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RE: Taking a dog on training rides

Our stable has a whole pack of barn dogs who keep down the rats and the
neighbours' chickens <G>...mostly because the guy who owns the house next to
the barn had a female that we finally spayed after her third litter. But the
rest go on breeding and we give them away to farms and so on. Four of these
dogs, including the original female Bessa, go on rides in the desert with
the horses regularly for as much as 40 km. HOWEVER...I have an easy dozen
dogs at home, including a Dalmation that would love to go on rides with me
and I would NEVER take them. Bessa's pack can't be kept home because as soon
as they see one of their horses being saddled, they are off to hide
somewhere to catch up on the way. But we run into problems with other farm
dogs, wild dog packs, and chicken chasing. The chicken chasing is actually
the worst, since it costs Morad LE 5 for every chicken they catch. Our
horses are fine with the dogs along and will, in fact, help to protect them
from other dogs in the desert. With barn dogs as part of the scenery, we
don't have a single dog-shy horse, but I know it can be a problem for horses
who aren't used to them or for riders who are afraid of them, and they do
annoy some of the farmers....but every farm has a dog or two who steals
other farmers' chickens.

Egypt isn't your normal riding place and dogs are definitely part of the
picture, but I don't take my dogs riding, and I'm happier when the stable
dogs somehow miss my departure. I just hate to have to think about something
other than my horse and having a good time.

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani
Cairo, Egypt

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