Laying a horse down - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 11-08-2012, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Question Laying a horse down

Now, I have seen other people's pictures of them on their horse laying down and I have watched other people's videos of them laying them down. And I just don't understand, Why and how they would lay their horse down? Does it hurt the horse?
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-08-2012, 07:47 PM
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Hi,
I had the same question. If you search the threads for laying a horse down it should come up. It was an interesting conversation.
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-08-2012, 08:55 PM
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Be careful, laying a horse down and training your horse to lie down on cue are two completely different things ;)
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-09-2012, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Oh I didn't think it was??? Anyway, I'm just saying lol that I see girls and their horses laydown all of the time? Why do they do that? Do they try to proove something?
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-09-2012, 01:13 PM
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Please, don't make such assumptions. While there certainly are people who teach their horse different "tricks" just to show off, I hope that at least the majority has a reason for teaching a horse to lay down. Firstly, there can be never too much groundwork and having a horse lay down for you without physically forcing him is a sign and test of ultimate trust both for the horse and the handler. Secondly, it may come in use when a bareback or just a high horse has to be mounted in a place where there are no mounting stools, ditches, logs or rocks from which to climb up, or for mounting a horse after the rider has been thrown off in the trails and injured, and unable to mount from the ground. It can also come in use when the horse is better to be lying for any medical procedures - I myself appreciated this option not many days ago, when my gelding had to be given emergency hoof care, but wasn't able to lift the needed leg.

Of course, laying down is quite a complex thing to do and it shouldn't be done with horses too young or too unsound to be able to do it comfortably, it shouldn't be done forcefully and it by no means shouldn't be done until the horse is mentally ready for it.
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-09-2012, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Wahya View Post
Oh I didn't think it was??? Anyway, I'm just saying lol that I see girls and their horses laydown all of the time? Why do they do that? Do they try to proove something?
I suppose it is a lovely experience when your horse lies down and you can go sit with him or it is part of his training to enable him to do other things. However Saranda is absolutely right. Never give it a try because you have seen other 'girls' do it. I can go sit with my 18hh Clydesdale because he can control his movements and I know him so well, I can usually predict how he gets up and lays down - but I am seriously careful. However, I have another Clydesdale who is 17 months. He is really sweet, very cute and looks beautiful when he lies down in his stable. I ache to go in with him and do all the 'girly things' but I won't. He is totally unco-ordinated and when he gets up and lies down its like watching a sack of potatoes or even better description...Bambi on ice! As I said awfully cute but dangerous to be around. I'll give him a few years before I attempt to sit with him no matter how much I love him.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-09-2012, 03:50 PM
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When a person can teach a horse to lie down, it's all about trust. A horse that's lying down feels vulnerable to attack so it has to really trust in it's handler to protect him. That is why with two horses you will see one lying down snoozing while the other keeps watch.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-09-2012, 05:38 PM
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Yes. That is exactly it. The difference between training your horse that you have bonded with to lie down and the traditional lying a horse down are completely seperate.

I have a little mare who was laid down at an early point in her training, before I started working with her. I saw the whole thing, and it makes me cringe even now to think of it. They roped her legs, pulled her front leg up to her shoulder, pulled her back legs out from under her with another rope, and threw her onto her side, then proceeded to sit over her (mind you, she was only 6 months old, too!) and force her head to the ground, then rubbed her all over with the rope, waited until she quit struggling, and let her up. They led her around after that, wobbling on her legs, then pronounced her 'broke' and turned her into a pen. I went home crying because though they thought they had conquered her, they had put a hate into her that I still have not been able to completely drive out- and she's almost 5. The hatred that I saw in her eyes that day was only the beginning of over a year where she couldn't be touched by anyone (except me, after much work) without lunging at them with bared teeth, and tried to kill them. Now, I will say that she wasn't laid down correctly, and MAYBE if a professional had done it, things would have been different- but it wasn't that way with her.

Teaching a horse to lie down or to stay down if they're already down and you approach is just another extension of the horse and human bond. When a horse is lying down is when he is most vulnerable- and he is basically saying 'I trust that you will not hurt me. You are my safe zone' when he allows you to be around him when he is down. Like Saranda said, it can be extremely useful too. Our ranch horse- Buddy is trained to lay down, and it has come in handy many times. My mare Sour though, who was laid down as a young one? I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to, or even want to, teach her to lay down. Being on the ground around people just brings back horrible memories for her, and we're doing so well. I don't want to go through her being terrified of humans, ropes, corrals, and voices again. She's come too far.

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post #9 of 10 Old 11-10-2012, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endiku View Post
Yes. That is exactly it. The difference between training your horse that you have bonded with to lie down and the traditional lying a horse down are completely seperate.

I have a little mare who was laid down at an early point in her training, before I started working with her. I saw the whole thing, and it makes me cringe even now to think of it. They roped her legs, pulled her front leg up to her shoulder, pulled her back legs out from under her with another rope, and threw her onto her side, then proceeded to sit over her (mind you, she was only 6 months old, too!) and force her head to the ground, then rubbed her all over with the rope, waited until she quit struggling, and let her up. They led her around after that, wobbling on her legs, then pronounced her 'broke' and turned her into a pen. I went home crying because though they thought they had conquered her, they had put a hate into her that I still have not been able to completely drive out- and she's almost 5. The hatred that I saw in her eyes that day was only the beginning of over a year where she couldn't be touched by anyone (except me, after much work) without lunging at them with bared teeth, and tried to kill them. Now, I will say that she wasn't laid down correctly, and MAYBE if a professional had done it, things would have been different- but it wasn't that way with her.

Teaching a horse to lie down or to stay down if they're already down and you approach is just another extension of the horse and human bond. When a horse is lying down is when he is most vulnerable- and he is basically saying 'I trust that you will not hurt me. You are my safe zone' when he allows you to be around him when he is down. Like Saranda said, it can be extremely useful too. Our ranch horse- Buddy is trained to lay down, and it has come in handy many times. My mare Sour though, who was laid down as a young one? I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to, or even want to, teach her to lay down. Being on the ground around people just brings back horrible memories for her, and we're doing so well. I don't want to go through her being terrified of humans, ropes, corrals, and voices again. She's come too far.
That is a really sad story. Believe me, horses never, ever forget. Humans are so arrogant and believe we always know what is best. And then we wonder why a particular horse is " a bad 'un" or difficult to train later in life. In the wild, there are few, if any horses with any behaviour problems. Bad horse behaviour is ALL MAN MADE.
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-10-2012, 10:47 AM
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Are you talking about throwing a horse down? Very different from trick training.

My horses all could care less if I approached them while laying down. Oh no! She's going to pat me and slip me a carrot! They pretty much know the most horrid thing I might do is trim their toes or worm them. Pretty much a non-event.
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