Friday, March 27, 2009

Crossing Water

I have been ask how I would teach a reluctant horse to cross water. I have never found this to be a problem. I suppose if you live in an arid region that it might be. We get a lot of rain here and there are always puddles and ditches with water. We also live on the river and there is a riffle or shoal that you can cross. Running water is more of a problem than still water. The most trouble I have had with water is when we ride on the ocean. When waves are coming at your horse it is frightening. We never had any trouble getting our horses into the ocean, but when the waves came at them they would want to retreat to the shore. With patience and coxing we were able to get them to accept it. I remember one woman that wanted to get her horse in the ocean so bad that she ask if I could help her. I told her to ride her horse between my horse and my son's. We formed a wedge with our horses on each side. We let our horses heads almost touch, keeping her horse's head slightly to the front of our saddles. Then we rode to the edge of the water, when the wave came the water came up on our horses feet and because horses are herd animals her horse felt secure. As the wave retreated we followed a little and as with most things repeating it several times prevailed the fear. She was very happy. However, I do not recommend this for everyone. All the riders in this scenario were experienced riders. The proper way would be to pony the horse without a rider until the horse got used to the waves and the water, keeping the rider safe.

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