For those who have taken their horses swimming, what tack did you use? Red has shown interest in the pond down the road and Ive been toying with the idea of seeing if she will swim in it.
I have her Kieffer saddle. Leather girth contoured/anatomical.
Now the thing is I do have a synthetic wintec and a non leather girth somewhere that will fit BUT The problem is, Red's girth groove is really far forwards, the girth will pull the saddle up so much I will be tapping her elbows (Literally) with the saddle sitting on her withers. The only thing that prevents it is Red's leather girth. But I dont want to ruin her girth by accident either....
Tips? Advice? I think it would be a fun interesting thing to do with her.
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We take the horses in the pond pretty regularly. I don't always strip my tack off- but if we go in w/tack I try to ride w the fleece girth not the $$$$ leather one. My horse looooves the water and plays and splashes so we get pretty wet. So far no issues with my tack though I try to clean and condition it well afterwards. I prefer bareback but it's a long hack to the pond bareback!!!
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As a kid we used to go swimming with our horses almost every day in the summer, strictly bareback with whatever bridle we had on hand (safe to say it wasn't expensive). My biggest caution is when you first try it, be aware that not all horses are great swimmers. We had a pony that defaulted to "dead goldfish position" (aka belly up, sideways and heading for her back). Needless to say, she didn't go in deep at our swimming place and it was kind of a challenge getting her across the one canal we had to cross to get to Wolf Lake. Later in life when I swam 100's of horses at a layup facility, I learned she wasn't all that unique. Some hit the water swimming like they are running the derby, most are just average and a tiny few of them really don't ever get the hang of it and do that sideways roll thing. Or let's just say, you give up before they learn because it is REALLY hard to drag a poor swimmer out of a swimming pool even if it is made for horses!
Definition of "Horse": a 4 legged mammal looking for an inconvenient place and expensive way to die. Any day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is just more time to perfect it. Be Very Afraid.
A million eons ago, I was sent to sailing camp on Cape Cod to keep me from living at the barn. Unfortunately for Mother, sailing camp also had horses. Didn't learn to sail very well but I was lucky enough to be one of those allowed to take the horses swimming in Pleasant Bay. A dream I'd love to revisit before they pack me in the wheelchair.
We used their regular bridles (school grade), went bareback, and grabbed mane for dear life. I got to ride the 17 H Irish steeplechaser.
The last time I swam my horse was on a trail ride, to get across a section of trail where a nearby lake had back-flooded into the streams. So untacking really wasn't an option - we just crossed fully-tacked.
For more "recreational" swimming, I would just go bareback - with either a nylon halter or a matte biothane bridle.
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Hey DMK, you must have lived in Davie.... Wolf Lake is still a regular haunt for us during the hot months. Lovely lake to swim in.
I use a bareback pad as my horse isn't the most comfy riding bareback and it also gives you a hand hold if your horse is a "dolphin swimmer" - the kind that kinda leaps up. Luckily Rico is an excellent swimmer and loves it. I prefer the biothane bridles verses leather when swimming them.
When young, we used to jump off their backs in to the water and would ride from lake to lake, but that was in Vero Beach.
Although it is slightly OT, I took my youngest OTTB to Lake Erie on the weekend for his first ever encounter with a lake. We crested a sand dune, and he was riveted by the sight of that.much.water. At the farm, he LOVES to play in the pond, which is just about belly deep.
Anyhow, I was heading him for the water - you could FEEL him trying to understand what he was seeing - and then he saw an Evil Horse-Eating parasail on the beach. When it drifted into the air, he was certain that it was the Rapture. He was actually really good - he'd wheel around to want to run, but would stand and face it if asked.
My friends and I are going back again soon, hopefully on a less breezy day - the waves were a good size, which also made his eyes wide!