From Chapter 4: Teaching Your Horse to Bow

I like to start trick training by teaching the bow. It can be either easy or very difficult to teach, depending on how smart your horse is and how well you can teach it.

The bow has several steps. With ropes to hold and hooves to avoid, it can prove challenging for both horse and trainer to understand at first. But if you can master teaching him this trick, you will prove to yourself that you can succeed at trick training.

In addition to practicing each step of the trick thoroughly, teaching the bow requires good timing, effective body language, and sometimes even physical strength from you.

Remember, you get out of it what you put into it. If trick training were so easy, everyone would have a trick horse. You will have already taught him to give to pressure and drop his head. The bow is the natural extension of this. You will be putting together a trick from a simple series of earlier submissions. Once your horse understands what you are asking and gives to the pressure and does so in a relaxed frame of mind and body, he is ready to learn more. Now, let’s get going!

Inside Tip

Before you begin, be sure that you aren’t starting your training just before your horse’s usual dinnertime. If he’s hungry or all his horse pals are eating and he isn’t, he will not be focused on you. You also don’t want to wait until he’s just eaten, as no one wants to work just after dinner and treats won’t be as appealing. You want him a little bit hungry but not starving. Also, don’t turn all his stablemates out in the pasture, leaving him behind. Otherwise, his attention