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Discuss Teaching a horse to lay down at the Horse Training forum - Horse Forums.

I have taught my horse all the seven games of Parelli and I have tried ...
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    Teaching a horse to lay down

    I have taught my horse all the seven games of Parelli and I have tried different training things...we've got a lot of trust between us and I would like to teach him how to lay down. I have read and heard various ways to teach a horse to lay down, but I'm trying to come up with the best way to go about teaching him. Has anyone done this or have tips on how to start?

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    Um... I worked with a guy who taught my horse to lay down.
    I'm not sure it actually did anything for his training - but here's how we did it:

    Saddle your horse in a western saddle (preferrable, though english will work too). I'm gonna give you instructions to lay him down on his left side.
    First, TIE your left stirrup TIGHT up against the saddle. You don't want your horse laying on that stirrup. Pull it all the way up and over. (Do this with a slip release knot or something).
    Next, using a medium length leadrope - put the leadrope on the opposite side of your horse (like you would lead him off his right). Then - while you are standing on his left - bring the leadrope across the saddle. When you pull on the leadrope, his head should bend around to the right.
    Ok - now lift up your horse's left front foot - and hold it relatively tight to his body. Tug on your leadrope so that his head turns around to the right.
    You can see what's about to happen here - your horse is either gonna jerk his leg loose or sortof fall to his left (this should happen gradually unless your horse is panicking). Also pull on the saddle horn to help him get the idea.
    DO NOT do anything stupid like tying your horse's leg up. If he is really fighting, then this is not something you should be doing. However, some horses will just kindof come down and lay on their sides.
    If your horse is very trusting and kindof prone to laying down anyway, this will be easy. However, if you never see him laying down in the pasture or anything, this will be far more trouble than it's worth. Some horses just don't like to lay down that much... but mine did! I will find a picture somewhere and post it!
    "I do what I please and I do it with ease."
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    Also - a nice prerequisite to this is teaching your horse to kneel. Pick up his left front foot and run the leadrope between his legs. Gently tug on his head and hold a treat under his belly (he will look for it). If he streches under himself far enough he will end up kneeling on one knee.
    "I do what I please and I do it with ease."
    I've been booed!

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    This is a picture... he looks like he's dead, ha ha.
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    "I do what I please and I do it with ease."
    I've been booed!

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    You can teach WITH the saddle, but you can teach a baby without one.....

    If you can acquire the split hobbles (ones that can separate and not jsut be one piece)

    Attach a Lead line (long one) to the hobble and work first at getting your horse to pick up his front leg. (horse should be able to allow you to pick the foot up normally before trying ANYTHING like this advanced)

    To really get a horse going, it takes time. Because you DON"T want them to fall...that is the LAST thing you want. you want them to lay down on their own...

    Now once you can pick the hoof up with the lead rope, (by the way, you shoudl have a lead on the halter as well....and your horse should also know how to back on command as well).......Pick up the leg and be on the opposite side of the horse (rope stretches over the back.....ASK for the horse to back up. As the horse shifts DOWN (which many do at first) release EVERYTHING adn praise them. This is the next step in laying down...Kind of like Bowing. Ask again. Once they are doing this comfortably, then just KEEP asking for back, pulling the head slightly if needed,

    Once the horse will basically "BOW" comfortably, then you can begin the process of pulling them over. You pull the head toward you and some people give a verbal cue DOWN. As the hips shift....release. Praise...

    Basically take baby steps to ensure FEAR is not drilled in.

    There is a guy I saw at Equifest that did this with a saddle, but explained it to me without the saddle (the above). I'll dig him out and post the rest of the steps....
    Nothing like seeing nature from the back of a horse!

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    Mind you ANY of these "tricks" should be studied, Known, yoru horse KNOW and be SOLID on basics, and you should have a knowledgeable handler with you as well, especially if you've never done these things so you don't ruin yoru horse...because some of these Tricks CAN ruin a horse and you can lose all the trust you built up....




    And laying your horse down should be something that you should know how to do, because in the case of an emergency, it is good for your horse to be able to lay down on command. Or at least part way so you can pull him over safely if needed.

    I've done it to one horse (pulled over) NOT fun. I prefer for them to lay down on their own.....Less stress on all of us!!!
    Nothing like seeing nature from the back of a horse!

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    My Gelding Pistol Hurt his foot last year and couldn't bear any weigh on it. Which made it impossible to trim his other feet because he couldn't pick them up with his one front off the ground. Well his shoes long overdue to come off and i really didn't want to put him out to trim his feet so I taught him to lay down pretty quickly. when I would see him laying in the field I would get there ASAP. I would just push on him until he went on his side, then I'd pet him for it. I do this eveytime I could catch him down. Well after he knew what I wanted he would see me coming and just roll over for me. I was able to trim all his feet, evey six weeks like this until we put him down. I didn't even have to halter him, hed just lay in the field.


    I doubt this would work as well for you though, You have to keep in mind Pistol was lame on his front and he like'd to lay down a lot to rest. Plus it was hard for him to pop right up like a regular horse. My mare would get up as soon as she seen me. But It might help some. It was pretty cool for me though to have a horse lay on his back with his feet up in the air, and let me work on his feet, we really had a tight bond, it jsut killed me to put him down.

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    Man, I wish I had seen this last night, after spending literally hours working on getting Fable to go down. I could have taken step-by-step pics of how the rope goes. Most horses that we work with lay down right away, but Fable is a fighter!
    You really want to make sure that your horse is going well before you start to lay them down. You want them to know the seven games and do them well at liberty - you want to be sure that your horse trusts you. It also really helps if you have already taught your horse to bow, so they know what you are asking when you lower them down.
    We use two ropes, and a hobble strap, one rope is the 22' lead and the other is the 12' lead. Take one hobble strap (undo the other strap and the chain - we use breeding hobbles) and put it around the left front. Then attach the rope (the 22') to the ring on the hobble and loop the rope up under the right side over the back and back through the ring on the hobble. Then attach the 12' lead to the right foot - make a loop with it and put it around the fetlock. Then take that rope and throw it over the back. Hold both ropes near the saddle horn.
    This is where it comes in handy to have them know the bow, because you want to pick up the left foot and then get them to lower their head, preferably by bending their nose towards the chest. I give a treat (make sure it's long, like a carrot or you might not end up with all of your fingers when you're done!) and intice them to put their head down between the chest, shifting their weight back. Then as soon as they kneel on the left knee, take up the slack in the ropes and when they shift their weight forward again, bend down with them and don't let them up. This is where some strength and agility come into play. You want them to almost fall forward, it gets them off balance enough that you can get the other leg tucked under like the left and then they are basically kneeling. Then you tip the nose back towards you and it shifts their weight just enough that they start to go over with their back end, and there you go! They're laying down.
    Every horse that we have ever done this with goes over right away. It usually takes about 3 times of doing it and then all you have to do is pick up their left leg, ask them to put their head down and say "lay down", and down they go. Fable on the other hand, did not want to do it at all, but since we started, we had to get him down, because this is a horse that once he gets away with something once, it is so hard to get him to stop (or to get him to do what we're asking, depending on the situation!
    Good luck!
    Here are some pictures of when he finally gave in and laid down. Once we got him down and rubbed and gave lots of treats, we couldn't get him up again! The picture quality isn't the greatest, but we were tired and worn out - it was about 10:30 last night.
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    In the quiet light of the stable, you hear a muffled snort, the stamp of a hoof, a friendly nicker. Gentle eyes inquire, "How was your day old friend?" and suddenly, all your troubles fade away.

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    Wow..that stuff is so cool..the only way i can get millie to lay down is if she already is Lol! Then i go and pet her and shes all like..RUB MY BELLY!
    "i can two step but i leave the danceing to people who don't know how to rodeo"

    "when you think you've hit the end of the road, cowgirl up and kick it in 4x4"

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    The big (why I said Only, don't ask me. LOL) problem that occurs is that some horses when you pick the leg up, FORGET and lay down, when the farrier is trying to deal with them

    So please be careful and make sure you have some OTHER cure other than the leg.
    Nothing like seeing nature from the back of a horse!

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