Teaching a horse to kneel or bow? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-15-2009, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Teaching a horse to kneel or bow?

Does anyone know how you teach a horse to kneel or bow? My 4 1/2 yr. old gelding is now about 17.3-18 hands and it's difficult to get on without a mounting block. I was thinking that if he knew how to kneel, getting on and off on the trail wouldn't be such a struggle. He's very sweet and curious, loves to hang out with me in the pasture, gives me his foot when I say "foot."

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post #2 of 5 Old 03-15-2009, 02:51 AM
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Basically whatever you teach is about breaking it down & starting with the easiest bits, then with success & lots of repetition, positively reinforcing(rewarding) the smallest tries, you can gradually ask for a little more, until eventually the horse reaches your goal.

Ask him to put his head down as low as he will. Give him a treat when he gets there. With lots of repetition, get him to put his head gradually further down & between his knees and hold it for a bit. This is often called a 'carrot stretch' because a valid way of getting the behaviour in the first place is to 'lure' it with a carrot<G>.(Don't continue to lure once he gets it tho). Get him doing that reliably on cue before picking up a foot & asking for the same. By that point, he will probably just put his knee on the ground when you ask him to bend that far, so reward that with an Extra Special Treat.
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-15-2009, 01:51 PM
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I tought the 6 year old gelding I ride to bow by putting a carrot between his front two legs. Don't let him move and he will bow his head to get it. Each time put it a little farther back and he'll start to lower himself down. Don't expect him to get it the first time. It took lots of consistency to teach him.
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-15-2009, 03:02 PM
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Grap loads of treats. Bribe him to lower his head and then threw his legs. You'll see one of his legs will stretch and one will bend. Try this over and over again. Make a sign, noise or use a whip (as a aid for sight) to make sure he knows when to bow or kneel. I train my horses to bow/kneel aswell.

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post #5 of 5 Old 11-08-2013, 08:41 PM
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i got my arabian/saddlebreed to bow but now i got to teach a 18 h white shire draft how to bow. she is the alfa mare of the Hurd as well. my Q is, is there a trick for this trick if there is a rider. she is a parade horse & the marshal rides her so we are going to train her to bow with a rider for the mayor of new orleans. have any ideas ?
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