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[Fwd: Re: [RC] Trailer ramps] - Jim Holland

>So, Jim, I suppose there is some kind of video out about how to train horses to let >you sit on them, etc.?


Well, there is no video that I am aware of....but several Natural Horsemanship Clinicians practice several ways of getting them to lay down.  I taught that to Sunny some years ago using John Lyons' method.  Once he lays down, I can sit on his shoulder. He will stay down as long as my hand is on his neck.  I have board fences in my pastures, with 4x6 posts. Couple of years ago, Sunny was runnning, doing laps, bucking, etc. just for fun.  Slipped on the grass and went down on his side, with all four feet going under the fence, his front feet on one side of a post and his back feet on the other.  I went running over as he began to struggle, put my hand on his neck and asked him to "whoa".  He stopped immediately and lay quietly while I extricated him one leg at a time from the fence.  I firmly believe he could have been seriously injured had I not taught him to let me lay him down.

I work very hard on handling and trust with Sunny and Magic.  They both get groomed every day, usually in the hallway and are taught to stand quietly for this, no restraint. I sit on the floor under them, crawl around between their legs, lift their barrel with my back, stretch their legs, and anything else I can think of.  Sunny has been "manipulated" so much, I can "put him in a position" and he will stay there. Can put his foot on a hoof stand and walk away.  He will just stand there and wait with his foot up. Both Sunny and Magic will ground tie, and stand quietly, with or without restraints.

Anytime I happen to be around when they are lying down in the pasture, I walk over and scratch on them, handle them all over, give them treats and encourage them to trust me handling them while down.  Magic enjoys that so much, he will just put his head in your lap and take a nap.

I haven't taught Magic to lay down yet. I'm going to try a different method with him I have taugh him to  "Gimme a Kiss", hide his head under my arm when I tell him to "Be Ashamed", pick up my cap and give it to me when I drop it on the ground in front of him, and is "almost" trained to bow.

By the way, teaching tricks is a great way to "understand" a horse's thought processes.  In order to teach a trick, you have to figure out some way to get him to do what you want, then reward, then associate it with a cue.  It also teaches you patience! <grin>

If all you're doing is RIDING your horse, you're missing half the fun! <grin>

Jim, Sun of Dimanche, and Mahada Magic