Dog owners are generally not open minded to other types of animals than dogs. If the dog lover is also a horse lover, it makes sense that both four-legged friends are moved together, e.g. when riding together. So that the dream of a relaxed ride with three does not become a nightmare, there are a few prerequisites to consider. The most important thing is a solid basic training of dog, horse and rider.
Requirements for joint rides
Of course, the rider should sit securely in the saddle and master the most important aids, such as parrying through to stop the horse. To ensure the interaction between horse and rider, the horse must have had solid basic training. This also means that the horse can stand still without fidgeting.
The dog should have received a good upbringing. Basic commands must be able to be called up from the inside. Special care should be taken with dogs who like to jump on people, because horses do not forgive such behavior as easily as some people. Also make sure that your dog takes you seriously from the horse’s saddle and listens to your commands. It is recommended to practice dog obedience on the riding arena.
The most important requirement is, of course, that dog and horse get along well. If you have your own horse or participate in riding, it is a good idea to take the dog into the stable a few times and get used to the horse from the ground. This is best done on a leash first. When the dog starts running towards the horse or barking at it, a sharp “No!” Is necessary.
A good way to get the two four-legged friends used to each other and to test their compatibility is to take a walk together.
Special features of hunting and herding dogs
Herding dogs are often overzealous and try to “drive” the horse from the meadow alone. A fearful horse can quickly become a dangerous situation for the dog. To prevent this, the herding instinct must be brought under control early on. Hunting dogs, on the other hand, tend to run towards the horse barking. Here is a proper preparation for the strange animal, as well as a well-behaved dog is the be-all and end-all.
If the horse and dog have enough time to get to know each other, a good basis is created for a joint ride. At first, a second person is helpful, who leads the dog on a leash next to the horse. If that works, the rider can take over the leash himself.
The right pace
For the first exits, it is advisable to keep the pace low. In any case, the dog can keep up in step and it is less complicated for the rider to sort the dog leash and reins. If the first steps with a leash worked well, you can try it without a leash – provided that there is no obligation to leash (this depends on the hunting law of the respective federal state).
As a dog owner you can usually assess the stamina of your four-legged friend well. If the dog is fit enough, nothing stands in the way of longer rides with trot and gallop routes. An extended ride with occasional changes in tempo is a wonderful way to meet the dog’s urge to move.