To all the idiots on the road out there----- MY QUIET COUNTRY ROAD IS NOT A FREEWAY!!!!!!!!
Do NOT drive 40-50mph down a barely 2 lane road! When i can see you driving like a lunatic from many yards away and then proceed to wave for you to slow down---- DO IT! When my horse starts running down the road and spinning into your lane because of your DUMB A$$.....maybe that would be your cue to SLOW DOWN!! FIND YOUR BRAIN AND USE IT!
Yesterday; i was riding one of my medium ponies down the road to get to a big field to ride her in. We are currently training for a big hunter pace in a few weeks and field work is key. In order to get to the field i have to ride down the road about a 1/4 of a mile. Most of the time i can ride into a driveway or into the woods but on this particular portion of the road where the car approached there was no space for us to go in time.
This mini van (who happens to belong to a a family a few roads over) came up the road doing at least 40mph. The road is covered in dry leaves from the trees right now and it makes a ruckus of a noise. Our acorns are also flying off the trees in record amounts right now and when you drive over them...they make loud popping noises.....now multiply that by the thousands that are on the road. I could see the lady coming from down the road, and noticed as she was getting closer she was not slowing down. So i started to wave for her to slow down.....she wasn't going to.
Now my pony is usually fine to walk down the road, she's respectful, quiet, and well-behaved....she's a seasoned show pony so she's seen a lot in her lifetime....until loonies like this idiot come along. Now the lady is about 20 feet away and still driving like an idiot....on a road that can barely fit 2 passing cars. Now im trying to hold onto the pony as she's now beginning to have a flip out because she probably thinks this idiot is going to hit her, or shoot at her with the sounds the thousands of run-over acorns were making.
By the time the lady was about 5 or 10 feet away i started scremaing just about every bad word that could probably come out of my mouth. the lady still never slowed down, never tapped the breaks and my pony is now spinning like a tornado in the middle of the road while im trying to stay int he saddle and keep her on our side of the road.
I mean, is really to much to ask for people to slow down? ...or at least slow down when they see a horse and rider up ahead. Even to a person who isn't seasoned to horses or animal behavior...its pretty obvious that when a horse starts to have a minor meltdown in front of your vehicle and the rider is struggling to keep that animal on the side of the road.....that it would be best to bring it down a notch.
Drivers on the road need to be aware that a horse can spook at any moment from a squirrel or chipmunk in the woods and run right out in front of them. They really need to start to find their brain and use it because driving past horse and riders without a care in the world for them is putting their lives in jeopordy.
This idiot could've killed the both of us yesterday at the rate she was driving if i couldn't have kept the pony on our side of the road.
So folks...encourage fellow drivers around you to SLOW DOWN when horse and riders are on the road. afterall, horse do have brains of their own.....they are not machines.
By the time the lady was about 5 or 10 feet away i started scremaing just about every bad word that could probably come out of my mouth.
I completely agree with you that people should be more respectful and slow down, but your screaming probably didn't help matters any.
ETA: Is there a posted speed limit on your road? If so, you might want to phone the police if you see this person driving fast again. Sorry you had such a bad experience. The road I live on is the same way. People FLY down the road!!! Be careful out there.
First, what is the posted speed limit on the road? I drive down many narrow, unmarked country roads and the speed limit on them is 55 mph. Yes, really.
Second, if your horse was flipping out like a lunatic, why didn't you ride her into the nearest field away from the road, instead of staying on the road?
People should slow down when they see livestock on the shoulder, but if you can't handle your animal, maybe you shouldn't be riding her down that particular road. Leading her on foot might be better for everyone's safety.
As horse owners, we need to realize that the world does not have to do our bidding, and that we aren't owed any special favors or dispensations just because we're insane enough to want to ride 1,000 lb. flight animals.
arabhorse, if you read the post, it says that most of the short stretch she rides to get to the field where they work has driveways or shoulder to get off the road, but in this particular spot, it's just trees.
It's not just a problem of people riding horses near roads; I continue to be amazed at other drivers on the interstate who tailgate me when there's noplace for them or me to go, or who cut off other drivers who are losing their lane. I am constantly wondering where they expect the other vehicles to go -- should we magickally levitate and fly out of their way?
Refusal to share roads is a much bigger problem than our unfortunate OP's situation. If it were me, I'd go to the driver's house and politely inquire where she thought I should go to get out of her way that day. I think people are REALLY oblivious when they drive, and act like they have a constitutional right to drive the maximum possible speed every second of their travel time, which is just piggishly selfish and dangerous.
I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09
How about, since you know who owned the car, you take a stroll over to their house one day and politely enlighten them as to the laws? In almost every state, horses (and pedestrians, and bikes, and skaters, and everything else) have the right of way over cars, and it's the law that a car must at least slow down if not stop. Arabhorse, in this case, in most counties/states, we ARE owed a little bit of leeway/respect when it comes to riding on the roads. Those laws are there for EVERYONES safety.
I have a very steady trail horse who is not spooked by cars/tractors/semis in the least, but I often trail ride with those whose horses aren't quite as nicely behaved. I have and will park my horse in the middle of the road if a car is coming up too quickly, forcing them to stop. I have been screamed at by drivers, who are quickly put to shame when I inform them that I have the right of way on the road, and cruising by at 50mph on a single-lane road is not acceptable.
Most of them are just oblivious. "What? Horses are scared of cars?! But they're so big!" And this is where I inform them that horses are 1000lbs of stupid prey animal, and most (not my horse nibbling on the mirror) can be nervous around cars. I usually get a "Cool, thanks, now I know! And sorry!" and everyone proceeds with life happily.
(And before anyone rips into me....I am obviously positioned in a way where I could move my horse safely out of the way if anyone was really intent on running their car through me. It's not like I step out in front of them 10' away from me....I can hear them coming too quickly down the road, not slowing down, and I casually move over into the center of the road when they have PLENTY of time to slow down.)
Talk to your police department, find out who is the local highway engineer and tell him about this safety problem.
They may even put some signs up for you.
You could put some of those yellow ones with a horse and rider and CAUTION at several points.
I still stand by my question. WHY couldn't she get off the road? She didn't indicate that the area was fenced, just for some reason she HAD to stay on the road.
I've jumped ditches to get away from vehicles before, because their moronic drivers were oblivious or just didn't care. I'd rather do that, than stay in the middle of the road with a frantic, spinning horse and hurl invectives at someone.
Safety for yourself and your animal is paramount. If 'being right' is so damned important, I hope you don't mind that you're also taking a chance on 'being maimed' or 'being dead'.
GoForaGallop, that's what my mother always did when I was a kid and cars weren't slowing or stopping for a big group of us to get across the road safely. It horrifies my DD when I do it now. But really more people are clueless now than ever before. Never had anyone get angry. Of course the, the big smiles and waves that we use probably help diffuse the situation. Always best to be polite and not shout.
OP if this stretch of road is a problem I think I would consider trotting down to get to an area where you can get off the road. Better to do that than risk more close encounters. Maybe take a deep breath yourself next time and make sure that you weren't adding to pony's anxiety about the car with your rising (and understandable) anger at the idiot driver.
Last edited by lcw579; Sep. 22, 2010 at 10:38 AM.
Reason: Added detail
I still stand by my question. WHY couldn't she get off the road? She didn't indicate that the area was fenced, just for some reason she HAD to stay on the road.
I live on a narrow road and there are stretches where there is no shoulder, just a narrow deep ditch and then trees on both sides. I walk my dog there every day. If someone drives by, I stop, face them, get as far over to the side as possible and pull my dog close, just in case it's someone who doesn't think pedestrians have the right of way. If I were riding a horse, there would be nowhere to go, which is WHY I DON'T RIDE THERE.
OP, when you are on a road where you have no escape route, the safest thing would be to walk your horse through.
__________________________ "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
the best day in ten years,
you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."
Well, I may be just like you. I want respect when I ride. I also want respect when I drive. Behind the wheel, trying to be a good person, I slow down and give horses a wide berth that the rider a nod or a wave. On horseback, I always wave if a friendly way, except to the a-holes who make no motion to even look at the horse-sized hazard on the side of the road, let alone slow down.
But give me a rider who seems in a big hurry to tell me what to do or that I'm driving badly? I'm likely to become the a-hole in the car.
Riders need to share the road with drivers. You don't get carte blanche because you are on a horse. This isn't quite the same thing as "the pedestrian always has the right of way." You also aren't entitled to the driver's concern for your well-being.
All this is to say that I hope your first wave was a friendly one rather than a demand. And I would go speak to the drive in person when you have cooled off. She may no know the danger she put you in and would like to do better. But you also owe her an apology for the screaming. If you don't to that, how can you expect her to know or care to do better next time?
I “love” the ones who decide to chance overtaking me on a blind curve… leaving an inch between horse & car.
Bikers of the Harley Davidson varieties have proven to be the most courteous often cutting their engine if I meet them coming down the hill.
Cyclists often know enough to give the heads up if approaching from behind.
The trash truck guy’s stop & cut their engines. So yes, every now and then you meet an idiot. Luckily for me they are not the norm around here.
I think education is the key. If I ever get time, I'll write some articles for maybe AAA or the local papers or even bike magazines (in general they're so inconsiderate on the road).
Most nonhorse people have no clue. It's our job, as equestrians, to give them a clue. It seems logical to us to slow down, but nonhorsey people don't think about it at all. It's a nonissue to them, so they don't change their behavior (ie, slow down). Hopefully, once they know better, they will be more thoughtful when they see someone riding on the road.
There are some places where you just can't get off the road. I have one stretch of road where there are trees and barbed wire cattle pasture on the other side of both ditches. We look both ways, then canter through because I'll be damned if I'm going to get stuck there with three tri-axle farm trucks in a row going 45 mph ever again. (Yes I survived). Besides, what good is getting off the road if your horse is now in a full bolt and you're hanging off one side? Those acorns really do sound like gunfire.
And as for the posted speed limit... the road itself doesn't have to be posted if there is an area speed limit posted on the intersecting roads. Not everything in America defaults to 55. And, the cops can cite you for speed unreasonable whether it is posted or not, but, the only way you will get cited is AFTER you hit the pony and they track you down.
I would be paying THAT neighbor a visit (after you cool off)
There could have been a vertical bank up or down, or, as in my area, anything that is treed is pretty much guaranteed to have old barbed wire fencing still strung, now grown into the trees, drooping into the leaf litter. It's the ultimate death trap. The ditches we have also are no something you jump across or into, for the most part. They are 5' wide and at least 4 feet deep, with god-knows-what at the bottom.
My solution? Ask property owners if you can build some coops in the fence line and jump your way to the field you need.
Seriously though, drivers often just don't care about the horses on the road because it is a means of transportation just like bicycles. Try driving four-in-hand on a similar country road with blind corners and hills. I can't count the number of times someone would pass us at 45mph or more using the left side of the road going up a hill. Thank goodness we never had a crash.
40mph is a crawl. (I had to deal with some moron doing 40 in a 55 zone on a paved road this morning.) As mentioned, many of those "quiet country roads" have a limit of 55. Yes, they should slow down to pass you. No, throwing a profane temper tantrum is not going to impress them.
Also, reading between the lines: if pony is flipping out because of the leaves and the noise? Get off the road. You're the hazard if you can't control your animal. The road is made for cars these days and other vehicles on it must either obey traffic laws (that goes for bicyclists, too, who are probably the biggest hazard out there in many places) including obeying signs and signalling turns, or you stay as far over as possible FACING oncoming traffic and behave as a pedestrian. And pay attention to said traffic. There are no sidewalks where I live so I have to walk my dogs on the road. It's nice if vehicles slow down or move over, but I can't assume they see me and the two dogs and sometimes it's not possible for them to move into the oncoming lane.
My parents live on a dirt road that right now is being used to detour traffic from the main paved road while the county replaces a bridge. So they don't walk their dog on the road during the evening or after dark now. Sure, legally, they COULD. But that doesn't make it smart.
....and dear school bus drivers- the speed limit on my road is 35 MPH. That is THIRTY-FIVE not FIFTY-FIVE. Please stop driving all of the little children at a high rate of speed, even if the company you work for HAS told me to call the cops on them, because they cannot control them.
And the rest of you guys on my road-- try reading!
Y'know, I don't have a problem if people want to hijack their own safety. But it really ticks me off when they compromise the safety of others. If you know who the driver was, a brief chat may be in order.
The street we live on is posted 30 mph, but we do get drivers that tear down it at 50+ mph. The constable who works out here told my husband he got someone doing just shy of 80. He usually has someone pulled over, and I've watched him haul a few drivers off to jail. My neighbor is upset b/c he ticketed her mother; she thinks he looks mean. (He does look tough, but he's also cute as heck, very nice, and an eligible young bachelor if any single Tomball/Magnolia/Cypress-area ladies like the law-enforcing type... )
....and dear school bus drivers- the speed limit on my road is 35 MPH. That is THIRTY-FIVE not FIFTY-FIVE.
I don't know what the requirements are to drive a bus, but they should be more strict. Some of those folks do indeed drive like maniacs.
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it." - Agent K, MIB
And all that being said... if you notice my horse hopping up and down like a kangeroo and you decide to down shift 20 feet from me, belching black exhaust and screaching your brakes.... thanks, but you just made it worse.