Teaching A Horse To Lie Down - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-07-2018, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Talking Teaching A Horse To Lie Down

I just made a thread and I completely forgot to put this in. I was thinking about teaching Justice to lay down. Does anyone know any safe ways to teach a horse to lay down that don't include ropes or forcing. I was also wondering if teaching it requires the horse to be smart, because I must say that Justice isn't the brightest horse in the herd
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-07-2018, 06:18 PM
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Quick note: Horses know how to lie down. They do it all the time. You do not actually "teach" them. You put a cue to the action. For the sake of simplicity, "teach" is the word I will use.
Why do you wish to teach your horse to lie down? Is there an actual training reason or just as a "party trick?"
The only training reason I can think of is teaching a horse to be submissive and "trusting". You show a horse respect, teach it to them, be an assertive, confident, and consistent leader. That is how you get a horse to be submissive and trusting. Unless a horse is incredibly aggressive, dominant, and dangerous, getting a horse to lie down for submission is not a good reason.
Teaching a horse to lie down can be dangerous. Given by your other posts, you sound somewhat inexperienced. This is not something I recommend as a start to your training journey. There are other cool, less dangerous tricks you can teach your horse.

What do you mean by, "teaching a horse to be smart?" You mean you would like for her to respond instead of react?

Last edited by Step2Trot; 06-07-2018 at 06:37 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-07-2018, 06:21 PM
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You will have the most success, according to Johnny Bergeson, if your horse is mouthy, likes to touch everything, and is curious. If he is not, he will not respond all that well to tricks.

Before you teach the horse to lie down, you will have more tricks to work with if you teach him to bow. From the bow, you can push him over to lie down, but if you start with the lie down, it is hard to get him to stop halfway to get the bow. On the other hand, if you bow first, then later, lie down, you can get both.

To teach your horse to bow, have a treat in your left hand, pick up his left foot in your right hand and coax him "down" a bit to take the treat. Every day, you coax him a little lower until you can set his knee on the ground. This is easier said than done. You will have some bad days when he says, "Not today, Mom, ain't gonna do it." Just keep at it. It takes work, patience, and a horse that wants to do tricks. Reward the slightest movement lower.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-07-2018, 06:23 PM
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Here is my horse Shadow doing the bow.
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-07-2018, 06:29 PM
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Lovely, @knightrider - you wizard!


The OP (and anyone else interested in these things) may enjoy this. It's a trick training blog - starting with an unbroken mustang called Augustus. Owner is a lovely lady and great with horses. I recommend, if you get hooked on this blog, going back to the start with Augustus, in the archives - it's amazing!



https://augustusthemustang.wordpress.com/
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-07-2018, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by knightrider View Post
To teach your horse to bow, have a treat in your hand, pick up his foot in your hand and coax him "down" a bit to take the treat.
If you are going to teach a horse to bow, this is very important.

Do not teach a horse to bow like this:

It is bad for their legs, back, and body.

This is a good bow:
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-07-2018, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Why do you wish to teach your horse to lie down? Is there an actual training reason or just as a "party trick?"
I have heard that just jumping isn't good for a horse, phisically or mentally. I can't make it down to his barn every day of the week since it is an hour away. Due to this Justice gets bored and frustrated when no one comes down to work him, he paces in his stall and digs. So when I do make it down I work with him for a solid 4 hours. I start off with warmup, then jumping, then I take him down a trail, then I try to learn something new with him on groundwork so I don't overwork him with riding. When working on the ground I do neck stretches, and I try to work with him at liberty. I try to teach him new things while I learn about them my self. I just thought laying down would be something that would work his brain and keep him intrigued. P.S: I am arranging for a friend of mine to come down 2 times a week in the school year since she lives near by and work with him. I just want to see her ride first to make sure she knows what she is doing and make sure her and Justice will work well together
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-07-2018, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by knightrider View Post
Here is my horse Shadow doing the bow.



is that the Washington Monument behind you? very cool photo, btw!!!!
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-07-2018, 08:26 PM
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is that the Washington Monument behind you? very cool photo, btw!!!!
Yes, that is the Washington Monument. We were at the Washington D.C. St. Patrick's Day Parade and doing some tricks while people waited for the parade to begin.
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-09-2018, 10:00 AM
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If I worked mine at all that for 4 straight hours I'd hear about it. Straight from the horses mouth. A long drive, fine. Even the same short drive over and over, fine. A long trail ride, fine. A few rest stops even if it means all day on the trail, even better. Even a lesson and a short hack but 4 hours switching from this to that and there would be a lot of neigh saying going on. They'd all boycott and turn their tails the next time I headed out with a halter. There comes a point where done is just that - done. See it in the classroom all the time now that recess is a thing of the past. Mentally pushing for that amount of time is not a good thing. If you are not being taught properly and have bad habits that are being created then how will you determine what kind of a rider your friend is? You could end up compounding issues.


Jumping correctly and judiciously for a horse conditioned for it and not over worked is neither physically or mentally an issue. It puts my son's lease in a much better frame of mind and forces her to use muscles that because of a past illness and resulting scar tissue she needs motivation to move. Jumping is her reward. She is much freer mentally and physically now for her owner than she was. Result both riders get the benefit. It is all about understanding what you are doing, having someone knowledgeable to support you and knowing the horse.



If they have pasture then why is he cooped up all day? I assume there are other riders on other days of the week? Or is he a weekend warrior through no fault of his own?


ETA LOVE that pic @knightrider !
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Last edited by QtrBel; 06-09-2018 at 10:10 AM.
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