A pony who bucked her young rider off in terror when an out-of-control dog sank its teeth into her nose was only stopped in her gallop for home when her legs got tangled in her reins.
Gillian Barbour was on foot, with her friend’s 12-year-old daughter Tazmin Haxton riding Gillian’s seven-year-old cob Venus on land in an area called the Bing in Cardenden on 2 June when two loose dogs ran away from their owner.
Gillian told H&H one of the dogs, thought to be a Rottweiler, returned to the owner but the other, thought to be a Staffordshire bull terrier, ran toward Venus.
“When I saw the dogs I shouted for Tazmin to stop and stand still. The dog came running over, jumped up and grabbed Venus’ nose. She bucked, spun and Tazmin was thrown off,” said Gillian.
The dog’s owner told Gillian the dog was playing and must have ‘caught’ Venus.
Gillian ran towards Tazmin who had been winded in the fall.
“Tazmin was my first concern to make sure she was ok, and then the next thing I saw was Venus galloping towards home,” said Gillian.
“Thankfully Venus stopped before she got to the main road after her reins got tangled round her legs,” said
Tazmin got back on Venus and they returned to Gillian’s home.
“Venus has always been great with dogs, she’s such a good pony, but trying to get near her nose since this happened has been a nightmare. There was a pierce mark inside her nostril,” said Gillian.
“I’ve taken Venus back to where the incident happened in-hand to reinforce to her that it’s safe. My other mare Nevada is petrified of dogs, if it had been her it would have been awful.”
Article continued below…
‘Horses don’t speak dog and can’t differentiate between a dog wanting to play or not’
‘I felt so helpless watching Spring get chased into the sea — the man allowed his dog to hunt and
Take advantage of our sale on Horse & Hound magazine subscriptions today
Gillian wants owners to put their dogs on leads around horses.
“I used to own three Labradors and the minute I heard or saw horses they would be recalled and put on a lead – it’s common sense. I don’t want a horse or a dog to be hurt,” she said.
“I’ve bought a hat camera so going forward anyone who is riding my horses will be wearing it and we’ll have evidence if something ever happens.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.