Black bear looking you in the eyes!

So many bears – so little time! But I will here record some incidents. This one was on a weekend. The whole family and some friends saddled up to ride and visit the Foote’s for a birthday or some other excuse.

http://ranchoamericas.com/-/ranchoamericas/ link to their farm

Elly and Nathan was about an hours ride down towards Uncha Lake. We had not ridden the whole trail before, but I knew parts of it. I do not remember why we were so many, but we did not have enough saddles, nor trained horses. I rod a young, dum gelding with no name, not well trained, and without a saddle. I rode first to find the trail. It was narrow, full of brushes, and not often used.

About half way, my horse stalled, threw me off, forward. I landed in front of his hoofs; this black bear was just looking in my eyes. I could smell his breath. I was on the ground, on all four. Not very brave. No chance to think, just natural reactions. The bear twisted his body over to the right, and disappeared in the bushes, scared as much as I was, or may be more. The horse newer got a chance to react or move.

My ex wife told the story later; she was on the horse behind mine. I was on the ground, and before the young gelding could react to the bear, I was back up on the horses back again ! No saddle, no stirrups, just the reigns; and ay be I grabbed his mane, but I have never jumped on to the back of a large 15 hand’s horse, before or after, from a standing still position, never mind, from my all fours, on the ground.

The fear gives one strength that one newer know is possible. I have tried, and failed, to jump onto a horses back, no stirrups, no saddle, just by grabbing the mane. Never made it. But this one time it happened, to my luck, because if I had failed, and my and the other horses had panicked, we would have serous problems.

We had a nice visit at the Foote’s, and as usually, Nathan beat me in chess.

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