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Spooked

On a ride at Canada del Oro, we passed three horse riders on the trail near Baldy Ryan Creek at the bottom of the Mayfair Ranch trail. There was no incident and we continued to the picnic table at the top where the fun began.

The weather was hot and muggy, so stopping at the picnic table in the shade of the big oak tree was a good idea.  After a while, the three equestrians joined us and gave their horses some water from the trough that is next to the picnic table. They were taking some pictures as we mounted up and started up the short but steep climb to the summit.

We were grunting up the hill when I heard a commotion coming up the trail behind me. I pulled to the right and then a riderless horse galloped past me followed by a rider and a horse in a full gallop in pursuit. We guessed that they were running up hill at about 30 mph, so they were going a lot faster than we were. They stayed on the road and we saw that the riderless horse was opening a gap with the rider. Once we got to the summit, we  saw that the rider had broken off the chase and was following at a walk (probably a good idea to get the other horse to stop running). We saw one of the other riders come by on her horse and continue on in pursuit of the other two. Finally, we saw the third rider walking and checking where the others had gone. We saw the first rider come back without the spooked horse.

We don't know what spooked the horse. It wasn't us because we were well past where they had been. Thinking about it, it was a bit concerning to have such a large animal galloping uncontrolled through the park. Fortunately, the road was wide and we were able to pull over and the horse avoided us, but we might not have been so lucky if this had happened on another part of the trail.We also don't know what happened to the spooked horse.

 

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