In a scenario that many horse owners can relate to, an upper-level dressage horse in England got so spooked by a herd of cows that it ended up trapped in a ditch.
The horse is a bay gelding named Casper, who balked at the bovines and fell into an eight-foot ditch. Crews arrived from the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service Southern Station and Loughborough Station, they got Casper to safety with the use of a quick release lifting beam attached to heavy lifting equipment. According to the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Facebook page, the horse was no worse for wear. “Casper is a very special horse, having competed at several national championships in dressage over the years. He is on the mend and seems to be healing well; he’ll be back to being ridden in no time!”
Thankfully, when confronted by a cow or a herd of cows ‒ or deer, a dog, or any animal ‒ most of our spooky horses don’t wind up in a ditch. Nonetheless, spooking at other animals can be dangerous for horse and rider and it’s worth training your horse to be calm around them. This article gives you tips to help desensitize your horse to cows whether you’re a western roper or a weekend trail rider.
Of course the main piece of “equipment” you need to achieve this are cows! If you don’t own any steers, maybe you can borrow some, or ship your horse to a farm that does have them, or is next to a herd. As long as you can control the situation, you and your horse can safely learn to live with the sight, noise, and smell of cattle.