I need a cue for the bow.
 
 

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I need a cue for the bow.

This is a discussion on I need a cue for the bow. within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse bow, cue from riding
  • Cue for bow in saddle

 
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    05-13-2010, 01:35 PM
  #1
Trained
Exclamation I need a cue for the bow.

I originally taught Gracie to bow by keeping the lead rope on the right side while I stood on her left, picked up her foot, and while pulling the lead and her head to the right and back, guiding her knee to the ground. She picked it up really quick, and is now able to do it on both sides.

However, I screwed up. =| Now when I pick up her foot to clean it [usually only her left] she drops down to bow. I can usually stop her by poking her girth with the end of the hoof pick. Today, she dropped way too fast and went down on her knee on the concrete barn floor. =\ She's fine, but I don't want it to happen again.

When I did ask for the bow, I would have my forearm on her "forearm" and guide it backwards and downwards while scratching her in between the legs. That was supposed to be the cue, scratching her chest. But it's not working.

Now I have stopped asking her to bow a while ago, but she still tries to bow. I saw in a magazine article that you could tap the foot/leg with a dressage whip to teach the bow. I worked on that a little today, tapping her fetlocks until she would pick up her feet. After a few minutes, she picked up EVERY foot with a tap.

The magazine said to continue with the tapping until the horse would go "down" and whatnot, so that's the plan. BUT, I also tap her fetlocks when I want to pick her hooves. Do you think tapping her fetlocks to pick up her feet, and then her "forearm" to bow is too advanced or complicated a cue? I'd like to be able to continue tapping for a foot to pick hooves or while in the saddle, but I don't want to fall into the same trap I did originally. Any ideas?

PS. Sorry this was so long. O_O
     
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    05-13-2010, 04:39 PM
  #2
Weanling
lol, I did the exact same thing. I was ecstatic how fast mine learned, but still to this day whenever I pick up her front feet she tries to bow. Really makes the farrier mad, hehe.

What I do it first teach them that a tap on their leg (where ever gets best response) means lift her leg. Do it until its very clear and that she might hold her foot in the air. If she goes to put it down, tap it up before she sets it down. Your timing has to be quick. From there, you need to teach her the "stance". She needs to learn to stand spread out, with her front legs much more forward than usual. She needs to develop balance and symmetry in that stance before you can effectively teach bow. Teach her that when you tap a different part of her leg that it comes forward.
Once she has learned to lift her leg and hold it, while in "stance" you can start to incorporate her rocking back in preparation to bow. Stand facing her, tap her leg up, and rock her weight back. Reward for her shifting her weight, don't get after her for putting her foot down. She will soon workout how to rock back slightly with her foot in the air through repetition. Once she can hold her foot up, and rock back without slamming her foot back down you can start to rock her back and correct the leg when it wants to drop.
Be careful not to over-do it, reward big for little efforts and each day you will notice her catching on. Small accurate sessions will get you there sooner than long strenuous ones. :)
Have fun!
     

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