• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Anyone seen a Mountain Lion?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Anyone seen a Mountain Lion?

    Has anyone ever seen a Mountain Lion while you were riding your horse? What did you do? What did the Mountain Lion do?

    A couple folks in our neighborhood have seen a Mountain Lion lately, and I'm kinda freeked out!

  • #2
    lion

    Must be cougar week as a dog list serve I'm on had a long thread on this subject. some of the people had a lot of experience with big bears and cats. Apparently unless your gun is loaded on your hip it won't do you any good as the cat strikes to quick to have but a second to react. They strongly suggested a large, sharp, Bowie knife on your hip also at the ready as in close quarters(cat eating you} you can reach your knife. However the best defense is a pack of dogs, one dog is just lunch for a cat no matter how big your dog. However 5 dogs, this was a Ridgeback forum have been quite sucessful in running off a cougar.
    And a horse would be lunch for a cat. With the drought out west the predators are hungry!

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, I've seen them and more frequently I know from the horse's reaction when they are around. When seen, they are typically trying very hard to get away from me. There are 5 within my 'neighborhood' riding area. One was seen taking down a deer by a couple of mountain bikers. Very cool, wish I'd been there! I have seen recent kills but haven't seen one happen.

      What do I do? Keep riding. If it's stalking me, it is not likely to take on a horse with rider unless truly desperate. If it is up above, where it would prefer to be in order to attack, I'm going to think about how quickly I ride off- running away triggers the ol' predator response. But if I think it's not in striking distance, I'll let the horse trot along, he'd like to leave efficiently, anyway! One cyclist did have one jump in the road ahead of him because, well, he was going fast on his bike, seemed like a possible lunch. He did the right thing- stopped and put the bike between himself and the cat- and within moments it gave up and left.

      That your neighbors have seen them is no cause for alarm. We've had tracks through the neighborhood, occasionally, for years. They're around and most of the time, do no harm. But I wouldn't keep a dog loose in the yard overnight. A labrador was killed by a cougar not far from me at 3 am a year or so ago. Can't really blame the cat, in a drought they get hungry and thirsty and we have pretty much paved their habitat.

      The one note of caution I 'will' offer is that women should not venture, on horseback or on foot, into known cougar (or bear) country at certain times of the month. Blood can be smelled a couple of miles away.

      Comment


      • #4
        Coindence!

        I was in central Oregon last week (live in Alaska) staying with friends who invited me to go ahead, take one of the horses for a run. Duh. They live adjacent to about 10 million acres of federal and state timberland, so can you say 'saddle up and let's go'?

        Nice, well trained, young QH (real horse with real bone, none o' them halter fuffies) and we got out on a spanking run through some nice clear cut with lots of visibility, when..... horse does the stop-n-dump (okay, not quite dump, the suede chaps kicked in) snorting like hellfire.

        A couple hundred yards away a beeeeee-uuuuu-ti-ful, full grow'd mountain lion was sitting in a dead snag snarling at us. Horse, rider and lion stared at each other for a few minutes (one of us was stupid enough to NOT have a camera along) then everybody went their separate ways. Albeit, the horse spent a couple hours trying to grow new eyes in the back of his head, but we got home just fine, thank you.

        What a treat! Gorgeous animal, and when I told the horses' owner what I'd seen, he asked if I knew how rare it was.

        They're not known for bothering horses in that part of the world, although the occasional sheep and pooch goes missing

        I'll not forget that one for a while. And I see grizzly bears regularly, not that my Alaska horses think THAT'S such a great thing.
        When you've been falling/bailing off horses for 40 years, you're really good at it!

        (Why does everybody laugh when I say that?)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gothedistance
          On the endurance board (Ridecamp) they suggested you wear a shirt with huge eyes painted (or silkscreened) on it, both front and back. They said it really works! Cats won't strike at something they think is watching them -- they usually hide from sight and only hit when their quarry's back is turned.
          That sounds like good and practical advice, but that mental image is just great. Someone with a shirt with two huge-a$$ eyeballs on the front and back. What a fashion statement!
          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
            That sounds like good and practical advice, but that mental image is just great. Someone with a shirt with two huge-a$$ eyeballs on the front and back. What a fashion statement!
            In India people wear rubber masks, like halloween masks, on the back of their heads to discourage tiger attacks. I am not making this up! http://www.netphotograph.com/article.php?id=74

            I would love to see any of the big cats in the wild, if I could be sure not to be lunch.

            --s.
            Under carefully controlled conditions of breeding, training, and care, a horse will do whatever it damn well pleases.

            Comment


            • #7
              Living in a wildlife preserve the last 35+ years, I have seen several, one chasing a big buck into the yard, another chasing a steer and almost had him down.
              People think they are nocturnal, but they are not, they move more with the weather and I guess their stomach grumblings, so you can see them any time.
              One good kill may give them enough to eat for a week.
              Their territory around here is about 150 square miles per cat and they travel around it about every three weeks.
              Some territories overlap, but they are very solitary and try to avoid each other.
              We have several shades of tan and one black, that the game warden told us is rare here.

              In all these years, we have not seen many, mountain lions are shy.

              We learned long ago to keep dogs confined if not with us.
              The only time a dog was attacked, while going along with us while we were looking for cattle, it was a doe that came after her from the brush, pawed at her and split her back open.
              It looked like she had used a scalpel, the vet that took the 40 stitches it took to close it told us, the cut was so clean.

              There used to be a bounty on predators, but since not many people hunt today and we have such an explosion of deer, that are mountain lion's natural prey, they are really getting thick.
              Horses, especially yearlings, are also a preferred lion meal.
              That means we will be hearing more and more about attacks on pets and people, since we and our pets tend to be handy and easy prey.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes! About 10 years ago, I was trail riding alone by Mt. Diablo in northern California, when I heard the dry brush next to the trail rustling. A mountain lion leapt ouf of the brush and into the middle of the trail in front of us, stopped for half a second to look at us, then leapt into the brush on the other side, then was gone. My horse and I had only enough time to halt and look at it while I thought, "Was that a...?!?!?!" I think we both stayed calm and relaxed because there wasn't enough time to realize what it was, plus the lion obviously wasn't interested in us. There had been many bobcat sightings in the same area by other riders at my barn, and they kept trying to tell me that it was probably "just" the bobcat. But I do know the difference between a bobcat and a mountain lion, and that was a mountain lion. Big, tan, no spots, long tail. Mountain lion.
                Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
                Visit him on Facebook:
                http://www.facebook.com/WhiskeyRanch-Horse

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks to all of you. I feel much better now. There is plenty to eat for the mountain lions around here that is not a horse And if the lions did want to take a horse, I'm sure they would choose one of the pair of crippled honies turned out in the field next door, not a horse with rider.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ca asb

                    Remember, there was one in a park in So. Cal. (not a mile from me as the crow flies) that took out a mountain biker. Tried to get a second one (a female), but her riding partner beat it off with a rock while some men stood by and watched ...

                    Best thing is to have a riding buddy.

                    And, while traditionally shy, they are adapting. I've had them in my yard drinking from a water fountain. Even saw a young one (cub? kitten?) across the cul-de-sac waiting while mom was stalking the neighbor's dog.

                    Our resident bobcat can be seen mid-day when he's around (he's around when the bunny population explodes). Don't know what's going to happen to all these guys with the fires.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yep, out foxhunting!

                      We were hunting a new fixture in McDermott, Nv - big ranch - with the Red Rock Hounds. One of the whips was off by herself, had to pee, got off by a stand of juniper trees. She had the reins one minute, the next minute, the horse was GONE!! She stood up and was pulling up her breeches, turned around and there, not 5 yards away was a mountain lion. They stared at each other for a moment, then he turned and trotted off.

                      Best we could figure was that he was bedded down under the trees, and she woke him up, otherwise, she wouldn't still be with us!!!

                      And my friend brought us masks from mexico (brightly painted) for us to wear on our trail rides on the back of our heads. We never did wear them, only ever saw a bobcat out on the trail.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        From the backcountry horsemen of California

                        http://www.bchc.com/ARCHIVES/MountainLionLunch.html

                        They recommend: try to look big, don't run or crouch down, fight back if you are attacked. I figure if I am riding, I just need to stay on the horse. I don't imagine our local lions would consider a horse as suitable prey, given the eleventy bajillion deer and turkeys around.

                        I think I am in the same neighborhood as you. I keep looking for that lion, but he hasn't shown himself.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I second the recommendation to not take their "shyness" as an absolute given. I am also in Central Oregon, next to billions of acres of NF and BLM land.

                          A 13 year old girl was stalked by one on our land, prior to our ownership (quite awhile back, when they could be hunted). Still quite a few years back, our realtor was checking out the lines on his atv, and came up over a hill and a cougar was sunning himself. And in no hurry whatsoever to leave, another signal that in some areas, they are no longer as "shy" as in the past.

                          Since we've been here, we've spotted tracks, esp. on what I call now the cougar highway - goes from the NF/BLM lands adjoining, across ours, and down into a small but closely populated area, where cats have been seen in trees just outside the homes, and little kitties have disappeared. The cougars come from the billions of acres just to snack (this whole area is otherwise sparsely populated). In fact, earlier this year we had a "first" - dh was at our gate, in the truck waiting as I closed it behind us, and looked left up into the trees - and saw a cat on a limb. wow. So since I was outside the truck, I was probably less than a couple hundred feet from the cat, and had he not seen it, I sure wouldn't have known. The cat did leave the area while he watched. As long as I was already out there, I wish I had seen it too. I saw one running at some distance, recognized the color and the manner of travel (but was too busy calling my dogs closer to watch much!). From past experience, my horses freeze in place, start shivering, and sometimes will blow/snort big if a cat is nearby. So far we've been able to calmly exit the area (they in fact refuse to go in the cat direction, smart horsies), and not run into the cat directly. I have gone back and found fresh tracks and scat where it happened. At this point, I believe they will be fairly steady if all they do is actually see the cat - if it leaps, then all bets off. I think I will exit the horse if I have one coming after us, horrible to think about, but if one ever does give chase, one of us is a goner already.

                          We also did some fencing a couple of years ago, and the boys asked if we'd mind if they brought their guns along, because they'd been seeing cougar tracks that were following their progress on the fenceline (and the cat scratched trees nearby) over a period of several weeks, so not just one passing by. That said, we have not had any of our cattle attacked ever (knock on wood) or the horses - although a couple nearer to the city did have a horse killed, in a paddock near their house, by a cougar (horrific story). It happened so quickly that they couldn't get from the deck where they were having morning coffee to the paddock near the house in time to prevent it.

                          Here in Oregon, they can't be hunted in the same ways as in the past, and the cats are taking a bit of advantage of the situation. There are billions of deer/elk here (I run a whole family of deer from my barn every morning, they are sweet), so no one is hungry (I hike my land and adjacent state lands extensively, and find tons of "bone yards". Some pretty fresh, too - and tracks, also fresh). They just are not as afraid.

                          Make yourself big - do NOT crouch down, make freaking big mean noise if it starts coming towards you. Do not run away on foot, do not run away on your horse. You have to face it down (same for bear) - while that sounds foolish, understand that if the cat is moving towards you, it is announcing its intentions. Shy ones run; aggressive ones with bad things on their mind come toward you, and faster if you trigger their "get the prey" response by running. You ought to at least think through what you will do if you get the odd hairball that has plans for you, as did the one that killed that bicylist that CA ASB mentioned in California.

                          Otherwise, cherish any encounter where you saw something that magnificent up close and personal, and lived to tell the story. Because that is no longer a complete given in encounters.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If mountain lions can take down full grown elk, they can sure as heck take down a horse. I've seen an ML leave it's half eaten cow elk and that thing is as large if not larger than a horse so a rider is merely incidental.
                            Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I haven't seen a mountain lion, thank God. I saw a program about the female mountain biker that was attacked. I don't know if it was the same one mentioned above.

                              In that story, there was an abandoned bike on a trail. A male bicyclist stood by it, puzzled. The two women came up, and the other bicyclist left. The two women continued down the trail, and a mountain lion jumped on the first woman, had her behind the neck so she was face down, and started to drag her off. The second lady left her bike and pulled on the legs of the first lady, having a tug of war with the cat. She was amazed at how fast the cat dragged the woman. The cat gave up, and she won. There was no mention of other bikers standing around and watching. The abandoned bike was from a male cyclist that had been attacked and eaten in previous days, and it was assumed the cat realized that was a good place to lay a trap to catch lunch.

                              Bicyclists would be even more vulnerable than horse riders, since their back and neck are presented to the cats, with their feet tangled up in the bike. Their view is more restricted to forward and down than a rider's as well. Plus, no horse to alert them to the presence of danger. Very sad.

                              From this and other programs on mountain lion attacks, they stress the importance of fighting back. I think the cats are smart in that they tend to get the humans from the back, so our arms don't bed the right way to defend ourselves. DO NOT GO LIMP, since they will just drag you off. Fight back with whatever is at hand. I honestly have no idea how I could fight a cat if it had me face down. Had I been the other bicyclist, I hope I would have used the bike as a weapon and tried to beat the cat away from the woman instead of engaging in a tug of war. Cat experts say she was lucky the cat didn't pounce on her instead--they have no idea why it gave up, since that is not the normal response to a fight over food.

                              If I were mounted, I don't know if I could fight the urge to turn and run. I like the idea of shirts with big eyes. I'm wondering if there is a way to make some sort of loud noise to scare the cat that a rider could carry and trigger if spotting one. Like a siren, pack of dogs barking, or cyotes or something. Of course the horse would have to be desensitized to it.

                              From watching domestic cats hunt, they seem to get confused if the prey sits still (before the pounce, not once caught). It is the wiggling that stimulate the pounce response. Of course, when they are playing, they'll pounce on something that is motionless.

                              This has been on my mind, because a friend in the DC area was talking about the over population of deer, and she thought that mountain lions would make a good option for keeping the population down. All I could think of was the danger to humans, horses, and pets. She seemed to think the would stick to the deer. No thank you! I'd rather they had controlled hunting--human hunters may occasionally miss the deer and cause other damage, but they won't deliberately stalk a human, horse, cattle, or pet!

                              I also remember the uproar some years ago when somebody thought they saw couger tracks nearby in PA. Rumors flew, near panic, etc. Finally, a real hunter went and checked it out and it turned out to be tracks left by a cross country skiier. We East Coasters are total wimps when it comes to the idea of being lower than the top of the food chain!
                              "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by CA ASB View Post

                                Best thing is to have a riding buddy.

                                True - but that advise only works if the riding buddy is _slower_ than you.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X