Advanced Water Crossing


Even the most experienced trail horses will resist some types of water crossings because their instincts tell them it is unsafe. These might include:

  • Steep descents into the water
  • Thick mud along the banks
  • A soft surface under the water
  • Anything floating in the water
  • Rapidly moving water
  • A reflection off the water
  • Large rocks and boulders in the water

When you encounter any of these, listen to your horse and act accordingly. Always be prepared to dismount and test the surface yourself. If you find yourself sinking in thick mud or you can’t determine if the surface under the water is safe, then don’t attempt to cross it. If the current is strong or deep, find another, safer route. You don’t want to undo all the good water-crossing training you’ve done or, more importantly, get into a situation where you or your horse can be injured.

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