Crossing streams - he won't do it.
 
 

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Crossing streams - he won't do it.

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  • Horse won't go in water
  • Horse lays down when crossing water

 
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    02-06-2012, 08:13 AM
  #1
Foal
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.
     
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    02-06-2012, 08:56 AM
  #2
Weanling
Oh the dreaded water lol How scary that he fell I am so glad he was ok. My horse crosses water fine but if it is a small enough body he wants to jump it rather than cross politely SO what has ended up working for me to get him to walk thru it versus leap is to keep him working and thinking. I basically zig zag thru it. As I come up to it when he intially starts to balk when I don't give him his head to jump, I make him work off my legs back and forth, we go right a step or two then left a step or two and just keep doing that till I get him in with all four then I just let him walk out quietly. It seems like he doesnt have time to really fight me cause I keep changing what I am asking him to do?? Does that make sense? Sorta hard to explain but so far this has been the most successful thing I have tried (and heaven knows I have tried alot lol)
     
    02-06-2012, 09:01 AM
  #3
Weanling
Have you tried backing him into it? Horse must have a strong back for this
     
    02-06-2012, 09:03 AM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvinotime    
Oh the dreaded water lol How scary that he fell I am so glad he was ok. My horse crosses water fine but if it is a small enough body he wants to jump it rather than cross politely SO what has ended up working for me to get him to walk thru it versus leap is to keep him working and thinking. I basically zig zag thru it. As I come up to it when he intially starts to balk when I don't give him his head to jump, I make him work off my legs back and forth, we go right a step or two then left a step or two and just keep doing that till I get him in with all four then I just let him walk out quietly. It seems like he doesnt have time to really fight me cause I keep changing what I am asking him to do?? Does that make sense? Sorta hard to explain but so far this has been the most successful thing I have tried (and heaven knows I have tried alot lol)
Thanks your response - My issue now really isn't whether he jumps it or not - heck, at this point, it would be welcomed; at this point, he won't even attempt to cross it, regardless of what I do with him. I told the ditch story initially because that may be why he doesn't want to do it - it must have been pretty traumatizing for him. But I've tried everything. I tried zigzagging, starting him off in a different direction, then going towards the water - he knows what I'm doing. As soon as he gets to the edge he stops, and backs up. I just need to get him to go across, whether he jumps or walks through it.

Anyone else?
     
    02-06-2012, 09:04 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostwindAppaloosa    
have you tried backing him into it? Horse must have a strong back for this
No, that didn't occur to me; but his back isn't that strong right now. He's pretty out of shape at the moment.
     
    02-08-2012, 11:39 PM
  #6
Foal
Soak your horse's hoofs down lightly with water. Show him there is nothing to be afraid of when crossing the stream.
     
    02-09-2012, 07:10 AM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianCountryGirl    
Soak your horse's hoofs down lightly with water. Show him there is nothing to be afraid of when crossing the stream.
Well, I'm not sure that would help, considering he'll cross over with no problem if another horse goes before him.
     
    02-09-2012, 08:21 AM
  #8
Foal
I've had no experience with this personally, but it would seem to me that if the problem is the dip from a ditch or a stream, then you need to de-sensitize him to that again. Maybe get some time on a cross-country course, where you can walk him around a similar sort of feature? Each time you go around, you could edge a bit closer, until he willingly walks through. Just an idea...
     
    02-09-2012, 11:54 AM
  #9
Weanling
Lung him next to the spring with like a foot between him and it, if he is too nervous for this then start at like three to four feet and then work him up to it once he is comfortable ask him to lung over it if he jumps that's fine. Don't ask him to make a full circle though, unless he willing jumps back over, in my experience they don't and I have to change his direction. Once he is fine going over it then try to lung at a walk he may jump it a couple of time but hell get tired and will probably to a half cross/jump but hell eventually walk through it even if its a quick one just keep with it till he slowly walks through it.

This type of training is better if the stream doesnt have a steep bank on both side.
     
    02-09-2012, 01:11 PM
  #10
Started
Me horse wouldn't go through water either. So instead of riding her to the water and getting off to lead her in (teaches your horse that if it doesnt do something you might get off and it gives them a chance to.run from the situation)
I lead her down to the water and lead her in and stood with her letting her get used to it. Lots of praise! She still doesnt like water but she'll go through it
     

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