Horse will not cross stream
 
 

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Horse will not cross stream

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  • Horse will cross tarps but not water
  • Rideherup online stream

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  • 3 Post By dee
  • 1 Post By mildot
  • 1 Post By Kelsyann

 
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    05-07-2012, 02:19 PM
  #1
Foal
Horse will not cross stream

Hello to all,

Yesterday my husband and I were trail riding and had to cross a little stream.
Wrangler, my paint, hesitated and crow foot around. Wrangler was in such a state that I had
To get off. Never had to do this before. I felt his hesitation prior to crossing.
I'm going to have my trainer work with him and check out the situation with
Him. Just need some input and if anyone had this same problem.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Have a good day.
Carol (Libann)
     
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    05-07-2012, 02:28 PM
  #2
Trained
If you get RFD.tv start watching the tv NH trainers. They are all doing the same stuff, and using plastic tarps in an arena has become the accepted method to desensitize your horse to crossing water.
You work your horse on the ground and accept nosing and then one step on the tarp as a good start, and then you work until your horse doesn't care if he walks over the tarp or stops in the middle of it.
A LOT of this has to do with their vision. They see 1/2 of it of each side and therefore, their brain must learn one side AND the other side.
Check out online videos by Clinton Anderson, Ryan Gingerich, Craig Cameron, Julie Goodnight, Paul Ortuno and others to see HOW to do this.
     
    05-07-2012, 02:42 PM
  #3
dee
Started
I had an issue with a previous mare not wanting to cross a wooden bridge (funny that she would walk right on across the way high bridge over the noisy interstate but not the little bitty wooden bridge over the dry (at the time) stream bed.) It wasn't the typical trail obstacle bridge, but a regular wooden bridge about 20' long that cars drive over, so most of the wood is covered by soil/gravel.

At any rate, I would ride her up to the bridge, and she would slide to a stop without putting one foot on the bridge. I would urge her forward, and she would spin around and try to head for the house.

I decided that day that we were going to cross the bridge or else. I had hubby ride his horse on down the road and wait for us about 200 yards away. Mare tried spinning around about a half dozen times. I finally held on to the reins and the saddle horn in one hand (never claimed I could ride very well, and I am SUCH a chicken!) and smacked her rump with the riding crop with the other hand. Not hard, but pretty smartly. Mare was pretty shocked, and jumped forward. She tried to spin around again on the bridge, but I faced her forward and threatened another smack with the riding crop, and she walked right on.

Coming home, she didn't even hesitate. Guess she just needed to be outstubborned?

At any rate - sometimes it helps if you just keep your horse facing forward and not let them get away with refusing. If they even take one step toward the obstacle that "scares" them, it's a victory on your part. Let the horse think about things after that one step, then ask for another step. You will get there, it just takes time and patience. It also helps to have a trail buddy patiently waiting on the other side!
smrobs, nvr2many and mildot like this.
     
    05-07-2012, 05:16 PM
  #4
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by dee    
I had an issue with a previous mare not wanting to cross a wooden bridge (funny that she would walk right on across the way high bridge over the noisy interstate but not the little bitty wooden bridge over the dry (at the time) stream bed.) It wasn't the typical trail obstacle bridge, but a regular wooden bridge about 20' long that cars drive over, so most of the wood is covered by soil/gravel.

At any rate, I would ride her up to the bridge, and she would slide to a stop without putting one foot on the bridge. I would urge her forward, and she would spin around and try to head for the house.

I decided that day that we were going to cross the bridge or else. I had hubby ride his horse on down the road and wait for us about 200 yards away. Mare tried spinning around about a half dozen times. I finally held on to the reins and the saddle horn in one hand (never claimed I could ride very well, and I am SUCH a chicken!) and smacked her rump with the riding crop with the other hand. Not hard, but pretty smartly. Mare was pretty shocked, and jumped forward. She tried to spin around again on the bridge, but I faced her forward and threatened another smack with the riding crop, and she walked right on.

Coming home, she didn't even hesitate. Guess she just needed to be outstubborned?

At any rate - sometimes it helps if you just keep your horse facing forward and not let them get away with refusing. If they even take one step toward the obstacle that "scares" them, it's a victory on your part. Let the horse think about things after that one step, then ask for another step. You will get there, it just takes time and patience. It also helps to have a trail buddy patiently waiting on the other side!
YES!

Enough of this "discussing things with the horse". Point horse at something, if he refuses make it painful to do so. Crop, whip, hard work. Whatever it takes to convince them that you are the master.

I've dealt with trail refusals your way and by putting the horse to do heavy work (lots and lots of dressage gymnastics) for about five minutes then asking the question again. Refuse to answer? BACK TO WORK. Once I spent nearly an hour doing that cycle over a spooky part of a trail but I won.
nvr2many likes this.
     
    05-07-2012, 05:54 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by dee    
I had an issue with a previous mare not wanting to cross a wooden bridge (funny that she would walk right on across the way high bridge over the noisy interstate but not the little bitty wooden bridge over the dry (at the time) stream bed.) It wasn't the typical trail obstacle bridge, but a regular wooden bridge about 20' long that cars drive over, so most of the wood is covered by soil/gravel.

At any rate, I would ride her up to the bridge, and she would slide to a stop without putting one foot on the bridge. I would urge her forward, and she would spin around and try to head for the house.

I decided that day that we were going to cross the bridge or else. I had hubby ride his horse on down the road and wait for us about 200 yards away. Mare tried spinning around about a half dozen times. I finally held on to the reins and the saddle horn in one hand (never claimed I could ride very well, and I am SUCH a chicken!) and smacked her rump with the riding crop with the other hand. Not hard, but pretty smartly. Mare was pretty shocked, and jumped forward. She tried to spin around again on the bridge, but I faced her forward and threatened another smack with the riding crop, and she walked right on.

Coming home, she didn't even hesitate. Guess she just needed to be outstubborned?

At any rate - sometimes it helps if you just keep your horse facing forward and not let them get away with refusing. If they even take one step toward the obstacle that "scares" them, it's a victory on your part. Let the horse think about things after that one step, then ask for another step. You will get there, it just takes time and patience. It also helps to have a trail buddy patiently waiting on the other side!
Yep, yep!!! No shame in holding on for who knows what!! I to have taken the reins in hand, while holding the horn (may be a rodeo), to use the ends of my split reins to smack a butt! We did what I wanted to do too!
     
    05-07-2012, 06:00 PM
  #6
Weanling
I agree....make that stream a better place to be. Immediately reward any motion in the right direction and start asking asking asking the second he moves in the other direction. Now, I'm usually in a group and don't want things to take an hour, so if my mare refuses I sometimes get off and walk her through it after a while of trying these other methods. On the ground isn't much fun when it's a stream, but this is a good time of year to teach her to go through them so that when it's cold you'll be all set!
     
    05-08-2012, 04:42 PM
  #7
Foal
Just a word of caution if you're thinking about getting off to lead the horse across the stream. When I first got my mare, she had never been on a trail ride before, and one of the first things we had to do was cross a stream, and it wasn't a very inviting one either (at the bottom of a kind of steep hill) and she refused, we had others on horses try and lead her, used a crop, nothing. So I decided to get off and lead her across, bad bad idea. She put one foot in the water, then turned towards me ( I thought I was way out of the way, apparently not) and literally leapt into me. It was like she was saying "ahh mom catch me!" I was fine, just a little bruised from landing on some rocks, but after that, I never let anyone I'm with get off to cross a stream.
smrobs likes this.
     
    05-08-2012, 09:26 PM
  #8
Trained
I just helped a friend school her horse over water yesterday. What worked for her was, my horse and I would cross first and then she would simply keep her horse facing the water until he got curious and decided to give it a try. Her horse was in a funk for a good 2 minutes before even thinking about going toward it. I took my horse over it a few times while hers was thinking about it, but eventually her horse got the idea and crossed willingly. I do think the big thing is keeping the horse facing the water. If you let them turn away, you risk a bolt at worst, and at best, he isn't thinking about the water anymore. I personally would not get off. The leverage isn't in your favor that way should your horse decide to go home. You have much better control if you're in the saddle.
     

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