Teaching a Horse to Lie down

Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by Sweety, Apr 22, 2009.

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  1. Sweety

    Sweety Active Member

    Hey guys,@)
    I want to teach my 4yr old gelding to lie down on command.

    Just wondering how I would achieve teaching him this, he is pretty willing to learn.

    I want to teach him this because when i was un-rugging down in the bottom paddocks this morning he was lying down and i sat on his back, he then got up, too eat his brekkie, with me on and it was a really cool feeling! lol!:)

    Thanks in advance:D
  2. citygirl

    citygirl Gold Member

    pmsl..ask Luke ! **):p*#)

  3. casperjesse

    casperjesse Well-known Member

    Thought about teaching my pony to lie down. Not to sure how to teach them but a friends horse had been taught and it was a pretty cool trick.
    You had to pick his foot up and he would go down on his knee then you put your hand on his wither and pulled him over( Not to physical just gently). Horse has to have alot of trust to do this. If you are unsure they are reluctant to let you pull them over.

    Hope this helps you to work it out. I'll have to try with my pony keep you updated. LOL
  4. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    I trained my gelding to kneel by holding up the leg and tightening the offside rein.

    However have been playing with Sugar and a carrot stick.
    If I put a piece of carrot at her forefeet and draw it backwards she drops her nose down to the ground and starts to knuckle over one knee. I think this would be an excellent way to start teaching her to kneel then from there drop down completely.
    Positive and her choice to go there.

    A carrot stick is just a long stick with a hook on the end to hook a piece of carrot on. We do a bit of work with it every now and again to increase her flexibility.
  5. Babe

    Babe Well-known Member

    There is a really nice book about Liberty training ;)

    I taught a mare of mine years ago to bow on command...pretty awesome stuff!
  6. stephie1370

    stephie1370 Well-known Member

    Oh if anyones horseys can do it, feel free to post pics :D

    My horse can 'hug' lol I'll try and get a photo. If I hug her neck and say hug, she will wrap her head around me :) Cept she does it once and then gets over it haha unless theres treats involved lol
  7. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    both of my big gelding's are a little bit away from actually bowing without a carrot.

    my chestnut is especially good at it because he goes absolutely mad for carrots. secret is (i think) having forelegs separated - as in, one a bit more forward/behind the other. then standing at the shoulder, teach the horse to reach between it's knees to get carrots (you pass ur hand from behind where the girth is, to the front of the front legs). gradually, as horse improves flexibility, keep moving carrot further back (along belly) so that the horse stretches out it's legs to try and reach. i find that if the legs are together than either a) horse will bump into it's knees & stop (this is what my new pony Tazzie does, lol!) or b) it just flexes it's head back as far as it can. if one leg is forward it will cock the leg that's behind it & thus produce the "bow"

    once you develop that, you need to teach ur horse a cue that doesn't involve carrots. watch stacey westfall get her mare Roxy - she kicks (lightly) at her hoof & roxy will pick up that hoof, stretch out the opposite leg and fall back on the hoof that's been kicked/pushed by stacey. i guess she's just really training Roxy to give to pressure because when she touches her hoof, roxy's hoof comes up). i tap my horse lightly on the leg closest to me, with my fingers & this will intiate the bow, but my horse is too clever & soon realises i've got no carrots for him to strain towards, lol.

    you can also involve leadropes & other things, to hold up the hoof, but i find this way to be the most fun & easy - not that i've tried the other ways tho.
  8. Paint8

    Paint8 Well-known Member

    My boy can do it on command.. won't do it if the ground is too hard though!

    I had a trainer do it the first couple of time to be safe :)
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  9. Clerrt

    Clerrt Well-known Member

    Maybe a good start could be saddling at liberty. I recently did this with my horse and it was an extremely valuable lesson. You just do it slowly, for example, put the saddle blanket on, play some games or pick up a foot or whatever and then take it off, and then keep starting the process again and again, building upon what you just did as the horse becomes more comfortable with the process.

    Before I did this, I did another exercise where you get the horse to walk with you and stay with you at liberty.

    But after I did this, I had a ridden lesson, and by riding in a flatwork lesson where we were working on frame and I was asking him to exert himself, I felt like I had kind of ruined what I had achieved at liberty.
  10. Dontey464554

    Dontey464554 Active Member

    I taught my friends pony to laydown with a stirrup leather on one of his forelegs and it lifted his leg up as i did it up on the top half of his leg then i flexed his head in the opposite direction and it would create him to 'loose balence' and he would slowly go down. 5 minutes later is sleeping on the ground. You just pick up his leg now like your picking out his feet and flex his head and he down! I'm teaching him to smile, he grins at the moment :) on the laying down too, he lets us stand on his bum too (one at a time)when hes down! and the girl who owns him sits on him when he gets up.
    I find the horses need to have alot of trust in humans, this little pony will just about sit in your lap if you let him and is always the first one at the gate and to be caught. My two dont really like this idea but i've only had them for less than 3 months.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  11. Jadelise

    Jadelise Well-known Member

    Thats because Kai is special :D
  12. Paint8

    Paint8 Well-known Member

    ha ha he thinks he is special :)
  13. Its Party Time

    Its Party Time Well-known Member

    I had a little Appy Quarterhorse who use to lie & sit on his bum on command it was a great party trick until I broke him in and when ever he got tired when I was riding him he just use to sit or lie down. He did it while I was crossing a main highway once and both of us nearly got squashed by a car:eek:

    Have fun & Good luck:)*
  14. casperjesse

    casperjesse Well-known Member

    I'm sorry, I had to laugh. I can just see your horse sitting on the road. LOL
    Sometimes these horses are tooo smart for there own good.
  15. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    One has to ask why an owner wants their horse to do "tricks"?
    And who is benefitting from it, horse or owner?

    Considering the above and the risk that these "tricks" can do in the wrong hands.....sometimes the best protection for a horse is NOT knowing some things!! The physical effort involved in lying down and getting back up is huge.....probably why horses don't lie down every hour!!
    Just give him the carrot because he likes them and you like him.

  16. Its Party Time

    Its Party Time Well-known Member

    Completely agree with you! My colt was taught it at a very early age from his previous owner which is why I posted what I did.
    I never knew when he would feel like sitting or lying down and it became quite dangerous when crossing roads.
    He did however go onto be a very successful trick horse used in demonstrations etc in Victoria;)
  17. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    Yep "tricks" are entertainment. Considering the levels of abuse that horses have to endure (and we're talking everyday horses that tie/float/ride ect), imagine one that has something unique in its brainbank???????????

    In the right hands for the right reasons a "unique" ability is wonderful (entertainment or disabled)......in the wrong hands for self promotion a "unique" ability can be exploited or manipulated. If not with one owner then possibly the next or the next. In these instances the animal is usually the one to suffer......

    IMO protect your horses by making them great horses and giving them everything they need to function as happy well-rounded ridden animals......anything on top of that exposes them to a possible ding dong future owner who knows nothing of what they are doing, but who loves seeing it done anyway.

    But I'm dumb. :D
  18. Horsetalk

    Horsetalk Well-known Member

    Happy to agree with you EVP. :) Just can't to your last sentence lol. :p :D
  19. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    EVP, is it any worse than a top level dressage rider teaching her horse higher level movements (like piaffe, or passage, or piroette) and then selling the horse to some d!ckhe@d who piaffe's down the road for twenty minutes, just cos he can. Or perhaps a trained reining horse falling into the wrong hands, and they do slidding stops all over the show, just cos they can.

    I mean, where to you draw the line. Should we all not teach our horses anything other than basic walk, trot, canter, stop, for fear of someone doing the wrong thing with the horse.

    If any owner was concerned, they could chose to not tell the new owners of the horses level of training, or better still keep the horse.

    I personally think it is a good way to bond, so long as your doing it for the right reasons, and not just to show off.

    Your comment on the effort it takes for a horse to lay down and get up, which I agree is a big effort, but what about the effort that some riders put in to get their horses sidepassing, halfpassing, countercanter, lead changes....the list goes on.....float loading, tying up, etc,etc. It all requires effort from rider and horse, and even though the horse doesn't chose this path, most of us try to find a way to have the horse relaxed in his work, and rewarded for his every try.

    You label the teaching of the horse to lay down as a 'trick', but really, its just training, otherwise you'd have to call everything that we all did tricks.

    EVP, what would you otherwise suggest we all do with our horses? And what do you do with yours?

    My aim is to have as much variety, fun, and kindness and understanding as I can muster.:))
  20. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    Not knowing the market of these horses I can only assume that schooling a horse to this level is very much "value added" and that it would benefit the horse for its career as a dressage mount. Least the HD mag is full of nice horses who sell for good money.....those horses might suit an up-and-coming rider, or an accomplished one?. So in this instance the amount of education actually contributes to a horses future life as a member of the equine ridden community.

    Yes those people exist...lolol But for a trained dressage horse of that level...say 10K....the di#*head would have to be pretty flush.....lolol

    Yep seen that too.....and its a real worry....but a higher level of training within a discipline might perhaps enhance the chances of that horse continuing in that sport arena (pro or non-pro) until they become sore that is.....lolol Anyone who knows reiners will tell you that a horse gets sore before they get sick of doing the manoever at the riders request!

    Not at all. Teach the horse EVERYTHING it will need for its future life target. If it succeeds to a particular level then the dollar added benefits the horse and its possible future homes.....ideally. But I fail to see that teaching a horse to lie down adds ANY value to it as a ridden animal.

    Yes they could possibly do that.....but I don't think it would be long before said horse was laying down for that hidden tidbit much to the owners amazement.....either in the saddle or in the paddock.

    And you are perfectly entitled to your thoughts. I still fail to see what those "right" reasons are and consider bonding can be achieved by handing over the carrot without asking for something in return.

    Yes all these things are dollar value adding for the benifit of enhancing a horses possibilities of enjoying quality homes....each time they are sold.

    I merely echoed the previous posts where it was labelled a "trick". But yes, I consider it a "trick" if it doesn't enhance the life chances and potential of a horse. Lie down or bowing does not IMO enhance the ridden life of any horse....other than for the disabled or movie career (in which case these horses sell for a premium and its all dollar value added for the horses continued possibilities).

    I suggest people teach their horses everything they need to know to be good at whatever it is those owners pursue.....the more a horse knows about being a good reliable ridden horse the better its chances...not to mention competition status.

    Thats sounds great. Thats what owning and riding horses is all about. My question still remains........how does a lying down horse benefit longterm from the knowledge, and does it have the potential to enhance its chances of premium homes for the remainder of its life? ....

    These are just things to think about for any reader and are just points of discussion nothing more.:)*
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