Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
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.
Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
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