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Training your horse to jump water

5 January 2012 No Comment

The Water Woes

Water woesIf you've ever ridden a green horse through a cross country course, you're probably familiar with the term "early bath." But don't worry, nearly every horse has problems with it's first water jump encounter. Here are some tips that may help you and your horse:

-For your horse's first (or early) encounter, choose a wide and shallow water crossing that is in a level area.

-Ask a friend to walk through the water with a more experienced horse while you and your horse just watch. This will allow him to hear and see the water and comfort him with another horse.

-Follow your friend through the water, walking, a few times from the same direction. Make sure to praise him!

-After your horse is comfortable with the one direction, do the same thing from the other direction.

-When your horse is confident, ask your friend to stand on one side of the water while you and your horse cross through it alone towards them.

-If your horse spooks, don't punish your horse, but don't let him turn away either. Encourage your horse with your voice, leg, and friend, but don't ever give up. If you allow your horse to turn away from it's fear, you are essentially telling him he has a right to be afraid of it.

-Rubber reins are very helpful when practicing or riding water jumps, as leather reins can get wet and slippery. Grippy gloves aren't a bad idea, either.

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