Unexpected water obstacle for Charlie

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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When I got home yesterday evening the water main just down from our house had sprung a leak, and there were little rivers about 50 cm wide running down either side of the lane.

They were still there this morning, with big blue barriers around the hole, and the road was closed. I had planned to take Charlie for a walk with Ute, my livery mate, but we agreed that this was a great opportunity to get him accustomed to something new. Although it has rained since he arrived, I've never been on the road with him in heavy rain or when there was enough water to run across the road. But that does happen when it really pours, and you never know, so better he gets used to it!

I have taken some pictures to show you the lie of the land, though I can't take any when I am with him alas. There was a little stream running down the road at the bottom of the narrow ramp where we come out of the field:
IMG_4196.JPG

He sniffed it and then jumped it - I was expecting that and stood well back! We couldn't go and look at the barriers because by the time we got there there was a big red van with flashing lights, so we looked at the van, but that didn't bother him. He seemed more concerned by the smell and sound of running water. He was on high alert as we walked down to the bottom of the lane (about 70 metres). The bottom of the lane used to be a ford, and the water had brought down lots of sand and gravel and made a huge puddle so there was once again effectively a little ford on the road with narrow streams running into it from either side of the tarmac. Here is the ford as we arrived at it:
IMG_4198.JPG
Charlie hesitated, sniffed the water, and once again tried to clear it, but landed in it anyway. He was concerned but didn't seem overfaced, so we walked on to say hello to the Road Closed signs just beyond. These were very boring.

We turned then to try the ford again because I hoped to get him walking calmly through the water. This is it from the other side:
IMG_4199.JPG

On the first time back we had a mishap with the rope and Charlie got stressed because the rope was wet and between his legs, but Ute caught his halter and he stood quietly enough (in one of the streams) while I got it sorted out. Back through the ford again, and he came along beside me but trotted and curvetted a bit. I gave him a moment on the other side to chill, and when we went back through homeward bound he walked quietly through the water. On the way back up the hill his head was low, sniffing and lipping at the water in the streams.

He was still quite excited, and although he walked over (rather than jumping) the rivulet at the bottom of the ramp he was a bit bargy coming back up the ramp into the field, but I was so pleased at how brave he is. He's also really compliant. When I ask him to move forward, he almost always does, even if it's only one foot at a time. He is a good boy.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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What a great training opportunity :) glad to hear he handled it well. Not so long ago on one of my rides we tackled the river (only about a foot deep at the time), a friend had brought his youngster along, it did not end well. The pony leapt in and of course splashed water which then set him off leaping more and more, eventually trying to go up a sheer bank and ditching his rider in the drink :eek: so getting those leaping in moments done in hand is a great idea :)
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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What a great training opportunity :) glad to hear he handled it well. Not so long ago on one of my rides we tackled the river (only about a foot deep at the time), a friend had brought his youngster along, it did not end well. The pony leapt in and of course splashed water which then set him off leaping more and more, eventually trying to go up a sheer bank and ditching his rider in the drink :eek: so getting those leaping in moments done in hand is a great idea :)
Eek!

Yes, I had a long term plan to take him to a ford, but the nearest one is a good 3 mile walk so it wouldn't have been for some time. I'm kind of hoping they won't fix the leak for a few days!
 
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Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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Oh, you've got so many "firsts" to look forward to! Glad this one went so well :D. Remembering them all with Ramsey - 1st scary log, 1st barky dog, 1st donkey, cow, and our nemesis - 1st pig :eek:. Charlie sounds as though he's being a little trooper.
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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Well done Charlie, what a good boy. Fantastic opportunity for him. :)
Funny isn't it though, both Oscar and Belle have never given water a second thought, I never even considered they would bother, but some of the liveries on our yard are petrified of the ford we go through and no way will they even step in it unless Belle goes in first. I guess I just got lucky that the two I've had have clearly seen and dealt with water before.
 
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