Second time at beach refuses to go in (first time went in no problems we had fun)

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by MEDUCKIE, Jan 6, 2012.


    MEDUCKIE New Member

    Went to the beach today for the second time and my big sook of a horse refused to go in (even after 2hrs of trying).
    We tried leading him in (me on foot) , his mate leading him in , the rope around bum , going in on an angle, his mate leading him with myself leading him and my friend riding him , tried to reverse him in, tried lunging and getting him closer to the water each round and so on big bugger wouldnt even get his hooves wet .
    Just under two weeks ago we took him to the beach for the first time similar day to today and had no problems at all he went in we splashed around i swam with him etc it was awesome.
    So i guess my question is whats his problem now and because i couldnt get him back in today is this going to cause issues for us next time ?
    Thankyou :)
  2. abb77

    abb77 Well-known Member

    hmm i dont no what the problem is but maybe next time try gently splashing his hooves with water .. he might just of had a bad day or something? i think just take him to the beach again and hopefully he will be like when you first took him :) good luck!
  3. mirawee

    mirawee Gold Member

    Could be that he didn't have the fun that you did the first time you went.

    Next time you go expect not to have problems but be prepared if you do., Personally trying to force him for 2 hours is not going to achieve anything except make him think beach = bad. Make the beach fun even if he doesn't go into the water :)
  4. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    I agree don't make him go in the water. Just have fun next to the water and on the sand. Forget about the whole water bit. I hate to say it but it is going to take a fair bit of undoing what you did in trying for 2 hours, bum rope on etc etc';'';'. You may need to take him down there ten times before he even puts a foot in the water. I think the lesson you need to learn about this is the fact that you cannot force a five hundred kilo animal to do something it doesn't want to do unless you find a strategy that makes him WANT to do it.

    Look over the last two weeks, was the trust between you broken in some way, did you lose your temper with him and clip him (yes we are all human and make grave errors). Did he have an incident where someone else got up him for something. Sounds like your trust with him has been broken this has probably been further damaged by 2 hours of harrassment at the beach.

    Best of luck with him. The best thing we can do for our horses is see things from thier perspective and be compassionate but strong for them.
  5. GoWelshCobs

    GoWelshCobs Well-known Member

    does he have to go in the water or do you want to go in the water.
  6. Freestyle

    Freestyle Well-known Member

    swimming and wading is extremely hard work for horses. Perhaps you over did it the first time and he's had a bad experience. Unfortunately you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him go in ;)
  7. Lil Dove

    Lil Dove Well-known Member

    Did he have another horsey friend with him the first time? If not maybe next time try taking a lead horse if you can or maybe ask someone else at the beach to lead their horse in first so he can follow :)

    I know if i take my mare by herself she is a bit reluctent to go in at first and i have to walk in front of her to show her its ok! When we have other horse's she goes straight in because she dosn't want to be left behind haha :rolleyes:

    Other than that once where in the water i do lots of walking in and out, in and out so on so she knows the little wave breaks arn't going to jump out and eat her.. *#)
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  8. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    Yep, my guess is he was pushed or overfaced at his first visit and overwhelmed, you got what you wanted but at the expense of his confidence, trust in you and enjoyment of the beach. 'Quiet' horses may look accepting of new things, but show their resistance in subtle ways. Unblinking eyes, tight mouth, wrinkly eyelids, twisted nostrils, high head, or low 'hiding' head with eyes shut to the world (aww look he's fallen asleep), stiff legs, irregular steps, tight tail, stiff ears, tight skin, ridgid stillness. Inside their brain is whirling and adrenaline is surging.

    At the second visit, I'm imagining he tried to express his opinion that it was all too much last time, and no way was he going to be fooled into it again. Most people miss the signals that a horse needs reassurance or retreat and push them instead. If the horse tries despite it's fear, or shows curiosity, it's reward is to be pushed harder or for more. Result is a Mexican standoff. Exactly the same issue as float loading problems.

    If you have to pull on his lead rope, you are forcing him.

    Just go for a walk along the beach with a horse that really enjoys playing with water. If your horse goes to even look at the water, rub him and lead him away to safety. A good rule of thumb is to do the complete opposite of what you feel you want to do, it will work better. Build his curiosity by allowing him heaps of time to investigate the beach himself, don't make him do anything, you will blow his try.

    If you have created a problem, I know Jayne Lavendar has spent the summer to date doing confidence with the beach sessions (great job huh?). The beach can be a relaxing place for your horse if you allow it to be.
  9. Motown

    Motown New Member

    Blah blah blah

    Where do I start... Well I was the "horsey friend" at the beach with this couple an I seriously think out of all "comments an opinions" only a couple of them where worth reading, this horse has not "lost his confidence" in this lady if anything he puts more then needed in to tryin his heart out for her this is a bond u rarley see in a horse an rider an they have come from him spooking at a puddle or odd shaped twig to her being able to skip next to him with his lead rope an ride bare back through the bush, he was not "forced" she rested him an played with him he had a off day, he was fine the first time at the Beach an was not over worked or pushed/broken it was a "fun hour or so" an he seemed to enjoy it no sign of nervousness or fear, it was a good experience for him she did things like bob under water to jump up on him his ears were forward at pretty much all times (how else do u open ur horse up to new things other then try them?? An be persistent an patient- which is wat I call 2 hours of trying!) as for the bum rope, backing up etc... U try getting dragged down a beach bya 650kg 17+hh horse an think of new non violent ideas to "encourage" him in to the water! Now this full grown woman (not amuture) asked for helpful options not critizum an "u broke ur horse" remarks, so plz if u know a strategy that may help let us know if not then plz feel free to keep it to urself thanks :)
  10. old_mate

    old_mate Well-known Member

    I stood just at the water line with my horse on a longish lead rope and left him to it. He dug in the sand went back and foward with the waves and had a general mess around.

    I did not try to force him into the water. We stayed about 2 hours and then left.
    Second time at the beach I did not wear my swim suit thinking that I would be lucky if the horse put a hoof tip in the water and the devil towed me in and then was swimming on the end of his lead rope. I was wearing jeans and did not even have a towel.

    Bloody horse from the first time with the snorting and jumping around I did not expect swimming untill the 3 or 4 trip.

    I would say dont force it and let the horse choose its own pace.
    I never had any luck trying to force my horse to do anything due to the fact that he was 16.2 and he knew it.
  11. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Arrh Motown welcome to Stockies:). Non violent to me would be just to cruise around on the shore line and totally ignore the water. Good post blackbat. What you say is very true about the 'quiet' horse.

    There is a lot of good information here MEDUCKIE, glean what you can from it and try what think will work. Be very careful of someone else influencing what you would like to do with your horse. Never ever hand over the power of someone handling or getting involved with your horse unless you really believe they know what they are doing. If your horse starts to react badly then it is usually an indicator that things are not right. Have the guts to say can I please have the lead rope back, thank the person for their assistance and then ask to be left to try things alone.

    Many many years ago I had a yearling lose an eye because I let a a so called horse expert teach him to float load. When he did not walk forward she wacked him over the face with the leadrope and damaged his eye permanently. That was 21 years ago never again did I allow anyone to do anything I did not approve of with my horses ever again.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  12. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    cool, sounds like you had a great time and no problems, keep doing what you're doing then :)

    remember that swimming in the water isn't the only measure of a successful beach visit. That's my offer of a strategy, change your definition of a good outcome. Good luck.
  13. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    Which beach did you take the horse to? Was it the same beach both times - with the same amount of horsey-traffic about?

    If you wanted try something a bit different (and you're in the Metro area), I'd be happy to show you an alternative spot - still with water, but not any horsey traffic to be a distraction, nor room to be towed up the beach, well not without getting the water - which is the goal anyway :)

    My 18hh, 1000kg horse has definitely taught me that the human just looks ridiculous trying to "force" him to do anything - so it's all about working as a team **)
  14. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Blackbat your hilarious!!
  15. Ali

    Ali Well-known Member

    I had totally the opposite experience last week. I took my yearling filly for her first trip to the beach. She has only done 4 float trips any where before and this was her longest time on a float (approx 35mins and on her own ) and she handled that great so that was the first achievement. When I got to the beach it was really busy and the carpark was packed so she had eyes out on stalks. I walked her down to the beach, let her have a sniff and a look around, all the time reassuring her. I led her to the edge of the water, it lapped her hooves and she had a little dance and backed up so I went with her, reassured her again, walked back towards the water (fairly loose lead rope) and to my surprise she went straight in and walked in until she was belly deep then just stood with me in there for nearly an hour just taking everything in. I was both surprised and pleased, I had taken her NOT expecting anything of her and yet she proved to be confident enough to follow me in. All I am saying is don't force anything on a horse that they are unsure of, they need time to 'process' things and see that they are in a safe situation. I'd suggest just take him down to the same place afew times and just lead him along the beach with no intention on trying to enter the water. It might take about half a dozen trips till he is willing to take a dip again but doing it without pressure is the calmest and safest way and the way that will instill confidence in the horse. Good luck with him.
  16. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member

    .........................Its still amazes me that anyone with any 'possible' ounce of equine understanding will get so offended at the prospect people assume, and respond to that is based SOLELY on what they are told, via the written word, ON a forum. Horses dont write letters, they communicate in the moment, via body language.

    I mean....cmon. Does YOUR horse write you letters every training session to describe how it went, is this how you form every response???

    NO. You read, and judge from observation for visual cues.....hopefully.

    Dont be offended when you get what you perceive as a less than a helpful response - when you expect it from a vitually impossible sourse......

    Get an instructor that can actually include the horse in the discussion, not just relay information based on the human perspective in the situation. And can support through the crisis - WHEN it is occuring....

    Crikey....I just dont get how people get so offended - I mean, they have never met you, or seen you before, why let other posters have the assumed power over your opinion of yourself, its like getting singing lessons from a person with no ears in most cases ???

    And likewise.....why bother posting helpful comments sometimes......

    My advice to those working on the horse in this situation - even if it is just the 'freind'. Learn patience, humility, learn to watch and listen without emotional knee jerk reactions, and learn to take a deep breath before acting.

    As this behaviour will not get you anywhere in the end, but injured - and on the ground.

    This is not a comment directed towards those very patient people sticking their neck out to help, its to those who do not have the humiltiy, or patience to listen - and not take offence.

    Thankyou....I am done.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  17. kiraSpark

    kiraSpark Gold Member

    **) **) What she said :p *#)

Share This Page