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Re: [RC] Training to cross suspension bridge "Swinging Bridge" - Barbara McCrary

There have been discussions about the suspension bridge on Tevis before, and the sage advice has always been:  Ride only one horse at a time across, as more than one sets the bridge to swinging.  I suppose the same could be said for people walking across it.
----- Original Message -----
From: Dawn Simas
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 8:44 AM
Subject: [RC] Training to cross suspension bridge "Swinging Bridge"

Most all cross fine.  Do not walk directly in front of your horse when leading, because it doesn't start to move until you are halfway across and *if* they are inclined, may want to run you over to get off it. 
RE:  Training, I don't know how you could if you aren't local.  But, training a horse to trust you as a leader and follow you across unfamiliar things they want to refuse would be how I would go about it.  Go near a road flare, or cows, or whatever the horse is leary about and teach them that if they move past it and trust you, you will not let them get hurt. 
When I was riding drag (sweep on Tevis) a few years ago, there was a poor gal that couldn't get her horse to cross it.  She probably spent an hour or two and I had to finally lead him across the river (NOT a good crossing there) as there was no other way.  She was overtime by then and was out, because of the bridge.  So, it is worth preparing for. 
One tip also, what boggled the horse above's mind, it says one horse at a time I think.  If you start across before the horse in front is off it, it will be moving still.  The minute he put his front feet on it, he spun around and came off and then just didn't trust it.  If you wait, it is still when until you are committed, then they just scoot across if they start to doubt it.

[RC] Training to cross suspension bridge "Swinging Bridge", Dawn Simas