Dog attacks on horses are a problem that affect riders in all areas. The danger is not only to the horse, which could be injured by the dog biting it, and rider, who could suffer injuries if they fall from the horse, but also a dog acting aggressively towards a horse will be at risk of being injured or even killed if the horse kicks out to protect itself.
Even if the dog does not make contact with the horse, a barking dog may cause a horse to spook and run away from what the horse perceives as a dangerous situation. This could result in the rider falling off the horse, leaving the horse to gallop loose and potential cause harm to itself or other people while in a fearful and uncontrolled state.
For this reason it is recommended that dogs are kept under close control while around horses, and on a lead if the dog’s recall is at all questionable. If you are walking your dog in an area where horses are also likely to be, please remain alert so you can take action to prevent an incident from occuring.
There have also been cases of dogs worrying grazing horses and if you are walking your dog on a public footpath that passes through loose horses, we would recommend the dog is kept on a lead.