View Full Version : Cavaliers and Horses

2nd February 2011, 02:40 PM
We would like our pup to be very comfortable around horses, and one reason why we liked Cavaliers is their tendency to be friendly with just about any kind of animal. Our daughter has a horse, and we spend a lot of time at the stables and at horse shows. Eventually, I would like to bring Lucky with us sometimes, assuming that he is comfortable with that environment.

Does anyone have any tips on how to introduce him to horses and other large animals? We currently live on a farm with horses, cows, goats, and chickens, so there are lots of opportunities for interaction (when the weather is decent).

I'm just not sure if there are specific things I should say to him, if I should hold him in my arms instead of having him on the ground on-leash, if I should give him a treat after each interaction... looking for specific advice here, if anyone has experience with this or something similar. Thanks!

3rd February 2011, 05:24 PM
Thank for posting this, I too am curious about Cavs around horses. They are so tiny I just worry about them getting stepped on!

Kate H
3rd February 2011, 07:01 PM
I live in a very horsey area and we often meet loose horses and ponies in fields when out walking. None of my Cavaliers has shown the slightest fear of horses, but I have taught them to steer well clear of them, as one kick from a hoof could send them into kingdom come! On the other hand, most horses won't willingly tread on something alive, so even if they are frisky, they have never harmed my dogs walking quietly beside a human (though being used to horses, I do push the horses away if they come too close). I would suggest that you simply get Lucky to sit quietly beside you, perhaps at a little distance at first, then gradually getting closer; reward him for behaving calmly, and teach him that around horses he stays close to you and stays calm - not all horses appreciate a small dog trying to play with them! If your daughter's horse is reliable with dogs, you may be able eventually to let Lucky off the lead around the stable. Give him plenty of time to take in what's going on around him and see that there's nothing to worry about. I've taken my Cavaliers to agricultural shows and they have never batted an eyelid at seeing cows, horses, donkeys, and any other animal - though I never trust them off-lead in a field of sheep! On the whole, Cavaliers seem much more interested in the humans around as potential sources of fuss, than the animals!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

3rd February 2011, 08:24 PM
Thanks Kate! :)

3rd February 2011, 10:59 PM
This is Leo with one of the ponies on Dartmore in Devon, they are wild and roam free. We had stopped for a picnic and the pony came over. Leo showed no fear and they both had a good sniff at each other.

4th February 2011, 03:27 AM
awww. those photos are so adorable. Im a huge horse lover.

4th February 2011, 03:45 AM
Mika shows no fear of horses either - which kind of scares me. My son's dad is a rancher, so we have a lot of opportunity to be around horses. I of course keep her on leash. I think if she was off leash she'd make herself quite at home around the horses. Most of the horses are uses to having dogs around, but most ranch dogs have horse sense. I don't imagine Mika has any. Funny - she's scared of big dogs, but horses and cows don't seem to phase her.

Daisy's Mom
4th February 2011, 03:52 PM
There used to be a horse in a nearby field close to our neighborhood. Once, my daughter and I were walking Daisy down the sidewalk and Daisy spotted the horse (and a donkey with him) and of course, Daisy being Daisy she started barking and lunging madly. That sweet old horse just came rambling over to the fence and stuck his head through it to sniff Daisy, despite her wild behavior. Once the horse did that, Daisy got quiet and although she was still straining on the leash to get closer, the horse and she eventually touched noses and Daisy licked him/her on the nose! It was so sweet. The donkey on the other hand, wanted absolutely nothing to do with Daisy so he kept his distance. (I've read that donkeys usually have an inborn hatred of canines. That's why people use them as guard animals for goat herds. They attack coyotes and dogs and protect the herd.)

Count me in as a major horse lover, too. In fact, my daughter, son, and I have been taking riding lessons for a while and we hope to buy a horse in the not-too-distant future! Maybe some day we'll build out on the land we bought about a year and a half ago and we'll have horses of our own for Daisy to (hopefully) become close friends with. There's a horse farm in KY that often shows a blenheim cavalier in their pictures of the horses they are trying to sell. One picture even shows the Cav up on the horse's back in the saddle!

7th February 2011, 09:15 PM
Love those pictures!

Lucky is shy around other dogs right now, not sure how he will be around the horses. Everything is still wet and muddy here, but as soon as it dries out I will take him over.