ON Friday I had a horrible experience in Abbots Wood. I was horse riding up a bridle path when we were chased by a dog which came out of the main seating area, spooked the horse who took off. Unfortunately I took a nasty tumble.
The dog continued to chase the horse who fortunately turned around and came back with ‘dog in tow’.
Any number of awful things could have happened, the horse could have knocked down other users of the woods, many being young children/elderly, or run out into the road in an attempt to go home.
Fortunately it is only me who is a bit battered and bruised along with the horse’s confidence.
I’m not daft and realise horse riding is dangerous and comes with many risks, I also don’t blame horse or dog because both were behaving in an instinctive way, but the dog owner had no idea it had even run out onto the bridle path or there was one.
I am a dog owner and believe if you are in a public place you should know where it is and what it’s doing.
Even those with good natures can be unpredictable. Nine times out of 10 have no problems as dog owners call them to heal or put them on the lead.
Before someone gets seriously injured I thought I should try and raise awareness as to how quickly the situation can become dangerous.
I don’t think many mishaps occur intentionally or because people are selfish - just they are not sufficiently educated on the matter. Occasionally dog owners have said to me, “my dog is fine with horses”, not considering the horse may not be fine with dogs.
I will contact The Forestry Commission to see if it is possible to have better signs and maybe an information leaflet drawn up.