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and Luvtazz too
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Discussion Starter #1
I frequently take Buzz with me when riding. He listens wonderfully, stays close to the horse and comes immediately when called. (except when he knows we are almost at the end of our ride). When I see a person walking, I jump off, call Buzz and leash him until we pass the person. Recently while riding, two large dogs came out from nowhere. (not goldens) They were fine with Buzz but then saw the horse. They started to jump, bark and nip at the horse. One in the front, one in the back. The horse paniced, went into a bucking episode and I landed in the leaves. (I'm 52, not hurt, but felt like I was in a major car accident).

Could I have done anything to stop the attack? Would Mace be a wrong thing to do? Any suggestions?

The owner of the dogs did show up, she was behind them.
 

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I'm glad you're ok. I don't know what you could have done to stop them, you would have to let them get too close to use Mace. I hope you got the owners information and reported her, dogs that attack a horse are dangerous.

I'd be tempted to carry a pellet gun or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
She was gone before I could get any information. I did not report the incident because I didn't have much info.
The last thing I would ever want to do is over react and hurt an animal. But landing in the dirt wasn't a very good feeling either. Thank goodness Buzz wasn't invovled. That would have magnified the terrible day 100%.
 

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Your safety and your horses safety has to come first, what if they had bitten his legs and crippled him? You did get thrown off because of them. I would not worry about the other dogs injuries in that situation, if what stopped them hurt them that's their fault and their owners fault.

Did she even apologize?
 

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She did and seemed very upset; she was crying. She quickly left after I said I was OK, she went in search of her dogs.
Horse ran off...girl ran off...her dogs ran off.
But guess who stayed...my BUZZ. He was beside me the entire time.
 

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Daisy - my heart
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I would never in a million years allow my dog to do that to a horse, it's insane. I wouldn't blame the dogs for that, but I'd sure be upset with the dogs' owner. I hope she learned a lesson with this incident.

Behind your dogs on a trail is risky. I know sometimes I do this with Daisy but she is never so far ahead of me that I can't see what is coming into our environment. Did you get a chance to talk to her about this?
 

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Daisy - my heart
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Sorry, I was posting as you were. I bet this lady did learn a very valuable lession, and I think she'll be more careful.

I really don't know how you can prevent something like this from happening. We only have control over what we do, not what other people do, and unfortunately dogs off leash is a common problem everywhere. Dog owners have to be so careful.
 

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I'm trying to be positive and think that maybe the dogs never saw a horse before. The owner kept calling her dogs...they just didn't listen. She did seem truely sorry...I hope she learned a lesson.
It just happened so fast. I guess even if I had Mace...I wouldn't have been quick enough to use it.
 

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I don't know if it would have helped in this situation but when I see a dog running towards us I always start yelling "NO NO, BAD DOG, BAD GIRL, BAD BOY, GO HOME" over and over again. It usually slows them down and they watch while I ride by.
 

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I can't imagine trying to hang on to a bucking horse and trying to get an accurate shot at a leaping dog. You might have squirted yourself in the eye. :doh: Glad you're okay, if ruffed up a little. You can join my Tough Old Broads Club. It's special us 'mature' riders who hit the ground, don't bounce but get back on and keep going. Hope you have a much better ride next time!

It just happened so fast. I guess even if I had Mace...I wouldn't have been quick enough to use it.
 

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Just thinking, perhaps those dogs had never seen a horse before. Are they common in the area where you ride?
I know one of my dogs typically barks a lot when he sees something he is not familiar with so I have tried to acclimate him to the unexpected.
I'm not excusing what happened and don't know how to keep it from happening again. Just thinking those dogs may have been afraid of the unusual looking animal traveling along their path.

So glad you weren't injured and your horse and dog are ok as well.
 

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Your safety and your horses safety has to come first, what if they had bitten his legs and crippled him? You did get thrown off because of them. I would not worry about the other dogs injuries in that situation, if what stopped them hurt them that's their fault and their owners fault.

Did she even apologize?
I have to agree, while I never want to see harm to another animal I and my dog come first. I posted an incident in another thread from a few days ago where there was a Rottie that the owner could not control and came running at Bailey when she was swimming in a lake. I put myself between Bailey and the Rottie and was ready to defend Bailey if things got out of hand.

IMO part of being a responsible pet owner is having control over your animal.
 

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My horse was attacked by a dog whilst we were out riding last summer, it turned out that the lady had just rehomed the dog and had no idea what it was capable of. I told her in no uncertain terms that she shouldn`t be walking it off the lead on a bridleway. She was petrified of it and wouldn`t help me get it off my horse, she just stood back crying. I actually dismounted after the first bite under the stomach, my horse was rearing and kicking out to get rid of it. The dog then started on me as well and luckily I had a whip with me, I carry a strong one to help shut gates:), and managed to hit it across the face and it ran off. Sounds cruel but I had no option. If I had let go of my horse he would have run off to the main road. I haven`t seen the lady or the dog since so I think maybe she took him back to the rehoming place.
The injuries have now healed but he has a fear of dogs we meet when we are out and i have to shout to people to put them on a lead even if they are friendly. Thankfully when I explain people are very understanding . I don`t think I will be able to cure him of the fear now, - hes 17. So I dread meeting dogs on our rides. He is fine with our dog, and the dogs on the yard, its just when we are out.
I think you did the right thing. I put myself at risk by getting off but I reacted instinctively to protect my horse. and also I would have fell off if I hadn`t got off!
I don`t think you can prepare for it, and at least your dog stayed with you, bless, and wasn`t attacked as well.
 

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Daisy - my heart
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For the longest time, Daisy used to bark and growl at horses you put a quarter in at the grocery store :p: It's been hard to acclimate her to horses, I just don't run with that crowd and they aren't common enough out and about here for her to get used to them.

It's impossible to anticipate everything, sometimes things happen ... but again, it's so important to be extra careful when your dogs are off lead.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I can't imagine trying to hang on to a bucking horse and trying to get an accurate shot at a leaping dog. You might have squirted yourself in the eye. :doh: Glad you're okay, if ruffed up a little. You can join my Tough Old Broads Club. It's special us 'mature' riders who hit the ground, don't bounce but get back on and keep going. Hope you have a much better ride next time!
Thank you, I am a Tough Old Broad....what a compliment. I did back on the next day to get rid of those fear jitters. Everything went well. My bone density must be OK or angels helped with my landing.:crossfing
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Next time I see a dog, I am going to dismount immediately. I thought I would be OK when the dogs didn't react to Buzz.
I like the suggestion of yelling...I did nothing. Maybe Mace around my neck would help. When danger happens, everything goes so fast.
I am thinking positively that the owner's dogs never saw a horse before. That this was the first encounter.
 

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I cannot stress to you how serious this is. Here in CA we've had horses killed from dogs attacking them on trails. We have high trail use here with horses, hikers and bikers and have to deal with them. Here is how I trained my horse to defend himself.

The goal is to have the horse chase the dogs. The horse has good weapons with his teeth and front legs and just a horse going after a dog intimidates the dog and mostly likely the dog will turn tail and run. You decide on your command (I use "get em") and start in the arena with a helper holding a flag or whatever. You turn your horse to the helper and say "get um" and as the horse goes toward the 'scary object' the object backs away. Some people use plastic bags to make noise and then the noise stops, some people just make a game of it of the horse chasing whatever it is.

The first time we were attacked by a young pitt I turned Mystery toward the dog (give him his head and use your leg to yield the hind end) and said 'get em', he went after the dog who turned tail and ran away. The 2nd time was two hound type dogs, I could hear them coming (on a single track trail on the side of a mountain..no where to go)..I turned Mystery toward them, they rounded the corner, saw us and came at us I said "get em" and he ran toward them. Those dogs turned tail and we chased them all the way back to the trail head where the owner was. No apologies, she gets upset with us, I almost got into a fist fight but that is another story.

I've used this to move coyote off the trail when everyone else's horse was spooking at it and to get past dogs barking on the other side of the fence. I've ridden these trails for 17 years and it works.

If you absolutely cannot do this then get off the horse. Your safety is paramount and a hard fall can create a lot of injury. Use your crop at the dogs, rocks, and keep turning the horse so he can use his hind end and kick them.

I'm sorry this happened to you and your horse. People can be such idiots and no one knows how their dog will react to a horse. That is why it is important people socialize dogs with horses in horse country too and keep them on leash until they know they will behave. Of course 2 dogs are going to feed off each other and like all animals are never going to be 100 percent predictable.

I hope this helps. Kimberly (&Mystery The Morab)
 
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My horse hates a dog barking at him and yes, this will set some horses off. She is a predator and they are flight or fight animals. What you should do is distract her and have her look at you while feeding treats as the horse goes by. It is the same as if she saw a dog across the street and started focusing on it; break the focus, don't let it stare and growl/ bark, reward the dog focusing on you instead. Does that make sense?

Horses can spook at rocks or shadows (and why do we ride them???) so part of the responsibility for controlling a frighten horse is with the owner. But they have to go thru a learning curve, just like puppies do, do it is best if everyone can help each other. K
 
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