Walking UNDER your horse
So I've seen lots of people walk under their horses belly to prove that the horse is calm and safe. The first few times I've seen people do this it made me cringe a little then had to admit it was a pretty darned good horse (Of course not just from walking under the belly, but had to admit it was good of the horse(s) to be okay with it and treat it like nothing). Who here has done this? Who here thinks it's a good way of showing that your horse is well behaved and who here thinks it sounds a little if not totally crazy? What do you think of training your horse to do this and would you even dare to train yours or anyones for that matter to do this?
For me after spending sometime with the people who train their horses to be good for it I started working with my pony. You can now walk under his belly and slide off his butt with him standing in the middle of the field and he won't move or do a thing about it. It's not something I think is the safest thing in the world, so I don't plan to keep doing it (And when I did you bet there was full protective gear). It was namely to give something a try and desensitize him a bit for those "Just in case" moments. Which it actually did come in handy when I came home to find someone brought their kids over and didn't watch them enough to notice the four year old run in the field with the horses, who then went under Shnooks belly to reach up and start petting his belly saying "Good big horsey". Of course I hurried over and the dad got an EARFUL when I got back but I was pretty glad to have had him used to it enough to know not to move. This isn't saying a horse won't spook, but I had to admit that it did come in handy for the short time it needed to as things could have gone (And would have if he didn't get used to me doing it) much worse. (Sigh, people need to watch their kids if they go to a farm. short visit or not. xP).
So guys, what're your opinions?
I have the calmest, nicest most sane horse I could ever hope to meet. However I also have common sense and would never place myself under an 1100 lb animal. I can't think of a single reason that would be a good idea.
I desensitize to touch everywhere on my horses, so feasably I could probably walk under them...I don't as a general rule, but they are so used to so much scarey stuff, I don't think they would bat an eyelid. I did all the same desensitization stuff when I was younger, too, and DID walk under my horses...but now I am more breakable so I don't do that anymore, Lol!!!
It's impossible to train a horse to be safe for it IMHO. If the bee gets that poneh into the private part (or sometime just deer fly bite is enough) the climbing person may easily get a hoof (or at least a leg) in head when horse tries to get the fly off. And it won't be the fault of the horse, but the stupidity of the person.
I do get close to the belly when I wash my mare's private parts, or when I have to put ointment on scratch, or when I have to brush the belly/legs, and I always try to watch out. Climbing under? Big no-no.
I never trained my horse to do it... and i would never use it to show good training, because really, IMO no horse should freak out from something like that.
Although i do have to admit... when I'm putting boots on rena, or wraps i do just go right under her belly to get to the other leg, to be honest i don't even think she notices. You should be able to touch your horse anywhere and everywhere anytime without them reacting, I've been taught thats basic training for a horse, not necessarily going under the belly.
It really doesn't take much of a gentle, broke horse to do it, and it's really not all that impressive. People use it as a kind of sale-barn gimmick, but so long as the horse isn't totally nutso, he's unlikely to actually blow up with you under there. I trust all of mine well enough to do it, but certainly don't make a habit of it.
Growing up we had a pony we could do anything with. When we all got to big for him we gave him to a friend of my parents with a special needs child. One day they found her sitting underneath the pony, painting him green, pony never moved a muscle! He was green for a good month! lol
I would never dream of walking under my appy or my TB, but I recently did it with my 36 year old gelding I've had for 13 years, he was eating and I was putting medication on his legs and his but was blocking the doorway so I just went under him when I was done. I would trust Blue with my life tho, any other horse I would have just pushed their but out of my way.
My horses are too short and I'm too old and inflexible to try that anymore but as a kid I did walk under my TB's belly until my trainer caught me one day. He gave me DOWN THE ROAD and I haven't done it since.
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