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Spin off: How do I get my horses feet wet first?

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  • Spin off: How do I get my horses feet wet first?

    I was reading the schooling obstacles post about how people go around the water jump and get the horses feet wet and then go to their jump....
    My horse has never been in water.. and I am going to FLying cross' mini trial and there will be water. I dont want to get emilniated by my horse refusing, but I am only going to this event to school. I dont plan to win anything at all. Can someone explain to me how I school the water before jumping in it?
    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

  • #2
    As a jump judge I've seen it many times. However it only occurred at those levels where the horses were jumping into or dropping into water. At those levels they just ran their horses through the water then circled around and approached the jump/drop. When you are at a lower level where you just run through I don't see how you could "get their feet first" before attempting.

    Have fun and good luck!
    Katie Ruppel & Yellow Rose Eventing *Website* & *Facebook*
    Email for Questions/Clinics/Sponsorship


    • Original Poster

      oh darn! well thanks!
      ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
      R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor


      • #4
        Make a puddle at home, and walk, trot and canter through it, set up a tiny fence to land in the water, etc. Be sure the footing is safe, not sticky or sloppy or slippery.
        Don't go to a horse trial to school, without having done some kind of water, because you will be eliminated long before you have a chance to "school" (after all, that is the jump judges' job, to get you out of the way before the next person comes along)

        Then, what you will have taught your horse is that the thing to do is NOT go in, and you will ride away from the water...not a habit you want to form!

        I started several event horses with puddles, and let them stand and play in them, etc.
        What would you try if you knew you would not fail?


        • #5
          After you've tacked up for Cross Country, but before you head out to the warm-up, take a hose and wet down your horse's legs and feet. I've had a couple of horses where this really helped get them in the water jump.
          If the Number 2 pencil is so popular, why is it still number 2?


          • #6
            FWIW, I think their water is very inviting, and there is plenty of time for the horses to see it before you get to it (plus: no surprises, minus: plenty of time to spook ) I would think, if you REALLY wanted to, you could go around the side of the water complex - away from the flags - and walk through, then come back out and go through your flags. You will have to make it very clear that you are not presenting to the flagged portion of the water.

            Since it is a schooling mini trial, hopefully they will be understanding and cut you some slack. Especially if you talk to Mary Lowry about it beforehand - she is very accommodating and wants everyone to have a good experience.

            Have a great time - Flying Cross is a beautiful farm!

            Adams Equine Wellness


            • #7
              Leg and crop. This is the point of the smaller divisions just running through the water.

              I also had a horse iffy with water, of course we had the pleasure of a clinic where we jumped over a log into the pond, in a line. She was the fourth horse back and apparently did not see that everyone was jumping into water. It helped that it was 90 out also. Jump, land in water, momentary freak out that's she's wet, then she decided it wasn't so bad.

              Still, at the show, she wanted to look. Leg and crop and did go down to a walk, but she went in. We did have a refusal at a water obstacle once - I took my leg off because I figured this was easy (by that point water was not a challenge). Well, the water was half in shadow (at entrance point, so we were in the shade also) and half in sun and I think it confused her so she stopped. Leg and crop were a bit to late - time faults and refusal...but we went through!


              • #8
                If you have time and access, I would take your horse out on a trail ride where they have to cross water. That is the place to do it. Go out with another experienced horse and have them go across first and then ride away a short distance. Your horse will not want to be left behind and more than likely will cross on his own. Once across, go back and forth several times until it's no big deal. Do not allow your friend to stand in the water the first time because more often than not, the green horse will leap and try to land on the experienced horse (happened to me once). Also, do not allow your horse to turn away, they will fiddle about on the bank but you need to keep them facing it. It's fine to let them sniff at it and inspect things but no turning away. Once they figure out that water is no prob, you should be fine. Have fun and good luck!
                Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


                • Original Poster

                  She is usally pretty decent with water on trails, but we havent been out on one in a while and I dont know where any are close to me
                  ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
                  R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor


                  • #10
                    "Schooling" at the competition- Whether it is even possible, and how, depends on the precise layout of the jump. For instance, it is pretty much impossible to "school on course" the water jump at FPP/ DRPC.

                    What you are looking for, to do that, is a route that will take your horse in and out of the water, without passing through YOUR OWN flags, backwards or forewards, and without "presenting" to your flags.

                    Schooling at home - Find a low spot and a hose. You may need to dig a little, and/or use jump poles or other things, to define the edges and contain the water. It doesn't need to be deep, and it doesn't need to hold the water for very long. You can even keep the hose running as you school.

                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                    • Original Poster

                      if i filled a tarp with water, would it be slippery?
                      ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
                      R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor


                      • #12
                        No -but it'll probably be a lot more "scary" than a water jump. Only do it if you have the time to complete the task/"get r' done" as my redneck brother would say.


                        • Original Poster

                          she runs over tarps pretty easy so it should be alright with water in it too! Thanks!!!
                          ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
                          R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor


                          • #14
                            Easy does it. School it if you can but don't take too long.

                            First, consider letting the TD know you have never been in water and ask if you can continue on if you get eliminated there then come back when XC is over and school it.

                            Second, walk in. Gather your reins up, come to a walk, and walk slowly in step by step. There isn't anything that says you have to canter or trot into the water and slower might be easier.


                            • #15
                              Take your time and walk in. Thats what BN cross throughs are for. Ride forward, look up, be encouraging, big pets if she goes. And if you worry too much, it won't go well. Assume the best and ride for no stops.
                              Big Idea Eventing


                              • Original Poster

                                I made a water jump today out of a tarp and I ground running her through it works much better then trying to walk. This is also what got us over our first oxer! haha Thank you everyone for the advice and I hope to see some of you there!
                                ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
                                R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor