Members of Nelson's equestrian community want dogs kept on leads near the equestrian park at Rough Island, after a second attack by dogs on horses within eight months left a woman seriously injured.
Ms Weeks said she and Ms Lee-Oldfield had planned a quiet ride on Friday afternoon at Rough Island, but it had turned into a "really horrible experience". They were walking their horses quietly by the estuary when they noticed a man driving up the road behind them running his pig dogs from his ute.
"As soon as they saw us they came straight for our horses. The two of them set on Rosemary's horse and unfortunately she fell off. A few moments later I also fell and our horses took off," Ms Weeks said. She said it had happened very quickly, and while the horses had bolted her main concern was for Ms Lee-Oldfield, who had clearly been badly hurt in the fall.
Ms Weeks was upset the dog owner left the scene, but they were helped by two women nearby who caught their horses before they headed out to the road, and a man walking his dog nearby.
Mrs Bowler said most people with dogs who used the area were very good, and if they saw horses approaching would at least grab their dog and put it on a lead, but certain dogs were bred to attack, which was what seemed to have occurred in this instance. (bred to attack? or lack of training & understanding?)
"We need something done down there. It's an equestrian park, which is fenced, but once riders go outside that area there are quite a lot of issues to contend with such as motorbikes and cars using the area too.
"We have to know we are as safe as we can be, and it has to be safe for all other users too because to have a dog attack you is just hideous," Mrs Bowler said. (I agree it's hideous, but enforcement of a leash isn't the answer either... as your article states)
The horses were not injured.
I know that a quick answer for horse attacks is to put dogs on a lead, and make it a crime if they don't, but would it have worked with this person who was exercising their dogs this way? Probably not. So why punish the good dog owners?
This dog owner probably didn't even know that horses would be there, and thought that it was a safe road to exercise their dog. I have no idea, I'm just assuming, maybe I'm wrong. Are there signs that say that horses use this road, and putting your dog on a lead would be most appreciative?
Why didn't this guy stop? because the repercussions of doing so would have been a dead dog and a hefty fine, and just like our boy racers, they don't want their cars/dogs taken away. If, on the other hand, stopping and doing the right thing meant NOT losing your dog/car, then well... probably more people would stop and help. Our society is based on punishment, and the fear of being punished means that we try to escape punishment.... sort of like dogs when they bite the dog owner who uses punishment as training.
We need to get the mix right, otherwise there will be more kids killed, and more dogs owners getting a bad rap.
PS. The article describes the dogs are 'pig dogs'.. why would that be? and what ARE pig dogs? That language in itself is used pejoratively like they are a special breed of some sort. They were two dogs who's prey drive were not kept in check!
And yes, I would be peeved too if I were riding a horse, and this person's dogs attacked my horse. I'd be wild... just like the driver that doesn't stop to help a pedestrian who was hit by their car. It's a lack of respect for the rule of law, and respect isn't acquired through laws and regulations