Laying a horse down - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 Old 04-04-2009, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 22
• Horses: 0
Laying a horse down

Hi yall, After reading a thread about a crazy horse posted on here I got to thinkin, (I know thats dangerous for me) But i was wondering if anyone has ever layed a horse down in training to establish dominance towards them, My first experience at this goes back some 35 years ago on a 161/2 HH 11 yr old Appaloosa stud that was similar to acting alot like the horse in the thread, It actually took 3 of us and scared the crap out of me in the process but worked out for the best, He would actually charge people and other horses as they got close to his corral sometimes even breaking the fence, we put up a 6 ft chainlink fence and electric wire hoping to get him to stop but he would still charge up to close to the fence but didn't break it any more, He also could be haltered at times and was great but then sometimes like BOING the mainspring would go and he was crazy for a bit,
We ended up hobbling his front legs and pulling him over with a rope attached to his nose and running it down his side and around his rump, Then as he went down 2 of us jumped on his neck and head covering his eyes and holding him down like for 10 minutes (seemed like an hour as I was only 15 at the time and scared to death) as we let him up the 2 of us that were holding him down moved away from him as not to be seen so the first one that he did see was the owner, he raised his head up for a minute or so and then got completely up and the owner walked to him and pet him on the head and talked to him and the horse from that point on seemed to be a different horse as he worked with him, For the next several years the horse became a very obedient horse and stopped all the charging of the fence and people, Anyhow just curious if anyone has ever done or heard of this, and if this was actually a fluke or does it really work like this all the time. The owner was a native american (NAVAJO) and said they use this method on the reservation as he was growing up on the more aggressive horses to break them easily and prove dominance, I actually learned alot from him and have used most in training some of my other horses but actually haven't needed to attempt this on one yet. LOL Well I was just thinking of the other thread and kinda figured what the heck at this point would it be a last ditch effort and if it works it would be for the better and if it didn't I guess the only thing left would be to put it down for good unfortunately. Thanks
brokencinch is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 14 Old 04-05-2009, 12:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 250
• Horses: 2
We have laid two of our horses down. It takes two people and we tie one leg up and around the stomach, gently pull them off balance release the pressure as a reward when they go down. At first they just bow but they do give in and lay all the way. We then untie the leg love all over them and let them get up after about 10 minutes. This can be a nasty process and can take some hair off your horse. They rear jump and sometimes fall, especially in the end when they get panicky and all the adrenaline kicks in. Do it in a very safe environment soft ground and don't be scared. I watched a video and read a lot about it before I was willing to try. I am very happy with the results and the horses showed no signs of being sore afterward.
dappledreamer likes this.
RoosterDo is offline  
post #3 of 14 Old 04-05-2009, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 22
• Horses: 0
Was there a specific reason for laying them down? Yes as I recall The horse had a small rope burn on the rump, We did however use a fairly large pen with plenty of room and he bucked and stood his ground well but eventually went down to knees then over on side, the fun part was tying to keep him down as he tried several times to get up, It actually was alot of work and I am too **** old to be attempting it now, LOL I admit back in the day we broke our horses the old fashioned cowboy way and it was as hard on me as it was the horse most of the time but now the new ways are easier on both not to mention more humane, in some ways it takes a bit longer with the training but the results are the same, It was probly the late 70's when I started hearing the word of the new ways by way of magazines and other horseman with their other teqniques and I have succombed to doing most of my training that way as well, although once in a while I do slip and try an old cowboy way, I was just curious if anyone had done this teqnique and if was used often and what the results were, Thank you for the response I appreciate it.
brokencinch is offline  
post #4 of 14 Old 04-05-2009, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 6,166
• Horses: 5
There are some videos on YouTube where a trainer uses this technique on problem horses. He is very skilled at it. I would love to know how to do this alone. One day I'll meet someone who can do it and I'll ask them to teach me. It is a great teaching tool for horses that have bad history, IMO. But I can imagine this must be done with a great deal of respect for the safety of all and the mind set of the horse.
NorthernMama is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 04-05-2009, 05:21 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: with my room mates
Posts: 354
• Horses: 1
I think it is very over done and is something that should be done in the most, most extreme case. It should not be used as a cure-all and it is not a cure-all. I think a lot of people jump to it instead of going through and actually correcting issues because they don't want to spend the time and they believe it is some sort of miracle that can magically make their horse behave. Sorry folks but it doesn't work that way. There are a lot better ways to establish and enforce guidlines, ways that aren't nearly so traumatic and over the top. If it has to be done, it should only be done by someone who really knows what they are about.
onetoomany is offline  
post #6 of 14 Old 04-06-2009, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
Posts: 23,907
• Horses: 2
I don't like at all when "trainers" laying down horse to show it the dominance. Sorry, but it does look like an abuse to me (I'm not talking about trick training here as well as some totally crazy horses nothing else can be done with). The true trainer will find the better way to show the dominance (and love) to the horse then just knocking it down to scratch the belly.
kitten_Val is offline  
post #7 of 14 Old 04-06-2009, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 1,284
• Horses: 4
Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
The true trainer will find the better way to show the dominance (and love) to the horse then just knocking it down to scratch the belly.
I agree 100%. I'm not able to say much else as I'd be kicked off here for sure.....LOL
G and K's Mom is offline  
post #8 of 14 Old 04-06-2009, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Greenville area / SC
Posts: 13,165
• Horses: 3
The technique of laying a horse down can be a controversial issue to some. It is very effective and humane but should only be used on horses whose next step is to be put down. As in all techniques it should only be done by someone qualified to do so and under the safest conditions for the horse.

I've seen it done and it is more traumatic to those watching for the first time then it is for the horse. Once he is down, he submits to his handler very quickly and that is the purpose.

Let me reiterate, it is not a technique to be taken lightly and used as a shortcut to dominance but it is humane and effective.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
iridehorses is offline  
post #9 of 14 Old 04-06-2009, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 9,883
• Horses: 0
I personally dont feel that horses to be made to lay down to show who's dominate. I feel the whole laying down should be kept to predators like lion, wolves, dogs, etc, where you see a similar act of that in the wild.
I just think its like the easy way out of training.
appylover31803 is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 04-06-2009, 05:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Middle-of-Nowhere, Illinois
Posts: 2,225
• Horses: 1
I would never lay a horse down unless he was so belligerent and out of control that the alternative would be giving up and shooting him. There are other ways to establish yourself as the leader that are much less "vulgar", for lack of a better term. I don't believe in forcing a horse into submission. If you take the time to develop a relationship with him, you shouldn't have to force him to do anything. When I'm working with a horse, I want it to be his choice to oblige to my requests. I also believe that laying a horse down is not conducive to a loving and trusting relationship with your horse. There are better ways to train a horse without using him as a doormat.
dappledreamer likes this.

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is ultimately to be at peace with himself.
What a man can be, he must be.
" Abraham Maslow, 1968
Jessabel is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Not laying the right way! Small_Town_Girl Horse Grooming 7 03-20-2008 04:21 PM
Horse laying down HorsesAreForever Horse Training 19 02-06-2008 03:45 PM
Egg Laying Chickens kim_angel General Off Topic Discussion 14 02-02-2008 07:43 AM
Laying ears back.... Missi Horse Training 8 03-23-2007 05:37 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome