Along with this post about training and acclimating horses to our world and the weird things that make them afraid, here is one that is a great summer activity for everybody involved. Sprinkler training.
The horse that is being used in this video is particularly nervous around sprinklers. Trail riding during the summer time can be a nervous experience for this guy and it’s just not nice to leave him that way. It’s important as the owners and riders of horses that we make sure we can get them to a place where they feel good and comfortable with anything they come across. If you happen to find something while out on a trail ride that bothers them, it’s your responsibility to note that down and work on it as soon as possible. Every single success, big or small, empowers both yourself and your horse for the next time. The experience will carry over well to the next obstacle you come across, there never seems to be a shortage.
In this video I am using just a generic back and forth (oscillating) sprinkler, others like the impact sprinklers that rotate around based on water pressure and make a noise while doing so, can tend to worry the horse a bit more. Obviously depending on the pressure of the sprinkler it can be undesirable, or possibly painful, so choose the first one with that in mind as the idea is to get the horse ok with sprinklers, not have a bad experience.
It should be noted that by pure coincidence this sprinkler failed about 3/4 the way through and got stuck going in one direction. This was really ideal in the end as after walking around a perpetually moving stream we could finally just go back and forth through a statically placed stream. Both should be done though, this would have been more incomplete with just one or the other style.
While this is a great start, it’s clear that he still hasn’t made it to a point where he isn’t bothered to wander into the stream. That will take a bit more time, but in the end this was a great experience that we should be able to build on for the next time. At the very least, he should not be overly concerned the next time we go out. At least for this type of sprinkler.