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RC:Dogs and riding

After a couple of near disasters between dog/horses/riding I have to put in my two cents worth. Though new to endurance riding I have had the opportunity to do a lot of mountain riding, ranch work, general trail riding, and some training rides. There is nothing finer than a ranch dog that is trained to run on the heels of the owners horse until given the signal to herd cattle out of the brush, etc. I even saw one small dog that traveled under, yes under, the horse. Unfortunately, most of the rider/dog combinations I come across on public trails do not have the dogs trained to heel their horses. Instead I find the dog owners riding all over looking for lost dogs, continuously screaming at the dogs, or ignoring the dogs. Generally, this is not overly concerning to me unless somebody's dog decides to attack my horse, or dart out of the brush under my horse while we are going along at a fast trot on a decline. Horse and rider somersault while Muttley runs off unscathed. Not a pretty picture. So if people want to ride with their dogs, for the dogs sake, the sake of others, and the liability of the dog owner, the dogs should be trained to heel the owners horse or left at home. 

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