Clinton Anderson: Teach Your Horse to Cross Water – Downunder Horsemanship

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(upbeat music) (mellow music) – So sooner or later mate
you’re gonna come across some water with your
horse either on the trail or around your own property, okay. Again, the trick is not
to make the horse feel like you wanna get him in the water ’cause the more you say get
in the water, get in the water the more he thinks you’re
trying to drown him for the insurance money, okay. So with a puddle like this for
example it’s a great place. I’ve got some room to move around. I’m just gonna circle him
around and redirect those feet. Again I’m gonna make a game of this. I’m not gonna try to get him in there. Any time he’s stiff on that bridle bend him around, soften him up. Don’t let that horse grab that bridle. So the more you say get in
the water, get in the water the less they wanna get in the water. Just keep redirecting their feet. Bend him around here. Get him to soften to me. Go back this way. Roll back here. Roll back here, and then all of a sudden see how he stepped in it just then? Usually when they’ll do
that they’ll step in it then they’ll kinda jump
away from it, okay. Don’t worry about that. Just keep their feet moving ’cause every time the
horse steps into the puddle and he doesn’t get hurt it’ll just build his confidence
just a little more. See there’s two steps, and you just keep building this until eventually the horse
gets lazy enough, there, that pretty soon he starts
doing a screaming U turn. There, and there, good boy. There that’s even better again. If he’ll drink out it that’s
even better again, okay. So if you’re teaching your
horse to accept water, do it at the end of a day. Let him play in it if he wants to. Be careful he doesn’t lay down. If they go to lay down drive
them forward straight away and get those feet moving. That’s it. So now I’m just gonna go
ahead and train him now and move him through the water. I just pretend the water’s not here. Okay, so I’m gonna bend him
around here, soften him up. Get him to give to that bridle then walk him back through it again. Okay, soften him up,
bend him around again. Walk him back through it again. I keep going through it til he kinda acts like the water’s not even there. So this is a great little
what I’ll call starter puddle to build a horse’s confidence
going through water. It’s not real deep, okay. I’ve got room to move his feet around. Now what we’ll do is we’ll
pretend we’re on a trail, and I don’t have this
grass on either side. I have to stay on this area here. So a couple of my options
would be approach and retreat. Go up to it, stop. (tongue clicks) Back away, wait til he
softens to the bridle, there, wait til he softens to
the bridle, there, there. So approach again. Just before he wants to stop you stop him. Back him up. See him pulling that bridle? Wait, there, there, be
fanatical about softening to his face when he gives to it. Wait, there, there, there, okay. And you keep using approach
and retreat until eventually he’ll take one step in the
water, and then back him up. (tongue clicks) Use your legs, your feet move his feet. And then every time you come up they have a little bit more
confidence to go up there. Now this is not my first
choice by any means, okay. It’s really my last,
what I’m showing you now ’cause it’s the least effective. But sometimes you don’t
have a lot of room. My next favorite one would
be just to circle him here, even if I could only stay at the walk, and then roll him back into the puddle. Stay on the path. Every time I come round to the
water I turn back this way. Okay, this’ll be effective as well. It’s not as good as being
able to trot him around it, but it’s still effective. Okay, then turn him back into it again. And then pretty soon you’re in the puddle. Okay, good boy. Let him rest in that water. You will find, I promise you, if you will just take the time to build your horse’s confidence at home in a controlled environment,
like we made this puddle here. We just got the hose, threw it out here for three or four hours, and
filled up this natural low area that fills up with water
every time it rains. So we created this for the filming. You can do the same thing at home. I want Elvis to, I wanna
build his confidence. So what I’m gonna do is set up an obstacle that’s a little difficult, then the next one’s more difficult, then the next one’s more difficult, and pretty soon I can ride the
damn thing off Niagara Falls. Okay, but you’ve gotta build up to that. Don’t just throw your
horse in the deep end and wonder why he drowns. You gotta build his confidence mate. Good job Elvis. (drum beats) – [Announcer] Want more? Get more. (upbeat music) The No Worries Club is the
best way to get the most out of your training experience. Stick around to find out more. (mellow music) – Hey mate, Clinton Anderson here. For the past 20 years I’ve devoted my life to creating the best training
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