Can horses swim? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 03-24-2012, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Can horses swim?

Ok so we have a pond that i swim in all the time (lol), but anyway its been 80-85 degrese and the trail that I ride on goes right by are pond and my mare like actually gets into the water and like wants to swim with me on her!!! It's really funny. The pond is about 35 feet deep and she want to swim across it (it's not a long distance) but i was wandering if they can actually swim because i dont wana get out there and she cant swim so thats why im asking.
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post #2 of 24 Old 03-24-2012, 12:41 PM
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They can swim.

They can also panic in the water and knock you off and smash into you. While swimming with a horse is fun, it does have its dangers. Personally, I would not take my horse swimming in something 30 foot deep. *I* wouldn't want to go swimming in something 30 foot deep!
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post #3 of 24 Old 03-24-2012, 12:49 PM
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Most horses can swim quite well.
It is excellent therapy for horses recovering from injuries too.
However, until you know how well your horse can swim it may be best to let her play in the water on a long line and not on her back.

Some horses need to adjust to the rider's weight while swimming and can panic. Something else to consider... if they are in deep water those legs are really working. If you are swimming along side it doesn't feel good to get wacked on your own leg by a hoof as the horse is swimming.
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post #4 of 24 Old 03-24-2012, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks for letting me know before i got hurt
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post #5 of 24 Old 03-24-2012, 12:55 PM
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Agreed, horses can most definitely swim and some really enjoy getting to do it. As long as you or any rider can swim then by all means give it a try. The only precaution is to NOT ride into deep water with a tiedown as part of your tacking up. When if a horse gets water in their nostrils they will panic and as in most cases drown. It is important to note to stay on the horse's back and out of the way of it's swimming front legs.
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post #6 of 24 Old 03-24-2012, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking of riding bareback,i ride her bareback all the tie doin barrels and poles and just trail riding, and + plus i don't use tie downs
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post #7 of 24 Old 03-24-2012, 02:18 PM
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Yeah, I probably wouldn't swim into the 35ft deep water, but around the edges in the shallower maybe. I had a mare that would swim, she liked it, but it made me nervous to go so far out and not be within striking distance of shallower water in case something did in fact go wrong.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #8 of 24 Old 03-24-2012, 02:18 PM
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Yes, horses can swim very well, I swim with mine in the summer time. One thing you'll need to do is take your time getting her used to being out in the deep water. Some horses panic the first time their feet lose touch with the ground. I would stay square on her back for the first few times until you know she's going to be calm about the water. After you know she's okay with it, then you'll need to start sliding off her side and swimming beside her (or just hanging onto her mane and letting her pull you). While horses can swim with the rider straight up on their back, it tires them out quickly. With you swimming beside, she could likely make it all the way across a decent sized pond.
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post #9 of 24 Old 03-24-2012, 03:29 PM
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Every summer along my train route there are these 2 horses that spend all day swimming around in their pond. No humans around, they are just swimming cause they love it!
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post #10 of 24 Old 03-24-2012, 03:37 PM
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I used to take my mare to the river and it was maybe 5' deep. Just keep enough that she was partially suspended. She loved it. We'd climb out onto the trail, she'd hurry back to get in again. Had to watch her on the way home though as she'd squeal and enjoy a few good bucks. That's the only time she ever bucked.
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