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Suggestions for getting a horse to cross a creek?

This is a discussion on Suggestions for getting a horse to cross a creek? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • My horse won't go over creek
  • I need to cross the river on my horse but he won't

 
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    01-12-2012, 06:16 PM
  #11
Showing
Take a couple of pounds of pellets, carrots, etc and something to set them on so they are not in the dirt. Put him on a long rope, you cross the creek after you've let him smell the goodies. Place these on the ground and bend your head over and look at it. He will think you are eating something he's not getting. This is a big decision for him so try to be patient. When he crosses allow him some then cross back and repeat. Keep doing this until the feed is gone. Then head home, he's done well. When next you ride, take some carrot chunks and when he crosses the creek reward him with a piece. He will start to look forward to crossing water. One of the reasons crossing water is a problem is because of the horse's limited vision. Because of this he will either try to splash it away or drink it away. To him it could be an abyss he could fall in to. Your offering feed strengthens the bond and he is learning to trust.
     
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    01-13-2012, 12:43 AM
  #12
QOS
Green Broke
Hubby's horse Sarge will go just about anywhere he is pointed. There have been a few times he refused at first but he eventually will go anywhere he is asked to go.

His original trainer said if a horse won't go forward when asked to turn him around and ask them to back up - they back up into the creek/puddle, etc. He did this to get Sarge to cross a suspension bridge. He backed him 1/2 way across the bridge and then made him go forward. Then back across the bridge. A friend of mine did that one day crossing a little creek. Her big ol' gelding is the size of a tank and he decided the little roots in the water had to be horse eating serpents. He was blowing like a freight train, going side to side and so mad he could have exploded. Margaret just kept after him to move forward. Not getting harsh...just consistent. Finally, she turned him around and asked him to back up. He instantly backed up right into the creek.

I swear that big black horse blushed bright red when he realized that the horse eating serpents were little roots. He quietly turned around and walked out with his dignity in shreds.

Joe4D had some good suggestions for ground training and try the backing up. It works!
     
    01-13-2012, 05:04 AM
  #13
Foal
I end up crossing a river once in a while. Too lazy to go all around and use the bridge. Hey I save time. My horses use to be : " You ain't getting me in there" but were just reluctant only had one horse really afraid of the water...I have no problems crossing the river now. It takes time and each time to walk over a creek the horse will realize it is not that bad and get use to it. What I did with Frisky who was really afraid when I first tried besides just getting her over it with all the pressure and release is we just walked around. There are some streams and sandy parts where we walked around and I let her explore and eat grass near there, paw at the water so on so forth so she could get relax. It will help and make it faster if you have another horse but I think it is best to just use yourself, you will gain your horses trust.
     
    01-13-2012, 07:12 AM
  #14
Green Broke
This really is a groundwork at home issue. Your horse has to know what you are asking. And know how to go where you point. You can't ever anticipate everything.
     

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