Dealing with cows and flying bikes
I used to board at a great place but moved because, in order to hack out, I had to walk about 100 yards on a road that happens to be part of a local bike loop and then go through cow fields and my horse is terrified of flying bikes and of cows. However, after moving twice since then, I have realized that this barn is the best in terms of care so I am thinking about moving back but the spook issues are troubling me. We need to hack out because of her stifles and because we get bored in the ring. The spooks were so bad that I was having anxiety about hacking out, which is something that I LOVE to do a lot. I’d get so nervous about it that I would try to talk myself out of it hours before I even got to the barn. I have never fallen off of this particular horse but some of the spooks have been big and so unnerving that I have had to get off because I’m shaking so much. I’m really scared of hitting the ground. It’s been a long time since I have fallen. So, it’s her problem and my problem all the same.
The road happens to have two blind curves so I can’t see the bikes until they are pretty close. My horse is fine with cars. Cyclists in my area are pretty hard core, with fancy silks, and in it to win it, and there are a lot of them. They wiz by and my horse does any sort of whirl around and run, jump sideways, rear up and launch forward. She has been around bikes at horse shows and up close but it’s basically the part where they suddenly appear and then wiz by that creates the spook.
Then, once we make it past the road, there are the cows. If the cows are by the gate, forget it. We can’t hack out that day. If they are in the distance, I can go through the gate and hack out on the part of the field that they are not on. If we are near cows, she will do the same sort of spooks. If we do ride near then, the baby cows always want to come investigate us and that totally freaks her out. I get turn and run attempts, lots of prancing and snorting and blowing, run and bucks, and general edginess even when we are past them. And if the farmer comes out with the tractor to feed them, forget it. They all start running and mooing and that really blows her mind and I have to get off and lead her back.
So, I need help. I have asked for her to be put in the field next to the road. I bet that would help her get over the bikes but there isn’t a spot open in that field. The BO doesn’t like to move around established herds and I kind of feel funny asking for special treatment when I was the one who left.
So, what do I do? I can lead her down the road but I’m afraid I’ll get stepped on or knocked over though. I thought about taking her to the cow field just to graze lots of times or even just to graze next to the cow field. I’ve thought about hiring a trainer but a lot of the trainers in my area are rough. Maybe that’s what she needs? Maybe I could send her away to someone who has cows but she has some special needs (stifle issues, uveitis, feet) that I would worry about her care and plus, I don’t really have a lot of extra cash hanging around. I’m pretty frustrated.