When riding your horse on the trails you may encounter lose dogs which may spook or even attack your horse. Stay calm! Calm your horse. Lose dogs should never be allowed on the trails, no matter how well acquainted your own horse is with your dog. Most parks won’t allow it, because a lose dog can disturb wildlife, hikers and easily startle someone else’s horse. Sadly, your dog can also be kicked. Some years ago a fellow boarder had an incident on the trail with an aggressive German Shepherd. The owner had it on a leash but couldn’t control it. It lunged for the horse, which scooted away from underneath the rider, who fell off and broke her arm.
Lose Dog Attack!
If this happens to you, the first thing to do is to control your horse, stay calm and stand your ground. If possible, direct your horse, or a group of horses, to walk directly toward the dog, often, a lone dog, being much of a coward, is likely to back off if confronted head on, however, when dealing with a pack of dogs is by far more dangerous. A pack has the tendency to gang up from several sides. The worst thing you can do is turn your horse around to try to escape in the opposite direction. It won’t be too long before the dog catches up and begins biting the horse from behind. This can cause major panic and dangerous situation! Even a skilled rider would have difficulty to keep a horse under control. Avoid using maze or pepper spray; it may not stop the dog and may get into your own eyes. Also, blasting an air horn, or firing a warning shot is strongly ill-advised.