Dogs and horses

It was hot today, so Ziggy, Sue (my long suffering wife) and I went to a favourite river walk for some fun this morning.

We had spent some time walking along and playing in the river, when we returned to a spot for one last session in the water. By now, there were quite a few owners and their dogs enjoying the sun and the water. As is usual for me, I waded into the river with Ziggy and threw her balls for her. The other dogs got involved in the fun and another owner waded in to take part in throwing the balls and various toys for the pooches.

So far, so good. Everyone, humans and dogs were getting along well and enjoying the water. I glanced to the opposite bank of the river and saw a horse and rider enter the water, they headed straight towards the dogs in the water, closely followed by 7 or 8 other horses and riders. Now, horses can, easily get spooked by dogs and vice versa. Therefore, I was staggered by the behaviour of these riders.

Following the lead rider, they just, simply walked through the group of excited, barking dogs, paying no attention to them, whatsoever. Fortunately, none of the horses reacted to the lively dogs, some barking around there legs. The dog owners managed to get there dogs under control.

I was dumbfounded by the ignorance, arrogance and lack of regard for anyone else displayed by these horse riders. Imagine if a horse had been spooked by a dog and thrown a rider of causing injury. Who would be held accountable? Well, of course, the horse riders would have blamed the owner of the dog. This, potentially, dangerous situation could have, easily, been avoided. The lead rider, had simply needed to call across the river, alerting the dog owners of their intentions. The dog owners would then have had time to get their dogs on leads and made way. Obviously, these riders thought this, simply, courtesy was not needed.

The point here is that all users of open spaces should pay, due attention to the safety of people and their animals. Luckily, on this occasion, nobody got hurt.