Stacy’s Video Diary: Jac Episode 36- Teaching a horse to lay down…or not.

I consider teaching a horse to bow, lay down or other ‘tricks’ to be teaching advanced groundwork. I began to teach Jac to lay down because I wanted something that I could do in small areas where Jac might be distracted. The theory here is that instead of punishing Jac when he is distracted, I could instead ask him to go into the ‘end of the trail’ pose or lay down.

Using Newt and Jac in this video I show the basic idea of how I teach my horses to lay down. I doesn’t use any ropes during this process. First, I teach the horses to drop their heads when I cues them to. Then I teach the lay down by asking the horse to step forward with the hind legs while NOT stepping forward with the front legs. Eventually this puts the horse in the ‘end of the trail’ position. I prefer to put the horse into this position and then I will wait for the horse to find the easier way out…which is laying down.

I explain that I has chosen not to finish teaching the lay down to Jac at this time. My reason is that I want to keep things a bit more simple for Jac. If Jac made the mistake of laying down at a reining show he would be disqualified. Jac is already learning so many other cues that I changed my mind and decided to not teach this ‘trick’ so that Jac is less likely to make this mistake at a show.


  1. […] I would suggest finding a local therapy barn to become accustom to riding again. Just as learning to be in the wheel chair has been a learning curve, learning to ride again will also be a new learning curve. The people I have met that are involved in therapy have been extremely caring and will be in the best position to be able to help you guys with this transition, including the discussion about his ability to mount from a horse that is lying down. […]

  2. […] lead rope. If you watch for it you can see it. If your curious about how that works you can read my previous blog about teaching a horse to lie down.  When you watch the video of Jac learning to lie down, can you see the similarities to watching […]

  3. Sharon on July 10, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Can you tell us, Stacy, what you do to teach a horse to stay in this position? What are the steps leading up to this? Thanks.

  4. Lesia Lowe on May 15, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    WOW……seeing Jac stay in that almost “painful” looking position for that length of time just shows how willing he seems to want to please you….figured his muscles would cramp up….. he just didn’t give up on it….what do you make of it??? do you pull on the rope to make him put his head down or do they all just do it..?
    anyway he impressed me… great video…

  5. Liseanne R on May 15, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I never thought it could be possible to teach something so advanced from such a distance! I can’t wait to teach on of my guys this trick, it looks like a lot of fun!

  6. Elizabeth W. on May 14, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Amazing I have been Looking for a video explaining this movement further! Thank you! I am going to have to try it.

  7. Starr Glenn on May 14, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    My horse and I have been doing well in training he’s green and young but listens well and learns quickly. But his new thing is he likes to roll while I’m riding him or lunging with a saddle. He is obviously trying to get me and the saddle off his back. What is the best way to deter him of this behavior? He is literally laying down on the job.

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