For those of you who have horses, would/do you let your Golden be around them? If so, how did you help them get horse sense (like that they shouldn't go under the horse, jump up on them, etc.)? Thanks!!!!
Try and introduce them young if possible. Its not necessary but it helps. We worked with our girl here to let her know to only approach from the front, and not to sneak up. She will let out a small bark as she approaches from a distance. The horses know this is normal, and most know she wont bother them. The ones that are skittish will just leave her alone.
Just lost of careful on leash time teaching her the limits. My wife is the horse person, im the dog guy so going there with Kiwi (pictured) is one way for me to have fun.
I lost my horse (colic caused by intestinal cancer) 2 years ago now...
But while I had him - definitely I'd bring my dogs with me to the barn on a daily basis. I'd be fussing/grooming in the stall, and my dogs just learned to hang out or find a spot to lie down in the stall with us.
Note though - my horse was about 30 years old and had lived all his life on the same farm with a lot of dogs around. He and the other horses were very docile and good around dogs. They weren't afraid and likely to strike out when in doubt. And then of course, my horse had been in my life since I was a kid - and he had been around all my goldens. And most of my dogs were very good when off leash at the farm. They didn't chase the horses or anything like that. Being off leash in paddocks means that if the horses got to be too much for my dogs - they could slip out through the paddock to get away.
The paddock where my horse was turned out every day usually had a few yearlings and 2 year olds out there. And these kids could be a lot more curious than the older "seen everything" horses. But even there - they wanted to check the dogs out vs chasing them away from the herd.
So bottom line is before you bring your dog out to meet horses - make sure the horses are good around dogs.
With puppies or young dogs - you probably want them on leash. I do think most dogs are naturally cautious around a very large animal like a horse. They are more likely to cower away and sneak sniffs in. If you have a puppy like my dogs who grew up around horses, then you are going to have a dog who is very trusting of horses. My guys let my horse nuzzle and lip at them. None of the horses at this farm were biters. But some horses out there are just mean, so you have to be thinking ahead.
My horse did ok with my goldens too but he was older before I would take the dogs to the barn. I have, however, seen people let their dogs run into an arena with horses that were young and not use to dogs and they would strike at them when the dogs got too close. Some serious injuries to the dogs. Just be careful!
My horse has always loved dogs - so I knew I could trust him around Remy. Remy would get jealous of the time and attention I gave Tux but he had to learn. When I was riding in the ring he would be tied where I could see him (and he could see us) - he would bark his head off until he got tired. Now he just goes to the spot under the tree (where I used to tie him) when we are doing ring work, or stays a few feet to our left when we are out on a trail.
Before I would allow a dog off leash around a horse, I would make sure they have excellent recall - just in case the dog needs to be called back. Otherwise I find with animals everyone finds their space.
Caveat: I know next to nothing about horses, but I did have a recent golden-horse interaction.
I took Abby to a good friend's farm a couple weekends ago - first time around horses. We started slow, on-leash, from a distance...Abby was thoroughly puzzled. She'd walk up about ten feet towards them then turn and look at me, then look at the horses, then look at me, etc etc. General sentiment was: "What the *BLEEP* is THAT???" followed by a few seconds later by "Can it be my friend? It must be my friend!"
One of the horses, Sampson, is a pretty laid back friendly horse (has a few anxiety issues but he internalizes them). The other, Josh, is a rescue from the thoroughbred race tracks and is very high strung. They're both about 20 and didn't grow up with dogs around, although my friend got a dog about four years ago (medium-sized mix, about 40 pounds, named Chloe). Chloe's pretty chill around the horses and mostly simply stays out of their way when she's in the barn or the paddock with my friend. The horses have a very large paddock with a barn, so they are also able to get away if they want to.
As for our visit: Sampson was very curious about Abby, although we never let them actually interact. Josh made himself scarce most of the time we were visiting. Overall, I think it was a good experience for everyone in that nobody was pushed out of their comfort zone.
So this is kind of an old thread, but I just came across it today. Basically, I taught my horses not to kick at dogs. My goldens are naturally careful about getting too close to horses-I never trained them anything except to not go in the paddock or pasture without me (and even then, I'm not sure how I trained that-it just kinda happened). My sister's mare has the mare attitude and she will sometimes try to bite or chase dogs, but she gets yelled at and smacked for that behavior so it rarely happens. My qh/tb gelding tends to not be bothered by anything and has the patience of a saint; and my friesian mare thinks everybody and everything wants to be her best friend (friesians are the equine version of goldens!), so I never really had problems with either of my horses and the dogs. We take the dogs trail riding and road riding (on quiet country roads!) and the dogs are taught to heel beside the horses for when a car comes. We used to have a neighbor (who moved thank goodness) who had a pit bull/lab mix who would come out and nip at the horses heels every time we rode by-none of our horses would kick him even though they were clearly annoyed. We often have dogs come out at us when we ride by and usually we simply turn the horse toward the dog and the dog runs off. If that doesn't work, we trot toward the dog and that usually sends them running. The horses just get used to the idea of scaring the dog away rather than kicking it. Our dogs simply naturally respect horse's space and I think that's how most dogs are. We did however have the dogs around the horses everyday since they were pups-I think that helps to since then the horses are "normal" for the dogs and they aren't so curious as to get in trouble. When my husband and I were pregnant I took a photo of my 2 horses and my golden together for our pregnancy announcement and my dog was very aware of how close she was to the horses and would move if they stepped toward her. The 1st pic shows her looking at my horse ready to move if he steps toward her. The second is the pregnancy announcement photo which is about as close as she likes to be to the horses. Hopefully your dog will just naturally respect your horse's space!
Very cute announcement!!
Lucy has come to the barn with me and been around horses since we got her at 8 weeks!
She's 9 months old now and loves it, but I'm still super careful with her. When I'm in the stall, she's tied up outside the stall and I never walk my horse in one hand and Lucy in the other, I can just imagine way too many things going wrong and I'd feel terrible if something happened to Lucy. I do however ride at a very busy barn - horses going up and down the aisle all the time, and my own horse is a fairly young thoroughbred off the track. She's great, but I don't trust her not to spook at something and suddenly be on top of us. For now, I give my curious exuberant Lucy exposure to the horses at a safe distance. (Except when she was little enough for me to hold her next to them!)
And now everybody gets to see pictures of Lucy and my horse, Sheepi, because I love them so much!