The animal combination of dogs and horses has been around for a very long time. This is where our four-legged friends come from, for example, with their distinctive hunting instinct. It is still important today, although there is no longer any hunt as such, that dogs and horses get along with each other. The dog must be trained so that it does not jump around in front of the horse’s hooves. This is not only the be-all and end-all for the animals, but also for the rider. The dog must not chase the horse and the horse must not be afraid of the dog. If this does not work perfectly, serious accidents can occur due to panic. The basic requirement here is that your dog understands commands such as “No!” and implements them without any problems.
The First Step to the Paddock
If you get your dog as a puppy, he should internalize the impressions and smells of the horses and the paddock as well as the stable as soon as possible and consider them normal. Getting to know each other early is therefore an absolute advantage, but the “No!” has to be right. This command enables you to intervene in good time if the horse and dog come uncomfortably close to each other.
Important Rule: Create Distance Between Dog and Horse!
Your dog must know and be able to say “Stay!” because hooves can be more than painful. Horses are shy animals, especially if they don’t know dogs yet, and they quickly feel hunted. This must be avoided in order to prevent accidents.
So the dog has to learn that the stable means distance from the horse and the horse has to learn that the dog is not a danger. At the same time, you teach the hoofed animal not to kick the furry four-legged friend. The command “sit” is also absolutely necessary here. Dogs don’t particularly like mares, and we quickly step after the much smaller animal. Therefore, you must also scold the horse if it makes such an attempt. In addition, you should then push the horse a little so that it rides forward a little quicker.
The Magic Word: Habit
Once the animals know each other, there won’t be any major problems. However, it is also important here that your dog, for example, does not allow himself to be fooled by jumping out of the bushes and scaring the horse. Because horses have a strong instinct to flee. And not without reason, because after all there are definitely smaller animals in the wild that can hunt down a wild horse.
You can only make a real riding companion dog out of your darling if he respects the horse and trusts you and, above all, obeys your orders and commands. First, you should get to the point where you can lead your dog on the ground with a leash while you ride until you can do without the leash altogether.
Of course, it depends on the character and the history of the horse, as well as on the breed and the character traits of your dog. In addition, your dog should know how to deal with difficult weather. It does not have to be a purebred dog for this, because even mixed breeds are quite capable of being raised lovingly but consistently to become a riding companion dog.