The British Horse Society (BHS) is offering advice to dog walkers on how to pass horses safely, after the number of incidents logged involving dogs rose by 111% over two years, from 2020 to 2022. The guidance is intended to help dog walkers and the general public continue to enjoy the outdoors, alongside horses, safely and considerately.

Since 2010 there have been 2,818 dog related incidents reported to the BHS via the Horse i app, which includes three human fatalities, 29 horse fatalities, 739 human injuries and 708 horse injuries. In recent years, the charity has seen a steep increase in dog-related incidents with ridden horses, along with horses kept in fields and with carriage drivers.

“We are seeing a worrying increase in dog related incidents, with almost 3,000 reported to us since 2010,” said Des Payne, Safety Team Leader at the BHS. “We would ask all dog owners to act responsibly around horses and if in doubt make sure your dog is on a lead. We encourage riders to follow some simple steps too, including wearing hi vis to enable other routes users to see you and to always slow to a walk to pass dogs.

“We ask all horse riders, and the wider public, who have experienced or witnessed an incident to log it via the BHS’s Horse i app. This allows us to better understand the rate of equine-related incidents and, ultimately, ensure horses remain safe, as well as those around them.”

Kay Scott-Jarvis, Founder and Head Coach at Rockstar Equine in Staffordshire, has experienced first-hand how critical it is that dog owners and horse riders support one another:

“Towards the end of a recent trail ride, my team were approached by three dogs at speed and no owner in sight,” she said. “One dog unfortunately got hold of the hind leg of one of our ponies. In turn, a child became unseated and fell from the pony onto hard stone and gravel.

“As a dog owner and a horse owner myself, it is so important that we work together, because everyone involved in these incidents are impacted in some way. It is vital we support each other and share responsibility; this way we all get to enjoy our beautiful British countryside in harmony.”

The BHS has lots of information to help dog walkers, as well as the horses and riders they meet on their walks. To find out more visit

Image by Charlie Gooders Photography

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