Advice needed about teaching my horse to bow and lay down. - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 4 Old 03-28-2011, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 52
• Horses: 1
Advice needed about teaching my horse to bow and lay down.

Lately I've been considering teaching my 20 year old gelding to bow and lay down. I've always wanted to teach a horse to lay down, sit on their back and tell them to get up. It just looks like fun. :P Besides that, I think it would simply be a good bonding experience for the two of us - something out of the saddle. My horse loves laying down to begin with, so I don't think it would be too much of a stretch for him. :)

I have a couple of concerns however. The first is that I am wondering if this would be harmful to him at his age - putting stress on his joints or anything like that. I definitely don't want to make him uncomfortable or cause any issues. He may have mild arthiritis in one of his hocks - he had some injections about a year ago and it hasn't really been a problem since.

The second concern I have is that he is just starting to be used as a lesson horse (for advanced riders because of his barrel-racing past - he's very forward). I am afraid that if I teach him to bow or lay down, he may unexpectedly do it for one of the lesson kids because of a cue that they unintentionally gave. I don't want these tricks to become a nuisance.

So, I was just wondering if anyone had any opinions, advice, or tips. Is there a certain way I can train it or certain cues that I could give that would decrease the likelihood of him doing either of these tricks when he's not supposed to? Or is that even something I should be worrying about in the first place?

Thanks in advance for any input!
Rhivia is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 4 Old 03-28-2011, 04:14 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 22,218
• Horses: 7
My main concern would be with the commands you use. Be sure not to use anything that could be mistaken for a different command. For instance, your farrier will have a terrible time if the horse thinks he wants him to bow....

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"
farmpony84 is online now  
post #3 of 4 Old 03-28-2011, 05:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,441
• Horses: 0
Some horses pick it up so easily, others never do. My 23-yr old Paso Fino never got it, but I taught my aunt's 12-yr old NSH to bow in 2 15-minute sessions! My foals both have caught on well; I've been teaching Latte since we bought him and Frappe since she was born, and Latte gets it mucchhh better. Frappe only bows when I ask, but Latte will now lay down completely when I snap my fingers under his stomach and cluck.

I try not to confuse cues with those that the farrier would use, so I started by tugging on the lead rope and pulling the foot down a little, bending their head to the outside. I held a treat also, so they had reason to give to the pressure. Latte figured out really quick that the faster he laid down, the faster he got the treat, so I started changing the cues to putting a treat under his stomach and snapping my fingers. Again, he picked it up super easy, and I don't use treats anymore, just a pat.

It all depends on the individual horse, again, my 23-yr old would never lay down when I tried.
equiniphile is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 03-28-2011, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Southern Cali
Posts: 933
• Horses: 1
My paint knows how to do both the lay down and the bow. He is 20 right now and still does both easily. I think with the older horses you have to consider that you shouldn't do the tie leg up method, but there are other ways to do it that take time. Which I suggest is to take it slow.

But my horse does have a laying down problem. Its quiet funny at times, but others it gets to be a real pain in the rear end. Sometimes when Jake gets frustrated he shuts down and lays down. And the farrier has a little trouble with him. I taught him with very different cues but one step leads to another and somehow they almost make the connection.

Now Jake is somewhat of an extremest, most horses don't go to the extent that he does when he is frustrated, but its a good thing to keep in mind. People say to not teach your horse to rear because after it will have a rearing problem, just know that teaching your horse to lay down can cause a laying down problem. =)
Horsesdontlie is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help/advice needed; young horse horsespace Horse Training 11 01-30-2011 08:03 PM
Retraining an abused horse :( advice needed. Odissi Horse Training 35 08-06-2010 11:40 AM
Horse sick..advice/opinions needed ogledrillrider02 Horse Health 7 07-19-2010 10:38 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome