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Pat Parelli: we teach the horse to enter the water

For many riders, rushing without saddle along the shore of a reservoir on a hot summer day is a very tempting prospect. Amazing, fabulous picture … only if the horse goes into the water with pleasure. And if not?

“A water hazard can be one of the most disappointing and dangerous obstacles in your horse’s life,” says Pat Parelli.

Many horses are skeptical about crossing the water, unless of course this is not their usual occupation. Horses are real survival experts, and they are extremely susceptible to changes in their environment. Water can make even a confident horse doubt, because it is difficult for him to determine the depth. As a result, the horse may decide to step into an endless dark abyss. Immediately connects and the instinct of the animal victim, which prompts to strive to avoid everything that interferes with the legs, interferes with the free movement.

Pat believes that both horses and riders have their “duties” to make their partnership harmonious. If both partners perform their duties, crossing the water and any other problems becomes much easier.

Horse Responsibilities:

act as a partner, not a victim animal;
do not change the pace if the rider does not ask for it;
Do not change direction if the rider does not ask;
watch where she goes.
Duties of the rider:

act as a partner, not as a predator;
have an independent landing and have enough experience not to interfere with the movement of the horse;
think like a horse before thinking like a man.
Start in the usual conditions

Your horse’s first encounter with water should be in a safe and secure home environment. Before you try to cross the water in a forest or field, your horse must learn to stand still during water procedures (bathing). If she does not like it when you pour water on her legs, does not like to stand in a pool, you can hardly expect her to go into water in unusual conditions. Take the time to work with her on this. Get an adequate response to “home” water treatments. Let the horse sniff the water and drink from the hose if it is prone to it.

You can also prepare your horse for a meeting with water, asking him to walk on unusual objects, such as durable plywood sheets or tarpaulin. This is a great simulation of overcoming water, because it helps a horse to begin to feel more confident and not to worry when it has to put its feet on an unknown surface that is different from ordinary solid earth. When she walks through these objects without fear or hesitation, it will be easier for her to believe and make sure that the water is also safe.

Even a horse that plays with water at home may wonder when you first ask it to walk on the water outside the stable. This is where your work as a leader becomes especially important. Your horse’s confidence depends on you.

If you do it right, the horse will stop thinking about water and will think about trusting you and your confidence. This is almost the same as loading a horse truck – it’s not a horse truck, but whether you trust a horse when you tell it that it is safe there. When confidence, confidence and leadership are firmly established, your horse will be willing to boot into a horse-drawn carriage, cross the water and do almost everything you ask for.

“It’s very important for a horse to trust you with a decision,” Pat notes. “She can have a special mental, emotional and physical condition, as well as a heightened sense of self-preservation.”

Basic skills

To become the leader your horse needs in moments of non-standard difficult situations, for example, when crossing water, you need to first create a connection.

“The horses of most riders do not have a good go button,” explains Pat. – First, you need to work on improving this button and develop a good response to the request to move forward. She should respect the pressure of your legs and start the movement right away when you use it. If she does not do this, use a whip or chembur to touch her hind legs and force her to go forward in response to the pinch compression. ”

Work on improving the “Go” button before you get close to the water. Your horse must respond to your shots correctly before you encounter any obstacle.

Common mistakes

According to Pat, the most common rider mistake is focusing on the water, not on the destination.

“The typical mistake riders make is that they look at the water and not focus on the right thing,” says Pat. – Instead of looking at the water, riders should look where they are going. Focus on something for water, not water. Focus is important because it affects your feelings, timeliness of actions and balance. When you drive a car, you are not looking at the steering wheel, you are looking forward to where you are going. The more focused you are, the better you can use your seat, legs and arms.

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