Teaching horse to lay down.

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Teaching horse to lay down.

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    11-03-2010, 05:06 PM
Teaching horse to lay down.

So I'm sure there have been threads before about this but couldn't find any. I have been working with my 3 year old to teach her to lie down on command. I don't just want it for a cute trick (although that's nice too) but so that eventually I can get on her bareback without a mounting block.
I would love to do it without ropes but not really sure how. I can get her to lift her foot on command and tuck her head in but she is so balanced that she wont lean at all. So unless I use ropes I'm not really sure how to proceed.
What do you think of this video. Just watched the first minute but it seemed to work really well. My girl is very relaxed and trusts me totally so I wouldn't be worried about her freaking out and getting hurt. I would do it in my round pen which has nice soft sand so she won't get sore knees.
Please be totally honest in your opinions as you won't hurt my feelings. Some of you may think that this is a waste of time and that is fine but I still want to teach it.
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    11-03-2010, 05:16 PM
Green Broke

I wish I could teach my older horse that (9 yrs) but she won't let me...she will just spin around or fight with you. How did you start? I have a 2 yr old and she will be easier to teach and I can tell she is more willing.
    11-03-2010, 05:21 PM
I would think it would be a lot of work, and stress on a horse to get up with a rider, from down on the ground. I know you can teach a horse to park out, or maybe bow/kneel, to make the horse lower.
    11-03-2010, 05:26 PM
Green Broke
You know you are right about the stress on the body...didn't think about that!
    11-03-2010, 05:32 PM
Thats not me in the video just an example.
I never thought about the whole stress to the body. Do you really think it would be that bad? It wouldn't happen very often probably not more than once a month and would just be something I would use if I happend to fall off a little ways from home. Just a handy thing to have but not necessarily use alot. I mostly ride to train/get something done so I need a saddle most of the time.
    11-03-2010, 05:34 PM
Green Broke
If you are doing it for once in awhile I don't see any harm but it might be best just to teach your horse to bow so you can get on.
    11-03-2010, 06:42 PM
Parking out is really easy too, and can lower the horse quite a bit.

If you are only getting on while they are down not very often, it proably wouldnt be that big of a deal, but.... I tihnk it would be easy with the extra weight for a horse to slip, or twist just right and pull a muscle somewere.

I say this becuse I have a horse with some back issues. He was an old rope horse, but I have seen him re tweak his back getting up after a roll.
    11-03-2010, 06:50 PM
Green Broke
I don't think it would be a problem. Kneeling can be just as stressful if not done properly. IMO teaching her to lay down can be helpfull in many situations other than just getting on bareback. You can also try it with treats. GOOD LUCK!
    11-03-2010, 07:05 PM
Green Broke
I'm not buying it. If we're not wrecking our horses by bouncing on their backs for 20 years, I certainly do not think we're causing undue stress to them by asking them to get up with a rider. I've never had a horse struggle to get up or lose balance because I'm on them and I am not a small girl - for a small rider, it's like a flea on their back. Definitely if you have an older horse or one with problems, be careful, but I haven't heard yet of an issue caused by getting up with a rider. I imagine coming down off a jump with an additional 150lbs is a lot more stressful.

We taught our mares to lay down using the rope method. From there, we've worked on a cue. We don't work on it enough, but both mares have laid down on cue before. Our cue is to squeeze/pinch hard right in front of the wither and say down. Here is a video of my 3 year old filly laying down on command:

She won't do it anymore, but I haven't worked on it with her since winter. I can get her down instantly if I pick a foot up with my hand and cue her. We also have a 5 year old pony who will almost do it on cue.

I started using the cue after my filly started trying to lay down on me when I was picking her feet. I like a physical cue along with a verbal cue so you don't have an mishaps. Since I began using a cue, she hasn't tried once to lay down simply by picking a foot up.
    11-03-2010, 08:46 PM
How do you use the rope method? I think that would be neat but don't want to screw up. I taught my aunt's NSH to bow in 30 minutes, she was sooo smart. Then again, she was half-arab. How do you attach and maneuver the ropes?

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