A rider who found herself surrounded by a herd of cows while using a bridleway has praised her “one in a billion” horse who took it all in his stride.
Amanda Prior, an equine product tester from Dorset, was hacking her 16.1hh eventer Max on 24 April when the cows appeared.
Amanda told H&H: “I’d been for a gallop and stopped to let Max have some grass afterwards – and suddenly the group of cows came running at us while he was eating.
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“Max wasn’t bothered; he was too interested in having a munch. He’s so chilled he’ll happily walk on the end of the buckle even after a gallop. The cows were being silly and walking into us but Max was so good. We walked to the gate and he stood while I opened it and went through.”
Amanda said nine-year-old Max, who she competes at BE90 level, is “quite a character”.
“He’s really weird and likes different animals. Most horses are terrified of pigs but if we ever see any, Max loves to look at them,” she said.
“He’s really brave, very safe and always looking after me, we’ve just received our qualification to move up to BE100. I’ve never felt scared on him – we hack, hunt, and compete a lot and he’s always really chilled. I lost a lovely horse a couple of years ago to sycamore poisoning and then I had a horse who wasn’t suitable for me that I sold on – he terrified me and I didn’t want to ride any more. When I tried Max out he wasn’t what I was looking for at the time, he was a lot bigger than what I had previously but I bought him and he’s just great, he’s so much fun.”
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Amanda posted footage of the incident online which has been viewed more than 40,000 times.
“I’ve had lots of comments and people sharing the video – someone asked to buy him and others have said their horses wouldn’t have been that calm,” she said.
“I’ve always made the point of making Max go up to new things since I got him, I think that’s why he’s so good. If you can get your horse to trust you can do pretty much anything with them – I find Max really trusts me and I trust him.”
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