Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Swimming with the horses!

Actually, it ended up being more like wading, as we didn't go out far enough to actually swim. This is the lake where we swam — it's a short walk down the road, then down a short trail to the beach:

Taking the horses to the beach

Panama was pretty excited about it, and was the first one into the water. This surprised me a little, since even though he does stream crossings on the trail all the time, he doesn't like to be first. But the water was clear and not rushing, so maybe it helped that he was able to see the bottom (where there wasn't a ton of algae on the surface, that is).

Bareback riding on the beach

Panama went in pretty deep (for him) with very little encouragement from me. He went in deep enough to get the underside of his belly wet. He also copied my trainer's horse, who liked playing in the water, pawing and splashing. But after doing this for about 15 minutes, Panama decided he'd had enough, and started refusing to go in.

Bareback riding in the lake

After about ten minutes of fussing, I did get him in again, but he wouldn't go as deep as he had before. We took these pictures around that time, which is why he isn't in very far in any of them.

Swimming with the horses

Please excuse my poor posture in these pictures. I was pretty relaxed and just letting him poke around in the water. Oh, and please excuse my white legs, too! Can you tell that almost the only time I see the sun is out at the barn, when I'm wearing jeans?

Swimming with my horse

When Panama hit his block and stopped wanting to go in the water, we did have one slightly alarming, but totally funny, incident. Without the water to focus on anymore, he started looking into the grass and trees surrounding the beach, and I could feel that he was getting tense. Then he started snorting at the dead plant life that had washed up on the beach — as if it hadn't been there the whole time!

Finally, he tried to pick up a big stick that was stuck in the sand. When he bit down on the stick and it shifted everything around it, he scared himself, and jumped to the side. I came right off — as I knew I would if he spooked — but I landed on one foot and kept my balance. My trainer said she heard me say, "Oops!" and turned around to see me with one leg still in the air!

I was barefoot and the beach was rocky, but I don't remember it hurting me. Panama stopped only about 10 feet away, so I went over and grabbed his reins, and used the opportunity to lead him into the water. It was after that that we took these pictures, except for the first one, which I took when we first got to the beach.

Even though I think Panama lost interest in it partway through, taking him down to the lake was a lot of fun. I am hoping we can do it again soon!



At September 15, 2010 at 5:03 PM, Blogger jane augenstein said...

Glad you weren't hurt, hope you can get him to go in deeper water the next time! I used to swim with my first horse in a big pond, so much fun!!! He would swim across and would hold onto his mane and just float along....loved it. don't know if I would try that with Gil or not, I'm chicken! LOL and not a good swimmer at all!

At September 15, 2010 at 5:08 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

I'm glad I wasn't hurt too, Jane, as I was pretty worried about him dumping me during a spook -- he's narrow and I'm not that good yet bareback, even if I have figured out how to sit the trot a bit better! I'm a pretty good swimmer, but I'll be hesitant to go too deep, because I don't know how good of a swimmer he is, and I don't want to have to rescue him! LOL

At September 15, 2010 at 6:40 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Lake riding is fun. I usually go this time of year as theres not a billion people down there.

At September 16, 2010 at 12:42 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

This time of year is great in Colorado, Sydney, because it's still warm and sunny, but a little bit more bearable -- and all the kids are back in school, so the rest of us can enjoy the milder weather uninterrupted! I can tell that the park where we trail ride is quieting down, too. Luckily, though, this beach is rather hidden and probably doesn't often have people on it -- there is a big public beach on the other side of the lake (or is it on the other lake entirely? there are two) so I think people probably just go there.


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