The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: 2: Lie Down
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:52 pm 
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Location: northern, Illinois, USA
Hi,

How do you guys teach your horse's to lie down?

Thanks,

Ivy

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 Post subject: Re: [Q] Lie Down
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:04 pm 
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We did this by mimicry. Whenever I came to a sand area on our walks or when we went to the arena of the riding club and I saw that Titum wanted to roll, I started pawing the ground, said "Platz" (the German dog command for lying down) and went down together with him. I always rewarded him for his intermediate steps like sniffing the ground and pawing and then I rewarded big time for actually lying down. As I knew where and when he would want to lie down, I could also start with that pawing behaviour before him, so that this cue directly preceded his lying down although he did not lie down because of the cue yet. Over time we could increase the impact of the cue. First it only accompanied his own idea, then it was able to convince him when he was in a rolling mood anyway, then it could convince him even if he was not in a rolling mood but the ground was nice and sandy and now I can ask for it whenver I want and wherever we are (perhaps not on gravel though 29), because lying down is just so very rewarding for him: doing almost nothing and getting stuffed with small portions of oat for that all the time.


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 Post subject: Re: [Q] Lie Down
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:52 am 
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With both my horses, the down evolved from the Goat on a Mountain...and making sure the ground was very inviting and good for rolling before I would even try to ask.

I also managed to get Tam one time when he laid down on his own...he was quite sruprosed to get a cookie for it.

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 Post subject: Re: [Q] Lie Down
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:04 am 
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Location: Minnesota, USA
Karen wrote:
With both my horses, the down evolved from the Goat on a Mountain...


That's very interesting! I'm trying to picture it... did you just C&T when their hind legs started to buckle as they were experimenting with GOTM?

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 Post subject: Re: [Q] Lie Down
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:25 am 
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Well, with Cisco, one day he just got tired and laid down. He was easy. I then just had to watch for his legs to get a little wobbly in GOTM, and suggest it, and he was quite willing to lie down.

Tam was different. He could stand in a goat a very long time before it would occur to him to lie down. In fact, he would rather just move a hind foot back. So with Tam, I would ask him to go into a Goat, then I would kneel down beside him and move the ground with my hand, paw at the ground...and I rewarded him for any lying down behavior that he showed. If he sniffed or snuffled the dirt with his nose, click treat. If he raised a front or hingd leg and set it back down, click treat. If he pawed the ground, JACKPOT.

We played with it on and off for weeks before he finally tried to lie down. Then I got so excited I clicked before he was fully down and he got right back up again. 23 It was quite funny. Took me about another week for him to get him to do it a second time...then I manage to control myself and not click until his belly was on the ground.

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 Post subject: Re: [Q] Lie Down
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:16 am 
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Location: Minnesota, USA
Thank you, Karen! That is very helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: [Q] Lie Down
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:20 am 
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Location: northern, Illinois, USA
Thanks, guys. That leads me to another question. How do I teach Goat on the Mountain? I don't remember seeing it as a sticky. Maybe that should change. 29

Thanks,

Ivy

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 Post subject: Re: [Q] Lie Down
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:49 am 
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Here ya go!

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=640

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 Post subject: Re: [Q] Lie Down
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:48 am 
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Great advice, guys!
I'm afraid I'll have to turn this into a sticky. 25

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 Post subject: Re: 2: Lie Down
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:47 am 
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Location: Grantville, PA
Has anyone tried it from a one legged bow? Our bow is good- GOTM not so much.

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 Post subject: Re: 2: Lie Down
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:27 am 
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I've seen it done from a one legged bow, but you basically have to pull the horse over from that point. I just didn't want to try that.

If you can get your horse to tuck the other front leg though...from a one legged to a two legged bow (kneeling), then the down is bound to happen at some point - and probably with very little encouragement.

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 Post subject: Re: 2: Lie Down
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:57 am 
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You don't have to pull a horse over to let him lie down from a one-legged bow: you can use a target to bend his head over the stretches leg towards you. When the horse tries to reach with his head to that side (on a 90 degree angle from his body) and you move the target further and further towards his girth area, he will have to sag further through his bent knee in order to reach it. Of course that what you click for when the targetting itself is going well!
When he's going down so much on that knee that his body actually is resting on the horizontal cannon bone, often it's just a question of time before the horse will just lie down completely.

The same way, with target, you can also teach them to lie down from the kneeling. Both Blacky and Sjors have learned the lying down through rolling/mimicry, but I can also ask Sjors to lie down from the compliment and from the kneeling. Once he knew all the three exercises seperately, he connected the dots and suddenly could lie down any of the three ways.

It's so handy to have a pony who does the thinking for you! 8)

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 Post subject: Re: 2: Lie Down
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:41 pm 
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Thank you Miriam!!! It hadn't occured to me. I have only seen it done with the horses being pulled over. And it was done quite gently, actually. So why is it that I then think it's the only way to do it?

Being brain lazy?

Thank you for the targeting idea. Now that you've described it, I can see it clearly.

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 Post subject: Re: 2: Lie Down
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:42 am 
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You can also wash your horse (when it's warm) and wait 'till they begin to roll over :D
Or have always treats in your pocket for situations when your horse will lie down by him/her-self.
This is the way I trained Evita because this way its totally separate from other exercises, which I find useful.

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 Post subject: Re: 2: Lie Down
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:39 pm 
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Bianca wrote:
You can also wash your horse (when it's warm) and wait 'till they begin to roll over :D
Or have always treats in your pocket for situation when your horse will lie down by itself.
This is the way I trained Evita because this way its totally separate from other exercises, which I find useful.


Ooh, ooh, Bianca, thank you! :applause: :applause:

I've been so far stymied about the lying down thing (I'm just starting to teach Circe how to bow, and am hesitant with Stardust -- he's a big, uncoordinated galoot and I'm not totally convinced he wouldn't get himself stuck), and we've not gotten to lying down with me around very easily. (When I do the Romy patented scratch the ground with my foot, Circe responds with enthusiastic scratching!)

But, yes, the post-bath roll! Brilliant! This is a given!

:-)

Thanks, all, this is a helpful thread!

Best,
Leigh

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