Taking a Bow

I’ve always wanted to teach a pony to bow.  I’m not sure why it’s been so attractive to me, though there’s no denying that Fells, with their copious hair dropping down, make the bow more dramatic.  In the past when I’ve happened on people who have taught their equine to bow, I’ve asked how they did it, and for some reason the technique never made sense to me.  Fortunately I’ve recently had a willing pony partner, and we’ve figured a great deal of it out!

My four-year-old Fell Pony stallion Willowtrail Black Robin has always been easily trained.  He picks up his feed bucket between his teeth and hands it to me when he’s done eating, for instance.  Robin is also very athletic.  I’ve seen him stretching back on his haunches like a dog several times, so I knew he was a good candidate for bowing.  Also, Robin is well endowed in the hair department, even for a Fell, and being a stallion, it seemed like Robin was the ideal candidate to be my guinea pig.

Through trial and error, we are nearly there.  He now knows that ‘bow’ means to go down on his knee, and he’s getting better about holding the pose until I release him.  It’s very exciting to me, and I certainly couldn’t describe to anyone else how we got here.  I’m just thrilled with what we’ve accomplished, looking forward to refining the trick, and anticipating what we might undertake next.

© Jenifer Morrissey, 2012

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About workponies

Breeder of Fell Ponies, teamster of work ponies, and author of Feather Notes, Fell Pony News, and A Humbling Experience: My First Few Years with Fell Ponies. Distributor of Dynamite Specialty Products for the health of our planet and the beings I share it with.
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