A dog walker has called on the National Trust to review its policy on animals grazing on Minchinhampton Common after his dog was bitten by a horse.
The man, who wished to be unnamed, was walking his dog on the common yesterday, Sunday when a horse lunged at his dog.
The video sent to Stroud Times shows the horse pursuing the dog and then suddenly taking a bite out of the dog, who lets out a yelp before running off.
The unnamed man told Stroud Times: “I think it raises questions as to the suitability of having such horses on the common. If it were another dog I would be having a very serious chat with the owner.
“I think the point to make is the National Trust can’t have it both ways on the one hand they insist that dog walkers behave like the common is a park and pick up dog poo and keep dogs on leads, yet on the other hand are doing nothing to deal with the unpredictable horses who attack dogs and break into locals gardens.
“It would have made no difference if the dog had been on the lead the horses approached us, the dog was in no way interacting with the horses or distressing them. This is certainly not an isolated incident and I have heard of other instances of similar behaviour.
“That horse should be housed in a field away from people and not on the common. Who is to say the horse wouldn’t have done that to a child if they had been walking with me instead?
“It is 2022 horses on the common are nothing more than an indulgence from a bygone era and the because we have always done it argument no longer washes. The National Trust needs to move with the times and make changes to how they manage the common to reflect the modern world and the people and the community the common serves.”
National Trust statement:
The cattle and horses on Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons are owned by local graziers who have the legal right to graze the commons. The graziers employ a Hayward; someone who oversees and monitors the livestock.
Grazing the commons is a key part of ensuring the area retains its national and international importance for nature and wildlife.
We advise people to follow the canine code and keep dogs on a lead when walking at Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons. This guidance is found on posters on site and on our website.