The answer is yes, horses can swim. In fact, they are very good swimmers due to their huge lungs that allow them to float naturally. Horses have a natural instinct to swim when they reach deep water, and they paddle easily. as an action, not unlike a jogging action. A horse’s natural abilities are necessary as a means of survival.
How Horses swim to survive in the wild!
Horses are born with a swimming instinct. They have survived for thousands of years due to their innate ability to adapt and travel. This is an important trait as their ability to find more abundant food sources ensured the equine species’ survival. This journey to greener pastures often involved crossing rivers, not only to find these important food sources, but also to avoid danger. This is similar to today’s zebras and is part of the herd’s natural movement, best demonstrated during the great migration of
between Kenya’s Maasai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti en route to better grazing areas.
How Do Horses Swim?
As long as a horse maintains its forward motion in water, its body will remain afloat. Because horses cannot breathe underwater, they naturally keep their heads above the surface. They keep their mouth and nose above the water, which allows them to breathe. The most effective way for a horse to swim is with an action similar to that of a paddle. Due to the natural resistance of water, this form of exercise is physically demanding for a horse and is therefore likely to increase heart rate and cause heavy breathing. When a horse is swimming, it’s important to allow him to do what feels natural in the water and not impede any movement.
Can You Ride A Horse When It Is Swimming?
You can absolutely ride a horse while swimming and it’s exciting to feel its power propelling you through the water. However, it is extremely important that you do not impede your horse’s movement. Although horses can swim naturally, this is not necessarily the most natural action, so be careful not to impede them. It’s also important to keep the reins loose so as not to block the natural movement of the horse’s head in the water. You should also remove the saddle before swimming so that the horse can only move to a limited extent.
Horses can swim and float naturally, and swimming on horseback is totally possible. Swimming also offers myriad benefits for equine physical conditioning and rehabilitation. If done responsibly, swimming on horseback is an amazing and unique experience. It’s important to remember that each horse’s ability is different. , depending on relative factors and also on the swimming conditions. We know because we horses live and breathe!