'Bridlepaths like the A19' - second horse rider complains of dog walker carelessness after almost being unseated
A second South Tyneside horse rider in the space of a week has complained after almost being unseated when she says the animal was startled by dog walkers along unusually busy routes this month.
“It seems as if it’s a regular occurrence now when you’re going out,” Julie High-Stephenson told The Gazette.
"Quite a few of the riders in the area have experienced similar incidents. Some of these dogs off the lead are just allowed to wander and run off.
"The bridlepaths near us are like the A19 – there are so many people on them now compared to how they were a year ago.”
Ms High-Stephenson’s comments come on the back of a complaint made by another borough horse rider, who hit out at careless dog walkers along the Cleadon Bridlepath after experiencing a ‘near miss’ of her own.
The St Benedict’s Hospice nurse said riders were also having problems with quad bikers using South Tyneside routes.
She said that on a recent ride along Lizard Lane she herself was nearly unseated as a family startled her horse and caused it to buck when approaching a blind corner.
"I couldn’t ride in the run-up to Christmas because I was so worried.
"It’s concerned me that we’ve had so many incidents in such a short space of time recently. I had something like three incidents in a week.”
Chloe Tempest, who works at the North Lizard Riding School, also reports younger riders in the area having almost been knocked off their horses this month by dogs whose owners were “nowhere to be seen”.
“After we got the child rider off the horse and we started going on foot, we were chased by the dog for a second time – and still no owner in sight,” she said.
"We want everyone to be out there and enjoying themselves,” Ms High-Stephenson added.
"There’s no one who likes dogs as much as I do – and it’s a public area we’re sharing.
"But there are other people on the pathway and, if we [the horse and I] were parted, somebody else or their pets could be injured.”