Horse problems: swimming
Bathing – a useful and enjoyable procedure – can give you a lot of unpleasant moments if the horse decided to resist for some reason.
Can you bathe a horse on the grass on a loose jacket? Do you need interchanges or even an enclosed space? Does the horse scare the hose?
You can introduce a horse to swimming on a large lawn by holding it on a chombra. This is done by desensitization (the principle is the same as when accustomed to a whip or rope). Do not pull on the chombur; follow the horse with a stream of water until the horse stops. Turn off the water and let it relax.
As a rule, horses are bathed in designated areas and put them on the interchanges. If your horse does not stand well at junctions and does not want to endure water, you will have to return to some basic exercises for patience and a calm reaction to junctions.
If the horse can stand patiently and calmly at the interchanges, try to get it to a place where you usually bathe horses. We have this place open and consists of two well-fixed pillars with a special platform for swimming between them. Wherever you decide to bathe a horse, first you should familiarize yourself with the room / place for swimming and the surface of the site. Go to the “sink” and stop. Let the horse get comfortable with the surroundings. Ask her to walk through the sink several times (first go ahead, then enter from the other end if you have two entrances or an open area). Go in and go out, as when loading into a horse carrier. Come in and wait. In a few minutes the horse will already be standing quietly inside the bathing room.
You can turn on the water after you put the horse in the interchanges. “Inject” water as you did during desensitization lessons. If you have a hose that has an unwinding / reeling system, it will be more convenient for you – and you will not get confused, and the horse will not step on it.
Turn on the small pressure (do not turn on the hissing sprinkler), direct the stream at the shoulders or legs (as in the picture or video). Point the jet at one point until the horse stops worrying. Then turn off the water. Let the horse stand for a minute. She will probably try to leave, trying to avoid the stream. If the horse panics, then you will need to go back and work on patience and trust.
Suppose a horse calms down and stands relaxed when you direct a stream at her shoulders. Now slowly move the jet down your legs until it begins to mind. Wait until she stops getting nervous or moving, and remove the water again. Move the stream to the withers, then move to the croup. Each time the horse calms down, turn off the water or take it to the side. When you move around the neck, the horse will probably begin to twist his head to avoid getting water on his face. Do not try to wash her face at this point.
When the horse will tolerate a simple stream everywhere on his body, you can try to switch the hose to spray mode. It makes noise and hiss, so first turn on the sprinkler without pointing it at the horse. And then start the process from the very beginning, as you did with a simple stream.
The ideal time to play swimming is when your horse has done particularly well and has sweated a lot. Almost all my horses quickly get used to swimming on hot days, and even learn to enjoy when I give them a hose.
Now we try to wash the horse’s face (with my quiet trickle, not with a sprayer).
Start at the back of the head or from between the eyes. The horse will throw its head up. One of my horses began to upset and shine – she really did not like the water on her face. The conditions were safe and she did not roll over. But she told me how much she did not like what was happening. I did not get in her way, but I continued to persevere when she “returned.” The horse realized that her little hysteria did not stop this process.
When your horse makes the slightest movement to lower his head (random movement), remove the water. You will teach the horse that by dropping his head while washing, he will do the right thing. As you learn, before you remove the stream of water, ask the horse to lower his head and briefly stay in this position. It will be difficult to do this at first – the horse can fight and throw its head up and down faster than you can react, but do not back down until you catch your head for a moment, if you can. Remember that the key is relieving pressure. When the horse calms down, you remove the water.
If you can’t catch the moment when the horse lowered its head, try a desensitizing lesson: just direct the jet at the head until the horse stops fighting it. After five minutes of fighting, my glowing horse was calmly suffering drops falling into her eyes.