My horse will not go through puddles. He will do anything to not go through them, bucking, jumping (he will jump it even if its like 5 meters long), hopping, throwing his head..etc. How do I get him to believe its ok to go through them. I have tryed walking him through the puddles and showing him its okay but he will drag me over the puddle by jumping it. Help!

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Comment by Maria Brown on September 10, 2013 at 8:40am
this one horse I was training hated puddles. she would run sideways, snort, buck, etc. would not go within ten feet of puddle. so I got off and hand walked her by it a few times. she followed me and only looked at it a few times. then I walked through the puddle and she stopped at it but soon followed me in. once she was in, I stopped her and gave her a treat. we did that a few more times and she never had another problem with puddles! :)
Comment by Marlene Thoms on September 10, 2013 at 12:30am

Oh, and one thing to be sure, do not, pull back on the reins in any way. If you are tense about him jumping, and pull his nose in at all, you are telling him not to go, so loose relaxed rein, just enough control to keep him pointed in the direction of the target, then loosen and relax yourself.

Comment by Marlene Thoms on September 10, 2013 at 12:24am

I had a similar problem with my arab gelding, only it was with a step-through gate. It's a gate of aluminum bars with a v in the middle, allowing the horse to step over and through without opening the gate. Well he wouldn't do it for love or money. I tried being firm, I tried being patient, he just wouldn't step over. He steps over logs fine. Anyway here's what finally worked. I did it from the ground first, I stood right at the gate, on the same side with him, next to him, and tapped very gently on the top of his butt. I just kept tapping, if he stepped forward even a tiny bit, I stopped tapping for a moment. Then I started tapping again. The first time it took about twenty minutes to get him over (still way faster than all my previous efforts). He tapped the gate with his foot many times, I didn't scold in any way, all efforts were rewarded with stopping the tapping momentarily. I did not change my demeanor or become more inisistent. As soon as he went through, I praised him and a small piece of carrot magically appeared for him. Probably I should have repeated the exercise right there, but there was another gate down the trail a bit, sit I mounted and we went through the exercise down there. At any rate, each time, I started from scratch, but the whole process took less and less time. Eventually I did the same mounted and it worked, a little tricky at first, but he eventually became pretty good at it, and needed just a couple of taps, and we were through. I always praised and gave a carrot treat when he completed. To do this with a puddle, you should have good water proof boots, because you could be standing in it for some time the first few times. you could probably train at home, but be aware it will still be a bit tricky the first few times on a trail. Someone else probably has a faster method, but it worked for us.

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