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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
  • Horse cant swim
  • Horse able to swin?

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    06-26-2012, 12:50 AM
  #11
Foal
I think that was way too fast for a first introduction to a lot of water. Take it WAYYYYY slower next time. First go up to her knees for the first couple weeks and just let her wade/ walk in the water. For a couple WEEKS. Seriously. Water inhalation is extremely dangerous and even if she doesn't drown she could get aspiration pneumonia if water gets in her lungs. Please, please be more careful next time. Some horses enjoy swimming and it sounds like she does like getting wet on a hot day, but please don't ever put her in that kind of situation again. Take it way slower. Just let her get used to walking in the water and just forget about swimming. If she goes out so that the water is just at her back that will definitely be deep enough for this year and really all that she will ever need to cool off. Not saying she will never swim (and not saying that she will) but it's not worth loosing your very trusting horse over it.
     
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    06-26-2012, 12:53 AM
  #12
Showing
The first thing that pops into my head is that you probably stayed astride of her and sitting like you would normally ride on dry ground. Generally speaking, horses are good swimmers, but they can only carry so much and keep their head above water. Think of it like this, a horse trying to swim that is carrying a rider in normal riding position is about like a person trying to swim with a big brick in their arms above their head. Because of the laws of buoyancy, more weight above the water automatically makes their body go down farther in the water...and if they aren't fit enough to compensate for the added weight pushing down on them, then they will not be able to keep their head above water.

That's the reason behind all the cowboys in movies are always seen either getting off to the side or hanging onto the cantle of the saddle and floating for themselves, only using the horse for forward momentum.

The biggest problem with that is it can be exceptionally dangerous, especially for someone who isn't terribly experienced with doing it properly. It would be very easy to get one of your own legs kicked and end up with a broken bone or.....she could panic and start looking to you to keep her safe and end up drowning you by swimming/pawing over the top of you.
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    06-26-2012, 08:14 AM
  #13
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
The first thing that pops into my head is that you probably stayed astride of her and sitting like you would normally ride on dry ground. Generally speaking, horses are good swimmers, but they can only carry so much and keep their head above water. Think of it like this, a horse trying to swim that is carrying a rider in normal riding position is about like a person trying to swim with a big brick in their arms above their head. Because of the laws of buoyancy, more weight above the water automatically makes their body go down farther in the water...and if they aren't fit enough to compensate for the added weight pushing down on them, then they will not be able to keep their head above water.

The biggest problem with that is it can be exceptionally dangerous, especially for someone who isn't terribly experienced with doing it properly. It would be very easy to get one of your own legs kicked and end up with a broken bone or.....she could panic and start looking to you to keep her safe and end up drowning you by swimming/pawing over the top of you.
I walked into the water slowly next to her (didn't even have to go in front and pull her or something) and when she got scared and turned back to the shore I kept my arms on her (holding mane on her whithers) and my legs near the water surface. So that I could control her head and catch the reins if needed but keeping my body away from her legs. When I was much younger and inexperienced a horse decided to swim across the pond and as I was trying to stop him, I got kicked in my leg... I let the horse go (and he just swam across and started grazing on the shore) and luckily I wasn't hurt, but it made me think about where my body is and where the horses legs can be while swimming.

Still, what you say is a good point for everybody.
     
    06-26-2012, 08:40 AM
  #14
Yearling
When ever a swimming horse gets water in their nose they will panic and potentially drown themselves. I know swimming with a horse is fun, but just be aware of the "panic when water gets up the nose".
     
    06-26-2012, 09:45 AM
  #15
Weanling
I have a dog that cannot swim. Just because a species is supposed to be able to swim it doesn't mean every individual can! He is now 12 and I have managed to teach to stay afloat until I can get to him but he still cannot make headway
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