Crossing streams - he won't do it.
About a month ago, I attempted to cross a ditch on my horse that I normally let him jump. It wasn't huge or hard to jump, but I wanted to make him walk down it, then up the other side.
Well, he tried to turn around, lost his footing (it was really muddy) and somehow ended up on his side in this ditch. He couldn't get up. I was able to pull off his saddle and I thought I was going to have to call the fire dept because he couldn't get himself out. He would try to get up, tire and then lay back down. He did this for about 20 minutes. I called the fire dept., and about 2 minutes after I did that, he was able to get enough momentum to get himself out. Does anyone realize how terrifying that is??
I will say, he managed to get out with just a couple of scratches despite rolling over on rocks. He didn't panic at all and I think that's what saved him from getting really messed up.
So, flash forward to yesterday - I took him out by myself and we had to cross a stream. He would NOT do it (if another horse goes first, he will follow, no problem.) If I've learned anything from my trainer, it's not to let them turn around and keep their head in the direction you want to go. I did this, and he would just back up and I'd let him. I'd ask him to go forward, he'd go, we'd make some sort of progress until we got the edge of the stream and then he'd back aaalllllllllllllllllll the way up - at one point, he backed all the way back to where the flippin trail started.
Folks, we did this song and dance for 35 minutes. My intention was not to let him win, but then we're losing daylight. I had to go back. But something's got to give, right? I mean, does anyone have any suggestions on how to get him to cross on his own? So frustrating!!!
Sorry for that long story.