you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them walk through it...
So today in NH it was a lovely near 60 degrees, the sun felt warm, I was skeptical that we would ever feel warm again!! So we decided to head out on the trail for an early evening ride. What started out as a lovely on the buckle ride, took a very bad turn when we got went into the woods.
Large areas of pure wetness surrounded by lots of down trees and branches (from Dec. ice storm). My mare is a hot mare, she perpetuates the Arabian stereotype. She is hot and flashy and her general choice when confronted with "DANGER" is to flee, fast and furious jumping anything in the way. She is 16 now, and she is getting better about her choices, most of the time.
So the first puddle we managed to jump over - me landing not so pretty, but we made it.
Next came a very large wet area, that we jumped, and jumped again and jumped again, and then my saddle slipped, and I was suddenly belly up in a huge puddle of cold mountain run off and very old leaves. Very wet, soggy diaper butt, wet sweatshirt, boots soaked. So I found a rock, got back on and went through another series of jumps and leaps and general bad horse behavior. Finally on the way home, at the scene of the crime, I decided that I had had enough of random leaps over puddles and decided I'd get off and walk her through...well on dismount I landed on a rock and sprained my ankle.
Wet, sprained ankle, horse with huge cuts on her back legs from general bad choices that landed us in brush...we finally made it home.
Its a full moon, it was the first trail ride of the season and she hadn't been worked in 2 weeks...but sometimes I want to kick my horse. Not tonight though, the ankle is too sore. Sigh. I guess I know what we need to work on now...this is really just a vent, thanks for reading
I had a horse that refused to go through water -- would not even jump it --- finallly he learned to walk through water by --- backing through time and time again - to literally get his feet wet -- and used to the feel of the water. I would race him down to the standing water * to turn him around * back him through it * turn around and continue with the riding group ! Consequently * we had to have a one on one session of backing and splashing and that solved the problem. Next time out with the riding group * he lead the way through the water!!! His name was Rightly So !
She needs tied between Roany and dutch in the pack string. Roany is a big stout mule that leads the train. They can pull back but roany will drag them trough. Dutch is mr. steady eddy. He will not be hurried but is steady and calm. I would tail dutch behind her. About the time she jumps and gets her tail yanked almost at the exact time it will fix her. The best part is you are not the bad guy. You can teach a horse more though the tail then the head. LF
Bad girl for hurting her mommy. My mare (chestnut Tb) used to be such a priss about water also. She would even veer around or jump puddles in the ring. There were a few little streams in the woods behind the barn with good footing and entries. We spent multiple sessions with treats and a long lead, me in rubber boots learning that water was not a monster. When I started doing more trail riding, for awhile I still had to occasionally get off and lead her across, but she would walk one step at a time. Now she realizes that water is her friend on a trail ride and readily enters to get a drink. Hope your ankle gets well soon. As you can see no problems with water now...http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3058/...6d27147416.jpg
Last edited by Simbalism; Apr. 10, 2009 at 04:04 AM.
Reason: add photo link
So today in NH it was near 60 degrees I was skeptical that we would ever feel warm again!!! we decided to head out on the trail
Large areas of pure wetness surrounded by lots of down trees and branches. My mare is a hot mare. She is hot and flashy and her general choice when confronted with "DANGER" is to flee, fast and furious jumping anything in the way.
it was the first trail ride of the season and she hadn't been worked in 2 weeks
Zuzu, cnvh- backing, interesting, I will try that - she is as god at backing as she is at going forward...
Alagirl-I had my first Manhattan last night in BO house with an ice pack on the ankle !
Lost farmer- that sounds like a great way to teach a horse to go in water, especially because no human gets wet in the process!
Simbalism-that is an encouraging photo. Once the ankle is better I will most likely be playing in the overflowing creek in the woods with rubber boots, a long line and a huge dose of patience.
Nightsong- yup- it does say it all, which is why I included those details. I find that those times that end up in disaster I can always look back and see where I set up my horse to fail. "We" is me, my mare, the woman who owns the barn where I keep my mare, and her gelding- AKA our trail riding partners.
Last edited by gloriginger; Apr. 10, 2009 at 10:23 AM.
My QH mare hates getting her toes wet. HATES it. First hunter pace my daughter takes her, I am waiting for their return. People go. People come back. No sign of DD and Lily. Finally, the stories start trickling back about the chestnut mare that will NOT cross the creek. Hmmm, sounds like a familiar mare. So, 2 hours later than they are supposed, my daughter returns...a different way. We have practiced since then, and now she will cross water...but always reluctantly. You must be serious.
This mare will actually run through the field with the herd...stop dead (the rest of the herd splashing through it)...stick a toe in the water and then walk around the "puddle" (low spot in the field that looks like a very small pond after heavy rains), then resume running around.
*sigh* i love my horse i love my horse i love my horse. i must keep repeating that...lol
LOL! You've been had! It would be really funny if you added an intertube around her waist, and some sun glasses. She even played in the water. Oh boy...
No, my mare-- when there was wet areas in the pasture, stood at the edge looking at her hay and looking at me like- "could you move the hay to me, as you can see there is a giant gapping hole in the earth that if I tried to cross it I would certainly be sucked up into the universe in long, painful downward spiral to a certain horrible death. "
I'm pretty fortunate in having a lot of water to get mine used to the stuff! Rain, rivers, and a mass of mud and boggy bits!
Once the ankle is healed, then I'd strongly recommend you put a load of water all over her field and long rein, long rein and long rein her some more in it, through it, across it, round it and get her responding to your voice.
Then under saddle same again with an assertive "WALK" and "Walk on" to encourage her.
For horses that are genuinely nervous or unwary about stepping into great big puddles, (scary bottomless pits!) you'll find it easier if you let them go in slightly sideways so front near side leg in and keeping the offside leg on what they perceive to be terra firma, dry land and walk along side so the hind near side leg goes in too and walk along the side of the water and gradually move the horse over with your leg and rein so that they walk alongside with all their legs in.
Wait....an Arab mare not wanting to get her hoofies wet? No, that'd never happen!
Oh, and just to defend your little girl from Simbilisms admonition...she didn't hurt gloriginger, she hurt her ankle on a rock.
I had an arab mare who hated water and wasn't too fond of mud either. a large group of us went on a trail ride and were still in the farm's field at the start of the trek. My mare came to the little spot where 2" of water formed a horrid 20' lake with a 5' circle of dirt in the middle. We came up to it, she jumped and landed in the dirt bullseye...and there she stood, transfixed. I got off, she wouldn't move. The rest of the group rode on...she didn't move. I took off her saddle and bridle and walked back to the barn...she didn't move. 2 hours later she showed back up at the barn. Silly mare.
*sigh* i love my horse i love my horse i love my horse. i must keep repeating that...lol
OMG, she actually did it twice, so she could get both sides.
OP, you really shouldn't let that jumping stuff go on. That's bad.
I have a gelding that didn't like water and would jump it if you forced the issue. I worked him through it at a creek in our pasture and I didn't really focus on getting him to cross it. I walked him up to it until I felt resistance and then asked for just a step or two more. Let him stand there and contemplate, until I felt him relax. Praised him and then we circled away and did it again. It took an hour, but we finally got close enough and he got bored enough to stick a foot in and check it out. Once that happened, it was easy to get him to cross it with no fuss.
Or you might try getting your horse to walk over something else she's afraid of -- like a tarp. That's how I got my mare to walk through water. Then graduating to water.
These are both Arabians. (What is it about them and water?) The gelding is completely over his "hydrophobia." The mare still doesn't like it. But then ... she's a mare. And an Arabian. And CHESTNUT.
__________________________ "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
the best day in ten years,
you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."
The mare still doesn't like it. But then ... she's a mare. And an Arabian. And CHESTNUT.
God no is that legal?
And believe me, I hate the jumping stuff too...especially when it is into a tree limb.
I can't count the number of times I have told her its a good thing she's pretty. Without getting into too much history on her, she is a hardheaded mare with a really really strong fight or flight instinct. I've owned her for almost ten years- bought her as an 8 year old broodmare who was barely halter broke. There are people who knew me when I bought her that would probably be shocked to know that I actually rode her, let alone rode her in the woods. Walking on a loose rein down the rode was a huge huge victory for us. When I bought her I said that she would be a good project horse for me. That was the understatment of the century...
Its been a long and bumpy rode, but I love her, and I keep telling myself that my next horse will be perfect