Loose dogs are a recognised potential hazard when out on a hack with your horse. Thankfully most owners are courteous and call their dogs back to hold them while you pass, or are sensible enough to have them on a lead if they know their dog might misbehave.
Unfortunately however, this is not always the case and there are incidents when loose dogs may be aggressive towards horses and attempt to chase or attack them.
Lottie Pezzotta had once such experience recently while out on a hack. The 14-year-old is a #Hack1000Miles participant and wanted to do the challenge to get more confident hacking out alone with her 6-year-old Connemara, Glen.
“When we were driving to the yard a couple of weeks ago, we drove past a caravan parked next to the church, which both me and my mum found a bit odd but didn’t think much of it,” says Lottie.
“We arrived at the yard and I tacked up ready for my hack as normal. I set off around the block by myself, which is only about two miles on tracks.
“As I approached the church two big dogs come out from behind the caravan and started to growl and snap at Glen. He turned and galloped for home, he was frightened as one of the dogs was chasing him but after a minute the dog gave up and went back.”
“We have just reached our 250 mile mark. Before this experience Glen was spooky but never concerned by dogs,” adds Lottie.
“Now Glen is definitely warier of dogs and anything that is moving. When he sees a dog he stops and watches it so I’m being careful to ask people to put their dogs on leads.
Lottie isn’t going to let the experience set them back and is determined to build Glen’s confidence back up again. “He’s getting better and slowly getting his confidence back, he has gone on to do the Windsor ride and we are planning a trip to Newmarket and a hacking holiday.”
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