Originally Posted by trainerunlimited
Sorry for posting this, I am sure there are similar threads, but none came up in my search. I am interested in learning the steps to teach a horse to lay down/bow/sit up.
I know how to teach a horse to give kisses on command, but that's about it, lol! If anyone has any experience in this, I'd love to know what tools you use and each detailed step you do to progress to laying down on command. I have a book, but just don't understand the way its written, lol!
Can't wait to hear and would love to see some pics of people doing tricks with their horses!
Well, seriously the most important thing to do when training a horse to do a trick is to teach then WHEN to do it, and when NOT to do it. If you have that down, then it wont be a problem when teaching a horse to rear/lay down and etc.
My little sister taught her horse how to lye down, and she did it within one day. Well, technically about 5 months as she had to build the trust first, but she did the actual lying down part in one day.
She now has him where she picks up his foot, tells him lye down, and he lyes down, on the spot. She can do it with a halter on, or completely at liberty. BUT, he knows when he can't lye down, like when the farrier comes, or she is picking out his hooves. He personally has never had one single problem ever with lying down at the wrong time, however some horses may not be the same, and decide when they want to lye down, whether you asked them or not.
Anyhow, its your horse, your risk.
She took him out with a rope halter and two leads for his first lying down session. She then picked up his left front foot, and took the other lead rope (About 6ft long) and loosely tied it on his left front foot. She now has his left foot with a lead rope tied on it, tied on where you still have the rest of the length of rope. She then, standing at his left side, put the rope under him, and walked to the other side (right side), picked up the rope, (which is tied to his leg LOOSELY around his pastern) and put it on his back. It is now wrapped around his girth line if you pull it taught, and the end of the lead is hanging on his left side.
Walking back over to the left side, where his leg is tied, and the same rope that is tied to his leg is lying on his back, she picks up his left front foot, and then grabs the end of the lead and pulls it taught. It is now holding that foot up. (The rope should be on his girth line) Holding his foot up with the rope, she then gently pushed on his shoulder and asked him to 'lay down'. If he doesnt lye down with the pressure on his shoulder, and his leg being held up, she pulls on the other lead rope (I am assuming you have a lead rope attached to your halter) as if to back him up, instead of backing up though, he just lyed down.
Honestly, I don't know if that made any sense, so if it doesnt, please ask me what parts make no sense, and if it all doesnt make sense, then
I will re write it.
It might sound harsh to have a rope tied to their leg, but seroisuly, she wasnt pulling the horse over, and was just simply holding the rope, which was holding his foot up so she could stand facing his body, and use her other hand to pull his head back, or add pressure on his shoulder.
A few things to note though, when your horse eventually doe lye down, don't let him get up until you say so, or else in time he will just come to think that "Hey, I can get up whenever I want, I don't have to wait for the human". It gets rather aggravating when you have the horse lye down for 5 seconds before he is up again.
After a while, you will not need the rope on his leg, but also, make sure before you lift his leg, to ASK him to lye down, so he knows the command and eventually you will only have to ask him.
Erm, she posted some pictures just a few days ago in the pictures section... Lemme find one or two. And oh, sorry, this is the only trick that I know how to train