Are Horses Like Dogs

Daniel Brown
• Friday, 09 October, 2020
• 13 min read

Throughout history, there have been some epic quotes about horses. For example, one thinks of the old “The outside of the horse is good for the inside of a man” quote that’s been attributed to Winston Churchill, Will Rogers, and probably a bunch of other folks.

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You could probably claim your great uncle said it and impress a lot of folks. There are had been some pretty famous individual horses throughout history, too.

Bucephalus, the horse of Alexander the Great, comes to mind. Of course, you’ve got Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology that also adorns Mobil gasoline stations.

While equips are certainly important as working animals in many areas, in most of the developed world, horses are no longer necessary as means of transportation, or particularly as useful engines to transport goods for the economy. Most folks don’t rely on horses to get to work, deliver messages, plow fields, or pull carts and buggies (at least, not unless you’re Amish).

Instead, horses have mostly morphed into leisure and recreational vehicles. Now, in many cases, they are almost as much a companion animal as they are a beast of burden.

People cherish their leisure time. So, for example, car enthusiasts may spend a lot of time applying wax to their car’s hood, so it will have that special shine; gardeners find that digging in the dirt is something to look forward to, with a prized tomato, or a blooming rose, as one of the emotional rewards.

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And, just like anywhere else that people choose to spend free time, horse people put a lot of emotional energy into their horses. Horses are very special, for, among other reasons, they let us do all sorts of things to them.

Only one other animal lets us dote upon it as much as does the horse: the dog. Dogs can really put an emotional choke hold on your heart.

The point that I’m trying to make, however, is that while dogs and horses share some things in common, there are some notable differences. It’s a good thing to remember that horses are not dogs, because they do and can act very differently.

So, for your consideration, here’s a list similarities and differences between horses and dogs. In the wild, both dogs and horses tend to travel in fixed group with an “alpha” (lead) animal in charge.

This can be detrimental to the health of both people and dogs (see the preceding). This can make for serious health problems for dogs that get kicked by scared horses, and for horses that get bitten by aggressive dogs.

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People, of course, get the distinct displeasure of having to deal with both of them after they get hurt. Horses want to get back to their stalls and eat.

Manque Verde Ranch is located in southern Arizona, close to the border of Mexico, and is surrounded by beautiful desert landscape right next to the Saguaro National Park. Here, the unique and strange Saguaro cacti grow into odd alien- like shapes that populate the landscape.

I feel like a cowboy in a western movie, riding through the hot desert on my trusty steed. At six years old I was taught to ride by a Welsh farmer called Max Jones who was my hero.

My family couldn’t afford fancy vacations to foreign lands when I was young, but I didn’t care because the only place I wanted to go in the school holidays was Max’s farm in Wales. His business also included a flourishing bed and breakfast in the country house in which he lived with his wife Janet.

Families from all over the UK converged on Panther at Easter and summer, and while the adults relaxed, the kids played around the farm and rode the horses. My first welsh pony was Goblin, a skittish gelding that had a habit of throwing everyone who rode him, so of course the first time Max led the guests on a trail ride, I fell off and cried.

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More than twenty years later I thought of Max and how he would have love to have ridden western style through this harsh but beautiful Arizona landscape. Even though I spent a good portion of my younger years around horses, I don’t know them as well as I know dogs.

They are highly sensitive to their environment, hyper aware and ready to take flight if needed. Some horses are highly reactive and can be spooked by the smallest things as are dogs, while others are more able to deal with change and novelty.

These days, however, there are more and more people training horses with less punishment and producing more successful, confident and predictable animals as a result. Being a pack or herd leader seems to suggest that these animals view us as their own kind rather than some strange, confusing two legged species.

I do believe we have to be leaders but that means we should not place ourselves as part of their herds or packs but rather as humans that teach and guide these animals while they navigate the challenges they face living so closely alongside us. This is an important element to consider when comparing our relationships with each species, because the difference between domestication and taming is profound.

As I wound my way up a steep and rocky path past rattlesnakes and prickly cacti, I had to work hard to convince my horse to keep moving at a decent pace and keep up with our guide. Sure, the horses on the Manque Verde ranch and countless others just like it love to run, they relish and need the exercise we gave them, and they’re far better off than their equine predecessors of just a generation or two ago.

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There are plenty of similarities (giving mental and physical stimulation, etc) but there’s also an element of relationship-based bonding that goes on during a good walk with your dog where it’s time equally well-spent for both parties. In general, horses have less of a say in what they want to do and must follow our wishes pretty closely, while more of the choices we make with our dogs seem to be based on what’s best for them.

The rescue of 180 Chihuahuas sparks a larger conversation on how to transition dogs from crisis situations into homes. It’s about trust Like any relationship, don’t rush things.

His advice to his readers is that horses respect leadership and this can be done by directing movement on the ground before attempting to ride. Earned trust and respect cannot be rushed and you should wait for your horse to offer some signs of affection before returning the gesture.

Study your horse’s body language and learn when he is relaxed and comfortable enough for you to get close. Levinson tells us that horses are either receiving or giving affection, not both at the same time.

Cuddling and purring Learn how your horse shows affection. Our first reaction with a horse is often to touch their face as a sign of affection.

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To aid in this process, Mane ‘n Tail offers a full line of non-drying, moisturizing, beauty-enhancing cleansing and conditioning grooming products. While grooming, speak in soft tones to your horse and let him get used to your voice.

Avoid direct contact with his face, when possible, and be slow and meticulous, especially the first few times. Written by Katherine Blockader There's no doubt about the mystique of horses.

They seem to capture our imagination and are a symbol of strength and freedom. There are a lot of traditions and lore around horses, and some information we hold onto may no longer be true.

A horse may have qualities that make them more suitable for a certain sport but that doesn't mean it likes it more. You both like a warm bed, the same kinds of food (to an extent), humans and dogs can survive by hunting, and both humans and dogs live in 'packs'.

Horses are prey that hunters might like to eat, but they are herbivores and their social structure is quite different from dogs (and humans). Although many people believe their horses are companion animals, they are not the same as dogs.

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Horses quickly sense which riders are clear communicators and make their cues irresistible. But they don't carry on a conversation the way you sometimes see in the movies, with the constant stream of screams, squeals, and nickers.

But it is really a complex structure of different materials including keratin, blood-rich tissue, and bone. Wonderful riders make riding look easy.

Watch racers or dressage riders and it seems the horse is going through the patterns on its own accord. It may look like sitting but riders use their legs, arms, weight, hands, balance, and brains to ride.

Please be mindful that, for your dog to get along with the horses (regardless of the breed), there must be some obedience training done beforehand. The Australian Shepherd has endless amount of energy and vitality.

It is common for horsemen to have a few Australian Shepherds running with them as their horses gallop. They can pick up basic obedience commands relatively easily and has abundant stamina to last through a day of running with the horses.

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However, like any other dog breed, if given proper exercise and healthy diet, your Australian Shepherd should do well. This widespread impression is due to the popular movie 101 Dalmatians.

In the United States, Dalmatians are also known as Fireman’s dogs as it was a common sight to see them running alongside carriage horses that powered the fire vehicles in times of old. The typical lifespan of a dalmatian is 13 to 16 years which is long for a dog of its size.

With his natural sense of humor and alertness, the dalmatian will prove to be one of the best assets to your livestock, especially amongst the horses. The Australian Cattle dog will score high points in agility, obedience and canine sports tests.

It's in their genes to handle herds of cattle in the wide open fields. The typical weight of an Australian Cattle dog is between 18 and 20 inches tall.

And being stocky, it can withstand the tough duties of herding cattle. If you wish to associate the Australian Cattle Dog with horses, it's best to do it gradually but early.

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This will remove the possibility of being fearful of the bigger sized horses in the future. But much of these health conditions is hereditary and if you can provide a healthy environment with plenty of activities, things should be alright.

The lower height aids in avoiding getting kicked by livestock while herding. Very often, you will see Corgis taking part in agility competitions and obedience trials.

Whether the temperature is low or high, they thrive and excel if given proper training. Well known to be the friendliest of all dogs, the golden retriever is highly intelligent and will be a cordial companion to your horses.

Because of their mild temperament, they will not create unnecessary panicky moments for your horses. Though, it is preferable to keep their coat shorter during hotter seasons.

Golden retrievers need daily exercises to keep them fit and healthy. Let them mingle with the horses for 20-30 minutes a day to work them out will help to starve off some chewing destruction they can inflict indoors.

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And when your Golden is growing up, it's good to let them run in the fields instead of the hard floor to prevent bone issues. These 5 breeds of dogs have proven over time to be fantastic companions of horses.

Do remember that simply putting any of the above five breeds with your horse does not make them natural friends. It takes time and effort to cultivate and train a dog to be a great friend of your equine pet.

While play may not appear to serve any immediate function, it likely evolved because it can help animals rehearse key behaviors, relieve stress or build relationships, according to Elisabeth Palace, a sociologist at the University of Pisa in Italy. In a new study, Palace and her colleagues focused on play between dogs and horses, both intelligent, domesticated social animals that can recognize the facial expressions of humans and members of their own species.

After examining hundreds of dog-and-pony shows from YouTube, they focused on 20 videos recording 20 different pairs of dogs and horses freely playing without any human interference. The findings suggest that despite the size differences and evolutionary distance between them, dogs and horses can play in ways that reduce the chances of misunderstandings escalating into aggression, according to the researchers.

Or maybe you've seen a cute picture on the internet of a dog and horse cuddled up in a hay-filled stable snoozing the day away. Is this really possible? In fact, people have been using dogs to help run horse farms for centuries, and often times, dogs and horses can be companion animals for each other.

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We've laid out the perfect horse-and-dog guide below to help you figure out the easiest and best way to get your two animals working and living together. They're both companion animals who prefer company, and as long as they're well-behaved and respectful, there shouldn't be any issues.

Here are some signals your dog might be giving you to let you know they're not comfortable with their horse buddy. They typically will show you this by cowering, whimpering, putting their tail between their legs, and trying to escape whatever situation you have them in.

They may start to nip, bite, growl, bark, or charge the horse out of fear. You might notice their eyes are very wide or their pupils will be dilated.

Like dogs, horses like constant companionship, so the two species mesh pretty well, for the most part. Dogs typically are happy to live in the barn with the horse, protect and secure them, and stay in the trailer or tack stall with them for warmth and company.

Finally, reward both the dog and the horse generously and repeat this process until they're both comfortable with each other.

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1 thedali.org - https://thedali.org/exhibit/grimaldi-forum-3-2-4/
2 www.petfinder.com - https://www.petfinder.com/dog-breeds/anatolian-shepherd/
3 learnfrenchtogether.blogspot.com - https://learnfrenchtogether.blogspot.com/2008/12/seashell-clergyman-first-surrealist.html
4 books.google.com - https://books.google.com/books/about/Dal%C3%AD.html
5 songmeanings.com - https://songmeanings.com/songs/view/43081/
6 www.tcj.com - http://www.tcj.com/page/39/