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Help, dd was attacked by dogs while trail riding

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  • Help, dd was attacked by dogs while trail riding

    Both the horse and daughter are fine. We have a ton of wildlife and many loose dogs that come around all have been either not interested or friendly. These two dogs, with collars, walked up to my daughter and horse which was fine but suddenly turned agressive and tried to bite his back legs. They growled and snareled as they attacked. My horse ran off and they chased him. They started growling and snareled again when my horse slowed down. He out ran them but this is a pretty urban area with many young children on the trails now since the outdoor rings are so bad in the winter.

    I'm calling animal control Monday and everyone at the barn has been warned-no one trail rode after that. Why would dogs turn agressive ? My horse is a big 16.1 but can a pack mentality just kick in for dogs ? Really after 10 years this has never happened. I am also worried about these dogs getting into the paddocks and doing damage.

    Edit: I cannot read my messages in case anyone wants to communicate by PM. The smartpak add is blocking my messages.

  • #2
    Originally posted by stolen virtue View Post
    Why would dogs turn agressive ? My horse is a big 16.1 but can a pack mentality just kick in for dogs ? Really after 10 years this has never happened. I am also worried about these dogs getting into the paddocks and doing damage.

    Edit: I cannot read my messages in case anyone wants to communicate by PM. The smartpak add is blocking my messages.
    In my experience, yes, a pack mentality can kick in when there is a group of dogs together. Horses are also a prey animal, and so sometimes dogs get overexcited by horses moving and running and the prey drive kicks in. Herding breeds have a tendency to chase (and nip, growl, etc.) at livestock in an effort to move them where they want to go. I am very sorry this happened. I hope that the dogs can be identified because obviously, they shouldn't be lose in the area where people are trail riding. While it may work out for some dogs, these ones are not trustworthy with horse.

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    • #3
      When dogs chase horses sometimes they loose, this nice quite Morgon mare killed two dogs both with single kicks to the head

      She was the lead mare in the brood mare band and she was very protective of her charges

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      • #4
        NOT to excuse the dogs or their unknown owner, but dogs follow things that run away. When a horse runs, it becomes part of the game/hunt/whatever they have going on in their little doggie heads.

        On the other hand, in over 20 years of riding, I have only ever met ONE dog that didn't back off and leave us alone when I turned my horse around TOWARDS the dog(s) and ran after THEM. Actually, most of them hightail it as soon as you turn and face them, but the few who don't respond pretty well to the tables turned, now YOU (dog) are the prey idea.
        Proud member of the EDRF

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          The horse did not run until the dogs started biting. We have several loose dogs that come around the barn and trails that are friendly and especially my horse loves to be with people's dogs.

          That is my concern these dogs went after the horse and then he ran. My daughter is use to loose dogs and they have been friendly, these dogs attacked the horse.

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          • #6
            So sorry this happened to your dd and your horse. I used to board in the not horsey suburbs. The stable backed up to a well used by non horsey suburbanites State Forest. I ran into people with dogs all the time, and only had one bad encounter.

            After that incident, I considered getting a hunting lash, but ended up moving barns to the real country. A hunting lash, carried by the whip of a fox hunt, is long enough that you can hit a dog with it.
            Unrepentant carb eater

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Forgive me for a stupid question, would the lash make the dogs more agressive ? The more I read the more concerned I'm getting about this.

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              • #8
                I've carried pepper spray and used it with success. Sucks to have to do it, but... what has been interesting to me is that, while it's worked for me, I didn't even have to actually hit the dogs for them to back off. Must be the smell? Sorry you are having to deal with this. AC where I live, does NOTHING. We had a recent mauling in my town where AC had been called on the dogs 4 TIMES IN ONE MONTH and nothing happened. Oh, if it helps, Cabellas has a good source of sprays and products that go along with them.

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                • #9
                  Honestly, two dogs are not getting aggressive because they actually think they are going to eat your 16.1 h horse. Maybe - MAYBE - they might if there was indeed a whole pack of them (but even then, dogs are generally not stupid). They see it as a game (and yes, dogs can be very aggressive-acting at play), as chasing away intruders from "their" territory, or as a herding thing. If there is something about the horse/rider - be it chasing them, hitting them with a lash, whatever - that makes them think they are not in charge and it is not a game, they will back off. (Obviously as long as they are not trained to fight, but I doubt random loose dogs on the trail fall into that category.)

                  Seriously, I've had dogs growling and biting at my horse's legs before (more that once), and as soon as I spun him around and took about three steps after them, they backed off completely. (I did a lot of riding in rural areas where it was common to let dogs - some better trained than others - run loose, and animal control would have laughed at me if I called them because of it...) I have no doubt they would react to a hunting lash, properly used, the same way.
                  Proud member of the EDRF

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                  • #10
                    OP - sorry to hear abou tthe dogs, that really sucks!

                    Regarding your PM's being covered by ads...up on the top of the screen there is what is called the "Compatibility view" icon, looks like a piece of paper torn in half (its to the right of where you type in a URL). Click that. It should fix the problem with yoru PM's being covered up over on the right.
                    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Pepper spray may be the answer. These dogs were so strange, my horse is around many dogs many loose dogs, I guess I will find out the response from animal control. I have a young OTTB that would have not reacted well in that situation, and I almost took him out on the trail today....

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                      • #12
                        YES, while is a very scary situation, the best thing to do is to keep your horse facing and moving towards the dogs. You stay defensive. If the dogs start to chase, then the pack mentally will really kick in big time.

                        Not sure a whip would be great, since you would have to be fairly close to make contact, and may have your hands full w/keeping control of your horse.

                        Whenever possible, CHASE the dogs, yell in a very strong voice, GO HOME, BAD DOGS, etc. Do whatever you can to not have the dogs give chase to your horse.

                        Sorry, you had such a bad ride! I hope the dogs owners are located and fined big time!!
                        Riding is NOT meant as an inside sport, GET out of that arena!!!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Shermy View Post
                          YES, while is a very scary situation, the best thing to do is to keep your horse facing and moving towards the dogs. You stay defensive. If the dogs start to chase, then the pack mentally will really kick in big time.

                          Not sure a whip would be great, since you would have to be fairly close to make contact, and may have your hands full w/keeping control of your horse.

                          Whenever possible, CHASE the dogs, yell in a very strong voice, GO HOME, BAD DOGS, etc. Do whatever you can to not have the dogs give chase to your horse.

                          Sorry, you had such a bad ride! I hope the dogs owners are located and fined big time!!
                          I agree with all of this. Don't make it seem as if she did something incorrect but let her know if it were to happen again that her horse has to be her weapon, not her escape method if at all possible. Just keep going after them while screaming at them at the top of her lungs. Glad they are ok.
                          McDowell Racing Stables

                          Home Away From Home

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks Shermy & Laurierace. Yes we have the Fish and Game officer boarding at our facility and that is what she suggested. My daughter did turn back on the dogs and they backed off, I am just so scared for the little kids that use that trail on the barn's property and for the young horses. I have trail ridden with coyotes on both sides of me with no issues. I just cannot understand what made these dogs attack like they did.

                            I'll call animal control and hope that they can find the dogs, my horse is a saint but as the barn owner stated 90% of the horses at the barn would have blown up and likely gotten the rider off.

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                            • #15
                              Getting a hunting whip with a long lash is a great idea for anyone who trail rides in an area with loose dogs. You need to desensitize your horse to it first - but you do NOT have to hit a dog with the lash as a general rule - just learn to crack the whip and most dogs are extremely responsive. I got a pit bull off my cat just by cracking it - THAT's how well they work. For some reason, dogs are just convinced they're going to DIE when they hear that whip lash!
                              "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

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                              • #16
                                I wouldn't ride with pepper spray just because pepper spray tends to form a cloud and that can really backfire against you. Wasp spray however, squirts in a jet stream. The container is bulkier to carry around though.

                                I also ride with a retractable police baton, which is of questionable legality but well, I'd rather be safe and have it.

                                Never thought of a hunter's lash - I'm going to go about finding one. Fantastic idea!

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by DancingArabian View Post
                                  I wouldn't ride with pepper spray just because pepper spray tends to form a cloud and that can really backfire against you.
                                  That was my concern as well when I saw the suggestion. I can't imagine what would have happened if the pepper spray blew back into the horses eyes or nose. In my opinion pepper spray around horses is just a train wreck waiting to happen.
                                  At its finest, rider and horse are joined not by tack, but by trust. Each is totally reliant upon the other. Each is the selfless guardian of the other's very well-being.
                                  (Author Unknown)

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