I am really into having the best relationship
possible with my mare "shadow".I bought her for $200 dollars from a
familly that couldnt ride her because she was "dangerous" they couldnt
even get on her...since then it has take about 1 month of riding her for an hour
or a so a week and i now ride her comfortably in a only a halter....i believe
shadow has potential to learn alot and i was wondering if you know any methods
of teching a horse to lay down like you see in those photos where the trainer
is laying on the horse when its on the ground... they can get their horses to
sit down and rear up on comand.... if you could help me out here i would love
it because no where i have seen on the net at all has methods for teaching your
horse these tricks...i know i would need to have her trust to do this... i can
approach her when she is laying down and she will stay there and i can sit next
to her for some while... but she is not comfortable... your helo would be greatly
never wanted to teach my horses to lay down or rear up so I might not be the best
person to ask this question. On the other hand, maybe that is precisely why I
might be the BEST person to ask because my answer will probably help you and your
horse stay safe.
I was about 12 years old, two girlfriends and I went on a big horseback adventure,
riding miles and miles along highways, on gravel roads, and across pastures so
that we could visit my Aunt Julia's dairy farm. Two things really stick in my
mind from that ride. The first one is that almost as soon as we reined into my
aunt's front yard on our sweaty horses, we were attacked by a hoard of horseflies.
My aunt, a very old fashioned farm lady that had a heart of gold but not a lot
of horse experience or finesse, came at us saying "hello hello!" with
a huge hand pump fly spray bomb. I'll never forget her marching toward us with
that giant orange and black canister, her arms pumping vigorously which sent a
huge cloud of the most awful smelling insecticide all over us. Before any of us
could say "Stop!", Margaret's white gelding was standing on his hind
legs, something he was prone to do anyway, and which about a year later put Margaret
in the hospital.
But that day, she managed to stay
on and get him reorganized while I explained to my aunt that the horses were frightened
at the sight, sound, and smell of the big dairy barn fly bomb and she stopped
spraying us. Whew. In her usual big smile way, she took no offense at our rejection
of her gesture to help and she encouraged us to head down to the stream so we
could give our horses a drink and cool off.
come to the second thing that really made an impression on me that day. When Pat
and Margaret and I got to the stream, almost immediately, Margaret's gelding layed
down in the water. There was nothing Margaret could do to stop him. Once he was
down, she had the good sense to jump off because he started to roll in the water,
saddle and all. What a mess.
Since that day, I've
seen many many horses rear while being led or ridden and I've seen a couple of
other horses lay down with their riders. Such unwanted behavior has never been
a pretty sight and it has often resulted in injury or the horse being sold. So
I have never wanted to teach my horses to rear or lay down.
if you have your mind set on rearing like the Lone Ranger or laying your horse
down like a "horse whisperer", first be sure your horse has a solid
background in the basics. From what you describe, it sounds like you have a start,
but be sure you can do all of the "normal" things with Shadow before
you start trick training. A solid ground training program is essential before
you add tricks. Below I'll list some articles and books to help you with ground
training. Be sure you can do all the things on the "In Hand Checklist"
below before you ever consider trick training.
you feel Shadow has a solid background in the basics (maybe two years from now?)
and you feel it is time to pursue trick training, you'll find help at
Horse Training .
Best of luck.
For more information on ground training,
read these books: