Spooking at Small Dogs
This is my first time posting on here, but I am having a small dilemma.
My new horse and I, Rebel, have only been together for about two weeks. I had my previous horse for almost 10 years- she was already 20-21 when I got her, so she was extremely experienced and never spooked at anything.
Rebel, however, is only four- he'll be five in July. He is usually very level headed, but of course there are things he has never seen before (but I did manage to get him used to my dad's boat and other trailers in our yard- I was so proud!)
The one thing that really scares him- and I fear that someone will get hurt because of it- is my neighbor's small dogs. One is some sort of terrier looking dog, and the other is a shi tzu. The terrier looking dog will come charging at Rebel, barking, and get under his feet. Rebel will then bolt, accented by small bucks. I am afraid he will hurt the dog, himself, or me.
I know that he is not afraid of dogs in general. My dog, Larry, often spends time with me and the horses- Rebel is not frightened of him at all. I believe that the difficulty with the small dog is the fact that it is barking, and it gets under his feet, so he can't see the threat.
I wondered if there is any way to safely desensitize Rebel to this. I also considered going over on my four wheeler to make sure the tiny dog is inside before I saddle up. I hate to ask my neighbors for assistance, because it isn't really their problem, and the last time it happened, the man was in the yard and said nothing to his pet.