I Need Help Teaching My Horse to Bow - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-27-2008, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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I Need Help Teaching My Horse to Bow

I am currently trying to find a good way to teach my paint mare to bow. She's extremely intellegent and picked up on what I was asking of her right away when I first started working with her. I would pick her left foot up, and then gently pull back on her forearm. However, she became confused and started trying to bow when I would trim her hooves.

Any suggestions on how I could teach her to bow in such a manner that would keep her from getting confused?
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-27-2008, 06:14 PM
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do what you are already doing and grab a treat and show it to her then slowly put it lower and lower down between her front two feet. going down towards the ground then backwards(if that makes sense) it will probably take her a while but she will catch on and start to follow with her nose and then eventually bow...i dont know...that is what worked fo rmy horse...good luck!
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-28-2008, 08:44 AM
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Definately don't 'correct' her if she bows with you when doin her feet. The snack between the knees sounded good. I had seen a chic teach a horse to bow, but she lifted up, say, the right foot, but pulled the left rein of the horse across his withers to the right side (kinda hard to describe, but she was attempting to force the head to go up and turn to the left shoulder.) I can take a picture of the attempt with one of my horses if you are confused. This brought the horse down to one knee, and with no confusion about feet handling.

Let me know if you need a visual for it.

Know thyself, know thy horse.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-28-2008, 08:34 PM
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Id correct her when she does it in the wrong situation, but not in a harsh way but just gently show her that it wasn't right now. I'd also have a voice comand so that she has the chance to learn to differ between picking feet and bowing.

I'd do the same thing to a horse who's told to rear - because they shhould never do it in the wrong time. Bowing is just as inconvenient and dangerous as rearing i the horse starts doing it on its own. But of course I can't punish it for doing what it thinks is right, but I can say ''no, not this time''.

Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.

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post #5 of 13 Old 11-30-2008, 12:37 PM
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im teaching my horse to bow too lol first i started with a treat between his legs so he had to bow to get the treat then i moved it too the ground and moved it backwards towards his back feet so he has to bend his front leg to reach it and that is the step we are at lol im not sure what im going to do next ill just have to see what works with him

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post #6 of 13 Old 11-30-2008, 01:08 PM
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I use the treat between the knees method and I love it. Flexibility is a big thing though, my horse is young and flexible and will put her nose all the way between her back legs, but when I started teaching my mom's horse (he's 14 and in great shape) I was startled by how inflexible he was.

Here's a video of Velvet bowing--www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb0BTKFuRqI

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post #7 of 13 Old 11-30-2008, 06:00 PM
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I would use a different cue to differentiate between you wanting a bow & hoofcare. Eg. tap the front of her shin to ask her to pick her foot up for a bow, use a vocal cue, etc. Make the difference obvious. Then it's just a matter of not reinforcing her 'mistakes' & they'll go away.

Years ago I taught my donkey to rear when I asked for his foot in a certain way. He learned the diff between hoofcare & rear pretty quick, but would sometimes still rear when other people picked up a hoof! I changed the rear cue to tapping on his chest at the same time I asked for his leg & stopped reinforcing anything else. I also went back to reinforcing him standing quietly & giving his foot for a while. This eliminated the prob at the same time it further strengthened the other 'right' behaviours.
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-03-2008, 01:43 PM
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I would like to teach my horses to rear on cue, How in the world do you do that? I have a 6 month old colt and a 2 year old filly both Arabians.
Would love to be able to raise my whip na dthey rear......... Very cool.
Let me know if any of you know how to teach them to rear.......
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-03-2008, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Blkjimni View Post
I would like to teach my horses to rear on cue, How in the world do you do that? I have a 6 month old colt and a 2 year old filly both Arabians.
Would love to be able to raise my whip na dthey rear......... Very cool.
Let me know if any of you know how to teach them to rear.......
Rearing can be an awesome trick, with the right horse it is an amazingly cool thing to be able to do. But, you have to know all of the consequences of teaching a horse to rear. Rearing is an extremely dangerous behavior, and by treating it as a trick, you give you horse permission to do it. When I taught Velvet to "step" (I point to her foot and say step and she puts her foot on the bucket/step/stump/whatever in front of her) she was very "enthusiastic" and for a few days would put her foot on everything in front of her, and still does it when she wants something. Imagine if I had taught her to rear. Especially with your horses being so young, Velvet is four. A four year old is still very immature, your horses are six months and two.

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post #10 of 13 Old 12-03-2008, 11:03 PM
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I would never teach my horse to rear. It is too dangerous of trick, and can lead to them rearing without asking, just as WildFeathers posted.
SonnyWimps is offline  

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