Originally Posted by Celeste
Horses are not afraid to get a drink. They are afraid of possible poor footing that might make them fall or get stuck. They are afraid that the creek is a bottomless pit that will sink then into the eternal fires of Hades...
Exactly! It's not the fact that it's water, it's that it's an unfamiliar terrain obstacle. I've written before of trying to get Ellie across her first (as far as we know) creek. That was a meadow creek, about 18 inches wide and a foot deep, with vertical sides & water at the bottom. That was different from the shallow water creek running across a gravelly dip in the road, and yes, it took some persuasion to get her across that the first time. It was still another thing to get her to walk into the shallow water at the edge of a lake... All of these were "water" as we humans categorize things, yet to her perceptions they were obviously different. Each of them needed a separate overcoming of that initial reluctance to go into something unknown. Once that was accomplished, she would readily cross other similar-to-her things.