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Loose dog spooking my horse, horse is badly injured

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Starhouse View Post
    I would like the owner to fix whatever issue is allowing the dog to get out. I don't think that's a lot to ask! If it were my dog, and I have NEVER had an issue with my dog getting loose or not coming when called, even off leash in the wilderness, I would feel very badly. I would apologize, ask if there was anything I could do, and I would remedy the problem with the fence to stop the dog from getting out.
    Just for kicks let me reword this...........

    I would like the owner to fix whatever issue is allowing the horse to get out. I don't think that's a lot to ask! If it were my horse, and I have NEVER had an issue with my horse getting loose, I would feel very badly. I would apologize, ask if there was anything I could do, and I would remedy the problem with the fence to stop the horse from getting out.

    So, what do you need to do?

    Comment


    • #42
      If the dog was on the other side of a fence...as others have said...his presence was not the issue. He didn't chase your horse. He could have spooked your horse while being on a leash. It is your responsibility to secure your girth and/or stay on board. My biggest concern would be a horse facility that is not secured to keep loose horses from getting onto the road. That would really upset me. I think you got lucky and didn't have a greater tragedy.
      www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

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      • #43
        What jumped out at me is that you have no fence between your barn/outdoor ring and a busy street with rush hour traffic. With this situation, isn't it inevitable that a horse can get onto the road? It's not like spooks and falls never happen.

        Maybe I misunderstood?
        "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

        Comment


        • #44
          As a rider/boarder, I try to look at my similar situation as an opportunity to sack out. You just never know when there's going to be a loose dog at a show (or I don't anyway) or bicycles or anything.

          Even with a fence the dog's action could have spooked the horse and the following disaster ensued. Our barn has a neighbor dog who is always fenced in and often in his owners' company, but it doesn't stop him from running up to the fence and being a jerk. In my situation, the owners were even with him in the yard when he rushed my recovering horse and freaked her. She ran back to the safety of her barn, tho.

          Yes, I would want the owners to know just so they are forewarned of possible problems should the dog someday not be playing, or take the play to pursuit. If it were my dog and I was so clueless about horses, I would want to know.

          I'm glad your barn owners are seeing their way to improving the safety of their facility. That's long overdue.

          As far as your saddle ... have you checked with your homeowners/renters insurance? I know it often covers loss of articles not IN the home and may help with the saddle damage.

          I'm so sorry. As someone who has been known to be a little emotional (hahaha) about her horse, I can imagine how traumatized you feel. Take some time, write about it (maybe privately to yourself) ... that's my regular advice for self-therapy, and I hope you both heal with only minor scars.
          *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

          Comment


          • #45
            Had the dog come into the arena area or come after you then yes report it. Otherwise I just might let the owner know what happened and leave it alone from there. Your horse is the one that spooked at the dog in the distance so you cant blame the dog for that one but the fact that the owner let the dog free roam is a problem.

            Hope you and your horse heal well
            LILY-13yr APHA/PtHA mare**LUKE-11yr Rescue Haflinger gelding (being leased out)**ANNIE-7yr AQHA mare

            Comment


            • #46
              I think the issue with the injured horse and the neighbors dog getting out are truly two different issues. Like has been said over and over again, this was simply an unfortunate accident. The dog did nothing wrong, and a bunny sitting there could have caused the same spook.

              If you are truly concerned about the neighbors dog being loose and not trying to point fingers of blame at them for what happened to you and your horse then contact them and simply say that you saw their dog loose in the park including the date and time and that you thought they would want to know because being a dog lover you would want to know if your dog was sneaking out. No need to mentioned your horse accident that if you are going to point fingers of blame I think the horse is the one most to blame.

              Originally posted by Starhouse View Post
              I also think there is a big difference between a dog running loose unsupervised, and a well-trained dog with a solid recall off-leash with the owner close behind.
              How would an owner and a leash changed the outcome in this case?

              Originally posted by Starhouse View Post
              Yes the dog was loose in the park with no owner present. He apparently does this often, though it was my first encounter with him.
              How do you know the owner was not present? Are you assuming that because you did not see the owner at the time of your spook that the owner was not around anywhere?

              Comment


              • #47
                Originally posted by Starhouse View Post
                My girth seemed tight to me but I also weigh 140 lbs and I don't think many saddles would have stayed put if they had 140 lbs of person hanging off to one side.
                Only 140 lbs? You're a wee slip of a girl. When I was hanging out the side door of mine, it had 165 lbs pulling on it, but no slippage. So I think you need to look at tightening the girth or doing something else to stop this slipping issue. Especially with a young horse.

                I'm glad your BO is going to fence the ring. Seems like there will be at least one silver lining to this cloud - maybe your accident prevented some awful tragedy happening in the future.

                I'd definitely talk to the owner if I were you. I think free-range canines are a menace to themselves and others, even the most well-intentioned of them. Sadly, though, there are lots of them at least in my part of the world, so as you now know, you have some work to do with maresie and loose dogs.

                The other thing I'd do is teach her to stop when she loses her rider. Sorry if I'm stating the obvious - but this is such a handy button to install.
                I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #48
                  Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
                  Only 140 lbs? You're a wee slip of a girl. When I was hanging out the side door of mine, it had 165 lbs pulling on it, but no slippage. So I think you need to look at tightening the girth or doing something else to stop this slipping issue. Especially with a young horse.

                  I'm glad your BO is going to fence the ring. Seems like there will be at least one silver lining to this cloud - maybe your accident prevented some awful tragedy happening in the future.

                  I'd definitely talk to the owner if I were you. I think free-range canines are a menace to themselves and others, even the most well-intentioned of them. Sadly, though, there are lots of them at least in my part of the world, so as you now know, you have some work to do with maresie and loose dogs.

                  The other thing I'd do is teach her to stop when she loses her rider. Sorry if I'm stating the obvious - but this is such a handy button to install.
                  I would love to install that button. If you have any tips on how to do that, I am all ears. Thank you for your helpful response

                  If nothing else, I am glad this incident has persuaded the BO to put up a gate to prevent horses (not just mine) from getting off the property and into the road. I wanted this from day 1 but I am a boarder (and a rough boarder at that), not the owner, and I don't have extra cash to just go out and buy a big gate for the barn.
                  http://www.lucysquest.blogspot.com

                  Custom Painted Saddle Pads and Ornaments

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    I haven't read the whole thread to find out what's been hashed back and forth about what occurred. First and foremost I want to say I hope you and your horse are all right. Hopefully you and she will recover quickly from your injuries.

                    Secondly I want to say, quit blaming the dog for what happened. You were riding near a busy roadway with a loose girth. You should be thanking your lucky stars your horse isn't dead, people aren't dead and you're facing lawsuits and jail time. What if a child moved at the edge of the ring? A balloon? A crackly bag? A billion other things that could make a horse shy? Would we be reading, oh if only blah blah blah didn't mess up my training session for the EA? Please. You weren't prepared when your horse shied and lost your seat. Your saddle slipped, spooking your horse further, because you didn't tack up correctly. You lost control of your horse and she got hurt. And if it were me in your shoes? Every time I look at the scars on my horse I'd remember that horrible sick feeling as I watched her race towards moving traffic and remind myself not make the same mistakes again.

                    But hey, if pointing a finger make you feel better? Look in the mirror and do it.
                    This it be all wot we want in life, wenn peoples dey loff us. ~ Willem

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      That's very scary and I'm sorry.

                      But what I'm really concerned about is your saddle slipping so badly it ended up under the horse. That is what stuck out to me the most in your story and if it were me, that's what I would be focusing my attention on. The dog, really in the grad scheme of things, is a moot point.

                      IMO, if your saddle had not slipped this wouldn't have turned out nearly as bad. I would do my best to make sure that never happens again.

                      But to answer your question, yes you should tell the owner what happened. If it were my dog I would absolutely want to know if she were wandering around by a barn with working horses. However, I think in your case it should be more of an FYI and not accusatory, per se.

                      I hope you feel better soon.
                      Barn rat for life

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        A properly fitted saddle and a tightened girth shouldn't slip like that. Once your horse is recovered the very first thing I would do is have a qualified saddle fitter out. Young horses have backs that change quickly and what was fitting 6 months ago clearly wasn't fitting when this incident happened.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Starhouse View Post
                          I would love to install that button. If you have any tips on how to do that, I am all ears. Thank you for your helpful response

                          If nothing else, I am glad this incident has persuaded the BO to put up a gate to prevent horses (not just mine) from getting off the property and into the road. I wanted this from day 1 but I am a boarder (and a rough boarder at that), not the owner, and I don't have extra cash to just go out and buy a big gate for the barn.
                          There's actually been a thread about it before, but most people suggest that it starts with you laying down on the ground and copiously shoving treats into horse's face when she comes to investigate. Then they associate fallen riders/dead bodies with treats.

                          Although in a situation of true panic (a young TB mare with a dumped rider and a slipped saddle, already in full-out-bolt-mode), it's quite likely that that instinctual flight-response is going to override any desire for sugar cubes, unfortunately.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Starhouse View Post
                            I would love to install that button. If you have any tips on how to do that, I am all ears. Thank you for your helpful response .
                            I did a quick search and couldn't find the thread we once had on how to do that. My horse came with the button already installed, but I'd probably shape it with a clicker. The key with clicker-training anything is breaking the behavior you want down into tiny chunks.

                            In fact, I think clicker-training might be a great thing for your mare all the way around - it works wonders with spooky horses. Amazing the things they manage to ignore when they know they'll get reinforced for ignoring.

                            Shawna Karrasch has a big old set of DVDs that deal with de-spooking your horse by target training. It's kind of expensive, but there's loads of good free info on her website. You have to give your email addy to see the free de-spooking videos (I did this and apparently she really didn't sell my addy cause I haven't gotten any junk mail as a result). Her website is on-target-training.com. Works undersaddle (Beezie Madden uses her methods -in fact Shawna used to be her trainer; and so does Jane Savoie) as well as on the ground. Just be sure you really get the basics solid (particularly the "keep your big head out of my space" basic ) before moving on to the other stuff.
                            I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                              I think the issue with the injured horse and the neighbors dog getting out are truly two different issues. Like has been said over and over again, this was simply an unfortunate accident. The dog did nothing wrong, and a bunny sitting there could have caused the same spook.
                              I agree with this. If it were me, I'd tell the owners - that their dog is loose, that I was it alone outside the barn property, even that it spooked my horse.

                              But I wouldn't get into the whole story of the spook, because
                              1. most of what happened is due to the horse's reactivity and ill-adjusted girth;
                              2. the exact same thing could have happened with a dog "under control" with its owner a few meters behind it - all the dog did was play-bow while staying off the barn's property, it didn't chase, it didn't threaten, it didn't escalate, etc.

                              The owners do need to know (or if they know, be endlessly reminded) that their dog is getting loose. But that has little to do with the incident caused by a dog's mere presence not even on barn property.
                              Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                On the saddle slipping thing. Not saying it is or is not the case with this horse and this rider but even with a properly fitted saddle and a really tight girth, some horses are just not built in a manner that prevents the saddle from slipping back and forth.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
                                  I did a quick search and couldn't find the thread we once had on how to do that. My horse came with the button already installed, but I'd probably shape it with a clicker. The key with clicker-training anything is breaking the behavior you want down into tiny chunks.
                                  My guess is that it wouldn't have helped in this case, because of the saddle slipping.

                                  My mare is an older ex-schoolie who's had riders falling off her all the time. She always stops when the rider falls. (She also looks innocent.)

                                  Once, when I got my new saddle and failed re re-adjust the girth after riding a bit (it seemed tight to me too when I mounted), she spooked at a horse passing us too close after coming off a jump. Not a super-scary situation, and I fell because I was a beginner, but she would normally have just stood there.
                                  Except my girth was loose and the saddle slipped under her belly. THE POOR MARE LOST HER FREAKING MIND! Thankfully we were in the indoor and someone eventually caught her after a good long while of heedless galloping and slipping/sliding in corners, but her eyes were still rolling back when I tried to walk her out after the saddle was removed.
                                  Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #57
                                    Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
                                    A properly fitted saddle and a tightened girth shouldn't slip like that. Once your horse is recovered the very first thing I would do is have a qualified saddle fitter out. Young horses have backs that change quickly and what was fitting 6 months ago clearly wasn't fitting when this incident happened.
                                    You must have missed that I just had my saddle fitter out on Friday, November 2 (not six months ago). I doubt it changed that much in three days. My horse had a few days off before my ride on Monday because I was away. Obviously my girth needed to be tighter...I did tighten it but I guess not as much as I should have. I take full responsibility for that. This has been hashed out already.

                                    The original question is should I let the dogs owners know that their dog was loose back in the woods. I don't need to be attacked for being a terrible owner, nor do I need to be told that I should look at her scars for the rest of her life and think back to this horrible day (wow, what a terrible thing to say to someone). Though every reply to this thread has had some valid points, a few of you could really stand to review your tact. I sat at home last night feeling like a complete failure of a horse owner because of things that some of you said. I spent time contemplating just getting out of horses all together after 23 years of living for them. I already feel terrible about all of this. I certainly did not WANT my horse to spook. I did not WANT to fall off and get bashed up. I did not WANT my horse to run to the road and endanger herself and others. I did not WANT to see her in pain and scared. I did not WANT a massive vet bill or the headache of now having to make a claim on her insurance. I was looking forward to our clinic this week and I am disappointed that we can no longer do it, as anyone would be, BUT I am glad my horse is alive and will recover well enough to take another shot at EA next year. So please stop with the really harsh tones, guys. I am not a bad person, I really try to give my horse the best life I can. She came to me skin and bones with sad eyes, and is now a gleaming, healthy animal who gets a 10lb bag of carrots at the beginning of each week from the local produce farm, sees the massage therapist and chiro regularly, is loved on and groomed and treated kindly, and has a pretty good life.

                                    There were a few factors beyond my control that contributed to this issue and a few that I could have prevented, but it happened; it's in the past, and there's nothing I can do to change that. My BO is going to install the gate to prevent any horse from going up in the road, as I have said numerous times in this thread.

                                    I am going to try and work with my horse to see if I can get her to stick around sans-rider. Thank you to those of you who contributed helpful ideas/links for that.

                                    I am not going to comment further on this thread.
                                    http://www.lucysquest.blogspot.com

                                    Custom Painted Saddle Pads and Ornaments

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Crap happens. I've done some horrendously dumb or neglectful stuff (probably worse than not tightening a girth enough) and have just been lucky that my carelessness wasn't also accompanied by a freak accident. I am SURE I am not the only one who has had a total brain fart about common-sense safety issues. Yours just happened to turn out particularly badly because of circumstances out of your control. There but for the grace of God go I, on more than one occasion.

                                      I don't think the dog was really at fault, but I think YOU would feel better if you told his owners something. I'd say "Hey, when Fido is out by himself, he sometimes pops up unexpectedly and scares horses. My horse mistook him for a horse-eating wolf the other day." It's not likely to make them defensive, nor is it a demand that he be leashed at all times, but it at least alerts them to the issue.

                                      You'll probably be kind of obsessive about tightening your girth in the future, too.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        you could try calling the dog owner and mention the dog has been running around loose, and say things like "could get into busy road" and "hunting season" and impress upon them it is better for the dog to not be running around unsupervised like that. That would solve one problem.

                                        I was briefly involved in teaching a horse to stop dead when the rider fell off- we put a heavy stuffed toy on the horse, lunged the horse, and when the dummy fell off, used the line/verbal whoa to get the horse to stop then fed the horse treats while the horse stood there. Repeated until the horse was stopping on its own the second the dummy fell off.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          ...if I had a dollar for every time I've contemplated just throwing in the towel and being done with the whole horse thing...well - I'd be a rich woman. It's hard sometimes, but they're worth the heartbreak and frustration. Hang in there - and feel better soon!

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