manages to grab the bridle or
reins anyway,  do a tight circle with your horse AWAY from the person --
s/he will have to let go.  
      DO NOT, as one recent post suggested you do, DO NOT EVER  turn
towards the person; if your horse should step on them, or even bump them
with his head/shoulders,  you are then liable for assault and can be sued
for punitive damages, medical bills,  and so forth.  DO NOT act out of
anger!  Do not even think of trying to "ride them down" a la western
movie.  Do EVERYTHING you can to GET AWAY without going on the offensive.
  Forget Arnold Schwartznegger, forget being the hero(ine), just  back
off.    Scream, yell, whatever, but circle away!  I have just finished
with a court trial on this where I was falsely accused of assault (and
the jury voted 12-0 in my favor, not guilty).   Believe me,  you DO NOT
WANT the kind of turmoil that comes from this sort of litigation.   Then,
SPLIT the scene and as soon as you can,  report to the appropriate
agency.   Regards,   Connie B

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