Animals That Attack Horses? 13 Predators To Be Aware Of

Have you ever wondered which predators might be of danger to your horse?
Or even to you if you like to ride at dusk?

Here are exactly what you need to know before you let your horse stay outside all night.

Horse being attacked by a predator


Coyotes are known to hunt in packs and they can be quite noisy at night. This often causes people to fear them and start wondering if their farm animals are safe around these beasts.

You don’t have to worry about coyotes around your horse or your pony. Even if they hunted in a big pack they probably wouldn’t be able to put down a horse.

So unless you have a foal in the field you will are safe with coyotes.


So how about Foxes around your horse pen?

Well, this is the same answer, no need to worry here either. Fox’s won’t hurt your horses or even the little ones.

They stick to themselves even though they might enter the fence once in a while. They are probably only doing so in order to catch a bird or because they saw (or smelled) a much smaller mammal inside the fence.


Let’s take a look at how bears react around horses. We will separate them by breed as there are a lot of differences between e.g. Grizzlies and Black Bears.

Black Bears

Black bears will sometimes come close to farms and horses. But we have only heard of very few attacks against horses. And these examples were typically older horses, weak horses or smaller horses laying down and field.

So generally, you don’t have to fear for your horse’s lives around black bears. Unless it’s a very small breed, a foal or a sick animal. In that case, you should keep the animal indoors or close to the house.

Grizzly Bears

Now, a Grizzly Bear is another story. Remember that these beasts can get up to 600 pounds (275 kilograms) which is a lot less than a horse but they are fierce and strong animals.

Grizzlies can snatch a cow or even a horse. But in reality, it really happens. The reason is that horses are fast and they can also get quite aggressive when provoked by an animal such as a grizzly bear.

It would have to be very hungry Grizzly and the horse would need to be caught off guard.

The best advice here is to keep your horse indoors at night if you have many Grizzly bears in the area. But if you have several horses they will almost always be able to tell one another whenever dangers approach.

Mountain Lions (Cougars)

Mountain lions have been known to attack older or weaker horses in the field. They certainly can put down that horse caught off guard and they also have the strength and tactics to do so.

The reason this rarely happens anyway is that Mountain Lions are typically not coming that’s close to people and farm animals.

Pumas, Panther, and Cougars? same animal, same story.


Bobcats are not a problem with horses either. Only if we are talking about a foal, a weak horse, or an old horse.

Bobcats are much smaller than Mountain Lions, Pumas, Panthers, Cougars, etc. (same thing).


As you probably know wolves hunt in packs.

They have been known to attack horses in several areas of the world and they will do so if they are driven by hunger.

But they won’t do so unless they are very hungry. Wolves are known to hunt for sport and they will typically prey on a sheep.

A horse is another story because the horse has a very deadly spark and the teeth are extremely strong. The wolves know this and they will not attack the horse unless they are desperate.


If you live around Florida you have probably wondered whether an alligator could be interested in your horses. After all, these beasts do get really huge and have been known to get close to people and populated areas!

If you do (large) have alligators in the neighborhood the best thing is probably to haven’t wired fencing around the horses.

Oh, and get rid of ponds!

And alligators certainly can put down an adult horse. They are as strong as they are quick and they are VERY hard to kill, even for a horse.

Their skin is panzer and you need to know exactly which spot to kick in order to kill it.


Badgers are small animals. They are not deadly for horses but they have been known to bit a horse leg.

And they tend to have rabies!

So you want to catch these bastards if you have them wandering around your property.


As you can imagine, bees can be a problem with horses. But only if that horse gets too interested in the beehive. The best thing is to get rid of them as fast as possible.

Also because the bees can become a problem for you as you ride the horse.


Big dogs like the German Shepherds and Rottweilers can also be a problem around horses. We have found several cases where the dog has attacked a horse and bitten off a piece of skin!

Some of these dog breeds are really aggressive and they will attack if they feel provoked in any way. Some of them are even bred to hunt for sport (some people, right!).

They will not kill the horse but they can be a major pain and frustration for you and your horse. You also need to be careful about children and humans around these types of dogs.

Because they do not typically hunt at night (as other predators) but they can also crawl upon you and the horse during day time.


Lions can easily kill a horse. And they probably will if given the opportunity. The good thing about Lions is that they are not around in North America.

When we talk about lions in the United States we are primarily talking about Mountain Lions. They are much smaller than the African lions from the Savannah.

So yes, a Lion can definitely kill a horse or an even bigger animal for that matter. Especially if they hunt in groups. But you don’t need to fear them around your horses – unless you live in the East of Southern Africa (or parts of Asia).

The African lions are almost double the size (weight!) as a Mountain Lion.


Sharks are found in all five oceans around the Earth. They can also be found in freshwater areas.

Sharks can definitely kill a horse, but you probably wouldn’t encounter one if you’re just crossing a smaller lake or a river. The bigger sharks belong in the ocean and that’s not a place to go riding a horse. Horses can swim but they won’t wander off into deep waters.

Remember, it’s really hard to ride a swimming horse. You don’t want to fall off as you might get kicked and that’s potentially VERY dangerous, especially in the water!

What To Do If My Horse Has Been Attacked?

If you’re animal show any signs of attack from another animal (like a bite or scratch) you need to take it to the veterinarian immediately.

You wouldn’t risk any infection on the horse and wild animals can also leave your horse with rabies.

How Does A Horse Defend Itself?

The horse is a very strong animal as you probably know. It knows how to defend itself.

First and foremost, it is a very fast sprinter. It can outrun most smaller animals and it’s also known to endure a long chase (if it has to).

It also has two amazing strategies for attack and defense. It has a very powerful and precise kick and it also has a very strong bite.

I kick from a horse can knock (almost) any other animal over and it will definitely leave the opponent wounded or unconsciously for a moment.

The jaw is full of strong teeth and the bite force with the horses is really crazy. It can bite with around 500 psi, which is 25% more than a Wolf!

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