Just curious. When you take your horse through a stream or into a lake, when they start pawing and splashing in the water, is it just a matter of time before you go unintentionally swimming? My OTTB has decided that he really likes water. While he normally follows on trails, he's got no problem leading the whole gang into a stream. Once it, he starts splashing around. While I'd like to let him enjoy himself, I feel like I have to keep him moving or he'll got down for a swim. Do they ever just splash around and stay upright? Thank goodness for synthetic saddles.
Oh yes, they will definitely splash and play around a lot if they like water. Some will lay in it if you let them and some won't. My two girls will both splash and play, but only one will lie down and try to roll in it! My friends horse would go anywhere in water any depth, but he would never lie down. Matter of personality I think.
Usually you can feel a horse getting ready to plop down. I have been laid down on top of before while crossing a river. It didn't hurt much, as soon as he hit the river rocks he realized it wasn't a good idea and jumped back up. I however was left sitting on my bum up to my chin in running water. It was rather amusing, attempting to run after him as he's trotting away. Good thing I wasn't alone.
But you can let them play and keep them moving at the same time too. Just let them paw, ask him to take a few steps, paw, a few steps, etc. Coming from experience, I wouldn't let your horse stand for an extended period of time because he may get the idea that laying down would be super fun. He'll get plenty wet from crossing, so no need to feel like he won't have fun just walking across the water.
Ha ha, my Husbands horse loves the water. He'll throw his whole face in the water and start blowing bubbles. His tail will start swishing too, like it's going to propel him through the water.....when that happens, that's when you have to really work your hardest to get out of the water.
You shoud of seen the two when they landed into any water complex at HT's - my Hubby would have to really swing the whip and kick his legs so hard just to encourage his horse to leave the water complex to finish the rest of the course....halarious!
My TB loves water too. He loves to stick his nose in the water and blow bubbles and he'll paw like crazy - to the point of getting me soaked.
Just as mentioned, when they start to feel like they are about to buckle under you, you know you're in trouble if you don't want to get soaked.
If I were you, I would wear clothing that you don't care if it gets wet and just let your horse do his thing when in the water. Go in bareback - why not, se what happens. Just let him play. It is a great experience!
My little arab sticks his nose underwater and blows bubbles. He paws, but reallly gently. More like he is stirring the water, and he sniffs it while he does it, as if he can't quite figure out what it is... It's so cute!
My friends mare used to attack the water. She would paw so hard you could see the bottom. She never rolled though.
I had a big stockhorse whow ouldn't even paw. He would sniff the water, and then whoof! He was laying in it and rolling. We used to let him loose with us when we went swimming and he would go lie down and watch us with his head sticking up our of the water :]
We always stand our horses in the water for ages with our feet trailing in the water. The only way to see what will happen is to let it happen :]
I'm not concerned about getting wet. It's more a matter of being on top of 1100 pounds of moving legs, moving body and no idea of when he's going to pop back up. Sounds like a lot of horses enjoy water. It sure is funny to watch him splash around.