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.