I want him to lay down - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 26 Old 07-28-2012, 09:55 PM
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Rookie- ya I plan on teaching him as much as I can thinking about doing agility and dance and that sort of thing too, but just for fun stuff. He's a fairly small pony never measures him but I'd guess about 10 hands but a very light build, like a tiny horse.

I was thinking about clicking when he lays down, cause he lays down ALOT - I think he likes to sun bathe :P I don't know of any way to teach a horse to lay down with pressure that would be safe o.O that kind of frightens me. But I guess that's what I was asking, how could I safely train him without pressure? And I guess clickers is the best answer?
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post #12 of 26 Old 07-28-2012, 10:09 PM
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I started to train mine to do it but then we all got kind of tied and had to take a break.


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post #13 of 26 Old 07-28-2012, 10:40 PM
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There is a way to use treats to teach them. Hold the treat between their front legs. As the horse reaches for it, move the treat back so they end up reaching under to get the treat. Let the horse get the treat and make the horse reach a little farther for the next one. Eventually the horse reaches far enough that it lays down.
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post #14 of 26 Old 07-29-2012, 10:19 PM
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Why would it be stressful for horses to lie down if they do it anyways and like to roll in the dirt? I let my horse roll if he wants to most of the time so why can'the be trained to do it on command? My horse also naps laying down, If it hurt them then I don't think they would choose to do it.
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post #15 of 26 Old 07-29-2012, 10:28 PM
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My horse lays down on command! I didn't teach him, but I know the general basics of it pretty well.

Start with a treat and getting the horse to bow down, reaching between their front legs. Then tapping a leg, get them to pick it up. With their head down (via treat) have them reach down and put their knee on the ground. That is teaching them to bow. So you tapping on the FRONT of their leg they should bow. From there...my trainer stopped explaining it lol. But I imagine it's something with tipping them a bit off balance or something... i'm not sure, don't quote me and squawk at me over it. I'm sure there's a how to on the internet somewhere.
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post #16 of 26 Old 07-30-2012, 02:12 AM
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hberrie I think it's more a case of laying down is natural but teaching a horse to lay down requires multiple laying down reps I guess.. which is hard on joints.

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post #17 of 26 Old 07-30-2012, 02:13 AM
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hberrie, it can be stressful for a horse when it is asked too soon (regarding the level of trust), because he can associate it with predatory behavior and being forced to lay down (even if just psychologically) = becoming open for attack. Laying down is generally not a trick, it is a demonstration of ultimate trust, and it calls for good horse sense and timing to know, when a horse is really ready. I wouldn't advise it as something to "teach just for fun". And it really shouldn't be done through disbalancing the horse (although it surely can be done and may appear to be easy), but by working on it when the horse feels like lying down himself. Also, as Sky mentioned, it can be hard on joints and back, and shouldn't be done with very young/old horses or horses with sceletal/muscular problems.
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post #18 of 26 Old 07-30-2012, 08:39 PM
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Hberrie, I think it can be stressful for a horse if you are using force and they resist. You can see some folks using ropes and a pully style system to force a horse down. Its supposed to be used for horses that are really dangerous. Sort of way to blow their mind. The theory that they do this really terrifying thing that they fight. They realize that people are keeping them down (from getting back up) then they realize that humans are in control and they have to trust them. I think that's the idea but if I am wrong someone correct me.

The trouble is that if you don't know what you are doing you can end up getting seriously injured and seriously injure the horse. If a horse is controlling its down then its different. Look at how careful your horse goes down to roll. Its a process of the horse selecting an area and preparing them-self. If you doubt me watch an older horse or a horse with arthritis prepare itself to lie down. When you start forcing a horse down they can do things quickly and improperly. As a trick its a little different.

I know a lot of people say its a sign of trust I don't know if I buy that. I always have had horses that did not get up when I marched out to them in pasture. I can rub them and fuss over them and they don't give up. I never thought it was a sign of trust but a sign of them having a sun bath or being lazy. I think a bigger sign of trust is my horse doing something it finds scary because I am next to it or turning to me when worried. So, if you need to need to have your horse lie down to prove that you have a great bond with them it seems like weak horsemanship to me. Its an ego boost for some I guess. I don't know I always figured that since I like my horse and he likes me that's all we really need.
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post #19 of 26 Old 07-30-2012, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rookie View Post
Hberrie, I think it can be stressful for a horse if you are using force and they resist. You can see some folks using ropes and a pully style system to force a horse down. Its supposed to be used for horses that are really dangerous. Sort of way to blow their mind. The theory that they do this really terrifying thing that they fight. They realize that people are keeping them down (from getting back up) then they realize that humans are in control and they have to trust them. I think that's the idea but if I am wrong someone correct me.

The trouble is that if you don't know what you are doing you can end up getting seriously injured and seriously injure the horse. If a horse is controlling its down then its different. Look at how careful your horse goes down to roll. Its a process of the horse selecting an area and preparing them-self. If you doubt me watch an older horse or a horse with arthritis prepare itself to lie down. When you start forcing a horse down they can do things quickly and improperly. As a trick its a little different.

I know a lot of people say its a sign of trust I don't know if I buy that. I always have had horses that did not get up when I marched out to them in pasture. I can rub them and fuss over them and they don't give up. I never thought it was a sign of trust but a sign of them having a sun bath or being lazy. I think a bigger sign of trust is my horse doing something it finds scary because I am next to it or turning to me when worried. So, if you need to need to have your horse lie down to prove that you have a great bond with them it seems like weak horsemanship to me. Its an ego boost for some I guess. I don't know I always figured that since I like my horse and he likes me that's all we really need.
If people think the reason for laying a horse is to gain trust or make him submit

I suggest reading this thread,

Laying a horse down, WH article

Quick scientific explanation of what happens in the horses brain when done correctly, some food for thought.

I DON'T LEAD 'EM AND FEED 'EM, I RIDE 'EM AND SLIDE 'EM.
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post #20 of 26 Old 07-30-2012, 09:22 PM
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I would want to see the actual article because in order to fully make assumptions about brain chemistry you need evidence. Its all well and good say it causes the amygdala to release hormones that make them happy. Its another to say we can make that assessment because of a rise in these hormones (ephinephrine or cortisol or even insulin levels) in the blood post laying down and when we lied them down the amygdala was active as indicated by this fMRI scan. Which of course would require the horse be lied down in an MRI machine(not going to happen).

I guess I hate to say WH article is not good but its not giving me enough evidence to support a theory. Which is why its published in WH and not in a peer reviewed behavior journal (like the journal of comparative psychology). There is a lot of man who statistics and theory but not a lot of scientific backup. I know a lot of horse training is done without scientific evidence. I just think that laying a horse down is controversial and the reason it works (or does not work) is not well understood. Its often bandied around as a miracle cure but no one can find scientific support for why. None-the-less I am sorry for thread jacking this as we got off talking about lying a horse down and not teaching a horse to lie down. For that I apologize to the OP.
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