Tag Archive for: dan marinos

savvy cycling around horses

Use Horse Sense To Avoid A Horse Wreck

The weather was overcast and in the 50s on that Sunday last October, as Dan Marinos ponied his horses on a quiet country road in West Newbury, MA.

pulled text highlight: horses respond to different signals“I’ve done this hundreds of times,” Dan wrote to me as background to what happened next. Dan and I connected through my work as a bicycling instructor. He wanted me to spread the word, so that all cyclists would know how to avoid what could be a dangerous or even deadly situation.

Dan wrote: “My horses are well trained and very much used to traveling on roads. But they are horses–prey animals. They choose flight when perceiving a threat.”

What was the threat? Two cyclists, who had ridden up behind Dan and his two horses. Dan was astride one and ponying (leading) the other.

“The cyclists came up silently and were upon us in an instant, much like a mountain lion would behave,” Dan wrote. “The ponied horse spooked and bolted. The horse I was on did the same, herd instinct it’s called.

“I had to let go of the second horse in order to gain control of the horse I was on,” Dan continued. “The loose horse lost his footing, went down, and slid 40 feet on his side.

“I’m extremely lucky that his wounds are superficial, and he’ll be OK. It could have been so much worse.”