Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is appealing to horse riders and dog owners to ensure everyone can enjoy our outdoor spaces together.
The Borough’s coastline and countryside offer lots of opportunities for exercise and exploring but dangerous situations can arise if a dog gives chase, or a horse bolts and starts to run.
Encounters can often be stressful for both animals but there are things you can do to ensure the safety of your animal, yourself, and those around you.
Top Tips for Dog Owners
· - Socialise and try to train your dog to be calm around horses from an early age.
· - Ensure you have your dog under close control and train a reliable recall.
· - If you do not have a sound recall, keep them on a lead.
· - If a horse is approaching, call your dog and keep still in a visible, safe place.
· - If a rider is approaching quickly, make yourself visible so they can slow down.
· - Wear hi-viz clothing so riders can see you and react earlier.
· - Encourage your dog not to bark at passing horses.
· - Reward calm behaviour.
· - Once horses have passed, keep your dog under close control.
· - If there is public access through a field of horses, only enter if your dog is walking calmly on a lead. Remember that inquisitive horses may approach you and your dog.
Council would also like to remind dog owners that they are required by law to make sure their dog does not become dangerously out of control.
Top Tips for Horse Owners
· - Socialise and try to train your horse with dogs so they do not react to their presence.
· - Keep your horse as calm as possible when passing dogs.
· - Always slow to a walk when passing.
· - Communicate with the dog owner at the earliest opportunity.
· - Give dogs that appear nervous a wide-berth so they do not feel threatened.
· - Use hi-viz clothing/equipment so dog owners can see you as soon as possible.
· - If riding in a group, go past in single file at a walk.
· - Always thank dog owners who keep control and allow you to pass them safely.
· - Do not shout or wave arms around.
· If necessary, stop to allow an excited dog to be caught.
Stopping and speaking to each other can also be helpful. You have more in common than you think.
Horse riding is permitted on Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council's beaches in accordance with Council's 'Management Policy for Horses on Beaches'.
The policy applies to Council's beaches between May 1st and September 30th. The main policy restriction is that horse riding on Council's beaches is prohibited between 11am and 7pm. Further information can be found on our website: https://www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk/see-do/beaches/horse-riding-on-councils-beaches
There are also restrictions about the presence of dogs on beaches during the summer season. You can read more about this by going to https://www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk/live/health-and-built-environment/licensing/dog-licensing
If you would like any further information or advice, please email [email protected]