Horse badly spooked by inconsiderate bloke on a bike

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
landsurfer
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Re: Horse badly spooked by inconsiderate bloke on a bike

Postby landsurfer » 8 Dec 2016, 9:10pm

PhilWhitehurst wrote:Behaviour like that sounds like a regular Surrey car driver forced to ride a bike as car being serviced. Typical Surrey car driver behaviour in my experience.


Because in Surry, when your car is being serviced you usually ride one of your horses , eh Chap .... :)
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PhilWhitehurst
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Re: Horse badly spooked by inconsiderate bloke on a bike

Postby PhilWhitehurst » 8 Dec 2016, 10:15pm

landsurfer wrote:
PhilWhitehurst wrote:Behaviour like that sounds like a regular Surrey car driver forced to ride a bike as car being serviced. Typical Surrey car driver behaviour in my experience.


Because in Surry, when your car is being serviced you usually ride one of your horses , eh Chap .... :)


You're coming across a bit common. Is your real name Andrew?

landsurfer
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Re: Horse badly spooked by inconsiderate bloke on a bike

Postby landsurfer » 8 Dec 2016, 10:17pm

More of a "Harry " actually ...... :)
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drossall
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Re: Horse badly spooked by inconsiderate bloke on a bike

Postby drossall » 8 Dec 2016, 10:36pm

On last weekend's Audax, I came across two hunt riders in the middle of the road, sideways across it. They were so intent on what they were doing (they seemed to be planning some event) that they didn't notice me (I expect the horses did, but the riders didn't). The challenge was being loud enough to warn some very inattentive riders without actually spooking the horses by accident...

ambodach
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Re: Horse badly spooked by inconsiderate bloke on a bike

Postby ambodach » 9 Dec 2016, 9:31am

A couple of weeks ago on BBC Countryfile there was an extensive piece on horses and roads combined with motorised vehicles. If you substituted bicycles for horses there were exactly the same complaints about driver behaviour. I saw one bicycle passing in one clip but there was no mention of cyclist behaviour. Apparently quite a few horses have been killed on the roads and many riders injured. Quite a rant it was generally but seemingly justified. Cyclists are not the only victims of inconsiderate and dangerous drivers.

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ChrisOntLancs
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Re: Horse badly spooked by inconsiderate bloke on a bike

Postby ChrisOntLancs » 9 Dec 2016, 3:40pm

in my area horse riders are very polite to cyclists, often waiting for long periods while i pass at a safe pace (manners aside, i don't want to upset a horse!). once i remarked on the above-and-beyond altruistic approach to path sharing and the rider... just... i don't know... started to sound exactly like an experienced cycle commuter. it wasn't altruism, it was fear (or at inclination towards a quiet life).

like cyclists, i think horse riders are prone to a few prejudices and it's easy for people to justify their carelessness through them.

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531colin
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Re: Got to share this

Postby 531colin » 9 Dec 2016, 6:58pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:........ When approaching a horse slow down and ring your bell gently several times so it can locate you......


Any horse you meet being ridden or driven on the road is used to people. People bring the horse its food, groom it, pick out its hooves, nail iron shoes on its feet, stable it and turn it out.......
If you are riding your bike and approaching a horse, the thing to do is to convince the horse that there is a person in charge. In other words, speak. Ringing a bell only gives the horse something else unfamiliar to panic about. Horses often don't seem to recognise that there are people in charge of bicycles. Replies have already mentioned taking a h*lm*t off and being upright......a horse is approached by a number of beings, with long pointed heads, the beings are stretched out almost parallel to the road, their back legs are going nineteen to the dozen, and there are shiny bits flashing in the sun. What is it? a pack of wolves?
I have often been cycling in a group approaching a horse, which starts prancing from foot to foot until you talk to it, when it relaxes, as it realises there is a person in charge.
Horses have really good hearing. Coming up behind a horse on a quiet road, position yourself so you can see the horse's head. First you will see one ear turn round to face in your direction. then you will see the horse turn his head just far enough that you can see his eye......which means he can see you. At this point the rider is quite likely to start chastising the horse for misbehaving, at which point I say loudly "The horse is looking at me."
If a horse has seen you and is calm, its safe to pass. I wouldn't get too close to any horse thats agitated and prancing around.....they are very big, very powerful, and very heavy.

edited to add.....don't worry about being loud enough for inattentive riders to hear you....provided its obviously a human voice, horses will be fine with it.

Flinders
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Re: Horse badly spooked by inconsiderate bloke on a bike

Postby Flinders » 9 Dec 2016, 7:28pm

I wouldn't use a bell behind a horse. I'd just use my voice. Quietly and calmly. And if the rider hadn't responded, I say again, a little louder. Horses, like all prey animals, don't like surprises, and they may never have heard a bell before. And the above poster is right, move out a bit so the horse can see you, but stay behind until you are sure the horse knows where you are and can watch you. They don't like sounds coming from where they can't see. It goes without saying, pass wide and slow, preferably without clicky/noisy gear changes (same as with a car).

Horses are taught to respond to the tone of the human voice even before they have anyone on board, when they are being trained 'on the lunge' (in circles on a long rope/tape without a rider on board) and a long, drawn-out low pitched sound sloooowwwws them down, higher pitched louder and shorter sounds speed them up. So speak slowly and calmly. I usually say 'bike behind you' to alert the rider as well as the horse, but to the horse, the tone is the thing.

Also, if the rider doesn't raise a hand to say thank you, please don't assume they aren't grateful, it may be that they don't want to take a hand off the reins - a horse responds to very tiny changes in rein pressure, and if it has got a bit on edge it may need the reassurance of both hands quietly on the reins. A rider may also nod their head down as a substitiute for taking their hat off - that's code within riding for a respectful 'thank you'. That's easy to miss if you are passing. If a rider really doesn't try to say thank you, I apologise for them.

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Re: Got to share this

Postby MikeF » 9 Dec 2016, 7:45pm

531colin wrote:
Any horse you meet being ridden or driven on the road is used to people. People bring the horse its food, groom it, pick out its hooves, nail iron shoes on its feet, stable it and turn it out.......
If you are riding your bike and approaching a horse, the thing to do is to convince the horse that there is a person in charge. In other words, speak. Ringing a bell only gives the horse something else unfamiliar to panic about. Horses often don't seem to recognise that there are people in charge of bicycles. Replies have already mentioned taking a h*lm*t off and being upright......a horse is approached by a number of beings, with long pointed heads, the beings are stretched out almost parallel to the road, their back legs are going nineteen to the dozen, and there are shiny bits flashing in the sun. What is it? a pack of wolves?
I have often been cycling in a group approaching a horse, which starts prancing from foot to foot until you talk to it, when it relaxes, as it realises there is a person in charge.
Horses have really good hearing. Coming up behind a horse on a quiet road, position yourself so you can see the horse's head. First you will see one ear turn round to face in your direction. then you will see the horse turn his head just far enough that you can see his eye......which means he can see you. At this point the rider is quite likely to start chastising the horse for misbehaving, at which point I say loudly "The horse is looking at me."
If a horse has seen you and is calm, its safe to pass. I wouldn't get too close to any horse thats agitated and prancing around.....they are very big, very powerful, and very heavy.

edited to add.....don't worry about being loud enough for inattentive riders to hear you....provided its obviously a human voice, horses will be fine with it.

+1 Spot on!
One horse rider actually said to me "Talk, and he'll be OK".
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

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661-Pete
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Re: Horse badly spooked by inconsiderate bloke on a bike

Postby 661-Pete » 9 Dec 2016, 7:51pm

landsurfer wrote:Because in Surry, when your car is being serviced you usually ride one of your horses , eh Chap .... :)
Oi!!!! I was born and bred in Surrey.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
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661-Pete
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Re: Horse badly spooked by inconsiderate bloke on a bike

Postby 661-Pete » 9 Dec 2016, 7:53pm

Altercations with horse riders are incredibly rare in my experience. Perhaps that's just me - we get a lot of horses on our leafy Sussex lanes, and I flatter myself I know how to act as I approach one. I remember once many years ago, being told off by someone leading a large group of horses, but that was down to my noisy brakes on a steep downhill. I did apologise.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

MikeF
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Re: Got to share this

Postby MikeF » 9 Dec 2016, 7:56pm

Cyril Haearn wrote: When approaching a horse slow down and ring your bell gently several times so it can locate you.
No. If it's being ridden do not do that under any circumstances, unless you want to cause an "accident". What do you think the horse is trying to locate???
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

MikeF
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Re: Horse badly spooked by inconsiderate bloke on a bike

Postby MikeF » 9 Dec 2016, 7:58pm

661-Pete wrote:
landsurfer wrote:Because in Surry, when your car is being serviced you usually ride one of your horses , eh Chap .... :)
Oi!!!! I was born and bred in Surrey.
But he's referring to Surry wherever that is. :lol:
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

PhilWhitehurst
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Re: Horse badly spooked by inconsiderate bloke on a bike

Postby PhilWhitehurst » 9 Dec 2016, 8:11pm

Or perhaps he was referring to slurry. I hope you weren't born and bred in slurry.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Got to share this

Postby Cyril Haearn » 10 Dec 2016, 7:12pm

MikeF wrote:
Cyril Haearn wrote: When approaching a horse slow down and ring your bell gently several times so it can locate you.
No. If it's being ridden do not do that under any circumstances, unless you want to cause an "accident". What do you think the horse is trying to locate???


I often meet horses and riders when cycling and my communication is understood. Between cyclists and horses/riders one experiences friendly communication that is not possible with drivers.

The horse locates me by hearing, just as I locate traffic by hearing (no need to look, avoiding eye contact with drivers is desireable).
Last edited by Cyril Haearn on 10 Dec 2016, 7:17pm, edited 1 time in total.
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