There are many different methods to teach a horse how to lay down. Douwe was first taught to lay down with the use of a surcingle and ropes by a trainer that had years of experience and I continued his training after the initial work. Using that technique is effective but can be difficult on the horse if not used properly. I have begun teaching Rovandio how to lay down using the method in video #1. So far he is dropping his head and bringing his hind legs under from the light tapping on the belly. Dan James also showed us this method in a recent clinic we hosted at Elysium Sport Ponies in Atkinson, ME. He has a video for sale that explains the entire technique in detail. I have included the information at the bottom of the post.
Method #1 with Juliette
This method is my favorite of the three. This young trainer named Juliette (her last name was not posted on her YouTube channel) has done an excellent job training her horse Oreo. She was inspired to perform with the Wings of Isis after watching Douwe and I perform together. I saw a video of her performing with the wings and I have kept an eye on her videos since then. She did a great job showing the process from start to finish and making it clear that it takes a lot of time and patience. Every horse reacts differently and some may take longer than others.
Method #2 with Ellie Sales
In this video Ellie shows us how she taught her horse how to lay down using the bow/kneel. I know of some trainers that will teach the bow before lay down and other prefer the other way around. There are pros and cons to both. Make sure you are clear on your cues from the start so that you do not confuse your horse. I know of some trainers that will cue the bow from the left side and the lay down from the right side. You will see how Ellie starts from the bow, teaches the kneel, and finally the lay down.
Method #3 with Emilia
Emilia uses a method that is referred to as "wetting". You give your horse a bath and take them to a soft, sandy place where they will naturally want to lay down and roll. If your horse loves to roll after their workout this could be a gentle, easy option.
Teaching the Lie Down with Ariana Sakaris
This video goes step by step through the lay down process. This is the method that is used by Dan James and he endorses this video. If you are interested in purchasing this DVD visit their website at: http://doubledanhorsemanship.com/product/teaching-the-lie-down/
I will post updates about Rovandio's progress as he learns the lay down. I am excited to try this new method and I would love to hear from any of you that are also working on it with your horses. Please leave a comment down below or send me an email at: email@example.com.