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Monday, 10 December 2018

Teach Your Horse to Lie Down on Command



1.  Watch your horse's natural behaviour

>Now that you have decided to teach your horse to lie down, you should start spending some time to watch your horse.  This is important because the easiest way to teach your horse is to catch him lying down in his own time.  This may be that he rolls once you turn him out, he has an afternoon nap or he rolls after a ride if you take him tack off.  Once you know when he likes to lie down you can move on to the next step.



2.  Equipment & Rewards


I like to use clicker training for my horses.  Clicker training is great because you can let the horse know he has done the right thing quickly.  This means the horse shouldn't get confused too much.  I am definitely not a pro at this so if you want to learn more you can have a read of The Willing Equine's resources.  Your horse needs to know clicker training before teaching him to lie down with a clicker.


White horse sleeping while lying down in a field

3.  The Cue


Now you know when your horse lies down and how to train him, you can start to give cues.  Start by putting your horse in the situation that he wants to lie down naturally.  For example, I turn Shandy out as I know he rolls in the field.  I will then stand near the horse and wait for him to lie down.  The second he lies down I reward him.  This can take time if your only getting the natural lie down once a day.

Once your horse is taking more interest in your cue and is lying down in that natural setting, you can give it a try with a head collar on.  I personally still use their natural lying down behaviour so I would take Shandy into his field but keep his headcollar on and stand close.  If he lies down with your cue, you've got it!  You can now try in a different location.  If not, take the head collar off and try a few more times.



*disclaimer* 

I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  

TheRider'sReins 

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