Teenager thrown off horse, dog owner refuses to call off dog – Devon 7th Jan

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Goodness.....let's hope the 'gentleman' involved does the right thing and hands himself in. Glad the rider is ok, must have been frightening seeing her horse chased out to sea, I hope horse was ok too, don't think it mentions it in the report.
 

EKW

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There was a video on the BBC the other day where a group of riders were rounded up by a dog on the beach which then proceeded to jump up and appear to bite one pony causing it to panic and drop it's rider. The dog carried on chasing the loose pony round in circles round the other riders snapping at its heels.

Dogs are a pita. People wonder why I am a cat person!
 

SEL

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That's shocking - but all too common sadly. Too many people have no ideal how to recall their dog. I used to ride a bombproof welshie and twice I had to yell at a dog owner to call off their dog from snapping at his legs. Even a bombproof pony will kick out with intent when there's a large dog behind biting.

Hope rider and horse are ok. Think we need harsher penalties and a few examples made of people who can't control dogs.
 

Black Beastie

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I used to just let my old guy kick dogs, I even encouraged him to chase them if I’m honest, didn’t take much considering he didn’t like dogs, used to try to kill them if they came into his field whilst he was loose. He protected his field quite decisively. We gave a good few idiotic dog owners a fright when there dog cam running back to them with my and my guy hot in its heels.

If you can’t recall it don’t let it off.
 

scats

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This happened to my friends daughter on our local beach a few years ago. Dog attacked her horse and teenager came off and horse came galloping home 2 miles on his own down a horrendous main road. He arrived at the yard at a gallop, lathers in sweat, his saddle round his belly and hi-viz sheet trailing. He had only missed being hit as he came flying out the side road onto the main road because there was a street sweeper holding the traffic up. It was a miracle really.

He was very wary of dogs for a while and teen lost her confidence with him on the beach, understandably. Thankfully they were both ok and now enjoy beach rides together again.
 
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In 30yrs of riding I had never had any particularly alarming/potentially dangerous incidents with dogs until the last 18 months. My horse is bomb-proof and used to dogs/hounds (came from a hunt home) but in the last year or so whilst out hacking (in rural/semi-rural villages) there have been five separate incidents; he has been bitten twice (on a short bridle path and on the road) and chased three times (un-restrained dogs running out of footpaths or properties as we walked/trotted past on the road). In only one of these cases did the owner(s) attempt to call back their dog, and non of them apologised. One owner walked away, leaving their dog to harass us.

My horse's default reaction is to stand still, but since the biting incidents I am not sure that this helps him (but realise that 'running' away would just encourage the dog to give chase). There seems to be more and more owners who don't realise that their dog should be on a lead on the road (this also makes driving locally rather alarming), and who believe that they have no responsibility for their dog's behaviour wherever they are. I have walked my dogs on the beach mentioned in the OP many times, and there are definitely some antisocial and irresponsible regulars walking their dogs there.

I'm not sure what the solution is, but maybe the dog warden/police visiting the beach (and other dog walking meccas) occasionally and stopping owners of out of control dogs for a chat about their responsibilities (and the law) would be a good start.
 

Pearlsasinger

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There is a 40mph road with no pavements/verge local to us, where dogwalkers regulalry have loose dogs wandering aabout from side to side and sometimes going into the fields on either side of the road. the dog warden is well aware but only visits if yet another complaint has been made. then the dogs are kept onleads for about a week until the owners think it doesn't matter any more. This is a relatively quiet road except at rush hour and school travel times, there is a local by-law stating that dogs should be on leads at all times on council property, including the highways. There are also notices asking dog owners to clear up after their dogs - the bags are often left either at the side of the road or dangling from bushes!
 

ester

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We’ve had a staffy hanging on to tails before, we couldn’t see the owner bit turned out he was hiding in the dunes by one of the footpaths and as soon as he called the dog it went to him so why he hadn’t done so earlier lord knows!

The most regular heard response was ‘it’s a rescue’/we’ve only had it 2 weeks often when we had retraced steps to return it. The concept of maybe not letting your new rescue off lead on a relatively busy beach seemed not to register.
 
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My cousin and I had a few encounters with out of control dogs when we were on bridlepaths (same area, part of a council-run park/estate). One of them involved two dogs clocking us, and then come belting towards us growling with teeth bared, and we kept spinning our horses round so they were always facing the dogs and when we could, charge towards them. (This has always been our best way of dealing with out of control dogs as it terrifies most owners into taking action). The owner's were apologetic once they caught them so we couldn't really have too much of a go at them. Other times have involved dogs mainly being excited or curious, but on two separate occasions my placid and well behaved horse got so pee'd off with the dogs snapping at his tail and heels he booted them. This was after I had spent a few minutes standing still while the owners tried to catch their mutts, and I got fed up with waiting so walked on. Stupid dogs carried on bugging my horse when we were trying to mind our own business so he kicked them and they went off squealing like stuck pigs. Henry got an extra carrot those days.

Luckily where I am now we don't encounter many dogs but people never cease to amaze me that you can be going along minding your own business, their out of control mutt harasses you and your horse and they either act like its your fault or don't even have the decency to apologise. Sadly there's no cure for stupid, or no ban on stupid people owning dogs. I'm not a fan of dogs in general but most dog owners are responsible and considerate - it's a shame that the stupid few give all of them a bad name.
 

Denbob

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Poor girl, I can't imagine the panic of watching your horse being chased off into the sea!

Where I shared previously we had a loose lab come into the fields and worry horses, legally as it was a farm the landowner had a right to shoot for worrying the cows as well (which it did) but wasn't often around in time. Nobody would 'fess up who it belonged too, one day we were coming back from a short hack and it came bounding towards us - horses kept their heads just about and we cantered straight at it, luckily the bugger turned tail and ran. Landowner didn't even complain we'd chewed up the field.

Another time not long after I'd bought beastie we were riding along a bridleway at the bottom of quite a narrow valley - spotted two walkers with leads and a ball but no dog. Called out asking if they could recall their dog, they tried with no response, shrugged and kept walking. As they were about level with us the missing dog came flying down the valley just behind the horses. Of the three Denzel was the only one not to bolt and just stood quivering, luckily one of the others only managed a few strides before he was stopped but the other kept going for a good quarter mile. Dog owners then berated us for not being safe to be around members of the public! Denzel hasn't been the same around dogs since and it's taken a long time and a lot of confident lead horses to get him past even well-behaved dogs sat still and quiet next to their owners. A lot of it is ignorance but a good chunk of that ignorance is wilful and they should absolutely be fined.
 

LaurenBay

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I have generally had good experiences with Dogs.

I did have one incident though which ended up in an argument between me and the dog owner. I was hacking alone and I heard shouting, looked behind me to see 2 Dogs running at us with owners failing to call them back (but trying) so I turned my mare round to face them and 1 started to run circles around us. 1 was quite scared so stood back but the other was pretty confident and tried to nip her heels. She jumped sidewards and managed to trip herself up. I dismounted and gave the Dog an almighty whack in the face with my schooling whip. It ran back to its owners pretty quickly who then put it on a lead, they started walking over to me, I assumed to apologise. But instead said I was cruel for hitting their Dog. They didn't even care when I showed them that my mare had cut herself when she tripped.
 

Cortez

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I don't hack out on the road, but do ride in a large estate/park where there are often dogs - meant to be on leads, but often not. I have whacked dogs with a schooling whip that would not back off and were not under any form of control by their owners, who seemed to think their dog was being "friendly". I have also ridden out with a hunt crop and lash, which is purpose made for the job.
 

Gloi

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When I was a teenager in the 70s I was riding on some wasteland with a friend when a German Shepard started chasing us. It ran up behind my friends cob and the mare kicked it and killed it straight off. There was nobody with it and it had no collar on so no idea who owned it. If any dogs run around my pony now I always say to the owner to be careful their dog doesn't get kicked and killed.
 
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I don't hack out on the road, but do ride in a large estate/park where there are often dogs - meant to be on leads, but often not. I have whacked dogs with a schooling whip that would not back off and were not under any form of control by their owners, who seemed to think their dog was being "friendly". I have also ridden out with a hunt crop and lash, which is purpose made for the job.
Good on you, and LaurenBay above. I can't count the amount of times we had "don't worry he won't do anything" when their dog comes charging up behind the horses. How do they know our horses (minding their own business, on a bridlepath) won't do anything?! Like I said before, no cure for stupid.
 
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A similar thing happened on Cleethorpes beach (as per EKWs post) this week. i accept dogs like to chase but if you know your dog has a tendency to do this why would you not keep him on the leash or under control to protect him/her or the animal/human being chased. My daughters pony kicked a dog out hacking that was attempting to nip his heels. The owner only appeared when the dog yelped and then started trying to blame me for his dog being kicked! He even reported me to the police, but they took no action apart from visiting me to hear my side of the story :)
 

Cortez

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"My horse may kick if your dog comes too close, please keep him on the lead" is my usual conversation starter. One or two dogs have been kicked (not hurt) over the years, and if the owner gets shirty I just shrug my shoulders and say "Told you so". I have no sympathy at all for the owner, but feel sorry for the dogs and their lack of training.
 

Lindylouanne

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I have honestly never had an issue with dog walkers. The ones I meet are all polite and their dogs under control even if they are off the lead which is a good thing because DP hates dogs with a vengeance. I can't take the farm dogs into the field when I'm poo picking because he will chase them and then try and stamp on them.
 

asmp

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"My horse may kick if your dog comes too close, please keep him on the lead" is my usual conversation starter. One or two dogs have been kicked (not hurt) over the years, and if the owner gets shirty I just shrug my shoulders and say "Told you so". I have no sympathy at all for the owner, but feel sorry for the dogs and their lack of training.
This - although I say my horse WILL kick (which he has been known to do).
 
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Had more than one dog owner who when told "he will kick if your dog continues", have replied, "well it will teach him a lesson", well it might if it gets up again!
 

Reacher

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I hope the horse chased by the dog is not seriously hurt and I hope the dog’s owner is spoken to by the police.
I’ve been chased by dogs on the beach whose owners couldn’t catch them. On a frightened horse, if you are worried it is going to panic / bolt, what’s the best thing to do? Dismount and fend the dog off?

Ps along with PaS I am always amazed by plastic bags of dog 💩 left hanging off a branch...
 

ihatework

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I had my horse at the vets for an overground scope back in the autumn.

Was half way up a gallop set (with the v expensive headgear on) when some random member of the public was trespassing with his loose dog, who was promptly hot on my heels. Knobends.
 

windand rain

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The pony on Cleethorpes beach was attacked by an out of control boxer. It was out with a group from Sophie Browns (British event rider) yard neither the horse or child were injured but it looked scary as the pony was loose. It did stay with the others thankfully
 

paddy555

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the only solution is for all dogs to be kept on leads at all times in public places by law with fines for failure to comply. As a dog owner myself I would welcome this. I am fed up with loose dogs running barking and growling at my dog who is always on a lead. I cycle a lot and am sick to death of them running out of control on off road cycle tracks and charging under my front wheel. As for riding I trained my horse to "grow a pair" and face up to them. With a little practice he got to enjoy the game. I ask people to call their dogs back and if they don't I ride over them. The owners ask if I can stop and I ask them to call their dog back. Finally they get the message that this is for real, I don't care if they tell me their dog doesn't mind horses and half a ton of horse is about to descend on their pooch unless they do something. By that stage they start to get the message.
We had problems years ago in our area with snappy farm collies all over the roads. One chap rode with a stock whip and that sorted the problem. I am training my youngster to face up to dogs and also to accept the stock whip. It seems the only way of getting through to some of them.

I hope the girl and horse are OK. I know Exmouth beach well and it is very long. If a horse started running it could go a long way and potentially cause a lot of damage both to itself and the public.
 

Keith_Beef

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I hope the horse chased by the dog is not seriously hurt and I hope the dog’s owner is spoken to by the police.
I’ve been chased by dogs on the beach whose owners couldn’t catch them. On a frightened horse, if you are worried it is going to panic / bolt, what’s the best thing to do? Dismount and fend the dog off?
I wonder about this, too... Would a horse be more calm with a rider on its back, telling it what to do?

So far, I've not had any serious problem with dogs.

Where I ride near home, there are plenty of dog walkers, but most of the dogs are on a leash. Those that are not on a leash seem to be very well behaved, and their owners clip on a leash quickly enough. The only time I've thought that things might get hairy was riding an unfamiliar horse in the Dordogne, and crossing a farm a little yappy thing came after us; but he stayed out of kicking distance and once we got out of what he clearly considered his terriertory, he gave up and went into a barn.

I'm pretty certain that if a dog worried my mount enough to get me thrown off, then if the horse didn't kill the dog, I would do so. And if I got to the dead dog's owner, there would be a bit of a stern admonishment dished out.
 

Lexi_

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The scariest incident I’ve ever had whilst riding was a dog attack on a beach. A little Jack Russell came steaming over to us, had a go at the horse I was riding, then chased the other horse we were out with and latched onto his back leg. Thank god he had boots on and no damage was done.

The owner was sitting eating butties, didn’t try and recall the dog at all, eventually sent her two small children to get it back and they were running round the horse’s back legs trying to snatch it. Trying to calm the horses down, keep the kids out of harm’s way and get away was bloody horrible! Very thankfully the horse took matters into his own hooves in the end and booted the dog across the sand.
 
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I have used a pocketful of pebbles in the past, a handful thrown fairly hard will deter most dogs. I learned this when I used to help exercise hunters from a local yard & we often had a couple of young racehorse breakers with us, as the hunters were steady company on the roads. The jockeys knew where the local rogue dogs were lying waiting behind the hedges & gates and had a handful ready as the dogs ran out - worked a treat.
 

Nasicus

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the only solution is for all dogs to be kept on leads at all times in public places by law with fines for failure to comply. As a dog owner myself I would welcome this.
"BuT tHeN hOw Is ThE dOg SuPpOsEd To RuN aNd ExErCiSe???"
Is usually the response to that.
Simple, stick it on a long line. Dog gets to run, but within a sensible distance (ie within owners view), and can be dragged back and restrained should the need arise.
 
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