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Introduction To Horses?


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I would like to be able to bring my greyhound to the barn with me and to horse shows, and am wondering if anyone has any advice for introducing him to horses.

 

I've had him for a little over a year, and in that time he's generally figured out that flinging himself at squirrels is not going to get him anywhere. He's still very interested in moving creatures, but knows that launching himself at them is frowned upon when he's on a leash, thankfully. We haven't seen deer in a long time, but he did try launching after them as well. He is extremely confident about most things and enjoys city life. We even took him to the Philadelphia Flower Show this year and he loved it.

 

I walk him past the city carriage horse stables every so often. His reaction has been strong interest until we get relatively close and the horse(s) look over at him, at which point he looks away and starts busily sniffing the ground. He's become more and more relaxed about it over time, too, which I take as encouraging.

 

We also took him to a large horse show last fall and stayed around the edges. He seemed torn between interest in the giant prey animals and concern about how giant they are. I think he tried one leap towards them at one point but then settled in and mostly lost interest except when one jumped, then the ears would pop up. We stayed very much on the edges so we wouldn't distract anyone.

 

I would like to get him more comfortable/not-chasy at horse shows, and if he could come to the barn it would open up a lot more scenic places to take him for walks. I'm a boarder but the barn is dog-friendly and the manager's response when I said I had a greyhound was "oh those are such cool dogs." If he could sleep in the horse's stall or a x-pen or something while I ride that would be fantastic. The barn is 40 miles away but in an area with lots of parks and hiking. It's also possible he could have a run in the fenced field my horse uses (obviously when the horses aren't in it).

 

 

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This needs to be handled with utmost care. For many dogs it would just be a flat out bad idea. There are some horse owners on this forum that might have some good advice for you. a lot can also depend on the particular horse.

 

Many of the trails I walk are shared with horses, so all the dogs and horses around here seem to be pretty good with each other. My Greyhound views horses as large dogs which is not necessarily a good thing. He believes he should sniff their bums and noses - a risky proposition. But some of the horses are quite friendly with the dogs and don't mind. One horse will even rub faces with my dog which is a bizarre thing to see. Good luck.

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Be very careful. Some horses will be ok, some horses will not. I had one that would play with a dog ( tug of war, can you believe!) and one that was pretty sure dogs were spawn from hell.

Missing Hiro, Tank, and Tractor

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I've taken my Beth to my cousin's stable numerous times. She loves horses and is very curious. No problem but of course she is always right with me on leash and not allowed anywhere she could get on trouble. The horses are used to the barn dogs and others. (And an indoor riding ring is an awesome soft surface for running, without horses and with gates that close safely of course.)

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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My horses are in my backyard, so the dogs and horses are used to each other. The dogs still bark when we ride near their fence. I just ride up close and stand there until they stop barking. These are my dogs, and my horses, on my property. I would worry about a boarding barn. You have no control over people walking or riding their horses near your dog. Kind of like the unknown of being approached by a strange dog on a leash, but a horse is much bigger. You know your barn. Maybe it would work for you.

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I do not allow dogs in, or near, my barn... or barnyard ... unless they are on a leash.

I have seen more than one loose dog get badly hurt from kicks.

 

Leaving a dog in a stall while you ride is not usually a good idea.... they could start barking or jumping up or even jump out.

Not only annoying to others, but dangerous.

I would never leave my dogs unattended in an xpen.

 

I quite often walk my leashed hounds through my pastures and my horses are fine with them.

Nixon is the only one of my hounds that is actually willing to get close to the horses. Ruby and Nigel are both afraid to get too close and I do not force them.

 

I have a pony who was once bitten on the nose by a loose dog!

The dog had tossed his tennis ball towards the pony and when the pony put his head down to sniff it, the dog lunged and bit him...put a hole right through his nostril.

 

Most horse fencing is not secure enough to safely contain a greyhound.

I have split rail fencing that they could easily get through. Same with board fencing. Electric is not secure. Page wire fencing is dangerous and I have seen large dogs squeeze through it.

 

Most of the horse shows here have 'No Dogs Allowed rules. It is not worth the risk of a horse getting spooked.

You should always check with management before taking your dog to a show.

 

Sorry to be negative....

Perhaps you will get lots of wonderful stories of how happy other peoples dogs are at the barn!

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge

 

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I would never take him somewhere he wasn't welcome, or take him close to horses I'm not familiar with. Should go without saying, but I know people do it. The barn I ride at definitely allows boarders to bring dogs, I actually had the conversation with the manager while she brought up her new German Shepherd puppy to play with another boarder's Vizla. The Vizla spends his entire time there running at high speed from person to person, and no one cares, including the horses. Of course he isn't chasing anything. The manager has two other dogs, the trainer has a pointer puppy. Probably not what most people (myself included) would imagine at a race horse stud farm :) It's a very relaxed place but all the people and horses seem sensible. There are separate barns for the boarders, stallions, and mares with foals.

 

He would NOT be allowed loose at the barn, or ever in fields with loose horses, even on a leash. And would only be left alone if I was confident he would be comfortable and well-behaved. He would be allowed to hang out in the tack room, but I'd worry about someone letting him out accidentally. The field fencing is wire mesh (small openings, less than 4"), I suspect to keep out dogs. I wish we had an indoor, especially this winter!

 

I do also have the possibility of taking him to a friend's small farm if that would be a good "intro level". She has two horses and a collie that's fine with them who could be a mentor.

 

I guess I'm looking for any specific pointers about how you introduced your dogs to your horses in a way that kept everyone calm.

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I board my horse at a small, family owned barn. My barn owners have two boxers who have the run of the property. There are also two aussies that live there and assorted boarder dogs that visit the property. My horse has always been around loose dogs and ridden with dogs on trails.

 

Our greyhounds and galgo have only been to the barn a few times - mostly because they'd rather be at home in their comfy house. However, when I first brought them out, I honestly didn't think about introductions. Our hounds looked at my horse and were pretty much just meh. They all get along just fine.

 

Our hounds are not turned out loose with the horses (fencing isn't dog-proof).

 

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Laura with Celeste (ICU Celeste) and Galgos Beatrix and Encarna
The Horse - Gracie (MD Grace E)
Bridge Angels Faye Oops (Santa Fe Oops), Bonny (
Bonny Drive), Darcy (D's Zipperfoot)

 

 

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Guest FloridaGirl

It probably depends on prey drive, excitement levels, etc. I have introduced Claymore to the horses in our area (through the fencing or bars) and mostly he's perplexed at the very large, slow dogs that just seem to stand in the field. However, his drive is very low and I keep him rather tired out on a regular basis. I assume he considers them just larger, even more boring versions of the bunnies that infest our home.

 

I'd just take it one step at a time. I know horse shows can be a high energy place (and I miss them desperately!), but a lot of people bring their dogs to them and they're just fine. Perhaps just start out with shows you're not involved in, just walking around and desensitizing him to the sights and sounds of the show environment. A little at a time, more and more each time depending on his reaction. If he's going nuts every time, maybe it's not the thing for him. Just for experience's sake, I'd consider introductions to horses and shows two COMPLETELY different things. He may be completely uninterested in the calm environment of horses in their own homes, but may react to the energy that surrounds a show. I would even say try shows first, then horses up close, but that's just my thinking.

 

However it ends up, good luck! Even if he has a high prey drive, the movement of a trotting show horse is VERY different from the prey movements of a deer or squirrel - it's more intimidating and solid than flighty prey-like movement. He may be more wary or nervous of a large steadily moving beast than interested in launching after it.

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Is there somewhere you can walk where you can regularly see horses and pass them, to get him more used to them before you start on the full-on experience of a stable yard or horse show? Like others I think it only responsible to keep my dog leashed around horses always, other livestock too. When Doc was younger and fitter we used to walk in Richmond Park, which has horse riders and herds of deer, and also occasionally the New Forest which has wild ponies, deer and pigs in the pannage season. He is a dog with a strong prey drive but I will say that they didn't kick this off when they were close up - only when they were 'small and far away' (to quote Father Ted).

 

Here Doc demonstrates how to meet a Shetland pony safely. This was on a walk in Wales and they were both definitely curious about each other! The pony looks even smaller than it was, as the field was on a slightly lower level than the path.

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Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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I had horses when I was young, and we had dogs. Our horses were (like Battersea Brindles) on our property. The primary interest our dogs had was in eating horse poop.

 

There is really no benefit to your dog in bringing him to the barn. You can't just let him run loose like other people apparently do, so assuming you are there to ride your horse, how could possibly tend to your dog and ride? You can't tie a Greyhound up (it's really not safe) and unless you close both the top and bottom of the stall door, Nancy is right. The dog can jump out. Not to mention no matter how well you clean the stall, do you really want to pen up your dog in a stall? With horse urine and poop likely hidden in the shavings?


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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My dogs sometimes come to the barn with my husband, but only when he's picking me up after riding. They have shown no interest in horses, beyond normal curiosity. Heyokha has been to A Circuit shows (everyone seems to have a dog, but they're usually aussies or JRTs). He enjoys meeting people, but I keep him away from horses we don't know - just because my dog doesn't mind horses, doesn't mean the horses don't mind them - not all horses are "dog broke".

 

More concerning for me at the barn now is that we have two goats - a mini-Nubian/boer cross (as far as we can tell) and a Nigerian dwarf. So they're small enough to be of predatory interest to the greyhounds, both of whom have prey drives.


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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