She is a character for sure, Julieh!!
We were playing ball in the park last week, when I looked up and suddenly there was a horse and rider nearly on top of me, about to cross the footbridge over the stream that separated us. I can usually hear them clip-clopping along the street, long before they reach the park, but this time they must have approached down an unpaved area and over the grass, so I heard nothing. The rider saw the startled look on my face - and I think she must've heard me swear(!) as I rushed over to Jess, who was running towards us with her ball. I'm sure Jess saw and smelled the horse - it may have been partially shielded from view by a big willow tree - but her sniffer is keen! I screamed for her to STAY, and to my very pleasant surprise - she did! I ran the last few steps over to her while the rider made her horse do some fancy sidestepping footwork around us. Not completely necessary - I think she was showing off - but it was effective.
I was so proud of Jess at that moment. Not only did she not go rushing over to the horse before I had hold of her - but she also stood calmly and watched it as it sidestepped us and then walked away. No obsession, barking or struggling to get at the horse. There was a time when this may have ended in disaster - she used to shake with excitement/anticipation when I held her while watching horses! But after a couple years of exposing her to horses when we see them, including staying at a campsite right next to a training ring, paddock and barn(!), she has finally become desensitised enough where I think I can trust her not to do anything crazy. Of course this does not mean that I will let her roam around horses off-lead, but I am hoping that I can relax a little more and trust Jess to follow instructions in such circumstances as the one above. Whew!
Rescue Remedies dogs that have found their forever homes