A horse is a quite smarter animal than other four-legged species. Over the centuries, human beings are using horses as their companion for several purposes and activities. Even in this modern era, many people are still fond of keeping horses for riding or carrying stuff.
Throughout the internet, several riders are asking how to teach a horse to sit. It is because teaching a horse to sit when necessary is the toughest part of the whole training.
As you are willing to have a horse for some reasons, you need to train it for obeying you. And, you need to do this training without thinking of punishing the horse. A horse can take some time to learn to sit when you want. Your patience is the most necessary thing in this matter. Here, I am putting lights on an easy method that can make your horse sit on your command.
Why It is Hard Teaching Horse to Lay Down or Sit
Animals can easily become prey when they sit down or stay laid. It is in their natural instinct by born. That is why a horse can never sit in front of you or other humans unless it feels safe to stay unguarded.
Moreover, horses have different types of moods too. They can be in a good mood when the surroundings, environment or approach seems okay. Because of this, every horseman or trainer tells beginners to focus on building a relationship with horses first. It is one of the basic tricks to teach your horse any kind of task you want.
Any forceful command or approach can make horses feel unsafe, and they can react unusual no matter how known you are to them. That is why making a horse sitting down is the toughest part of the whole training or petting period because horses being extra sensitive.
The Proper Way to Teach Your Horse Sitting
Now, let’s talk about something that you really want to know. There are not too many ways you can make your horse learn to sit on your command. Many might suggest observing professional stable owners. But I think you should not do so.
There are many cases when professional and local stable owners use harmful methods on horses in training. Because of this, I am suggesting to follow my instructions below instead of using their methods. I have tried to describe the whole stuff about how to teach a horse to sit after collaborating both my personal experiences and opinions of friends who own horses as a hobby.
Create a Strong Relationship with Your Horse
It is already mentioned earlier that having a strong mental connection between you and your horse the primary condition of starting the training. To have a good relation, you need to company your horse in many different activities. You can also spend some free time with the horse doing nothing.
Besides, you can praise and rub your horse’s neck sometimes. The best way to make a horse happy is by rewarding foods. Whenever you see your horse following your orders even a little bit, give the horse some fruits or grass. This might make a horse follow your commands more than before.
Ensure the Environment is Perfect
Apart from having a good connection, providing your horse a place that might seem safe and comfortable is pretty important. You can’t make your horse obey you when it finds the environment uncomfortable.
The house where horses live is known as the stable. As you are preparing to train your horse, you need to make sure the stable is located in the middle of a wide and green place with no other animal that can create trouble.
The area where you intend to train your horse shouldn’t be too uneven. Muddy or grassy surfaces are okay for the job. The place near the stable should be wide enough to let a horse run faster and easier.
Also, you need to collect enough hays around the place. Hays comes in handy in different ways for a barn or stable. So, keep this in your mind while you prepare to train your horse.
Let Your Horse Copy You
Here comes the first phase of the main training. You have to let your horse follow your movements. For this, you need to spend half an hour every day. You should not make your horse do anything in this step. Let the horse do whatever it wishes.
When your horse does something, just follow it and copy the movement. But the horse should notice that you are copying almost every move.
Then, you take the lead and do something like slow walking or bending your body while moving forward. If you see the horse also doing the same, consider half of the job done.
Never forget to feed something or pat the back of your horse after every session. It encourages the horse to imitate you more in the future. Thus, the job becomes easier.
Identify a Location in the Stable Area
As your horse has started copying you or following your orders, you need to focus on the horse lying down or sitting training. It is pretty common that a horse can prefer one or two specific places in the stable boundary where it lies down willingly whenever it wishes. You have to observe your horse and spot the places as soon as possible.
You also need to know when your horse goes to those places and lie down. After knowing all these, the next step starts immediately.
Encourage the Horse to Stay Sit
After that, you have to reach your horse whenever it is sitting there to take some rest. Your approach must be normal. It shouldn’t make your horse stand up from being sit. When you come near your horse, show that you are happy to see your horse lying down.
You can also sit beside the horse and express your happy mood. Try to convert all the focus of your horse towards you. Otherwise, all the hard work goes in vain.
Next, you have to follow a common thing from the previous steps. You must reward the horse for not standing up while you reached. You can treat anything of its favorite food. By this, your horse gets to know that you get happy even if it lies on the ground and do nothing much.
Repeat the Forth Step and Add Something More
I have already told you how you can make your horse copy you. You need to bring back the step again right after your horse learns to sit to please you.
This time, when the horse imitates you, you have to slowly reach the ground and sit or lie down keeping your chest at the bottom. When you do so, the horse can observe and lay down its body also. But there’s a big chance that it might not understand your intention and do something else.
That is why you need to keep calm and try to do this step, again and again, every day. While trying this step, you should also carry on praising your horse when it lies on the ground. It helps to make the horse learn faster.
Gradually Change the Way You Command to Sit
Now, we have reached the final step to teach your horse to sit. After successfully completing the last stage, your horse is surely ready to obey your command. That is why you need to teach something advanced so that you can easily make the horse sit.
In the previous step, I have advised you to sit down on the ground as the horse copies your movement to make you happy. Gradually, avoid sit fully on the ground, and try to bend the body in a way that makes your horse feel you are going to sit. Day by day, keep increasing the distance between your knees and the ground while bending that seems like you are kneeling a bit.
Start Using Your Hand to Command
The most critical thing comes right after that. when you are slowly decreasing the bending rate every day, try to pat on the back of your horse in a fixed rhythm. It makes the horse understand that you want it to sit whenever you pat its back with that rhythm.
As a result, the horse’s brain remembers to sit down whenever the master is patting the back along with kneeling his own body a bit. But there are some drawbacks too. If you shift your bending position quickly with the time passes, your horse might get confused.
Apart, if you don’t maintain a proper way of patting back the horse might get the wrong idea and sit down, even when you unintentionally pat its back. So, you need to follow a slow and fixed technique while doing this final step of the whole training period.
Some Extra Tips for Better and Faster Result
So, this is everything you need to know when you want to train a horse to sit. Beside all these, there are some facts that you should never forget when you are teaching your horse something. I am showing some of those facts as extra knowledge in this matter to help you achieve your goal with your horse.
The Communications Depends on Signs
It is obvious that horses don’t understand what we say. They read our emotions by understanding our body language and facial expressions. So, if you see your horse confused when you try to teach something new, don’t get angry. The horse might be a slow reader of your expressions, or your body language can be complex in this case. As I have said, keep patience when you train a horse.
Remember the Food Habit
There is a myth that horses can only live on grass and hay, which is absolutely wrong. Many horses like to eat vegetables and fruits like apples, carrots, etc. Thus, try to give your horse every type of diet. The one it prefers most should get the most of your priority. You need to feed that whenever you wish to reward it.
Encourage Your Horse Every time
Failure is also a part of the whole training session. Your horse can do wrong stuff several times consecutively. Getting angry or hopeless is not the solution here. Instead, cheer your horse and appreciate what it has done. This can encourage the horse to do the training session more attentively.
Try to Know the Comfort and Irritation of Your Horse
Like us, horses have emotions, favorite stuff, dislikes, and much other stuff. You need to know those properly so that you can become a trustworthy master to your horse. Knowing about your horse’s mental state and desires can help a lot in training too.
There is Not Time Limit
People who say horses can be trained within a couple of months or any fixed time are totally wrong. You cannot guess how much time your horse can take to learn something new. The whole thing depends on the amount of your effort, the understanding between you and the horse, the method you are using to train, etc.
How Long Can a Horse Lay Down Safely
Well, you might want to know how to teach a horse to sit for different reasons but you should also know how long can a horse lay down safely. It is pretty unusual in the matter of horses for laying down too long. We have known in childhood that horses can take rest by standing in a normal position. But horses need to lay down or sit.
Normally, a horse can lay down for almost an hour or two for having the proper sleep. It can also sit for at least five minutes six or seven times a day to take some rest. So, you can’t make a horse sit on the ground for more than fifteen minutes at a time. Make sure you remember this fact while you are teaching your horse to sit or lay down.
You need dedication, passion, and strong nerve to make a horse well-trained. Not everybody can become a good trainer. A horse can properly learn something with ease when the trainer is knowledgeable about the horse’s psychology and capability.
In fine, all I can say after guiding about training a horse to sit is, try your best to be fully prepared to train and keep working hard till the end. We hope you achieve the desired result by doing so.