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Robinsons - The uks No equestrian Provider Special Interview
Caroline Powell

Getting Your Horse Used to Water

Getting Your Horse Used to Water

We talk to Caroline Powell about introducing your youngster to water. Sponsored by Suregrow, Caroline covers the topics on the how to handle the initial experiences with water, stepping out of the water and jumping into the water.

Getting Your Horse Used to WaterSays Caroline

When first getting your horse used to water, have a lead at hand to guide your horse. Take into mind that a young horse cannot be expected to know that walking into water is the correct thing to do, having a lead encourages the young horse to go into water, showing him that it is safe.

As a young horse who has never been in water before they will be questioning all sorts such as how deep the water is, what is in the water and is the footing below the water safe. It is the rider's responsibility to ensure that the water is safe, by checking beforehand you will ensure that your horse remains trust in you avoiding any bad situations. 

To begin with it is advised to walk your horse into the water slowly, keep him channelled between your leg and hand. Take your time at walking him around in the water to give him the confidence that there is nothing to worry about. Once your horse is walking confidently round in the water, repeat this exercise without the lead horse and then repeat in trot and other paces. It is a good idea to vary the direction you enter the water so that he does not become accustomed to one entrance.

Once both horse and rider are confident at entering water in a range of paces, try adding small jumps before and after the water so it gives the horse more to think about.

Getting Your Horse Used to WaterWhen it comes to stepping out of the water, problems may occur however the rider must do their best to keep the horse balanced by keeping their leg on and nudging him up towards the steps. Slip the reins when entering the water and be prepared to quickly take up the slack as you land, giving yourself a steady contact to be able to support him as he jumps out.

Jumping into water has one main problem which is that young horses seem to over jump into it. Do not underestimate the drag effect that water can have on a horse's stride. Even over an apparently standard distance it is difficult to predict exactly how many strides he will take in water, so be prepared for the occasional awkward jump out.

Loosen your reins when jumping into the water, as you progress though the water keep your leg on, encouraging him in the direction of the step.

Walking into water with a green horse can prove challenging due to the uncertainties of what lay beneath the water let alone jumping into water. It is important to associate a positive relationship with the water from initial experiences to encourage your horse to perform successfully at a faster pace through water.

Remember that young horses can be unpredictable and can perform multiple walk throughs into water successfully and then for the next decide to freeze. You must be confident and be assertive whilst maintaining a good balance in the saddle if your horse does this.

Be alert at how tired your young horse is, as he can get tired quite quickly when experiencing new things, his tiredness may cause accidents as he runs out of energy. It is best to stop when you notice he is making mistakes to avoid him associating the exercise with negativity and losing confidence.

Reward your horse continually to encourage his positive behaviour.

The Suregrow Range

Suregrow products include Suregrow Fertiliser, CSM, Paddock Grass Seed Mix, Fast Grass, Meadow and Laminitics Grass Mix.

For more information please contact Suregrow on 01423 223045 or visit

Interview sourced from