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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm a city slicker, and would like to go on vacation and do some hiking and horseback riding with my dog. He's never seen a horse before.

The national park where I want to go is Big South Fork over in Tennessee and Kentucky. The rules are that dogs can't be off leash (and I wouldn't want to anyway until his recall is excellent) and that even on horseback the dog has to be on a leash no longer then 6 feet.

Dorje, my ten month old GSP mix, walks beautifully on a leash. And trips like these are the whole reason I got a dog.

So here's my question - how hard will it be to show up, hop on a horse, and teach Dorje to continue walking on my left and following my lead without pulling or getting reactive? Is that something I can do in one morning, or is it something that has to be done in short sessions over weeks?

I'm hoping it would come naturally since he's walking so well already. But he's never seen a horse. And I'll be way up higher. I'm also concerned about leading the horse with one hand (western) and leading him, because obv I only have one right hand. I thought that maybe I can just attach the dog leash with a carabiner and just focus on leading the horse?

Are there any other things I'm not thinking off that I should consider?

The folks I talked to at the park said it's pretty normal for people to be on horseback with their dog on lead, but this whole thing sounds weird to me.

Appreciate the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all!

I agree that 6 feet sounds crazy short! And I'm also concerned about tangles if it's longer. The only reason I'm considering it is that the stable said they have tons of visitors who do this. They actually suggested this when I talked to them about leaving my dog in the cabin when I go out on horseback. It never would have occurred to me otherwise.

I can absolutely take him to a local stable to learn to be around horses. I was wondering if it's necessary to take a riding lesson with him on lead. The problem is that a riding instructor is trained to teach people how to ride - not how to lead a dog with a horse! All the articles I've found on this subject seem to be more about how to teach the horse to be comfortable around the dog, with no mention of training the dog.

By the way he is a German Shorthaired Pointer, not a shepherd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@gsd hunter, what do you think if I ask my stable if I could do a little training with him before my trip? How much practice do you think is necessary?

btw there's no way I'd canter with him by my side.

PS I bet if you posted a training video about how to train your dog to do this you'd get a ton of views.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
oh my god. I'm calling this stable tomorrow and figure out what their process is.

So far this thread has me convinced it's a terrible idea. I mean when they first suggested it I was like "omg, that's my dream" but as I imagine the times my dog has behaved unexpectedly since I got him and the times a horse has behaved unexpectedly in my lifetime, I can imagine a ****load of things that can go wrong.
 
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