Why would you lay a horse down? That seems like a crazy thing to do, however it is a great way to teach them to trust you. In this picture Mary Kay is working VERY hard to get Lucky to lay down because he is really fighting it. Remember, horses are flight animals and when a predator takes them down it is to kill them. So, the last thing a horse does before it dies is…lay down. When they are laying down they are very vulnerable. They do sleep laying down in order to get REM sleep, however it is only if they feel they can do it and be safe. Most of the time it is in their stalls in the late hours of the night, or out in the pasture while their herd watches over them.
When we lay a horse down, after they are down we stay with them and give them praise not only so they know they did a good job, but also so they know they can trust us. We stand over them and protect them much like their herd members would do.