Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
If she's taking in after the dog while you are handling her, then you should correct the issue the same way you would any other ground training problem, by refocusing her attention on you and making her work until she forgot the dog was there. But just from reading, I suspect you are asking how to keep her from going after the dog if it happens to get into her paddock, correct?
If that's the case, then the only real option is to prevent the dog from getting into her paddock. A horse's natural instinct is to flee something they deem a predator. A dog is a predator. If they are in a position where fleeing will not be possible, then they will fight. Many horses that have had some bad experience with a dog will begin to skip the "flight" part of their nature and go right to attacking. If this is happening while they are turned out and on their own in their pen/paddock, then there is no way to stop it and I wouldn't want to stop it even if there was a way.
Her having come from a place where there were kennels means that it is pretty likely she has had a bad experience with a dog at some point, either being bitten or chased. When she is loose in her paddock, that instinct is the only protection she has from any animal that may choose to attack her. If you tried to train that instinct out of her, then you would open her up to be attacked.
Personally, when my horses are turned loose in their paddocks/pastures, I prefer that they are a bit wary and aggressive toward dogs. At least that way, I know that some strange dog that wanders over in the middle of the night won't be able to tear one of them apart and walk away unscathed. I don't know about Australia, but around here, dog attacks on horses aren't exactly an uncommon thing.
The way I handle it is I leave my horses to their nature and train my dogs to stay away from them.
Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/