Being Attacked- what to do? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-02-2015, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Being Attacked- what to do?

I am fairly new to HORSE behavior and so far really enjoying this forum!

I live in London near the green belt - there is a big field with multiple chained horses. It breaks my heart but they are cared for in the minimal sense. I think they are used for breeding. I sometimes have to walk through this field (its a public path actually) and often one or two have broken loose and literally charge at anyone. When I mean charge I mean I've had a horse charge, ears pinned and rearing. I was so frightened I just walked away with my eyes closed expecting to be stomped. I remember seeing my friend who was watching and the horror on her face. I was VERY lucky that this horse changed their mind. Maybe it was a stallion I'm not sure.

In this case scenario - worst case scenario I guess - how SHOULD I respond vs a very aggressive, fearful horse? I wasn't approaching it or even close but it did take great offence to us walking through.

Thanks x
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-02-2015, 06:27 PM
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Get a good strong walking stick or willow about 5' long and don't be afraid to use it if you have to. A hard whack is usually a pretty good deterrent but be careful that it doesn't turn it's heels on you.



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post #3 of 20 Old 08-02-2015, 07:10 PM
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Willow would do the trick, longer than 5' if you can get it. Try tying on a plastic grocery sack or some sort to the end of it, and feel free to wave it in the horse's face.
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-02-2015, 07:49 PM
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to both!


It's *SEEMS* cruel, but whack em if you think they're gonna trample you. And watch out, they may spin and kick out. In that case, get outta the way, then if he charges you again, whack again. It's better for them to be hit than you trampled. Then someone would probably put them down.

Be careful!

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post #5 of 20 Old 08-02-2015, 08:18 PM
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I would report these animals to the authorities if they're on a public walking path. Somebody could REALLY get hurt if these horses have taken to charging strangers. I would not walk through there if you can possibly avoid it.
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-02-2015, 08:42 PM
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Two months ago I started leaving a horse near a place where I work a lot. There weren't many choices for boarding. I finally settled on one that had a variety of mares and geldings, a foal, and a nasty 9hh pony stallion.

Nasty little critter. But, at the same time the little guy can't help his brains vs hormones since he hasn't been taught manners.

I am the only one to go see their horse at this place. Really. The rancher tells me he hasn't seen some of the owners for years. Those people just pay board and the outfit is on a vaccinating and worming schedule with the area vet.

So. I'm stuck. At first I tried to run the others off and just handle mine. That didn't work. I had to get control of the whole herd. Mostly because of the stallion.

I got it done. After getting the herd to move when I approached, I invested in some senior feed and would call them in. Even got them separating by gender into pens by using a cattle sorting flag within one week. Worked better and was easier than I expected.

But, at first that little stinker charged me twice. And all I have is a dressage/polo whip. I knew even at his small size he could seriously injure me. I worked him over horridly that first time. I paired the action with bellering like an old sow bear (awful noise). The second time, he left me alone much sooner.

One might think the little rat might forever be afraid of me. No. Nor are any of the others. They approach and stop a respectful distance away. I now take the time to approach each horse, including the little hormone-driven brat, and handle them.

I'm moving my horse home next weekend because I need him to finish the polo season there. The rancher (quite elderly and no longer riding horses) wouldn't take my board check saying he can now approach and catch anyone of them, and he knows the vet is going to appreciate it when it's time for worming teeth checks next month. He's going out among them daily.

Stand up for yourself. Horses won't hold it against you. It just makes things clear to them.
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post #7 of 20 Old 08-02-2015, 09:12 PM
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I don't understand how a public pathway, runs through a field where horses are picketed . I assume that is what you mean by 'chained'
There has to be a law. If that is not private property, those horses should not be there, esp stallions
if it is private property, land leased by the owner of those horses, you should not be walking there.
Not saying that horses should be allowed to act aggressive towards people, but there has to be some sort of liability here!
It is not like it is a boarding stable, where you have horse.
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-02-2015, 10:05 PM
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Yeah I would be contacting the council before doing anything.

If the horses are loose/get loose they can, and should be, seized by animal control.

I doubt they have a stallion there. I imagine the aggressive behaviour is defensive... a horse chained in a public place could be approached by many people and animals, possibly hurt, it's not a good situation.
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-03-2015, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
I don't understand how a public pathway, runs through a field where horses are picketed . I assume that is what you mean by 'chained'
There has to be a law. If that is not private property, those horses should not be there, esp stallions
if it is private property, land leased by the owner of those horses, you should not be walking there.
Not saying that horses should be allowed to act aggressive towards people, but there has to be some sort of liability here!
It is not like it is a boarding stable, where you have horse.
Different laws here!

Land may be privately owned but it can have a right of way across it in the form of a bridle path or a footpath. If this is so then people have the right to walk or ride across the land.

The teathered horses usually belong to travellers/gypsies/Irish tinkers and they are a law unto themselves. They do what they want, when they want and the Police will ignore them.

So, the OP has every right to walk across the field. I dare say that people go out and feed the horses which makes them pushy and expect it from anyone walking across the land. Taking a long stick and waving that if they approach is enough to make them move away, if not give it a good whack with the stick.

Last edited by Foxhunter; 08-03-2015 at 05:17 AM.
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-03-2015, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Hiya thanks a lot for the responses - it's good to know and a bit of a relief actually! I, and MANY others, have rung the RSPCA and the council. Thing is, despite being picketed, the owners come out everyday and fill their water buckets and give them hay. And I think it is a privately owned field with a public path through - trying to get an answer is pretty darn hard.

It's still pretty heartbreaking though. They have no enrichment, are in an open field during the hottest weather and the coldest (I know they don't need pampering but it has to be uncomfortable sometimes, especially in the heat with no escape from the sun?). When some do break free they not only charge people but they terrorize each other. When I was little (10years) I'd often go out and take carrots to them. Now, however there must be over 25 horses, sometimes more and they are pretty dangerous.

Lastly, it has been affirmed that they belong to "pikeys" (please don't take this offensively, its just how they are known and I don't know how else to call). It's pretty well known that in this area you do NOT get involved, and that even includes the police. The only thing I wish I could do was refill their water buckets as they knock them over and then have nothing until their owner turns up again.
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