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[RC] Drink on Comand - Annie George

Ride on hot days let her get pretty thirsty to a point that you KNOW she will want to drink, then just as her nose touches the water you say firmly  "drink" keep that up every time you ride and if she is halfway smart she will get it. Not every horse will learn this, my old Boo wouldn't do it, and he was always a pill at the water, if anyone was around or 'looking' at him, he would clam up and that was that. But I have taught several horses to drink on command.  My current horse drinks on command. If he does not want to drink willingly he will at least mouth it, or play in it to get me to stop nagging, take a little sip and say there I drank. Sometimes that is enough to get him started, and he will drink even if he doesn't really need to, sometimes   not, but most of the time he will, and even a few swallows that he wouldn't otherwise take, helps keep us ahead of the game. It's a good thing to teach them anyhow. When that darn  rattlesnake bit on him lower lip he couldn't drink, when we were still at the Vets  I kept telling him to 'drink' out of the strange bucket, he kept trying till he did start to figure out how to suck water with a real big fat lip, the alternative was to tube or IV him, the Vet was absolutely amazed that any horse would try like that to drink on command. I just laughed and said when all else fails 'Heart'  will carry them thru, and heck some of them even pee on command.  He is a great Vet but new to endurance horses/riders.   Annie
Anne George Saddlery  www.vtc.net/~ageorge