A TEENAGER has hit out at irresponsible dog owners after a pup launched a vicious attack as she rode her pony along the beach.

Riding enthusiast Alex Forryan, 18, was on Jaywick beach with a friend and their two ponies when the terrifying incident unfolded.

As they were riding along the sand, a brown and white Staffordshire bull terrier approached them.

It had been let off its lead, with its owner walking after it along the beach.

And the dog lunged at the ponies, forcing one to flee along the beach while the other was left bleeding from wounds on both back legs.

Alex, of Garden Road, Jaywick said: “The whole thing was terrifying. I was astounded. I couldn’t believe what had happened.

“We ride along the beach at this time of year because the fields are very muddy and the ponies have to keep fit, and incidents like this are happening more often.

“The owner said the dog was only six months old, but that doesn’t make it any better.

“I understand how difficult it can be to train your dog and get its attention at the beach, but if you can’t get that control then keep it on a lead, or if the dog bites put a muzzle on it.”