My mom used to drive a school bus. Get the number of the bus, and call the transportation department ASAP. If the district owns the buses, there will be a number for the bus supervisor somewhere, probably on the district's website. If they use a private company, call them directly, and also the school district, and file complaints. Tell them exactly what has happened and what happened today.
I would also call the police, as not only is she putting you in danger, she's putting the kids in danger as well (and I guarantee you she's doing it elsewhere, not just to you and your horse!).
Short story to prove that there are bad drivers: one new school bus driver for our town backed up the bus to turn around in a cul de sac one day. The kids were yelling at her to stop, but she just turned the radio up and kept driving. Finally stopped when the police car pulled her over. Turned out she'd backed into a VW Beetle and was dragging it behind the bus.
Report it - you have all the info (route, time). If she is driving a school bus, then she has to have a CDL. DOT frowns on un-safety, especially with children.
Don't know what the laws are in MT but where I live vehicles give the right of way to horses (unless the horses get out of their pasture and are on the road un-supervised then all bets are off and that would be on me).
I thought livestock (lead or ridden) always had the right of way?
Although the fire truck that went by us one day, siren and lights going, I didn't expect to stop. And the steamroller that came around the corner took a while to stop, although he did. Talk about on the road desensitizing!
"I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted". - Anonymous
I thought livestock (lead or ridden) always had the right of way?
I called the sherriff's office once when someone was a total jerk and tried to run me off the road - literally, he was coming directly at us and and I had to turn around and canter down the road until I could get off safely. The stupid deputy told me I shouldn't be on the road with my horse. I was furious! Would he have dared say that to an Amish person? Then a friend dug up the law that drivers are to stop or slow for livestock. I keep saying that I'm going to contact the sherrif's office again and inform them of the law (they should know!!).....but I just haven't. I liked how one COTH'er sent a nicely written article to the paper once. I will do that eventually.
thanks for all the great ideas!
And yes, I was on the phone with the superintendent's office within about 5 minutes (dismounted and called right from the side of the road!)
Great idea about the tapes too! Hadn't thought of that but they would certainly show a good part of what happened.
I had thought maybe she didn't see what was happening? But then she said it wasnt' her fault that "that thing was freaking out" so I guess she DID see! Or the kids told her! And chose to rev her engine
I had NOT thought of the dangers of her stopping the bus, with kiddos on board, while an angry stranger approaches the bus (I was just so mortified - these are m NEIGHBOR'S KIDS! Oh look! There's Lili! Oh what's she doing now? Oooooooh!" or "Daddy, guess who we saw on the road today?") - but can see that was a bad idea, not knowing me or anything about who I was or what threat I might have presented to the bus.
I have no idea (not that it matters I guess) where the hostility has been coming from. I wave and wave at her, trying to be friendly and make eye contact, but no. From a previous encounter (but not so close) I had this vision of her angrily encirling the wheel, just very angry and I don't know why! Me? (I don't think i've ever met her!) Horses? People ON horses? People on her route? Hemerrhoids? Nasty boss? Nasty kids?
This is a very horsey area, kids/families on horses, or on bikes with dogs. And certainly a KID on a horse having a reaction like mine could have wound up very badly.
MOST cars and trucks here are really respectful - as I wrote - utility trucks, propane trucks, landscapers hauling lawn equipment. I remember riding a greenie trail guy who was just NOT happy on the trail or road - jumping, spooking, all jazzed up and here comes a Fedex (UPS?) truck. We were right by a utility box with tons of wires and I was really thinking, "i've had a good life" - horse is really dancing around. But, the truck stops, the guy just waits while the horse calms down. It probably took about 30-40 seconds, maybe a minute or two, felt like a long time, but the truck just stayed quiet until I was well on the road and away. I waved at the guy and thought "I love that man!!"
Even the county road graders are respectful! But not this woman.
I do very much agree if I could have found a lawn/driveway/field/ANYTHING I would have turned in! I also was thinking maybe I should have dismounted. But I keep thinking I have more control over where he puts his body when I am ON then when I am OFF, but maybe that's what I should have done when I saw it was her bus.
Anyway, thanks for all the great ideas! I would like to be a HELPFUL ambassador to people who know little of horses or livestock so they can learn. I was too mad and scared yesterday (!!!)
I also was thinking maybe I should have dismounted. But I keep thinking I have more control over where he puts his body when I am ON then when I am OFF, but maybe that's what I should have done when I saw it was her bus.
I don't think you did anything wrong. When hacking out it is always safer to be on top of the freaking out horse unless there is a genuine risk of the horse flipping. A loose horse galloping down a road is a liability to everyone and rarely ends well.
Last year I was doing mission work in rural TN and met a wonderful grandma who drove a hour round trip twice a day to take her kid to and from school because the bus driver was so dangerous. She was the only person to file a complaint so no action was taken. She did not have the time or money to make that trip but had no other options.
I doubt that you are the only person to notice this woman's inappropriate behavior and the more complaints that come in, the more quickly action will be taken. The safety of those children is at risk and you have a right to the road.
I didn't read much but I noticed a preponderance of call the school/bus company. What she did is enough to get a bus driver sacked here. She is unsafe and discourteous to other moving conveyences and that includes people on horseback, moving equipment, etc, not just other cars. She also drives fairly recklessly.
Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!
The only time I have ever experienced a full blown total loss of control mounted runaway on a horse - included a schoolbus, and the fact that the driver of the bus was a person who was travelling on my local roads on a twice daily basis made me feel- honestly- totally unsafe forever in my home neighborhood. I would rather work my horse in town than go for a quiet drive on my country roads.
I was on a narrow gravel road with blind humps- the road was notched in places to lessen the degree of the humps- but it was still bad in some places- and the notches made steep banks on either side of the one lane ditched road (and the ditches made the banks even more extreme. Add to that there was a single strand of low electrified barbed wire for cattle half way up the bank on both sides- there was absolutly no way to even get off to thew side of the road. When I saw/heard the bus coming- knowing I was in a blind spot- I attempted to trot my horse further up the road so I would be in a visible by the time the bus was getting closer... well he saw me- but he didn't slow at all- as he hurtled towards us- my horse (in quite reasonable self preservation) bolted as fast as his 2000lb Belgian self could carry him. The bus driver must have assumed that I has come out to greet my kids cowgril style or something- so while my horse galloped up the road- the bus chased us!!
I know your exact anger- and thankfully I didn't have an opportunity to have a face to face with the driver because it might have gotten bloody. I wanted to make a big stink- but at the time I was afraid that reporting the driver would make him even more agressive towards me in the future. I wish I had.
As an aside- because as a driver (the above incident was mounted not driven) I am on roads a lot and deal with drivers overtaking me all the time... "revving the engine as they pass" is almost always not intentionally hostile- it's just stupid lack of consideration for the big picture. They are only thinking of maneuvering their car- slow down, find a place to pass, execute pass... go on theri way... it just so happens that the moment when they feel free to floor it is when they are direcltly beside you. The concept of "coast till you are beyond us" is beyond them.
Glad you and your horse are OK. Sounds horribly scary and that bus driver was an idiot.
I know you have already called the bus garage but want to add this anyway. If you call anyone else be sure to include that you gave the finger. It will sound better coming from you (with an apology) than it will when the bus driver brings it up as their excuse for being an idiot.
I agree with everyone here, and I'm glad you reported her. If you're friendly with your neighbors and they have kids who ride this bus, share your story with them. It's my guess that complaints from parents will go farther than your complaint. When the angry parents start complaining about the crazy driver who doesn't know enough to slow down for a horse, the driver may find herself unemployed. If the police follow up with a ticket, she could get suspended.
Glad you're okay and called! Please keep us posted of any action on the part of the authorities.
This is so different than where my horse lives. I was leading her down the road one day, getting her used to cars, and saw the bus - I thought "Why is that bus on the wrong side of the road??? Oh, she sees and is yielding away from me and Holly!"
yeah, the pre-emptive mea culpa is a good idea. I run on gravel roads and almost everyone is courteous.
When I see someone barreling towards me at 50mph, I make a point of getting partway into the ditch and putting my hands up to shielding my face. Mostly because I'm truly protecting myself from the gravel they're kicking up--but also maybe a lightbulb will go off with that driver that what they're doing is really unsafe for me.
I'm certain that most of the time it's not malicious, they're just in a cocoon and not thinking about the implications of traveling 75ft per second. A LOT can happen in one or two seconds.
So, gorgeous day. After working I think just too nice not to take my boy out for a quick ride down our lovely country road! Most of the cars are pretty nice, and even the big crane trucks. Fedex drivers are courteoius! Except one school bus. Who typically goesvery fast, very close and guns it as she passes us. But, I figured, it was late, lovely day, what were the chances I 'd find the bus??
100% it turns out. We are as far over as we can go, horse is totally freaking out in the culvert/ditch with no where to go, and I am hoping we are not both going under the bus, which REVS UP right by us! It finally passes, spewing gravel, and I do a very bad thing.
I made a hand gesture at the bus after it passed. I can't even remember the last time I have done that - decades? I never do that. Not driving. Not to anyone. Just..never. But I did today.
So the driver slams on the brakes. I try to ride up to her but my horse is just not having any of it, engine revving. she is yelling at me that she "hopes I am proud" as there are in fact kids on the bus.I am trying to tell her that, no, I am not proud, mortified in fact, but happy to be alive and that I don't appreciate being run over.I She is not listening, still screaming that it is "not her fault if that thing freaks out", then asks again, "is that thing going to freak fi I take off cux I'm done!" And she does! Spewing gravel all the way.
I wish I could have gotten on the bus and apologized to the kids. I would like that. I woiuld like to ride the roads in peace. I would like never to act like a jackass again like that! It is being followed up on, just because people really could get hurt,but still, a scary and unpleasant ride.
Call the bus company and see to it that she loses her job. I spent some time driving a school bus at one point in my life and there is absolutely no reason for a driver to exhibit that sort of behavior. Sounds to me like she is trying to get a laugh out of the kids and now that you fired back, she was pissed. Too bad. Wait till she hears from her boss. For all the inconvenience school buses cause for other drivers on the road, they can exhibit some courtesy in return.