Author Topic: How to deal with horses?  (Read 1876 times)

Steve922

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How to deal with horses?
« on: 00:50:14, 27/09/17 »
How do you behave when walking through a field with loose horses in it?  I needed to walk through one today which contained about a dozen horses. I feel very nervous walking past (or within galloping distance!) of any animal bigger than me and especialy those which might bite and kick. Any advice?

ninthace

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #1 on: 08:43:21, 27/09/17 »
Act like you are meant to be there and greet them in a friendly manner. Remember they are prey animals so they should not be aggressive unless they feel threatened. Don't enter their space, don't corner them and don't take a dog with you.
Some horses may approach you as they are used to human interaction. If they do, be friendly. Some like a stroke on the nose or a pat, some are just curious, they are not coming to attack you. If you end up close to a horse, the back end is the most dangerous bit but it has a limited range, so stay clear.
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rambling oldie

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #2 on: 08:46:18, 27/09/17 »
Horses in a field will most probably be used to humans, having been schooled for riding or draught.  Humans are the ones who feed them, groom them and take them for runs!
The only thing to avoid is walking directly behind a horse and close to it.  Might confuse them and make them kick back. Ears flattened back are a sign that's likely to happen.
I generally make clicking noises and speak to them.  Some may wander close to you, but they're just looking for goodies to eat.  Some of my rambling group give horses polo mints - don't, the sugar isn't good for their teeth.

rambling oldie

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #3 on: 08:50:29, 27/09/17 »
I should have said if you give them anything to eat, use the flat of your hand so they don't accidentally bite your fingers. All you'll feel is a dry warm snuffling sensation, almost an affectionate feeling. As ninthace says, they expect human interaction.

gunwharfman

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #4 on: 09:04:40, 27/09/17 »
All good advice. Horses, cows, dogs, pigs, the things us hikers have to put up with, never ending!


Luckily, I may have had past problems with cows, pigs and dogs but I've never yet met an unfriendly horse.

Percy

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #5 on: 09:19:59, 27/09/17 »
I wild camped when walking the Weald Way. One night I hadn't found a spot before nightfall but then found the perfect spot - a stand of trees in the corner of an apparently empty field. When I woke up in the morning the tent was surrounded by horses.  ;D

Islandplodder

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #6 on: 10:39:46, 27/09/17 »
I'm a bit nervous of horses myself, they tend to be big.  Next time I find myself walking through a field of them I will try to remember all these reassuring comments!

ninthace

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #7 on: 10:40:56, 27/09/17 »
Luckily, I may have had past problems with cows, pigs and dogs but I've never yet met an unfriendly horse.


The only British  farm animal that has ever attacked me was a Welsh cockerel - attacked me from behind and it hurt too! He didn't like me chatting to his ladies.
A  French cow that wanted to eat the bit of grass I was standing on while a took a picture of a mountain stuck its horn up my backside but that wasn't an attack, I was just in the way, it barely stopped munching. No injuries but Mrs N laughed like a drain.
Never had a problem with horses but Mrs N is nervous round them, keeps asking me to come away but I enjoy talking to them.
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Steve922

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #8 on: 18:49:43, 27/09/17 »
Thanks for the advice chaps. I can maybe walk a little easier - but they still scare me!  :-)

pleb

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #9 on: 10:31:12, 28/09/17 »
Keep calm n talk to em nicely, works for me.

Whitby Mick

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #10 on: 06:24:32, 29/09/17 »
I remember staying on a camp site in the New Forest when despite notices warning people not to, some were feeding titbits to the ponies. One pony went into someones tent looking for more and finished up galloping around the field with the tent draped over its head. It caused quite a bit of damage but fortunately nobody was hurt.
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Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #11 on: 11:27:07, 29/09/17 »
With extreme caution.
Many years ago, on a farm at Pengam, near Gelligaer in the Rhymney valley in the South Wales valleys, there was this magnificent hunter, that was alway's immaculately presented, and obviously well looked after.
How many hands, he was, i have no idea, but he was huge, and extremely aggressive.


In hindsight, and answering this post, i can never remember seeing another horse or animal in the field, so obviously he did not get on well with other horses.

There was a small right of way, that crossed his extensive field, opposite a long stone wall, so all that was protecting the public from him, was this stout rope.

There was roughly body length distance between him and me.

I regularly visited a good friend living in Penpedairheol, i still keep in touch,  and every time i opened the turn gate, and he was in the field, he went ballistic, and galloped at speed towards me.


To avoid his field, was a four mile detour, and it was an easy 400m from the start of the right of way, to its finish.

You simply knew, that if you had been caught within harms way, he would have gone for you, no questions asked.

Highly strung was putting it mildly, he was obviously well looked after, as his coat glistened, but even though it was over thirty years ago, i will never forget him.


I was considerably younger back then, and it was always a Usain Bolt sprint along the perimeter of his field, to get away from him. very scary.


Since then, i have always treated large animals with caution, both cows and especially horses.
« Last Edit: 11:40:26, 29/09/17 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

Andies

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #12 on: 12:20:56, 29/09/17 »
Mrs A got bitten by a horse a few years ago. Changes your view somewhat  :-X


That said I'm more bothered by cows with calves especially those that stopped us progressing along the Pennine Way last week. Seemed very unhappy that we were there, so we found another way  :(

sussamb

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #13 on: 12:46:37, 29/09/17 »
Yes, I had to detour off the PW around cows with calves when approaching Greenhead in May.
Where there's a will ...

Murphy

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Re: How to deal with horses?
« Reply #14 on: 13:23:56, 29/09/17 »
Likewise Sussamb near Greenhead but sadly I was injured on being charged.  Bruising and cuts to my face and cuts to my thighs and legs.  Then similarly on PW chased by horses on approaching High Cup Nick at dusk.....but we survive to tell another tale.