Does a horse have to learn to lay down? - Page 2

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Does a horse have to learn to lay down?

This is a discussion on Does a horse have to learn to lay down? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How to get your horse to lay down
  • Disabled person mounting horse lying down

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    11-09-2012, 12:10 PM
Green Broke
Yes, teaching a horse to lay down can be viewed as a "trick" to teach your horse. But really, think about all the quality time and quality training you are doing with your horse during to teach them that. I say you can't do too much ground work.

And it IS handy if you can only mount your horse using a mounting block, because that would come in handy if you fall off while on a ride. Beats walking home (if there isn't a ditch or a tall rock handy)

I used to have a horse that knew how to bow and then lie down. (I bought him already trained to do that). It was just really fun to do it with him!!
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    11-09-2012, 12:14 PM
Originally Posted by Saranda    
Does this looks like "scared" to you?

Laying down can be done differently. It can be done with force - then it is a predator/prey thing and involves stress and fear; and it can be done with patience, with no forcing to the ground - then it is a trust thing. And sometimes very useful, too - to get on a bareback horse out in the trails, or recently it came to handy when I was able to lay him down for hoof care when he had abscessed that badly he refused to lift the leg. However, horses don't need to be taught this, it is just for people who have use for it and who really know how to do it. That being said - please, don't try it on your horse if you don't know how to do it and if you don't have a professional who can show you how it is taught.
THIS horse does not look scared but in the videos the horse was struggleing and the whites of his eye was showing.
    11-09-2012, 12:22 PM
They can do some funny stuff like that can't they. About a 18 months ago I got on one of the fillies I have been working on for my uncle for the first time. I'd never had so much trouble in the past but she was a tough nut. Nothing nasty, just touchy and maybe a bit moody; anyway aw I would put weight in the stirrup she would start to lye down. Didn't bother me much, I'd have rather it didnt happen but figured Id just step aboard anyway. She eventually stayed still and let me on, ran around the yard a few times and settled down. Bedouin teach camels to couch so they can mount them. Maybe we can teach horses to do the same :)
    11-09-2012, 12:43 PM
Super Moderator
Well, some people manage to scare a horse out of its' wits just by trying to halter, but we don't question the benefits of haltering, do we? It all comes down to one thing - good or bad horsemanship. If a horse has to be panicked into submission - it is never good horsemanship in my world.
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    11-11-2012, 07:20 PM
Originally Posted by Saranda    
Well, some people manage to scare a horse out of its' wits just by trying to halter, but we don't question the benefits of haltering, do we? It all comes down to one thing - good or bad horsemanship. If a horse has to be panicked into submission - it is never good horsemanship in my world.
I agree, some people force their horse too much but your horse looks absolutely trusting.
    11-11-2012, 07:36 PM
Originally Posted by countrylove    
The only reason I could see for asking a horse to lay down is for disabled folks who can't mount properly or easily. Other than that I dunno... But I have met quite a few who were trained to lay down for this reason.
If a person is too disabled to mount they are too disabled to deal with the motion of a horse standing up. This is why we use mounting ramps, so the chair can bring them level to the horse, so it's just a matter of pivoting them over to the horse.

As for the OP, laying down there are 2 ways to teach this skill, for 2 different reasons:
1) the horrifying act of laying a horse down for submission - I personally hate this, but I've seen it make a world of difference in some exceptionally violent horse's lives. It's forceably twisting a horse off it's feet and onto the ground, and holding them in submission. When they get up, trust me, they are submissive.
2) for fun! It's a fun skill to teach, my favorite way to teach the skill is with clicker training. Assuming the horse has appropriate clicker training foundation and has learned how to take treats and has learned the click bridge. You can spray them with a hose, then when they go to roll, click and treat when they lay down. Do this a few times until the behavior is learned. Make sure there's a clear cue for it - you don't want your horse thinking he can just lay down whenever!!! :P

It is a clear sign of trust - I would never force a horse down unless a life or death situation - but it's a fun skill to teach if you can do it right. :)

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