Problems with teaching a horse to Bow

Hi Stacy, I watched your video on how to teach your horse to bow and I finally got my horse, Espresso, to bow. Although now that she know’s how to bow every time the farrier comes to do her feet she bows. What is your suggestion? thanks Haley

Lol. That can happen!

This issue should happen less as you continue for two reasons.

First, as she becomes accustom to the specific cue (in the video it is the tap on the cannon bone) she will look more for that and less the general position.

Right now she is thinking ‘broad’ and every time her leg goes up..she thinks about the bow (good job rewarding that by the way).

Second, as you continue to teach the bow you will add a ‘stand up’ or end cue. As you add that cue you will also have another way to discourage her from trying to bow.

If I were holding her for the farrier I would also apply halter pressure to pull her forward when she began to sink down into the bow. That will likely be enough to discourage her…or it will reveal that you have an additional issue with her yielding to the halter pressure.

It is great that she is seeing the clear reward given in the bow.

Now you can begin to refine the cue and add another layer of language!




Originally published 1/4/2012. Updated 1/4/2020…amazing how some things never change:)


  1. Olivia on January 4, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I taught my mini to stand on a platform and she does it just for the attention. I can put her on it and leave for 15 min, come back and she is still there, napping on the platform, lol! She also likes to get dressed up.

  2. Jodi peck on January 4, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Funny, I taught my mini to bow along with other tricks, and as soon as I go outside he goes through them all, all by himself!! just cause he knows I cant refuse giving him a treat! Its so cute.
    Thanks stacy for the info because he bows all the time, when I put his blanket on and when he has his feet done or brushed! He just wants his goodie I think. But this mini lived in the house with me for about 2 years. They are way smarter than people give them credit for! Did you know they dream! He used to lay flat out on the living room floor and run and whinny in his sleep. I just love that they do remember and have dreams of there own!!

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