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My mare is still very young, but I want to make sure I sart her out right and maybe teach her some extra tricks of the trade. One I was thinking about was to get her to lay down on command. I'm a big bareback rider, love it, but I'm only 5'1 and my mare is 16.1hh and growing! I thought getting her to lay down so I can get up on her would be a nice idea. Has anyone ever accomplished this? Is it dangerous? Hard to train? Any tips?
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There are lots of videos on youtube about this. Lots of ways to do it and lots of reasons to as well.
 

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Its not something I would do at all - so not a priority in my training regime
Knowing how to lay a horse down is a useful tool because you never know when you might need to do it - but as some sort of a trick - not for me!!!
 

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Personally, I wouldn't ever bother training a horse to lay down, and this comes from a person who enjoys riding bareback and has a 17hh. I find something to hop off of if I need to get on. My horse seems to have to heave enough to get up on her own, I wouldn't want to make her do it with me on her back.
 

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Has anyone ever accomplished this? Is it dangerous? Hard to train? Any tips?
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It's not difficult to do, it just takes a lot of time and patience. How fast you'll be able to execute the finished maneuver depends a lot on your horse's temperament, the reward method you use, and how much time you put in.

For mounting purposes, I recommend just teaching the bow. It's a lot faster since it's already a step along the way. You have to teach it anyway I you're teaching a lay down. If you're experienced you can get a decent bow in a day. Some horses (and people) take longer but its really not something you want to rush anyhow.

Do you ever plan on selling this horse or letting anyone else ride it? One thing to consider is how you're going to cue the bow/lay down. Its probably best to use a cue that has physical and verbal aspects so that someone else doesn't accidentally cue the horse. People and horses can get hurt, and horses can be misunderstood and mistakenly punished if the people who are handling them don't know what they're capable of.

On that note, the lay down is a pretty rewarding thing to teach, and useful too. Not for everyone though. There are some good books out there that show you how to teach it. Best of luck!
 

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I'm a fan of teaching them to lay down. I can't remember which thread I saw it on, but I remember reading one poster's comment that it might be good for trail purposes - if you're ever injured and can't mount the horse while it is standing on all four legs. Although, for that purpose, a bow would probably be just as affective.
 
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