this morning, the hub and I rode a new bike trail – back bay in Newport/Irvine…stunning!
first of all, I can’t believe that I never rode my bike on this path when I was @ UCI for four years! what is wrong with me?
things about myself, still astound me. ha!
second of all, horses can be easily unnerved. sidebar>>random switch, I know. 😉
horses are prey animals after-all.
and have mastered the flight or freak-out response.
saw this first-hand today 100 yards after we started pedaling (delayed a bit as both my hub and I were mesmerized watching airplanes take off – overhead! – from John Wayne airport. [easily, the most un-nerving airport on the planet. uh huh. steep, steep ascent. cut the engines @ 800 feet to keep things quiet for the money in Newport. freaky. we had never seen flights take off from this angle – it was so cool!])…
back to the horse.
gorgeous, black mare. directed by a make-shift cowboy. who was clearly frustrated while trying to egg her back onto the bike path from a sandy back-bay dune. it was a steep ascent too. the horse just would not go forward. and she kept bailing out as soon as she came close to making it. (kinda like me on a bike.) at one point, I thought she might chuck the dude off her back. that probably would have relieved some of her stress 😉 no offense to the cowboy, his horse was just not having a good day.
as soon as I saw the horse, tangling with its rider, I hopped off my bike and stopped at the side of the bike-path. putting my head down – careful not to look at her.
turns out horses don’t like bikes. at all. and here we were on a bike path loaded with peeps training for the MS Ride or whatever other rides are on the calendar. the sound of a bike is similar to a rattle snake. (we took some kids mountain-biking yesterday, and had everyone jump off their bikes when we ran into some horses on the fire-road.)
can you imagine? if you were a horse, and you believed there are rattle-snakes EVERYwhere you are being directed to go? there is no choice. sheer terror! I would be on edge too.
I was in just as much shock as the horse when a peloton whizzed by right in front of the horse shortly after she bailed out from her last attempt. I could feel her fear (maybe some of my own mixed in there…but I stayed put, as I didn’t want to move forward right when she decided to move forward.).
planted, I watched out of the corner of my eye as the cowboy finally encouraged the horse to climb up onto the bike path…she complied, but not willingly…and given the angle, her moving forward was directly in my path…
all I could do was keep breathing (or remember too breathe!), and pray that she would calm down…I let out a giant breath, that I hadn’t realized I had been holding in…she slowed as she approached me…and then I looked…
and she nodded right at me, as she gently moved beside me…within a foot…but then our moment was interrupted when two runners sprinted right between us (the horse and me!). I was sure that I was going to be the recipient of a hoof to the back…so I breathed again…and she carried on.