Preface to my story: I try to make it out to ride Kylie every night after work, sometimes things come up, but lately I have been pretty consistent. It is nice if Chad is home from work and goes with me. We can take the carpool lane (which saves alot of time with the horrible LA traffic), and the dogs enjoy the outing. Most nights there is maybe one other person there, but everyone else rides during the day. I am on my own many nights.
Tonight two of my friends were out at the barn, and we got to talking and it began to get dark. One of the girls headed home and on the way out told us to be careful of the bears. There have been signs posted around the stable that bears have been knocking over the trash cans at night, and have been seen on several occasions. Yikes! Luckily, my friend said she'd keep me company while I put Kylie away. After we untacked her, and tucked her into bed we were on our way back to my car (I was going to drive her down to her car on the other side of the ranch), and I heard a noise. It was a loud noise, it sounded like D was crinkling paper in her pocket and it was echoing, but amplified, very amplified. We both looked at each other and realized what that noise was...the bear was crossing the river that borders the ranch only feet away from where we were! That noise was something very big splashing his way right towards us. I screamed, and panicked and felt like I was in one of those dreams/nightmares where I couldn't get the car door opened fast enough. My heart was pounding and I was hyperventilating. I am not good in any kind of emergency situation, especially when my life is at risk. I was like Mario Andretti and floored it out of there leaving a big cloud of dust behind. I think it was about an hour before my blood pressure was back to normal. That was quite an anadrenaline rush, and not in a good way. Now I am wondering what I am going to do about my evening rides. I surely do not want to become a bear snack. How do you protect yourself from a bear?
I know you are not supposed to run from a bear, but geez it is instinct..run for your life! If a Black Bear approaches, you are supposed to try to demonstrate to the bear that you may be a danger to it (yeah right). Make yourself appear larger, stand up, raise your arms and open your jacket. Yell at the bear, bang pots and pans or whatever objects you may have with you, and create a general commotion. I guess I better start bringin my cookware to go ride my horse. I also read that bears are known to eat the horse manure for the residual grain. So much for cutting off the food supply they are after!