Can Horses Run on Water? (Watch This Video!)

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  • Post last modified:September 4, 2023
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If you are someone who loves horses, the sight of these creatures running on water is nothing new to you. 

It could be while watching a movie on horses or in one of the many books you read on them. 

But some of you are still not sure. Is it possible for this beast of an animal to move its huge frame through the waves of a beach? In other words, can horses run on water? 

Well, read on. Let’s see. 

Can Horses Run on Water?

2 Black Horse Running on Body of Water Under Sunny Sky

Can horses run on water?

The surprising truth is that horses can run on water with a few exceptions. There are some who, even with all the right training, just won’t get the hang of it. 

But most horses can swim, all thanks to their body’s natural floatation mechanisms that make galloping in water so easy that some can even cross an entire stream. 

To explain the above, all horses are born with huge lungs, a gift that helps them stay afloat so they can easily swim in the water. 

To explain further, a horse has lungs that can hold 14.5 gallons of air, which is enough to help them stay afloat in the water. 

How Fast Can Horses Run on Water?

Horses have, from times past, been animals of survival, and it is perhaps this need that developed in them the ability to swim. 

So, to answer the above question, a horse can go at a speed of 88 km/hr when in the water. 

They can use this skill to escape wild animals, find food, and, in general, survive. But that is in the case of wild horses. 

A horse growing in your stable, on the other hand, is going to require some hand-holding from you. 

Must Read: Do Horses Fart?

Horses Running in Water – (Video)

Do Horses Sink in Water?

Yes, it is a possibility, and there are chances. The thing about a horse is that it may not see clearly, and so may not know how deep the water is. 

And horses, like most animals, cannot breathe in water. However, unlike humans, they cannot hold their breath for long, which makes drowning more of a possibility with an untrained horse in the water. 

This makes the initial training very important. How long they take to learn can differ from horse to horse, so be patient, lest your horse never overcomes his fear of sinking. 

Do Horses Like Walking Through Water?

This again differs from horse to horse. While some horses simply love water and swimming, some can find it plain scary. 

As an owner, you need to know which category your horse falls in so you can decide how best to train him. 

The reason for the latter could range from simply not liking to get wet to a bad experience of drowning in the past, so make sure that you are patient with a horse that does not like swimming. 

How Do Horses Walk in Water?

The general rule is to constantly maintain a forward momentum when they are in the water, and most horses learn this soon enough, beginning with a paddle-like action and increasing in speed as they go. 

Horses that way are similar to dogs in their way of learning how to swim in water. They are similar to humans in the fact that they enjoy swimming in water. 

However, they can go through some amount of resistance in the beginning, which can increase their heart rate and breathing. So, make sure that you don’t push a horse too hard, especially in those initial days of training. 

Most horses are very competent swimmers, more so if they are given the right training. 

Swimming is instinctual for most horses, though some face the initial fear that they can come out of with patient training. 

Do Horses Enjoy Water?

In some cases, some horses do not like moving water with all that gushing sound that can scare them. 

Puddles, on the other hand, are fun for most horses, and they love splashing their legs through them. 

Let’s put it this way. Water is one of the most fun forms of recreation for a horse, provided they get over the initial fear, with the right-hand holding from the right trainer. 

Yet, know that swimming is hard work for horses and can tire them out more easily than mere galloping, so make sure that your horse gets the rest he needs every five minutes, for that is how long a horse can go on in the water. 

Why Do Horses Like Being in Water?

Horses find water exciting. They love pawing on it, blowing bubbles in it, and even rolling in it, which is not bad, actually. All these are useful ways to gauge how deep the water is and whether or not he can swim in it. 

So, let him go ahead and don’t spoil his fun. Remember that, in the end, this is part of their training.

In addition to that, it can play in the water and provide a good amount of hydrotherapy, which can help recover from injuries and muscle damage that a lot of horses face as a result of all their galloping. 

Recommended Reading: What Sounds Do Horses Make When Scared?

Can Horses Cross Water?

Yes, but as long as they can swim, which means not all horses can be ready to cross the water. 

Make sure that you are riding on a horse that is trained and confident enough and wants to head to the other side of the water. 

Here’s a tip to help your horse and you. Remove the horse’s saddle. So now, he crosses over more easily, swimming without restriction. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Can Horses Run on Water?

Q1. Can Moose Run on Water?

Ans: No, moose cannot run on water. As large, heavy mammals, they would sink due to their body weight. They can swim and walk on the bottoms of rivers and lakes.

Q2. Can Cheetahs Run on Water?

Ans: No, cheetahs cannot run on water. They do not have the anatomy or weight distribution needed to stay afloat. They can only run on land.

Q3. Can Ostriches Run on Water?

Ans: No, ostriches cannot run on water. Their long legs would sink into the water under their heavy bodies. They can only run on land.

Q4. Can Deer Run on Water?

Ans: No, deer cannot run on water. Like moose and cheetahs, they lack the needed anatomy and weight distribution. They can swim but not stay on the surface.

Q5. Can Ducks Run on Water?

Ans: Yes, ducks can run on water. Their webbed feet allow them to distribute their weight and not sink. This lets them skim across the water’s surface while running.


So, in the end, we can say that while a horse can run on water, he may need the initial training, where he can learn the little technicalities like finding his feet on the ground in the water and gauging how deep the water is. 

To sum up, we can say that horses can paddle, horses can trot, and horses can, if trained well, even gallop on water. 

And yet, there is the fact that swimming is not for every horse, and there are some who will just not like to go into the water. 

Except for them anyway, for how good a horse is doesn’t always have to depend upon how good he is in the water.