Going swimming with your horse might be on the top in your wish list this summer! A horse owner as adventurous and active as his horse can make a great combo together! Not everyone who has a horse and knows swimming would want to go out in the waters and swim with their horse. But if you are one amongst them, just know that your experience is going to be amazing.
For something as crazy as swimming together with your horse, with fun come precautions that need to be taken care of to avoid any kind of mishaps. But that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do it! From your end, you need to know certain things and check facts in order to keep everything safe for your horse.
If you want your experience to be relaxing and fun for both you and your horse, you’ll have to do your homework and prepare well before you actually get into it.
Here is a list of few questions (with answers) that you need to keep in mind before you go swimming with your horse:
- Can your Horse Swim?
Horses are genetically built and physically shaped in a way that lets them float in water. Different types of horse breeds can swim and float quite well in water without being taught.
While horses cannot usually sink in water, it doesn’t mean they can swim very well without getting trained. There might be cases where some horses don’t like swimming or might panic and get scared when they encounter water for the first time in such a way.
It is important to water-train your horse by first beginning swimming in low level, not so scary water bodies so that your horse has a pleasant first experience with swimming. Taking your horse out for regular training before actually heading into deep water swimming can help them swim better and enjoy the process.
- Can One Ride A Swimming Horse?
While riding a swimming horse might sound thrilling and fun, it can turn out to be very dangerous. One of the main reasons behind this is the horse’s movement which is very different in water than what it is on the land.
The land is their natural environment where they’ve been running for all their life. But swimming in water involves moving forward differently and due to the difference in actions, you might not be able to predict the movement and thus would fall off.
Yet another risk after falling off is getting injured by the kick of your horse after falling in water. It can all be life taking and thus, riding a swimming horse should be avoided.
- Do Horses Like Being In Water?
This is a question with an answer that will vary from horse to horse. While there are horses who love going in the water and swimming, there are also horses who don’t even like it when water touches their body.
Thus, the answer to this question relies completely on your horse and it is your duty to find out whether your horse likes water or not. Only when your horse is comfortable with water, you should take it to swimming. Imposing swimming on them only because you like doing it is not the right thing to do.
You also need to keep a check on the weather and ensure that it is suitable for swimming. Usually horses like being in water in the summertime when it is mostly warm outside. Swimming in summers can be a fun, cool down activity for you and your horse.
- Can Horses Hold Their Breath Underwater?
Unlike humans, horses cannot hold their breath underwater. It is a very important aspect that horse owners need to keep in mind when they go for swimming with their horse.
Where horses swim with only their head above water while the rest of their body is submerged in water, it is very dangerous if your horse’s head goes under water. This can make it drown and can also lead to water entering its ears.
The chances of your horse’s head going under water are more when the waves are big and the weather is windy. In situations wherein the climate is harsh, you should avoid swimming and if swimming, you should stay more on the shallow water area to avoid any kind of danger for both you and your horse.
- Is the Water Safe?
Before you take your horse for swimming, you need to be aware about your location so that you can know whether the water is safe or not. Safety comes in different aspects; it includes the kind of waves that occur in the water, the depth of the water body and the quality of water.
By the quality of water, you need to check if the water is suitable for your horse’s skin and is good in quality in terms of being non-polluted and algae free. The quality of water in which you go swimming can affect the health of both you and your horse.
It is usually not preferred to go swimming alone with your horse. Taking someone along is the right thing to do. Going alone can make you vulnerable to a lot of problems and it is good to have someone around with you who can help and assist you move around and manage your horse.
Taking your horse for swimming might make you think about how you’ll cover the journey and travel with your horse. But this should not stop you from going to the shores! Double horse trailers can turn out to be very helpful and convenient in terms of traveling and covering both long and short distances.
With all the questions being discussed, one thing that can be clearly noted is that going out and swimming with your horse can be great fun if everything is taken care of properly. Like every other thing, this too needs its research and precautions, but at the end it is worth doing.
Lisa Allen works at Cheval Trailers as a community manager. Cheval trailers has been designed and developed to provide high levels of comfort and safety for the horses being transported, easy towing and handling qualities for the trailer users since 1995. Cheval Liberté trailers is a leading manufacturer of horse trailers, single and double horse trailers across the UK and Ireland.