Horse can't swim?!

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Talk

Horse can't swim?!

This is a discussion on Horse can't swim?! within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

Like Tree2Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools
    06-25-2012, 11:48 AM
Unhappy Horse can't swim?!

Hi everybody,

Yesterday we took our horses to a pond, it was probably the very first encounter with "so much water" for my 14yo Standardbred mare. I was surprised by how calmly she walked into the water but when we went to deeper water and she tried to swim, she seemed to drown! Pushed her nose under water (and then all her head), in panic, swam to the shore (still with head under water, didn't seem to lift it and breathe) and in that panic she tried to swim although she got to a shallow where the other horses stood on their feet with absolutely no need to swim.
After getting of the water she was quite scared, snorting water out of her nostrils... but later I tried to take her to the deep water again, I thought it was just the "first experience panic", because another young horse that was there also had some problems - nostrils under water when he had to swim for the first time. So I thought my mare could also find out what to do to keep her head above the water to breathe... but she didn't and the same situation repeated again about five times.

I've never seen a horse that can't swim - is that even possible? Any experience with such a problem? I plan to go to the pond again and try it with a rope halter, because with the bridle she could tend to put her head down as a reaction to the reins pulling her mouth (because of the weight of the soaked water - not that I pulled it)...

On the photo you can see a (rare) moment when she held her head high (she's the one in front), but as you can see she's desperately trying to swim although the other horse stands comfortably on his feet even deeper (so she can reach the bottom simply)...

Sponsored Links
    06-25-2012, 06:19 PM
Come on... I need some advice - do you thing she will learn to swim or is it pointless and dangerous to try?
    06-25-2012, 06:25 PM
Green Broke
Lol Poor girl, I think she just scared herself.. She's not used to it, it's something new, and it snuck up on her. I would just let her figure it out slowly and not push her into it too fast. I did have to giggle at the picture..
    06-25-2012, 06:26 PM
There are lots of things that could play ito your horses seeming inability to swim. I would say the first is natural boyancy... muscle is denser and less boyant than fat, a heavily muscled horse is not going to foloat as well as a fat horse. Second, your horse trusts the snot out of you to continue going in after inhaling water.. you could damage that by continued exposure... and last, I don't think swimming with horses is a great idea to begin with, a lot of folk do it and enjoy it.. the potential that your horse in responding to a spook could paw you right under the water and injusre or even drown you.. I wouldn't do it again.. My advice, and what I do (or not do) If I need to cross a river I try to find a shallow fordable spot, if not then I don't cross.. if I absolutely had too though I would get us both in the water but on a long lead and go first...
    06-25-2012, 07:09 PM
They can swim. A lot of race horses are taken swimming as therapy after an injury. We had an old standardbred that was worried about water because he had been swum. He was afraid that the water was over his head, I guess they did not entice him into the pool but simple beat him into it. So, he had to make sure that water was not over his head. It shows a lot of trust in you that your mare went in the water with you. I think there are risks to it and if you decide to swim your horse again is up to you.
    06-25-2012, 07:53 PM
I wouldn't do it again. Sure it looks like great fun and it's cool to do it and tell about it, but your horse can certainly panic and drown itself and you. Don't put her through that again!
    06-25-2012, 11:35 PM
I'm with the others. If she can't swim, she can't swim. Don't try it over and over again it will just scare her, and potentially cause injury to her or yourself.
    06-26-2012, 12:05 AM
I think kind of mean to keep forcing her into the water like that and kind of risky. It's just not that crucial. You're putting your fun over her safety and mental well being.
Posted via Mobile Device
Speed Racer likes this.
    06-26-2012, 12:12 AM
I would be very hesitant to try it again.. :/

She doesn't look very happy at all.
    06-26-2012, 12:28 AM
Some dogs can't swim and some horses can't swim. If you love her, and I know you do, don't make her do that again. She trusts you. How would you save her if she started to drown? Poor thing.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gonna Relearn Barebacking & Swim Stoddard Horse Riding 6 04-26-2012 02:53 PM
Can horses swim? BarrelRacer3 Horse Training 23 03-27-2012 12:32 AM
cooper loves to swim jazzyrider Other Pets 7 10-21-2008 10:24 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:34 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0