Why I love my steady eddie...but, should I be carrying Mace??
Over the weekend I took my 8 year old son on a hand-led pony ride on a wooded path I've ridden hundreds of times behind our barn. My horse is older (20+), quiet and I trust him immensely. We've encountered lots of things that would send many horses over the edge, and his reaction is, "Oh? That? Eh...nothing...". He is 16.1 and wonderful with my children but I do only allow them to pony ride so far. We were rounding a corner and my son was just sitting atop him in my saddle and two HUGE, unknown dogs aggressively approached us, barking, snarling. We stopped and my horse just looked at them as if to say, "Get out of our way!". No spook, nothing. I stayed calm and my son asked me what he should do and I said to just sit there and stay calm. I was trying to be very Ceasar-Milan-like! The dogs continued to bark at us. I decided to walk toward them but not make eye contact and it worked. The got annoyed and ran off. A neighbor saw them and yelled at them to run home - he had no idea who they belonged to but one was about the size of a great dane (similar breed).
I realized what a gem of a horse I have, but also that this situation could have gone very wrong. If on horseback I could have ridden away and would have felt much safer on his back. But my son was up there. I was on the ground leading him and if the dogs attacked I would have had NO defense except to try to hop up with my son and ride off. My horse took care of my son in this instance, but if the dogs charged I am not sure he would have stayed so calm?
Do you carry Mace or a similar product? I often ride alone around our barn trails (and elsewhere) and this situation got me thinking.
someone suggested carrying a paintball gun. It hurts when they hit and marks the dog, so that it can be traced later. Around here, allowing a dog to run at large can be a criminal offense if anyone ( eprson or livestock) gets hurt.
I am sorry any of us has to entertain carrying defensive weapons, whether wasp spray or whatever.
I have always found that dogs will turn and run when charged whether on foot or especially on horseback, but for some reason, dog owners get mad at me when I charge their menacing dogs with my horse and their large wolf-wannabe tucks tail and runs.
"The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF
Pal Princess had a nasty habit of chasing said dogs and she would kill them if she could get her teeth or feet on them rider or not. We carried the Citronella spray since we rode western and we usually had our leadropes and had no issues whirling the leadrope around our heads like we were going to rope them. Our horses were used to being roped off of so no biggie there. I would suggest either the dressage whip or the citronella spray. Maybe both and hope you never need either.
Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
Originally Posted by alicen:
What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.
WASP Spray is NOT more effective than Pepper Spray. Stop spreading this ridiculous MYTH.There are Pepper Sprays designed specifically to deter dogs etc and will fire upwards of 25 ft in a fog delivery making them much more accurate than WASP spray. Also, police departments worldwide rely on Pepper Spray because its inflammatory effects work on individuals who cannot feel pain. If WASP spray had the same effects I think they would be using it. Pepper Spray has been extensively tested. Stick with the Pepper Spray it's proven!