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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 21, 2007
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    Question Training methods for water!

    What are some great ways to get the horse who will not get its feet wet to go through water? Like not even a mud puddle? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated! Otherwise great horse, just this one BIG issue!



  2. #2
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    Sep. 30, 2007
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    Build a moat around his food.



  3. #3
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    Feb. 1, 2008
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    Follow another horse. Be very patient. Do not make plans for doing anything else that day.



  4. #4
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    Apr. 20, 2009
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    Also, walk around the edge of the water instead of facing straight at it. The only rule is he can't turn away and must keep moving forward. Eventually his feet will touch the water.

    It may take a long time, but what they learn first they learn best so let it be a no-big-deal kind of day. Good luck!
    "Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing" - Robert Benchley
    Cotton would fight.
    http://buildingthegrove.blogspot.com/



  5. #5
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    Jan. 19, 2005
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    make sure you use a good water that they can not jump across and has good footing. Having a good lead is important.

    Give them their head. Let them put it down. Big mistake a lot of people make is holding too much. You want to let them check it out for now. Walking and circling the edge is good. Take your time. Some times giving them a minute to just stand is good...and see their buddy in the water. Do not make a big issue. If they go forward toward the water....reward them. Just plan to be there awhile....rushing it is usually when you have issues.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  6. #6
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    Jun. 17, 2000
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    Durham/Chapel Hill nc
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    A big, well built water complex will be easier to succeed with than a puddle - bigger target, and good footing in approach and under the water build confidence.

    Try getting his legs wet first with hose.

    Absolutely have at least one other confident horse there to give lead.

    And speaking of leads, I have totally gone ahead and walked into the water myself on foot, sometimes having the rider keep control but letting horse see me walking through, and sometimes putting horse on a longe line so I can stay attached when they try to leap the whole complex or pond.

    Patience and a sense of humor are essential.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2006
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    691

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    You can clicker train a horse to go in the water (or over the water in the case of Judgement!):
    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...reeding?page=3

    Seriously, I just bribed mine from the get go. She is a chow hound. Strategically placed mints in my pocket, step into water, "yes!" to tell her she is doing the right thing (dog training has taught me you need a distinctive marker - yesssss has a distinctive sss that we usually don't direct at horses) and hand over mint.

    She's no fool - 5 minutes in and she was nonchalantly leading me into the water so she could get her mint.

    I don't use it every day - but will bust out the mints for 'hard' tasks - i.e. first dip in the water at a new venue, the scary gator that moved into the indoor arena (mini tractor type, not live).

    All have mints placed on the object to encourage her to investigate & to reward her for her bravery.



  8. #8
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    Mar. 22, 2010
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    as much time as it takes. I have had youngsters that really fuss about something, sometimes water, going in a stall, crossing a ditch, etc. I always try to deal with these issues on ground, not on their back. I keep them facing it, I keep asking, when they try, I let them think....when they don't try, I ask that they do. I try to give them time, but I also expect some progress. Lead horses are great, but they do not always work. Sweet feed can also work, but not for every horse. At the end of the day, they need to respect you to just go and do it. My theory is they don't have to like everything they do, but sometimes they just need to do it anyways.

    Set them up for success. If the water is larger, it can make it easier. Make sure the horse will willing walk over a tarp, and jump an obstacle, that they respect you enough to step out of the comfort zone. take you time though, and get progress in small measures if they are really scared...and then repeat...and repeat....and repeat.


    I love sweet feed though, if they are food motivated!



  9. #9
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    Apr. 14, 2006
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    If all else fails...get a good lead pony with a western saddle and gently pull, push, side pass the "chicken" in with the pony (no rider to start). Walk along the edge so he doesn't think he has to traverse the whole body of water.
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  10. #10
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    Mar. 15, 2012
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    Taft, TN
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    Second the calm lead pony, and good footing is absolutely essential- the last thing you want is for the horse to finally go into the water only to sink into deep mud and scare themselves!

    What I finally had to do with my OTTB was back him in after an hour or so working with my trainer trying to get him to walk in forward; we backed him in, and since then he has had no problem going through water- it's his favorite part of the course : )



  11. #11
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    Nov. 1, 2010
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    VA
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    I pony them from one of my old guys. First I have someone else on one of my other old guys ride back and forth through the creek crossing first. Water shy horse watches. Old guy I am on then walks into the water and starts pawing (he loves this) I have the water shy horse on a looong lead! Other old horse goes in the creek and also starts playing. Water shy horse gets real curious and steps in to see what the fun is all about. Water shy horse starts pawing. Water shy horse isn't water shy any more.

    All of my horses LOVE to play in water!!



  12. #12
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    Apr. 14, 2006
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    Forget the puddles. Puddles are waaay more scary than a real water complex. Actually, steer away from puddles when you get near them. It will make him/her feel brave and smart that 'ah-ha! I was RIGHT those puddles ARE dangerous.' Then, as above, plan nothing else for the day, take a couple of confirmed water lovers to a real water complex and wander around it a few hundred times chatting with your friends, patting your horse. Even take a Labrador along-having a dog flop around in the water can be a huge help. (My spooker is way more relaxed when I have my dogs on my hack rides) When everyone is cheerful, have one horse slide into the water and walk around and around in there. You can stop and watch or keep wandering around the outside-lots of good boy pat pat. Inch by inch you can make your way closer. Make a huge fuss when 1 toe gets close. ETC....Do NOT look down at the water....
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.



  13. #13
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    Sep. 30, 2007
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    1. Rent a barge load up the horse. Go out to the middle of the lake. Unload horse (may need a cattle prod). This is known as the immersion method.

    2. Drop horse of at Chincoteague. He'll need to cross the water at the annual round up.

    3. Buy horse an Olympic size swimming pool and get horse some festive swimming attire. Perhaps some water wings, a snorkel, and some goggles. With all that spiffy gear, horse is going to want to swim!!!

    4. Show your horse this video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8vIjuIeQpM
    and tell him "look, it could be A LOT WORSE!!!! All I want you to do is just get in the water OK?!!!!!!!!"



  14. #14
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    Jan. 10, 2007
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    try leg yielding in or backing in rather than going in forward, but I ditto the pony him through first on his own, then with you on him
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!



  15. #15
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    May. 26, 2011
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    backing them up into it has been good for us.



  16. #16
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    Jun. 13, 2001
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    usa
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    Backing them in always works.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  17. #17
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    Jun. 1, 2002
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    I have a patented 3 step training process demonstrated here.

    Step one, try the normal way
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRrJ-gPEEPg

    Step two, give up and lead horse in
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY-DMF58dqY

    Step three
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLT63A9Nz6k

    We had more success with a lead horse on a later date.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCNgLi9Deso



  18. #18
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    Sep. 13, 2002
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    Azle, Teh-has
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    Horses hate nonsense and call BS on us often!

    So,
    choose your water wisely if you have one that is giving you trouble

    make sure you have a lead pony
    get off and walk into the water with your horse

    your horse knows that there is no reason to walk through a stupid little puddle
    if you have this type of horse, just as others have said, make sure you're going through the water for a purpose (like you HAVE to cross a stream--or you HAVE to jump through the water complex)

    teach them that the water complexes are safe by only using those complexes that look like they are safe.
    ; )
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  19. #19
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    Jan. 5, 2010
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    VA--> Washington (state)
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjoytheride View Post
    I have a patented 3 step training process demonstrated here.

    Step one, try the normal way
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRrJ-gPEEPg

    Step two, give up and lead horse in
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY-DMF58dqY

    Step three
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLT63A9Nz6k

    We had more success with a lead horse on a later date.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCNgLi9Deso
    i love all the suggestions and this ^ video of the mare going in baby steps. wish there was a like button for the aforementioned scuba method too. i've never thought of backing in, but that's a good suggestion. i generally start with a creek and a lead over, esp while out hacking or whatever. their own paddock stream works well, too. if you have ocean nearby, you can wait for the water to come to you and hang on (i think you can ride on assateague or obx, i know def in cali). if they go in/can get them in, keep them in and hang out there.
    otherwise, patience, a pair of waders, a lunge line, a lead pony, a bathing suit, and a neckstrap not in that order make all the difference
    And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."



  20. #20
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    Nov. 21, 2007
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    174

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    Thanks all! Very good points here as usual :-)



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