Two sides to every story

AS a responsible dog and horse owner I know that not everyone is like that (Express Postbag March 15).

I walk my dog regularly and frequently ride horses on the Hemsworth Bypass bridleway. We have horse rider insurance to cover for public liability, wear high visibility clothes, walk in single file passing others, thanking all dog walkers, cyclists and anyone else who is considerate towards us.

Riding on the bridleway on a weekend can be busy. We met and passed two lots of dogwalkers with more than one dog with no problems.

Further along a lady entered the section we were on with a dog not on a lead. We walked single file and when she noticed us she went to put the dog on a lead. She never called another dog or made any indication she had one.

Then another dog came through the hedge from the farmer’s field on to the bridleway. We were quite a bit away, but it ran snapping straight at the horse’s back legs. This horse kicked at the dog which then went back in to the farmer’s field. The lady never called the dog, but had the other on a lead.

I shouted I was sorry, but I thought her dog had been kicked.

As we walked past she said we had taken her by surprise. We stopped at the entrance to that section which was safer. Then I replied that it was a bridleway, to which I received abuse from the lady about horses and riders and never got to finish my sentence.

The loose dog came back through the hedge. It looked to be limping. I suggested she may want to check her dog, to which she replied ‘I’ll check it later’ and walked off.

As a regular rider on the bridleway I do believe we have met those dogs before with a gentleman who sends the dogs into the field so we can pass. The dogs run along the hedge barking angrily while we pass. Not on leads. But we always walk past single file and thank him.

I would like to thank all the dog owners, walkers and cyclists that we meet who are kind and considerate to us on all the lanes, tracks, bridleways and roads. If anyone is interested there is a Dangerous Dogs Act regarding public rights of way on the internet and reports of dogs attacking horses and livestock on private land.

G Gundill

Newstead View