“I took my horse swimming during the summer and she sank. She doesn’t even try to keep her head above water, she just walks on the bottom sucking up water until i pull her out. How do I teach her to swim?”-Mikiah D

I have seen horses make mistakes when swimming. I have seen a horse walk in knee deep, paw, lie down (head above water)…and then try to roll completely over…head under water!

Click photo to see Newt's first swim.

Click photo to see Newt’s first swim.

On Newt’s first swim he really only made one mistake, but without guidance he could have been in trouble. I had taken him partway out and then ridden back to the shore several times but even with this prep he suddenly decided that we should go to the other shore…about a mile across the lake! He was determined we should to that way but he didn’t know that the water would continue to get deeper.

My first advice would be to keep your horse out of trouble. I would try taking her part way in and wading around at a safe depth. Don’t allow her to go deep enough to cause possible drowning. Ā I once had a horse that liked to blow bubbles in the water. She would stick her nose completely under, all the way up to her eyes! She would then blow bubbles and never made the mistake of breathing in.

All the horses I have taken in the water have known how to swim instinctively but that doesn’t mean all will. I am also going to ask for others to post their experiences…maybe someone else has seen this and has some advice.