Can Horses Swim: Why, How, Benefits, All Critical Faqs


Can Horses Swim: Why, How, Benefits, All Critical Faqs

There are several perceptions about the swimming of horses, we are going to discuss about various aspects for the swimming abilities and other related frequently asked questions .

Majority of the Horse breeds can swim well, but training is required to some extent for efficient swimming. Presence of enlarged lungs help them to float in water ,but as they find difficulty in breathing underwater, they tend to keep their head over the water and their legs trotting through the water while swimming.

If you introduce your horse with Sea water for the first time ,it might get scared but eventually with efficient training it gets the confidence and get used to it.

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Image Credit: Pixabay

Lets discuss several aspects of swimming of a horse in detail :

How Do Horses Swim ?

Horses take the below strategies and process to perform Swimming :

  • Horses do ‘trotting’ through the water to get the forward momentum while submerging into water and their body would stay afloat.
  • Horses keep their heads, mouse, nose above water level as they are unable to breathe underwater.
  • Horse keep their ear above water level so that water should not get into their ear, which potentially can cause health issues. That is because a horse’s ear canal passes down towards the face side into caverns that have no lower opening and resulting into inability to drain the water unlike human ear.
  • Swimming of horses likely to increase the heart rate and breathing and it is suggested to not to hinder any horse movements while they try to swim.
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There are several benefits of Swimming For Horses but you should consider few points before you start training your horse for swimming .

What Are The Benefits Of Swimming For Horses?

There are several benefits of swimming for horses , like :

Strengthening and training the horses muscle tissues

  • Swimming for horses strengthens the muscle tissues while preventing the muscle spasms or stiffness and increase the muscle flexibility and overall balance.
  • Muscle fiber alterations enhances the strength training fitness and resulting the less scope of injuries.
  • Swimming helps in enhancing less trained muscle flexibilities without carrying much of weight and improves overall balance as well
  • Swimming improves insulin-glucose metabolism

Resistance and cardio vascular performance training

  • Swimming enhances the short time cardiovascular performance resulting greater performance.
  • Swimming also promotes the resistance and balance training as water supports body weight .
  • Swimming in slightly cool water is beneficial for pain and swelling reduction .
  • Through swimming horses can maintain or increase fitness without putting much of stress on injured joints, ligaments.

Along with all the above benefits swimming of horses also boost up the immune system and mental health .

Now lets try to understand the capacity of horses to swim

How Far Can Horses Swim or How Long Can a Horse Swim ?

To deduce how long or how far can horses swim we need to understand few maths through we can derive the understanding

Generally horses can swim 9-15 minutes at a stretch with a speed of 4km per hour but it may vary widely depending on horses health and performance. Horse can run 2 miles at a stretch without rest in 30 minutes, requiring 200 calories which is equivalent to 9-15 minutes of horses swimming.

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Lets break it down into below maths :

1 mile running requires 100 calories hence 2 miles require 200 calories.

200 calories swimming is equals to 30 minutes of swimming , so deducing from the numbers we can conclude horses can swim for 9-15 minutes and then it should take some rest before the next leap. Here we have to consider that horse faces some difficulty while breathing underwater so you should be giving adequate rest to your horse while training horses for swimming .

Can Horses Swim With A Rider ?

It might be very interesting to know whether you can ride your horse while its swimming

Majority of cases horses can have rider while they are swimming, however you need to follow certain rules such as

  • Rider should not hinder horse’s movement .
  • Rider should not obstruct horse’s natural swimming actions.
  • Rider should keep the rein loose .
  • Rider should not force the horse to instruct the swimming direction by interfering its head movement.
  • Rider should remove the saddle while swimming .
  • The rider’s weight should be under the limit as water already acts as resistance.

We have majorly discussed the various important aspects of a horses swimming, here are few more interesting facts or frequently asked question around it

Horse To Bathe Swim - Free photo on Pixabay

Image Credit: Pixabay

Can All Horses Swim?

Majority of the horses can swim with some handholding with proper training but the likings and interest again varies from horse to horse. Proper interest and safety measures in horses swimming can turn out to be a good exercise for overall performance and health.

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Can Horses Be Taught to Swim?

In general horses are born with natural instinct of swimming, though it is not advisable to allow your horse in water deeper than 12 to 15 feet even though they are accustomed with swimming and also not deeper than 2 feet at the beginning of the training in the Swimming pool .

Do Horses Float?

Horses float pretty well in the water due to the presence of the huge lungs which acts as a buoyancy factor, keeping their head well above the water as they can not breathe underwater and having the risk of ear issues. Horses put their whole stamina to trot through the water while swimming.

Conclusion : We tried to cover all the aspects and facts related to the swimming of horses, horses can be trained to good swimmers and it has substantial health benefits but while training and swimming with your horses you have to take precautions and consider the health conditions of your horses as well.

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