How to teach a horse to cross water ALONE!

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How to teach a horse to cross water ALONE!

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    11-18-2011, 11:54 AM
How to teach a horse to cross water ALONE!

I have a 4 year old TWH mare. She's a great horse and up until 3 days ago I thought she was to the point where she would go where ever you pointed her. Well on all of trail rides that she's been on she's been phenomenal. Even in instances where another horse wouldn't cross a ditch or water I could move her to the front of the pack and she would cross without hesitation. We ride alone about 2 to 3 times per week and I came to a ditch that was about 2 feet wide and it had rocks in it. She would not cross for nothing. After trying repeatedly, I got off and tried to lead her across and she wouldn't go. I can't figure out why. She could have just stepped over it but she wouldn't budge. I would back her up and approach it again and she would stop further back from it. I don't like letting her think that she won at anything because she will try to use it to her advantage. However, I feel like I just don't know how to teach her to cross the proper way. Please help

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    11-18-2011, 12:10 PM
Not sure if its the right way.. but with my twh cross if he is nervous about something and I can't get him to move on the trail I dismount and walk him past the object to or three times then ride him over a few times. Its helped him and it usually is a water crossing, mudd or puddle :/
    11-18-2011, 12:14 PM
Originally Posted by kait18    
not sure if its the right way.. but with my twh cross if he is nervous about something and I can't get him to move on the trail I dismount and walk him past the object to or three times then ride him over a few times. Its helped him and it usually is a water crossing, mudd or puddle :/
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    11-18-2011, 12:16 PM
I dismounted and tried to walk her over it but she wouldn't budge.
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    11-18-2011, 12:25 PM
Hmm... I don't know then.. I ride with a crop even in western and tap on the shoulders right before he stops to keep him going... so if that doesn't help I am absolutely useless sorry.. :(
    11-18-2011, 12:55 PM
LOL! You're not useless you just gave me a bit of advice. I have a crop. I don't ride with it but that gives me something else to try.

    11-18-2011, 01:00 PM
No problemo its worth a try. If not there is def someone more experienced than I, who can help :) goodluck
    11-19-2011, 11:46 AM
Well first question is she being fearful or stubborn? If she is being fearful maybe start with something more simple she can do, lots of praise then work up to the rocky ditch. She is only 4 which is still a baby. They can have off days so don't be too worried. Now if she's just being stubborn then time to bring out the crop to let her know you mean business. Ask her to approach it and check it out. If she starts backing up give her a tap telling her that is the WRONG direction. If she just flat refuses to go make it uncomfortable for her. Tap her harder, do circles. Most of them hate that. You can't force her, but you can make it the easy choice.
Hope that helped.
    11-19-2011, 12:05 PM
Not sure why but I've found my horses have a much harder time stepping across a trickle of water where they don't even have to get their feet wet then larger streams.

Unfortunetly you have already lost an important battle in crossings. Don't take her back and try to fight her across alone, you are likely to lose more ground. Go back with your riding partner, stick her on their horses butt and cross. Watch for a hesitation, just as soon as you feel one, give her a poke as a distraction. Since she has already been crossing with no issues she should go right back to her old ways in short order.

You'll find that young horses often take a step backwards in training. The key here is to be patient, don't lose your cool and work them through the rough spot. By the time she's in the 6-7 year range these backward steps will disappear. Of course, since she's a mare you'll then just have to put up with attitude issues.

Go by gelding!
    11-19-2011, 04:02 PM
Green Broke
I have learned it is better to send a horse than to lead one, I have taught my horse to go where I point. Standing a bit ahead and off his shoulder I point where I want him to go, like in a trailer or over a log or across a ditch. You start with a very short lead line so you can kinda pull him while ointing, wack him in the withers till he moves forward. Teach him than left and right. Work at it alot in the round pen, add some logs and distractions. I did this alot with a horse that refused to load in a slant load trailer with a rear tack room, worked like that daily for a week without even looking at the trailer. Wen to to the trailer and pointed,,, "Go That WaY!" and in he went. I have no doubt I can do the same thing with the ditch. Dunno maybe I should try it. He does still balk occasionally from the saddle but at least he doesnt rear spin around and run the opposite way,, baby steps baby steps.

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