After coming back to Italy, I would like to tell you about my best summer memory from Norway. We actually went swimming with stallions!
My neighbors in the island have a farm full of horses amd other animals. They also have a nice riding ground and a beach just underneath!
One day they let me borrow one of the black trotter horses to go swimming in the sea. It was a warm and sunny day and the beach seemed to be in Hawaii instead of Norway!
The girl in the farm gave me one of the stallions and I walked carefully next to him with only sandals on my feet! I was quite released when I could jump on his back and feel that my feet were safe!
In the beginning the horses didn’t want to enter into the water very easily. But after getting scared of a small wave, my horse decided to go further. It didn’t take long until they were both inside up to the stomach.
At this point they started to give each other courage and soon they were both swimming in the deep sea! What an amazing feeling!
Never rush into new situations
There is no need to rush a horse into new things. You should always give them the time they need for exploring new situations. Encourage them with your voice and a bit of leg pressure at the same time. Make them feel that you are having fun.
If you want to teach your horse to swim, make sure you’re entering into the water with a more experienced horse by your side. In my case I had support from the other horse that had been swimming once or twice before.
Some recreational time
Normally these horses are doing harness racing. I believe that it’s good for any race horse to get some recreational time and experiencing new things. This will for sure help them to stay happy longer.
I also believe that stallions need to have a free life outdoors in paddocks, just like the mares and the geldings.
Stallions in a box
Unfortunately I see a lot of stallions being “stored” in a box here in Italy. There is this common idea that stallions need to be kept safely locked up all day (and night). I believe this is awful!
So I’m happy to have been able to show you two happy (and kindly) stallions living a totally natural life in paddocks. They look at mares all day long and nothing happens! That’s why there are electric fences.