How to Easily Teach Your Horse to Bow

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How to Easily Teach Your Horse to Bow

By: Dean Eby

how to teach horse to bow

Many dog owners teach their pups some tricks, such as playing dead, fetch, or rolling over. While this is pretty cool, it’s also rather ordinary. But have you ever seen a horse bow before? If you have, you know that this feat is majestic and makes simple dog tricks seem like a game in comparison. If you’d like to learn how to teach your horse to bow and really step up your wow factor, then this article is for you.

Where to Teach Your Horse to Bow

Before teaching your horse to bow, you need to have a proper place to do so. You’ll want soft ground where your horse won’t get hurt. Concrete, asphalt, and other hard surfaces are a terrible choice. Instead, opt for an area with a floor of sand, grass, dirt, or something else soft so your horse won’t cut its knees on the ground.

puszta-horse-pixabay how to teach horse to bow
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How to Teach Your Horse to Bow

First, we’re going to start teaching the bow by using a food reward. You’ll need your horse’s favorite treat, such as a carrot.

Stand in front of your horse and hold the treat between its front legs. Allow the horse to bend down and get the treat. Continue repeating this first step until your horse can do this naturally and without losing balance.

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To progress from this point, you’ll need to stand on your horse’s side, facing to the front. Once again, hold the treat between your horse’s legs. As they bend down to get it, move the treat backward slowly. This will cause the horse to bend his knee and kneel so it can reach the treat. Be patient with this step, because it can take quite a few tries for your horse to do it correctly.

Once your horse has mastered the bow, it should be able to get completely onto one knee with the other leg outstretched forward.

Things to Be Aware of

When first training the bow, it’s a good idea to use a food treat. However, you’ll want to start practicing without the reward, so that your horse doesn’t expect a treat every time it bows. Simply start alternating praise and a food reward on every other successful bow.

Should you ever stop giving treats altogether, your horse may quit performing the bow as well as they did at first. It’s a good idea to continue using treats occasionally; even after the horse has mastered the bow.

Also, this can be a difficult move that throws off your horse’s balance. You’ll need to exercise patience when teaching this technique. Don’t be concerned if your horse gets frightened and stands up quickly while learning. It takes a few tries for them to get comfortable with the movement and learn the proper balance.



Seeing a horse pull off a full bow to the floor is an impressive display that will wow anyone who sees it. If you’d like to impress people with your horse’s incredible skills, you’ll be happy to find that it’s not as difficult to teach your horse to bow as you might think. Follow the steps we’ve lined out and utilize plenty of patience. Soon, your horse will bow with the best of them.

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