The mares now become terrified whenever they hear a distant bark, their furious owners claim. Hope Pascoe, 18, and 15-year-old brother saw the attack when they arrived on the farmland where the family rents land for 25 horses.
Hope claims the owner encouraged the canine and even threatened to shoot her and her brother with a hunting gun, Cornwall Live reports. The dog became so violent it “dangled” off the horse by its teeth, Hope alleges.
The teenager said: “We asked the owner’s name and why he was there. He claimed he had permission and was getting up in our faces, making threats. His dog was on my big mare, and he was saying ‘go on, go on’, while blocking the foals from getting to her.
“We jumped over the gate to get away from it, and the dog went into the fields to attack the other mare.
“He [the owner] was throwing abuse at us, threatening to shoot us with a hunting gun, and then went away after 15 minutes of just staring at us.”
A vet has had to put one of the horses on antibiotics, Hope said.
Both mares are traumatised after the ordeal, which happened near Helston, Cornwall, on Wednesday March 31.
Hope added: “I don’t really know what went through his head to think to attack two horses. He had my mare down. If we hadn’t turned up who knows, it might have ended up dead.
“Now, if either of them hear a dog barking you can see the fear in their eyes. If they hear it anywhere it takes a good hour to calm them both down.”
There is no nearby footpath by the farmland so the dog owner would have had to cut through fields to find the horses.
Hope’s mum Marie said the family have no problem with people coming in to see the horses – but not with dogs.
Marie said: “He chased them, it’s disgusting, really upsetting, and my son’s been crying all night.
“It’s not good enough for a child to have to see that.
“They [Hope and her brother] go alone sometimes as I’m currently poorly.
“I’m afraid about him threatening them, and the horses, when I’m not there.”
The two mares, according to Marie, now won’t go near people, making it hard to care for them. Even distant noises of dogs now spook them.
Police are investigating the attack and the public order offence.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Constabulary said: “Police received a report that two dogs had allegedly attacked a horse, which was said to have sustained superficial injuries, at a rural location in the Helston area at around 3pm on Wednesday 31 March.
“An allegation of a public order offence was also made. Officers carried out enquiries into both allegations and no further action will be taken.”