The Boulder County Horse Association (BCHA) and the Boulder Mountain Bike Patrol teamed up on Saturday, July 22 to host a bike – horse exposure event. This first-ever event in Boulder County provided horse owners an opportunity to acclimate their horses to bikes in a controlled and safe setting.
Members of the bike patrol brought their bikes while BHCA recruited inexperienced horses who could benefit from the event. Several BCHA members also brought their experienced horses to provide support during the interactions. The event started with inexperienced horses being led up to a stationary bike and rider so the horse could learn that bikes are not a threat. Over the course of two hours the stationary bike and rider transitioned to walking their bike past the horse, then riding nearby, then riding past the horse. By the end, even the most fearful horse at the beginning could tolerate several bikes riding nearby.
Besides the benefit for the horses and their riders, the bike patrollers who participated gained a deeper understanding of horses and their varied reaction to bikes. These patrollers will be a resource for other patrol members in the future. Everyone agreed the event was a huge success and plans are in the works to hold another event in the fall.
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