Here's an experience Sassy and I had back a few months ago when we headed out to the desert.
We had a beautiful ride and had gone quite a ways by the end of our 4-hour ride, crossing the river several times and taking pictures of wild horses, coyotes and eagles. Actually, we had just finished taking pictures of PRINCE aka IKE, with TINA aka TRIXIE, ARIAS and SONORA and were making our way along the river toward the picnic area of Coon Bluff.
Unexpectedly Sassy slowed down her walking, lowered her head and started blowing through her nose (like they do when they're uncomfortable or not liking what they see or sense). I was thinking of turning around when suddenly I saw what I thought she was 'not liking.' LOL
There were 2 people ahead of us, one of them standing on a big boulder close to the river. Umm, this man was wearing nothing. That's right, he had on NO clothing. Yes, I am absolutely serious, and no, I did not take photos.
I immediately looked in the opposite direction and whispered to Sassy we were getting outta Dodge!
As we started veering left to go toward the road, Sassy again lowered her head and started that blowing. (To clarify, it's not a snort; it's a quiet, blowing horses do when they sense something's not quite right.)
Suddenly, and I do mean suddenly, we JUST ABOUT COLLIDED with a bob cat!! Do you want to read that sentence again? Yes, that's exactly what happened. He was walking diagonally from the opposite direction, and if he and Sassy had both kept walking, our paths would have intercepted, and they would have literally bumped into each other!
At just about the exact same instant, both the bobcat and Sassy stopped walking, and the 3 of us stared at each other for what seemed like hours! The reality is it was probably around 3 seconds.
It took me at least 2 of those seconds to comprehend what I was looking at!!
He raised his upper lip and gave a low snarl; nothing like what they show in the movies, just a quiet noise. I'm wondering if he was trying to smell fear, or if he, perhaps was a little startled and curled his lip to make us think he was unafraid.
Sassy stood completely still with her head lowered, and stared at the bobcat; he quizzically looked at me and then her, then back at me. It was clear we were all a little surprised. LOL
As he crossed in front of us, I breathed as quietly as I could and maintained total composure. I kept thinking I didn't want to do anything or make any noise that would possibly startle him, giving him a reason to attack.
As we're standing and staring at each other, I hear someone running up behind Sassy and me. You guessed it ...... the naked guy! (Except he had clothes on now.)
As I turned my head and saw him running, I sternly told him to stop and be careful. He stopped and asked why. I looked and nodded at the bob cat and advised him to move slowly away from the area. The last thing I wanted him to do would be alarm the bobcat, who was directly in front of Sassy by this time.
Well, instead of quietly backing up, the guy freaked and screamed, "Oh my f 'ing hell! There's a mountain lion! Oh my God! Oh my God! What do I do?"
I told him to STOP with the noise first of all, and second, it was not a mountain lion. We were "getting to know" a bobcat. :)
As the guy stood there (way too close to Sassy and me!), I told him he should start backing away slowly. I advised him I don't know all that much about bob cats, but my instincts said not to turn our backs to him. He asked if he could stand behind my horse until the cat was gone! I answered him emphatically, "No! Absolutely not!" and that I had every intention of slowly backing my horse out of the area.
What do you think the guy did??? Unbelievable! He turned around and ran screaming!! Folks, this guy had to be in his 30's! I sure was glad I hadn't asked him for help! LOL
Anyway, the bobcat decided the guy was an idiot, and he looked back at Sassy and me and started walking diagonally in front of us, going toward the road. By this time, I had managed to get out my camera and had been video-taping and clicking away.
I wish I could have gotten a longer video of him walking, etc., but it was my first encounter with a fascinating animal of this sort, and I was trying to carefully watch everything, especially the nutty guy. ;)