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franknbeans
May. 11, 2010, 10:44 AM
Ok all-anyone ever done this? Where I board there are 600 acres, probably about 400 of which is where the Buffalo roam-quite literally. They are all natural, not domesticated, raised for meat. Some of us at the barn have thought about riding in "their" fields, but have no idea whether this is a good idea or not. I have seen the movies too-of the cowboys, indians, buffalo.......lol. We just want to have more trails to ride on.:D

katarine
May. 11, 2010, 12:06 PM
I have no personal experience with it. I know that young buffs are sometimes used in training cutting horses. They stay fresh longer than cattle do.

I would IMAGINE so long as you don't harass cow and calf and mess with them, you're just fine.

tkhawk
May. 11, 2010, 12:08 PM
Ok I have no real experience with buffalo on horseback-just from cars. But I would think they can be very dangerous? The Native Americans were hunters, so probably knew their behaviour and how to handle situations that arise, body language etc. Does your ranch have employees that handle the buffalo-maybe they might give you better advice?

I wouldn't ride, unless I learn to interpret what they are saying and I would be much happier riding my arab mare-she would get me out of there in warp speed if the need arose!:lol:

But they are strong. Here they were only trying to crossbreed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTXl_I94gfA

Guilherme
May. 11, 2010, 12:13 PM
Bison are wild animals.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20534920/

http://www.kpvi.com/Global/story.asp?S=10772512

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1951&dat=19830801&id=g14hAAAAIBAJ&sjid=SIYFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1417,150855

To get an idea of the power of a bison's horns, watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q00a4H-wZ8o

Bison attack:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oUqd9M4JFg&feature=related

I'd give them a wide berth.

G.

mp
May. 11, 2010, 12:22 PM
Ok I have no real experience with buffalo on horseback-just from cars. But I would think they can be very dangerous? The Native Americans were hunters, so probably knew their behaviour and how to handle situations that arise, body language etc. Does your ranch have employees that handle the buffalo-maybe they might give you better advice?

I wouldn't ride, unless I learn to interpret what they are saying and I would be much happier riding my arab mare-she would get me out of there in warp speed if the need arose!:lol:

But they are strong. Here they were only trying to crossbreed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTXl_I94gfA

And they are fast. They can run ~35 mph, so if you're riding a track-fit TB, you might be able to get away. ;)

I don't have any direct experience either. But my husband's nephew used to raise them commercially. He basically said they weren't any trouble ... until they were. :lol:

Their fencing consisted of 14 ft posts driven 6 ft into the ground and electrified wire cable (7,000 volts). Even at that, if one took a notion (usually a bull) he went right through it.

For me, additional trails wouldn't be worth it. And you can call me a chicken if you want and I will squawk in reply.

Leather
May. 11, 2010, 12:27 PM
This is from the Teddy Roosevelt National Park website (there are bison in the park):


Do not approach any wild animal too closely. Be especially wary of bison. Always stay clear of these animals and give them the right-of-way. Do not ride horses closer than 100 yards to any bison.

TrotTrotPumpkn
May. 11, 2010, 01:12 PM
Um. No Way! They are wicked fast and deceptively agile.

tkhawk
May. 11, 2010, 01:13 PM
And they are fast. They can run ~35 mph, so if you're riding a track-fit TB, you might be able to get away. ;)

.
Wow! 35mph-I can just imagine something spooking the herd and the whole herd of them thundering at you!:lol:


This is from the Teddy Roosevelt National Park website (there are bison in the park)
Do not approach any wild animal too closely. Be especially wary of bison. Always stay clear of these animals and give them the right-of-way. Do not ride horses closer than 100 yards to any bison:

I guess this guy did not listen to the warning!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNvTHOrTf_Y

katarine
May. 11, 2010, 01:40 PM
LOL sounds like I've been volunteered to try it and see how it goes ;)

I am probably the wrong peep to say a word. I worked a summer in Yellowstone and routinely poked a snoozing bison to get him off our dorm's porch :) Granted I was on the other side of a heavy metal door...:) he routinely got on the porch looking for relief from the bugs and flies. The monsters were somewhat too acclimated to peeps, and would graze right up close to the buildings. etc. I saw a guy play 'chicken' with one walking on the road's edge, riding along right there beside the bull, taking pictures...til that bull got tired of him and hooked his horn smack into the front quarter panel of his shiny new car. oops.

wendy
May. 11, 2010, 02:37 PM
well, we routinely "ride with deer" on our trails, and that goes ok until one of the bucks decides to go after you. They can MOVE. And are very pointy at the front end. Bison are a lot bigger...

JollyBadger
May. 11, 2010, 02:43 PM
There is a bison and wild elk sanctuary at Land Between the Lakes in southern Kentucky. You can camp at the nearby Wrangler campground and, as I've been told anyway, ride on trails that run parallel to the sanctuary fenceline.

My boyfriend has ridden his horse past the bison on the other side of the fence, and he said that's the closest he'd ever want to get to one while on horseback (with a fence between them, of course!).

sunridge1
May. 11, 2010, 02:55 PM
Sometimes you just can't help but "be" with the Buffs.
Teddy Roosevelt National Park

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f100/sunridge/DSC00437.jpg

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f100/sunridge/IMG_0032.jpg

saddleup
May. 11, 2010, 04:46 PM
I've ridden on Antelope Island, in the Great Salt Lake in Utah. There are buffalo there, and we just gave them a wide berth and went on our way. They're pretty used to seeing people on horseback, though, so that might be why they didn't much care. Still, they definitely have the "right of way" on the trails.

Painted Horse
May. 11, 2010, 05:28 PM
I've ridden with them on many occassion. We try and give them enough space. Mainly I want enough room between me and them so that if they start a charge, I've got of a head start that I can get my horse kicked into high gear.

Utah has 3 of the 5 wild herds that exist in the United States. One herd on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake, one herd on the Henry Mountains in South Eastern Utah and one herd in the Book Cliffs of eastern Utah. The other two wild herds are Yellowstone Park, Wyoming and Custer Park in South Dakota.

Each year at Antelope Island they have a buffalo roundup. Where they herd all 600-900 buffalo into the holding pens, They vaccinate and check them out and turn them back loose. They sell off 200-300 buffalo each year at an auction to keep the population in check. Each year, 2-3 horses get hurt during the buffalo round up. Usually gored by getting to close to a buffalo. They have a fast Zero to FULL speed acceleration. Most of the buffalo don't persist in their attacks. If you get too close, they charge, as soon as they feel you are fleeing, they usually don't waste the energy to follow you. Make sure you give your self enough room so that you get your horse turned away and into a full canter before they can reach you.

You will see bulls as bachlors or in small groups of 3-6 bulls. The cows stay in a herd and usually circle up around the calves if they feel threaten. I've seen 30-40 cows face up to us as we approached and basically start marching straight at us until we changed course. The cows definately defend the younger calves by working as a herd.

Here are some photos of buffao I've ridden near.

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/2009/Union%20Falls/Buffalo-4.jpg

This bull got a little pissed off and was pawing up some dirt and snorting at us.
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/2009/Union%20Falls/Buffalo-5.jpg

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/2008/Buffalo%20Ride/100_0118.jpg

We do an annual ride each year that we call our buffalo ride. http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/2008/Buffalo%20Ride/100_0092.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/imageview.aspx?i=18833087

tkhawk
May. 13, 2010, 08:59 PM
Painted horse, you ride in some beautiful country!

cowboymom
May. 13, 2010, 09:41 PM
We live next to Yellowstone and Turner's herd and ride through bison every summer.

In normal circumstances they are no big deal. You give them a wide berth, wider than a cow bull. They won't look at you or give a warning before they charge but they aren't usually on the fight with horses if they feel no pressure. They won't even raise their head out of the grass before they charge though so don't think you're in the safe zone b/c they haven't indicated they noticed you yet. They noticed you already.

They will gore a horse without thinking twice; Turner uses trucks to work his bison. I've ridden through them on the feed truck and was warned to stay right in the truck. DOL here uses horses to work them but I wouldn't use a horse I liked to do that job. They're edgy critters but as I say, distance is your friend. Ignore them and give them their distance and they will ignore you.

cowboymom
May. 13, 2010, 09:50 PM
Painted horse, those are good pictures but just as a reference point for others, you're riding closer to them than I would advise the average bear to ride.

franknbeans
May. 13, 2010, 10:23 PM
I think that I will stay on the other side of the fence and "practice" a while...had no idea they were that fast. Just look beautiful and graceful across the pasture......
Perhaps that is the better idea......lol. Beautiful farm, but other than the horses, everything seems to be REALLY sharp on one end! ie, bison, Scottish highland cows........now those suckers have HORNS! Great experiences for the horses, I guess.

Painted Horse
May. 14, 2010, 12:20 AM
When I get that close to them, I keep a good eye on them, If they show any signs of irratation, we back off. Also choose well the horse you ride. If you get close you need a horse that goes from walk to hyperspeed with the slightest squeeze.

We've a few give us a false charge. They like to challenge your bluff. But if you get moving fast enough, I've never seen them pursue more than 50 yards. They are lazy creatures and don't want to waste energy if they don't need to. If the threat runs away, they usually stop the chase.

franknbeans
May. 14, 2010, 07:22 AM
Guess part of my anxiety is that if I am on their side of the fence, it would be tough to get to the gate, open it and get out if there was an issue.....open country not sure i would feel the same.

howardh
May. 14, 2010, 07:28 AM
I ride with them all the time in Custer. We have had to pull off a narrow trail to let a herd of about 500 pass.

When the bulls are in rut, we give them a wide berth. They are very used to seeing horses and are not really afraid of them. I would be very careful to not challenge them, or keep far away from a cow with a calf, but they really are not looking for a fight typically.

For some reason none of my horses have ever been afraid of them, while cows will set them off more!

Painted Horse
May. 14, 2010, 07:43 AM
Gates? Fences? What's That?

Yeah, we are riding in pretty open places. Not just the lack of fencing, But open as in you can ride ( or run away) in almost any direction. We are not riding near Buffalo in thick forest. But rather sagebrush rolling hills.

jeano
May. 14, 2010, 08:00 AM
Aw shucks. One of my infamous extreme trail challenges used to be two very small and very placid bison at the property on the corner by the highway. Rode past them precisely once. Horses didnt notice, neither did bison. They were inside a completely inadequate board fence. It was about 100 degrees, and the end of a very long ride, which probably helped keep the lid on any anxiety the horses might have had. For all I know, these were cows, or steers, or babies. They were only angus sized.

Having said that, no way in hell would I want to be closer than a couple hundred yards away from WILD bison on their own territory out in that sagebrush.

howardh
May. 14, 2010, 05:28 PM
HA!

We ran into a herd right after calving and nothing makes me jumpier than any mama with a baby. The little calves were so interested in us. One little naughty boy started running over to check us out and his very angry looking mama was following him! YIKES....