Q&A About WATER CROSSING and PRANCING HOME

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Q&A About WATER CROSSING and PRANCING HOME

Post by Chelsie Kallestad on Sat May 15, 2010 2:09 am

Here is a Question that someone asked me on my Q&A page on my website. I thought it might be helpful to some others also. It is on water crossing and prancing home.




Hi Chelsie,
I have a very nice 6 yr. old grulla mare that I have had since she was a
yearling. I have had her to two professional trainers and she is coming
along very well and I enjoy riding her. The problem I have is, a few years
ago, My mare and I were crossing a creek and we got caught in a mud bog. I
ended up bailing off so she could get herself out of the mud. She
struggled, but was able to get out. Now, I can get her to cross water if
the crossing is wide, has distinct boundaries and shallow, but if she sees
anything that looks like the mud bog, she either tries to jump it or refuses
to cross it. I just want her to get her confidence back and trust me again.
I led her down the wrong path and now she is scared. How can I get her to
walk through creeks again without jumping or refusing?



Hello,

Thanks for the email and question. Your mare sounds very nice and that is too bad that you guys had that experience. As you said you are going to have to rebuild her confidence in you as her leader and that you will not put her in danger again. You can build that trust but you have to think of it every minute you are with her. That means that when ever she is afraid of something you don’t push her past her confidence level or threshold of fear.

Here is a Q&A about Thresholds http://www.chelsienaturalhorsemanship.net/AskChelsie3.html It is not your same problem but it talks about Thresholds, so read it in theory and apply it to your problem.

If you never push her past her fear before she is ready she will start to learn that you are not going to miss lead her. Same goes with at the creek, if she feels that she needs to jump it then that means you were putting a little too much pressure on her to go over it. She needs to go over it in her own time and if you give her the time most likely she will not feel the need to jump. So when at the creek make her face it, if you can even make her go up to it and smell it and drink out of it. It would be wonderful if you would get her to step just one foot in and then bring it back out, then step her 2 front feet in and then back out, and so on until she is comfortable to just stand in the creek with her 2 front feet and then eventually all 4 feet, before even going through it and onto the other side.

I hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions,

Chelsie Kallestad
www.chelsienaturalhorsemanship.com
928-713-3468


Hi Chelsie,

Thanks so much for answering my question, I have been working as you say and she is coming along, but I am sure it will take some time. The problem with letting her do things in her own time is that I am usually riding with others and they get impatient. I have started riding her alone more and have challenged her to some small puddles of water and we walked through some muddy fields yesterday. She is doing well except for getting way too excited when we turn to go home. She tries to run or gets jiggy and I take her in circles, do figure 8s or other things which excite her even more. Yesterday I got so nervous that she was going to run away with me that I got off 4 times and lunged her, then got back on. She was fine for a short distance and started again. I finally got off and we walked home. Figured it was better to be safe than sorry. I do make her walk behind me and she does well that way. When we got back home, three miles later, I got back on, worked in the arena for a short time and all she wanted to do was go back to the other horses. I let her go to them and then we worked on turns, backing, etc what ever I could think of to let her know it wasn’t much fun being with the others. She finally figured it out and then walk away. I am working on it, but don’t know if I am doing it right. How can I get her to not want to run home and be with the other horses? 3 miles is a long way to walk in a bean field!



Hello,

Yes it is hard when you ride with other people for those people to be patient. If those people care about you and about your horse and horsemanship they will be patient and wait until you have your horse’s confidence up for you to walk through the water. But I know that is hard. Here is a few Q&As that you might find helpful for your other problem about coming home. http://www.chelsienaturalhorsemanship.net/AskChelsie3.html

And you said that you will do figure 8s and thing and it only upsets her. Here is a link that will explain Lateral Flexion. http://www.chelsienaturalhorsemanship.net/AskChelsie24.html This is what I would do with her when she feels upset and do it until you feel her take a deep breath, lick her lips, sign, and just relax. Also as you said you are better safe than sorry. There is nothing wrong with getting off and taking care of the problem and then getting back on. Also what you are doing when you get home is good. Don’t just take her home let and be with her friends and feed her. Make her work a little when you get her home. With time, patients and consistence she will get better and you will have more fun.

Let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you more.

Thanks,
Chelsie Kallestad
www.chelsienaturalhorsemanship.com
928-713-3468
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Re: Q&A About WATER CROSSING and PRANCING HOME

Post by Admin on Sun May 16, 2010 8:24 am

Thanks Chelsie, for posting this. I have a similar problem with my colt. We were crossing a washed out creek bed and there was a narrow, high part of the bank that extended towards the other side. Instead of taking the path I had encouraged him to take, he opted to take the high ground and ended up falling down each side and straddling the high bank, grounding himself on his stomach. He really struggled to get off of it and then up the bank. He has since flat refused to cross there ever since and we've had to find alternate routes over this stream. Any other stream in the county and he's all about stepping right in. THIS stream though, he just can't get over his fear. We're trying your approach...

Tracey
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Re: Q&A About WATER CROSSING and PRANCING HOME

Post by Chelsie Kallestad on Tue May 18, 2010 12:01 pm

Great, thanks. Keep me updated about your progress.
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