One on the advantages of having Remi a barefoot horse again is that I can take him swimming in the lake without having to worry about him pulling shoes off in the mud. The temp has been over 100 for the past week so this morning my friend, Sharon, and I went to the lake to swim the horses.
I know Remi loves the water because he used to swim in the tank at one of the places I kept him before. In fact the first time he went in the tank he went totally under water for about 20 seconds and we thought he had drown. He came up obviously in pure delight and made swimming part of his regular pattern at long as he was in the pasture with the tank.
I have been having challenges lately with Remi being tense and reactive. As a Metal/Earth Yang Ming horse temperament he is not responding that well to my efforts to desensitize him. It is not that he is naturally at tense horse but he has had some rough treatment and he keeps expecting it again. In working with Remi I have learned to be patient with him and repeat his lessons many times. It seems it takes him as long to unlearn behavior as it takes him to learn it.
His behavior in the lake was fascinating. He was obviously excited to be in the water and laid down right away to get himself wet all over. I took him out chest deep and waited before I got on. He yawned and groaned like he was releasing energy. He was still jumpy when I splashed water on him but he did not try to move off. When I got on him he was jumpy at first when my legs touched him but the longer we walked in the chest deep water the more relaxed he got.
After a few minutes he looked longingly toward the deeper water and we went for a real swim. It was so cool! At one point his whole rear end dropped out from under me and only his head was out of the water. I just held his mane. I have been in the water with horses before but never had one actually swim. After the brief swim Remi seemed to be completely relaxed. For perhaps the first time since I have had him he seemed to be having fun. I can’t wait to take him again and see if he relaxes right away. Madalyn