Saturday, April 1, 2017

In the News

There was a story on TV and in the online news about an aggressive driver harassing local horseback riders.  To summarize, a lady was riding her horse with two other horseback riders when a man in a truck stopped ahead of them, then gunned it, raced right at them, came to a screeching halt, got out of his truck and yelled at them saying that he was tired of horse people and horse poop in the road.

One of the riders dismounted to talk to the guy and try to calm him down while another snapped a picture of him, his truck, and his license plate number.  Of course, the identifying factors were fuzzed out since everyone is innocent until proven guilty.  I did recognize the road as being one near my home.  What's amazing about this picture, though, is that the horseback rider who got off to talk to the guy appeared to be wearing a gun in a holster, so I kind of wonder if the angry driver noticed that.  They said he did settle down, but then got back in his truck, backed up, gunned it and raced at them a second time.  One lady said he would have hit her had her horse not jumped out of the way.

The horseback rider who almost got hit contacted the mayor, who arranged a meeting with horseback riders and the police.  It turns out there were a lot of similar incidents that happened to horseback riders.  I was astounded to read that.  I guess because I mainly only cross the street in front of my house and most of the neighbors are familiar with me, I haven't had any problems with drivers being intentionally aggressive.  I've seen some drivers who were ignorant about slowing down around horses and slowing down on blind hills, but no one who tried to kill me.

This leaves me to wonder what exactly is going on in this driver's head, and the heads of any other drivers who have pulled similar stunts.  I mean, what's the problem with manure in the road?  Did he just wash his tires and doesn't want to get manure stuck in the treads?  Most people don't walk in the street, so stepping in it shouldn't be an issue.  Even on the trails, I find that dog poop is more of a problem than horse manure.  Horse manure usually bakes in the sun, gets scattered by the wind, fertilizes plants, and gets eaten by coyotes.  It's just digested grass.  When my horses poop along the trails, it's usually gone within 48 hours.  Dog poop is a different story.  I find myself having to side-step the same pile for months.  I've even seen fossilized dog poop.

And why is he "tired of horseback riders"?  Do they ride across his path all the time and make him slow down and be late to his destination?  Are they trespassing on his property?  I'd really like to know.  I'm kind of wondering if this is just a case of the locals getting short-tempered because of the winter population explosion, and this guy associates snowbirds with horseback riders.  Perhaps he lives near a stable that allows winter visitors to board their horses and live out of their RVs and trailers there, and he is irritated with having to put up with all those new neighbors.  (Thinking along the lines of the things that annoy me.)  At any rate, it seems there are a lot more annoying things out there to light one's fuse besides people riding large, quiet animals around the community.

In my mind, the community I live in is one of the few remaining communities that support horseback riding by setting aside land to ride on.  It also preserves ghost towns and museums that keep the wild west alive, which in turn attracts tourists and brings in money.  Many of the businesses and parks around here provide hitching posts.  I'm thinking that anyone who hates horseback riders enough to try to kill them should probably relocate to a city.  I relocated to here in part because the county I lived in before kept taking land away from horseback riders and turning it over to motor sports organizations.  I got tired of the noise and air pollution.  I'm not sure why someone who drives a loud diesel truck would be bothered by noiseless creatures that are kind enough to carry humans on their backs.


Grey Horse Matters said...

This guy just sounds like a nut. There are a lot of unhinged jerks out there. They all seem to think they are the only ones on the planet and have no manners where others are concerned. The me-me generation where they care nothing about others feelings only their own. He should be arrested for attempted murder or at least harassment. He could have gotten someone killed. Jerk.

Linda said...

That's insane. You never know what crazy you'll run into. That man deserves serious jail time, no matter his grievance. I also carry a sidearm for protection. ..mostly in the woods. I would hate to be in a position to have to use it, but I'd hate it more to be in a situation without one.

TeresaA said...

People are crazy. Someone I know in the community is getting harassed by her neighbour because she has a horse. The woman doesn't like 'the smell' but she bought the house and it's a rural community.

lytha said...

I didn't realize this until lately but in Wuppertal you are required to clean up after your horse if it poops on the street. WTH! I asked why and the barn owner told me she understands, cuz kids step in it on their way home from school and bring it into their homes, and cars get it in their tires and get it in their garages. I was still shocked - kids and cars can usually avoid piles.

I'm so glad that where we live this isn't an issue, and the streets always have horse poop on them. Sometimes the neighbors clean it up, and I've seen then put it in their gardens. One neighbor teased me about my horse pooping on the street and I said, "For 5 bucks I'll leave it there and you can have it for your garden." : )

As a city person in the country I do get annoyed with a few aspects of country life. When they spray fluid cattle manure onto the fields around our home and the air becomes putrid, almost metallic tasting, I shut all my windows and wait for rain. I also hate that the neighbors built a chicken coop 10 feet from my bedroom window and so now we have rooster and loud hen noises at 6 AM every day, amplified by the fact that their indoor area is in a large echoey garage. It's so loud I'll have to record it and blog it. I cannot enjoy wild bird song in the morning, or other nature noises, cuz of chickens. And recently our neighbors stopped being our friends, telling us that we are city folk who don't belong here if we can't handle chickens. (This occurred when we knocked on their door to tell them their chickens were in our yard - instead of saying sorry, they got angry.)

Nothing compares to your neighbor issues though!

ellie k said...

Some people don't know what an odor the fluid cow manure puts out unless they have been to Germany or near a farm that spreads it. When we in Germany one of the sprayers full of manure broke loose in twon and covered one of the small cars they have there. My kids lived in a small farming town and she told me that they could only spread it if it was going to rain. Since most of the cows are kept in the barns there is lots of manure.

Jacke Reynolds said...

Many years ago I'd bought a hot little arabian, very sweet horse but he had not been rode out of the arena. I had worked with him and decided to take him on his first "to town" ride solo. We'd been out a few times with other riders and I thought he was ready. A guy in car came up from behind, and I was watching as soon as I heard the vehicle. He looked me right in the eye, gunned it and came at me. I lay that little horse down in a roadside ditch avoiding being hit. Riding on the road has spooked me ever since. The horse came through less traumatized than I was. Can't imagine why someone would try to do that...all I could think of was my two little girls, not having a MOM...there is a lot of evil lurking around out there.