Okay, like everyone else's, my Facebook newsfeed is flooded with ALS ice challenge videos. I've been nominated myself but I don't plan on doing it *hides in shame* and I've honestly not even been a big part of it, but after seeing all of the challenges on horseback, I had to write this post.
I don't care how much your horse loves you, how much you trust him, or how good of a rider you are - dumping ice cold water on your horse is not only a sure fire way of getting hurt, it's also, in my opinion, a terrible thing to inflict on your horse.
Think about it this way - when we dump the bucket of cold water on our heads or hop under a cold spray of water, what is our immediate reaction? We cringe. We may dart out from under the water. And if you're a sissy (I kid, I kid.) you scream. Obviously, it's a fun, silly little challenge for us humans but we know what to expect. Our horses, however, don't see the bucket of ice water and know what's coming. They only feel this cold rush of water flood over them and they, like us, have every right to cringe and run away from it. Like I said, this is my own opinion so don't get offended by it if you've chosen to do this with your horse, but if you have a horse that trusts you, do you really have to prove a bond by dumping water everywhere? I just think it's a silly and stupid. And to the people who compare it to a bath, I'm sure you always start bathing your horse slowly. You don't just spray the water all over his face and drench him. Maybe, the water isn't full of ice? Plus, the horse see's the hose and knows what's coming. They learn after awhile, but when do you dump a bucket of water on them? Chances are, it comes as a cold shock to them and yes, they have every right to run off.
Give your horse some respect.