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Trail Riding with my Dog On-leash; Advice Please?

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  • Trail Riding with my Dog On-leash; Advice Please?

    At our old barn, my dog was allowed to be off-leash and would trot around the field and/or ring and exercise herself (politely) while I rode. I've got a few health issues that makes it so I'm not able to take her out for walks every day, so the old barn was great in that regard. However at the new barn, it backs up to a ton of great trails, but all dogs MUST be leashed. I was thinking of making something up with a dowel rod to make a stiff leash so that she can't get ahead of us or underfoot of my horse while I ride, but I'm not convinced that this is a good plan. Does anyone have any good ideas for riding with a dog that must be on a leash?
    Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay

  • #2
    don't do it - this is just a huge accident waiting to happen -
    Friend of bar.ka!
    Originally posted by MHM
    GM quote of the day, regarding the correct way to do things:
    "There's correct, and then there's correct. If you're almost correct, that means you're wrong."


    • #3
      I would never ride out with a dog on a leash. Loose? Yep I ride out with mine frequently but I'd never have them on a leash.


      • #4
        I agree - don't do it!

        I cannot think of any safe way to make it work.
        Animals are not disposable!!!


        • #5

          Don't do it!


          • #6
            field trialers do it when training dogs, but it's a tough proposition to do this on trails and not out in the open. Personally I just wouldn't want to deal with it.

            If you just 'have to' - then short (like 1' or so) sections of small hollow pvc pipe with the rope leash threaded through it, makes more sense. Like a string run through uncooked ziti noodles, LOL- so it flexes but can't utterly collapse and wrap round a leg in a wreck if you need to drop the line.

            Your horse has to be rope broke entirely to ropes around his/her legs and under their tail, 100%.

            Good luck.

            Borrowed from a field trial web site:

            Roading is another skill that the field trial horse must master. Roading is a method to condition a dog. You put a dog in a harness and attach a thirty-foot rope to the harness from the saddle. Some people have purchased a field trial or trooper saddle and did not know what the tab in the back of the saddle was for, that is what the dog is attached to. Some people attach the rope to the rings in front of the saddle. The dog is encouraged to lean into the rope and harness and pull hard. The rider and horse follow. Thirty minutes of roading is the equivalent of an hour of free running. The dog usually stays out in front of the horse so the horse must tolerate the rope crossing over his chest as the dog moves from the left to the right. Roading is also used to excite and educate the dogs. In American Field Trails you can road dogs in the gallery behind the dogs in a brace. The dogs being roaded becomes fired up by watching the other dogs work as the gun is fired and the bird is flushed. Roading is also used when a dog messes up and you are far out on the course but the judge has ordered you up, you can road the dog back to the club house. A dog that has been lost on the course and later found can be roaded back to not interfere with the new brace of dogs.

            On one occasion at a Brittany trail in Kentucky a handler lost his dog on the course. Sometime later, during another brace, the dog was found tied in the front yard of a nearby house. The people who owned the house had kindly tied the dog in the front yard, knowing from past experience that someone from the trial would notice and pick up the dog. We rode over through some brush and through a drainage ditch then across the road to get to the house.

            The man I was with had a Dun Paso Fino and he had 30 foot of check cord or rope. He retrieved the dog and attached him to the rope and we started back across the road and through the drainage ditch. Then into the brush, where there was a narrow deer trail with just enough room for one animal to pass through at a time. The dog ended up behind the horse and was actually bumping against the horses’ hocks as we walked through. The rope was across the horse's chest from the right side, the dog having passed to the left of the horse before we entered the brush and back around to his back end. SO the dog has wrapped almost all the way around the horses body. We proceeded through the brush this way, until we got out into the open, where the dog swung around in front of the horse. That horse never missed a beat. He simply gaited on through with the dog bumping off his hocks. These are the kind of things expected of a field trial horse!


            • #7
              I think that sounds totally dangerous to all involved. Sorry. If you can't walk the dog and need her to get more exercise, you might want to check into getting a treadmill. I'm thinking about doing that myself, since I have three days where I work long hours and it's impossible to get any quality exercise in with my dogs. I am hoping to find one used that is not too big either! Good luck!
              She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!


              • #8
                I've done it w/o issues.

                But. My dog already knew to "heel" to my hip on horseback and my horse was used to ponying other horses and didn't mind the dog. The main thing is not to use something so long that you're going to get all tangled.
                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                • #9
                  Potentially dangerous if the rope gets tangled up, or under the tail. Dog could get hung.
                  I've have seen it done.
                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                  • #10
                    Adding my NO to everyone else's. WAY too dangerous.
                    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                    • #11
                      Get a really short leash, hook it to the collar, and let the dog go..it's on a leash!
                      Just kidding, but if you are out on the trails by yourself who would really know? Is the dog small enough to ride in your lap until you're out of view?


                      • #12
                        When I go to the barn I'm at currently I'll hook my dog to a tree or somewhere out of the way. She doesn't get to "run free" but the sights and smells still simulate her and she's more tired than if she had been sitting on the couch all day.

                        I don't think it's polite to let a dog run loose in most cases, even if the barn owners say it's ok. You never know what horse isn't going to be ok with it, what person might come to the barn (my dog is big and she can knock people over with out meaning too) or what other dog might show up.

                        Usually when i'm done with the horses I'll take her for a walk around the farm or take her to the back field and let her run a bit. The only farm I let her "run free" is my friend's farm which she owns, with no boarders and is totally fenced with no-climb.
                        http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


                        • #13
                          I've done it but not really successfully. Very nice bombproof horse did her best not to step on the dog but at the end of the ride I felt as though I had aged 20 years, from fussing with the dog, reeling it in, etc.
                          Katarine's story about the horse all wound up in the rope is right on the mark.
                          If the dog could be convinced to run out in front and keep tension on the rope like a sled dog it might work, but mostly they keep wanting to circle back and get underfoot and oh my what a mess!
                          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                          Incredible Invisible


                          • #14
                            Though I agree with the posters who say no, if you are going to do this, either teach the dog anti-targeting and keep the dog away from the horse or teach the dog to target the end of a pole, pvc pipe, dowel rod or something similar so he knows where you want him to be. Very similar to loose lead walking. This would be training intensive and moderately advanced, so if you aren't up to it.....leave the dog at home.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LegalEagle View Post
                              Get a really short leash, hook it to the collar, and let the dog go..it's on a leash!
                              Just kidding, but if you are out on the trails by yourself who would really know? Is the dog small enough to ride in your lap until you're out of view?
                              Don't get me wrong I love trail riding with my dog when it's ALLOWED but
                              The attitude of "do it anyhow if you want to" of many riders is what gets a lot of trails closed to us.
                              If you are fortunate enough to have trails please respect the trails and respect the rules of the trail.
                              You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


                              • #16
                                Someone I know did this.
                                Ended badly - leash around horse legs.
                                Thankfully, she rides a saint of a horse.
                                The other horses with her were not so amused.



                                • #17
                                  Not being snarky, I promise, but I'd find time to walk my dog away from the barn. Sometimes you can't have the best of both worlds....a hard as you try.
                                  Little Star Chihuahua Rescue
                                  The Barkalicious Bakery
                                  On Facebook!!!


                                  • #18
                                    If your dog is a Great Dane or something like that, and your horse is under 15 hands and has more than its share of good sense, it might work without getting anybody killed. But a smaller dog and a bigger (or scatterbrained) horse? That would take some serious negotiation with both the horse and the dog -- and even then, you'd have to be lucky...

                                    If I was going to try it, I'd want the "leash" to be something with some "hand" to it, like a lariat or something.


                                    • #19
                                      When you ride with the dog does it stay right with you or wander off?
                                      Does it ever get aggressive with other dogs or will it continue on its way, following you if you should run into another dog?
                                      Have you tried taking the dog and been caught?
                                      Are you sure there aren't plenty of walkers back there with dogs off lead?

                                      Around here there are plenty of parks where dogs are supposed to be on lead but it is a rule that is routinely ignored and nobody enforces it or cares. Not all of these are open to horses but same idea. So why don't you see if others are walking off lead and what the general feeling is.

                                      I had a dog that followed me on trails in the state park when I was a kid. He was great and would either be right in front or right behind the horses and never even looked at another dog when we were out. State park becomes a National park and one day a park ranger says something to me about the dog not being on a leash. I looked at him and said "But I'm on a horse!" He didnt' have an answer for that, didn't tell me the dog couldn't come and people continued to bring their dogs along.

                                      I know things are different now, and rules are enforced with more regularity but I think I would go for a ride or two with the dog and test the waters.


                                      • #20
                                        they sell stiff bars to attach to bikes to hold dogs safely away from the bike; unless you can figure out how to attach one such device to your horse forget it. Leashed dog + horse = disaster waiting to happen.

                                        the BEST way to exercise a dog: fetch. Any dog can be taught to fetch (some take longer than others). Buy a Chuck-it ball throwing device. Find a big, empty field. Go for it. You just stand there, dog runs hard. This is far better than leash-walking a dog next to a slow walking human.