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Animals are unpredicatbale.
Last night I found myself travelling down a paved country road, heading home after a little tour along Viewlake road. It was just starting to get dusky and I was clipping along at 110kmh. There was no other traffic but up ahead I noticed someone walking a horse along the opposite side of the road. There is no shoulder to speak of. This is not uncommon, as there are a few horse farms around. Being the considerate biker that I am, I throttled back, moved over as far as I could and slowed considerably, I even dropped a couple of gears. As I approached, the girl acknowledged that I was slowing for her and smiled and waved. I pulled in the clutch so I would idle past. Just as I was coming upon them, Trigger reared up on his hind legs, pulling the reins from the girls hands. The horse bolted across the road in front of me. With the girl screaming, and sparks flying from the horses shoes, It stopped broadside right in front of me. I decided that if I had to go, at least this would be a story for the web-site. Horse vs. V-Strom…Horse wins. Luckily I had slowed enough and had my brakes covered so that what could have been a panic stop was actually a well executed controlled stop. I immediately hit the kill switch and there we were. What a few seconds earlier was a riot of V-strom engine noise, whinnying horses, clattering hooves and screaming girl became a silent summer evening. The only sound was the birds chirping, crickets cricketing and my heart at a slightly elevated pace. We were no more than 10 feet apart, in complete silence, the horse staring at me, me staring at the horse. I had just started to think that I had no exit strategy, I still can’t find reverse on my bike and forward was not an option, when the girl came back into the picture and grabbed the reins. At this point, I can’t be sure, but I think the horse winked at me.
She was very apologetic and explained that she was training it and that it had never seen a bike before. After I took off my helmet, the horse seemed to relax and I let Trigger sniff my hand. I think something special passed between us at that moment. I let the girl walk it around the bike a couple of times and then we parted ways.
So I guess the questions have to be asked. Was the horse out to get me or did he just want a look at the Strom? Should we wave to horses as well as cows? If a Strom almost hits a horse on a deserted road and there is nobody there to hear it, Is it Okay to curse out loud ?
 

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Smart Riding

An excellent anecdote for increasing awareness. I commend you for "driving defensively" and covering the brakes. Another win for the safe smart riders. Glad you are okay.:cool:
 

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TJ, excelent heads up and smart riding. It's also good to see another goood ambassador for motorcycling. Good thinking on shutting the Strom down at stop. :cool:
 

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So for the really important question, did you get the girl's phone number???

:cool:


btw. Excellent job of improving the image of motorcyclists among our 4 legged friends. . . and girls with horses.
 

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Probably just Curious...

TJ:

I'm glad everything worked out well.. it could have been a disaster!

I suspect the horse was just curious about your Strom and wanted to take a good look.

..Tom
 

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Good call, sir.

I like to think that you also gave the "motorcycling sport" a good name by conducting yourself like a gentleman.

I'm reminded of the contrast between your heads-up and considerate reaction with the juvenile behaviour of drivers in downtown Toronto everyday. I just don't see your kind of conduct emanating from that mean-spirited mob. I know because our office building is right on Yonge St. and I live downtown (I'm more and more considering leaving this mayhem behind and moving northward.)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So for the really important question, did you get the girl's phone number???

:cool:


btw. Excellent job of improving the image of motorcyclists among our 4 legged friends. . . and girls with horses.

I knew this question was coming. I am surprised it took so long. She was very attractive and about 20 years younger than myself. I could have gotten her number for my son but his girlfriend might have an issue. She was a good ambassador for the horse riding community. It might just be this country living that mellows us out.
 

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TJ on behalf of the horse community, thank you very much, for having a brain AND acting considerately. My "other ride" has four legs, and you have no idea how much your actions are appreciated by horse people. There are a lot of drivers out there that have no idea of the danger they put themsleves and the horse in as they go blasting past 10k over the limit.

Being a prey species, a horses usual first instinct is flight, not fight and sometimes the flight path is right in to the path of the oncoming traffic. Even seasoned horses that are "bomb proof" or "have seen it all" can spook at something they have seen a hundred time before. The area I live in has seen four horses that have had to have been put down in the last two years due to drivers that were no where near as considerate as yourself and tried to blast past horses on narrow roads. Sensless really, when you think waiting an extra 30 seconds or so would probably averted the tragedy.

Once again, thank you, glad there was a happy ending for all involved
 

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Discussion Starter #10
TJ on behalf of the horse community, thank you very much, for having a brain AND acting considerately. My "other ride" has four legs, and you have no idea how much your actions are appreciated by horse people. There are a lot of drivers out there that have no idea of the danger they put themsleves and the horse in as they go blasting past 10k over the limit.

Being a prey species, a horses usual first instinct is flight, not fight and sometimes the flight path is right in to the path of the oncoming traffic. Even seasoned horses that are "bomb proof" or "have seen it all" can spook at something they have seen a hundred time before. The area I live in has seen four horses that have had to have been put down in the last two years due to drivers that were no where near as considerate as yourself and tried to blast past horses on narrow roads. Sensless really, when you think waiting an extra 30 seconds or so would probably averted the tragedy.

Once again, thank you, glad there was a happy ending for all involved


Thank you for the kind words

You are correct in that the horse was looking for a place to escape. The road at that point is lined with deep ditches and thick stands of bushes. He had no where to go. That is why he just suddenly stopped in front of me. I really had no fear that he would rear up on me. I was more afraid that he would try and jump the ditch or bolt into the brush.
The girl explained that this was her fifth day taking this route to acclimatize the horse to traffic and people. The bike was a new experience. She had also just refused to let it enjoy some apples that had fallen from a nearby tree so he was probably a little annoyed with her.
I was very impressed with the girl. She was very apologetic and concerned. She thanked me when I allowed her to take the horse around the bike a couple times. She was in full gear. Riding helmet boots and gloves. She also had a flourescent safety vest on.
As far as the horse. It was an absolutly beautiful animal with just enough spirit but he responded immediatly to the girl when she regained the leads.
 

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Nice work!!!!

Glad everything turned out ok for everyone involved. Certainly proves a lot of what David Hough writes about and then to be a good will ambassador for the sport besides - not nearly enough of that these days - anywhere. As one of my old bosses would say - "today you made a memory, and probably a friend too"

Safe riding,
Bob
 

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good to see another rider understand how to ride past a horse :) grew up and learned how to ride in waterloo region where there are alot of horses on the roads. slow down and clutch in and quitly roll past them is just second nature now.

+1 for being a great ambasador to for motorcycles!
 
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