This is the stunning footage of a young American woman being surprised by her hired horse taking a swim in the sea.
Hannah Patten from Boca Raton, Florida, shared the clip on TikTok and Instagram where she boasts 11,000 and 6,500 followers respectively.
She said she was riding bareback on the beach with her partner John Garza, who filmed the clip, when the horse suddenly went into the sea.
Patten, who calls herself an “expedition guide, an ocean lover, and an adventure seeker” on Instagram, said she had no idea horses are such good swimmers.
“I was riding the horse bareback on the beach, and she took off into the ocean, and before I knew it, bam, he created the video,” Patten said.
“I am a huge horse lover. I’ve loved horses since I was a little girl and I used to ride horses competitively before I turned to diving in the ocean.”
Patten described how it felt when she went swimming on the back of a horse.
“In that moment I felt free. Like nothing else was happening in the world,” she said. “Time stopped and I felt so at peace that my two favorite worlds collided into one.”
It’s likely that the horse also enjoyed his time in the water; horses are very willing and capable swimmers. While horses are quite large — depending on breed they can weight up to 2,000 pounds — and would not appear to be buoyant, their large lungs allow them to float naturally.
Horses are born with the innate ability and desire to swim as it has been necessary to their survival. In the wild, they would need to travel to find resources, and at times these travels would require crossing water.
Riding a horse while it swims is of course possible, however, for the safety of the horse, it is important to be mindful while riding. While horses can swim naturally, it is not the easiest thing for them to do. Obstructing the horse’s movements in any way can make it difficult for it to continue to swim, and unlike a human it may not be able to swim differently to adapt to the difficulty. Keeping a loose rein is vital, as well as removing the saddle before going into the water. But much like humans, some horses don’t like to swim and don’t know how. So, it is also important to be familiar with the horse’s boundaries and capabilities before attempting anything similar to Patten’s experience.
(Edited by Nzinga Aku Temu and Kristen Butler)
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