Horses Can Swim, Right?

Horses can swim, right? Well, they sure can! Horses are natural swimmers. They don’t need to be taught how to swim- it just comes naturally to them. Horses have been known to “swim” for hours on end without any issue or problem whatsoever. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that horses can’t swim because they’re not buoyant in the water like most other animals- but this isn’t true at all!

Are horses good swimmers?

All horses can naturally swim, but does that mean that they are good at it? That can be debated. Horses are not the best swimmers in the world- but they’re undoubtedly capable of swimming for hours on end and even being able to save themselves if necessary. 

Horses don’t like water because they can’t see what’s in front of them, and there may be predators lurking below the surface.

Horses can also be conditioned to enjoy the water by giving them baths, taking them to the beach or lake, and playing with toys in the pool. This helps them grow accustomed to being around water without fear of swimming.

Do you think your horse might enjoy swimming?

Here’s a list of safety precautions you should take before heading out into the water with your horse:

  • Always make sure there is plenty of fresh drinking water available near the edge of the pool/lake /river for your horse to drink.
  • If possible, remove the saddle from your horse before entering the water, so it’s easier and less stressful for them. Also, the heavier weight of a wet saddle can be uncomfortable on their back as they try to balance in the water.

Best swimming horse breeds

Some of the best horse breeds for swimming are the Arabian, Thoroughbred, and Quarter Horse. These breeds can all swim with ease and have a natural affinity for being around water.

The Arabian

The Arabian horse is a naturally good swimmer.


The Thoroughbred

The Thoroughbred breed was developed originally for racing but can also be good at swimming due to their intelligence, size, and athleticism. They can quickly swim over long distances without tiring as easily as other breeds of horse.

Quarter Horse

The Quarter Horse is also a good swimmer but can tire more quickly than the Thoroughbred. However, they are still an intelligent breed and can adjust to different water conditions with ease.

Horse breeds that are not bred for swimming tend to be short-legged or have long backs, making it difficult for them to balance in the water when they swim.

Horse breeds that don’t make great swimmers

The breeds that don’t swim very well would include the Shetland pony and Welsh ponies.

Shetland Ponies are not great swimmers because of their body size. Welsh ponies are the same as they tend to sink rather than float!

Round-Mouthed breeds

The French Trotter is a round-mouthed breed that can’t swim well because of their two front legs, which drag them to the bottom of the water when they try to navigate through it.

Do you nbeed to train your horse to swim?

A horse can swim with little instruction. It is intuitive to them. They will get their heads and front legs wet when they drink from a water source or standing water nearby, so it would not be unusual for horses to wade into the nearest body of water without any hesitation. Horses love swimming in streams or lakes that are shallow enough for them to stand in.

Tips for riding your horse through water

If you need to cross a river with your horse, make sure you’re close enough to shore so he or she doesn’t panic and rear up on land before plunging into the water headfirst.

If your horse is a strong swimmer, you can let him or her go at their own pace. However, your horse will feel more confident if he/she can wade into the water and stand in it without any assistance from you. If your horse struggles to stay afloat with his head above water, then help steady them by placing one hand on their shoulder and the other on his flank.

Be sure to provide your horse with a drink after they get out of the water so that he can replenish lost fluids. Horses need at least two gallons (about ninety minutes) worth of water each day for healthy living.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that even though horses naturally have the instinct to swim, it doesn’t mean that all horses are great swimmers. You can teach them to be better around water with some time and patience. Remember that the horse is a huge animal, and you should practice safe training techniques when it comes to having your horse learn how to swim!