Teaching a horse to cross water is training and sometimes takes patience. As we said in earlier posts, success comes in small changes.
We like circles when training. It forces the horse in forward motion and keeps the hind quarters moving. Make the feet move and the horse soon starts to understand you are in control. As you approach the water, just keep circling closer and closer until you have the feet wet.
We saw a nice video with a man by the name of David Archer showing a roll back as he approached the water on a green horse. He didn’t really have the right location to do circles. Several things we liked while watching the video were his patience, calm and easy handling of the horse, and clearly communicated expectations to the horse.
Notice how Mr. Archer doesn’t make it a fight with the horse. There isn’t any hollering, yelling, or even any real action taken by him. He keeps encouraging the horse, but doesn’t force him to do anything. Each step is signaled to the horse. You can tell by watching the horse understands what he is being asked to do. He just isn’t ready at first.
Mr. Archer doesn’t get in a rush, notice how he has the attitude that ” I came to spend the day with you. ” We also need to point out that he doesn’t spend the day and likely wouldn’t. The point is that he doesn’t seem worried if it takes a while for the horse to learn what he has to do.
Last, pay close attention to the end of the lesson. The horse isn’t crossing perfectly, but has made significant improvement by the end of the video. We always say stop on a good note. You can come back another day for follow-up training.