How to Train a Rescue Horse to go into Water

Clinton Anderson from Downunder Horsemanship has developed an effective method to train horses, regardless of their age, history, or any behavioral issues and past traumas. Join him on his weekly endeavors of tackling some of the most challenging situations with problem horses, and with problem owners. This week, we’ll see Clinton continue his work with his 6-year-old Quarter Horse mare, Cider.

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Cider has been in many of Clinton’s past episodes. She’s was an abused mare that came from Habitat for Horses. She’s been rescued twice, abused, mistreated, and turned out to be very, very frightened of humans. Clinton has been continually working with Cider to help correct her behaviors so that eventually, she’ll be ready to be given to a new owner. Clinton wants to show his audience that there is hope for rescue horses and that you don’t have to have a high-dollar horse to follow the Downunder Horsemanship Method.

Today, Clinton is going to work on training Cider how to go into the water, cross over water, go through water, and swim through it. The more you can train your horse outside the arena and work on obstacles such as water, the better it is for them. Horses get bored doing the same thing over and over again and being outside keeps lessons interesting and allows you to train in real-world situations.

One of the exercises that Clinton shows us the C-Pattern Exercise. He sends Cider from one side of him to the other, while yielding the hindquarters, getting two eyes, and bringing her back. It allows her to really get her feet going and is a great warm-up. Remember to listen to your horse’s nonverbal cues—they’ll tell you what they need help with. Cider is a little hesitant about the water and doesn’t want to get too close. Clinton works to make sure that she gets desensitized to the water with the Sending Exercise and Lunging for Respect so she can overcome her fear. It’s a slow process introducing Cider to the water, but it’s important to take the time that it takes to avoid scaring her. She needs to be comfortable and realize that the water isn’t going to hurt her.

Whenever you give your horse a purpose to do something, it gives them a lot more meaning. So, doing exercises away from the water and then again near the water will help them become more comfortable with it and help them realize the underlying meaning of the training. Once you’re able to successfully complete the intended training, just keep doing it until they’re no longer frightened. Repetition is the key to long-term success. It’s true that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. The goal is giving them a reason to want to drink before you even get there. This helps make the water more inviting and less intimidating.

Once Cider becomes comfortable with the water, Clinton allows her to explore the water on her own, in a safe way, and then increases her draw to it by working her feet away from the water and letting her rest in the water. To do this, he uses the 23-foot-long line rope.

He then uses the Patience Pole to show us some tips and ideas on tying up your horses in ways that can be beneficial to them. The Patience Pole allows you to teach your horse to use the thinking side of their brain instead of the reactive side, which is important in every aspect of your training. Clinton continues to show us how to properly use the Patience Pole to benefit a horse’s training. You can also incorporate the Aussie Tie Ting for a more comprehensive training kit. While using all of your tools, make sure that you’re taking the proper steps to help desensitize your horse in the process.

Clinton Anderson has developed a method to help train any horses, regardless of their problem. Unfortunately, up until now it was nearly impossible to access the Method when you’re on the go or at the barn. That’s why we’ve created three new ways to get the content you need at the price you want. Our Downunder Horsemanship app gives you access to your digital training kits and allows you to download videos and training content directly to your mobile device or view them on your computer. The Downunder Horsemanship app also offers over 100 hours of free, in-depth training content. You can also access all of the training material through three different levels by joining our No Worries Club.

To learn more about the Clinton Anderson training method, become a member of the No Worries Club, or to get information on any of the products seen on our show, head over to our homepage and download the Downunder Horsemanship app today! If you’re interested in getting accelerated results, let a Clinton Anderson Certified Clinician bring the Method to you!

No Worries by Clinton Anderson

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