Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Swimming, and falling

Today was not such a successful day for swimming. Part of it may have been that a storm was coming in, and the horses sensed it before we did — I knew there was a possibility of thunderstorms, but I was hoping the weather wouldn't turn until after we finished swimming. No such luck!

Unlike last time, when he was the first one in the water, this time he was more or less refusing to get in.

Horses on the beach

I could feel that he was somewhat tense and jittery.

Riding bareback on the beach

Lily, one of the other horses, was reluctant to get in at first too, but came around much faster than last week.

Riding bareback on the  beach

My trainer, of course, had no problem whatsoever getting her horse to take the plunge!

Swimming with horses

Even with Siren's good example, though, Panama wasn't having any of it. After trying for several minutes to get him into the water, with no luck, I dismounted and waded in with him. That worked much better.

Swimming with horses

He played a little...

Swimming with horses

...and eventually got pretty far in with me.

Swimming with horses

I decided to try to get on, and my trainer gave me a leg up. Before I had a chance to get settled and find my balance, though, Panama started hustling out of the water. I think he was startled by how wet and cold I was on his back — he's not a fan of cold water, and the water was cold today!

Anyway, he was propelling himself hard with his back legs to get free of a squishy section of sand, and by the time he hit the beach he was starting to canter. Not having had my balance yet in the first place, there was no hope for me, and I hit the ground. The beach is rather rocky, so I knocked up my left knee and right thigh pretty good, but other than some bruising, I'm okay.

I didn't try getting on again after that, but we did do some more wading together. I forgave him for being a wing nut.

Swimming with horses

We waded in pretty deep together! There is something rather odd about feeling your underwear becoming saturated with cold lake water.

Swimming with horses

Shortly after this picture, the wind really started picking up, so we left the beach. Panama was a mess, jigging and practically dragging me up the hill, until we passed the other horses and were in front. Once there, he was able to calm down, although he was still very alert. It amuses me how scared he seems to be of being left behind, when it doesn't seem to bother him a bit to leave all the other horses behind.

I hope we get another chance to go swimming in good weather this year, because I don't want this to be Panama's last experience with swimming until next season. In the meantime, though, I'll be working on my canter and riding bareback — indoors, of course, where there will be no surprises!



At September 23, 2010 at 5:02 PM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Shoot. I was hoping the falling part would have been in the water instead of on the rocky beach, but who knows? Maybe you would have preferred hitting the beach since the water was so cold. Really nice pictures.

At September 23, 2010 at 10:16 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Yeah, as cold as that water was, it would have been a shock! But I suppose I would have gotten over it faster. My neck and shoulders are a little stiff today.

At September 27, 2010 at 9:23 PM, Blogger Oldqueen44 said...

That looks like a lot of fun. I don't think I would have a prayer "yet" of getting my horse in water like that. She takes a flying leap to get across a small canal, and only then because she thinks she is being left behind. It is quite amusing.

At September 27, 2010 at 11:02 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Oldqueen, have you tried going with someone else? Panama prefers to follow another horse across water usually. I also think a setup like this, where you can lead your horse right in, is ideal for helping them get used to water.


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