So riding yesterday with the gentleman who comes once a week to ride Orion as therapy, and Raina riding Bella, I had Fonna out.
We made a loop of the arena together and stopped down at the North/East corner to confer for a moment. Fonna and Orion had their backs to the outside and Bella hadn’t quite gotten there yet, when something moved loudly down by the creek. Fonna started forward and I stopped her, but then Orion jumped at her jump, so she of course, had to jump at him. This could have gone badly with some other horses, but we got them both stopped right away.
When I turned back to see what had spooked them, I caught a glimpse of a good sized male black bear scampering up the bank on the far side and running across the open space beyond. I had just finished saying. “Oh it was a bear running away.” when we notice something else…
In the picture to the right, if you look real close, you might make out what we saw.
Yes, that is three black bears, momma and two cubs, sitting in the tree not 30′ away looking at us.
They stayed in the tree for the whole hour long ridding session, moving higher up every so often. By the end of the ride they were most of the way up this very tall tree.
We put the horses away, then Raina and I got out Zephyr and Jupiter, but by the time we got back they had climbed down and taken off, though Jupiter could tell by the smell that corner was dangerous. Took a while to get him to move through it without balking.
So now I can say that several of the horses have encountered bears without panicking.
Considering this family seems to have taken up residence in the creek right below the arena, I am sure this not the last time we will run into them.