Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
I think he already knows how to bow, you just need to put a cue to it. I'm teaching my horse the same thing. I stand on her left side, and rub the chestnut on the inside of her left leg. She knows there's a treat under her, and to bring her leg forward and reach to get it. She hasn't gotten on her knee yet, it's still a work in process.
As far as him being greedy, I think that's the result of handfeeding. My horse NEVER takes a treat from my hand, I GIVE her the treat. When I walk up to her with treats, she keeps her nose away from me, and lets me bring my hand to her mouth. It's a lot like the "leave it" command for a dog. If you hold a treat in your closed hand and the dog licks and licks, and eventually gives up and takes his nose away, he gets the treat. Same thing with horses. Except you can't let them lick your hand, they'll probably try and take a bite. o_O So instead, have a treat in your hand, but make sure he respects your space. Bump his head away from you when he gets too close. When he keeps a reasonable distance when he knows you have a treat, praise and treat then.
You can try cueing him with the treat, and when he does get on his knee, bring him back up. You can either treat then, or ask for another bow, and give him the treat while he's in his second bow. He can either get a treat after a bow, or during every other bow, and eventually increasing the amount of bows he has to do before he gets a treat.
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."