If it is necessary, does it perform exceptional results, or minimal to no change? Do you or the horse benefit?
Trust in the fact that when confined, restricted, they trust in us to put them in their most vulnerable position a flight animal can find itself in. People would rightly state that tying them up or placed in hobbles is a similar situation. The biggest difference is that the horse is standing while tied or hobbled. On their most precious form of freedom for flight, their legs, lying them down takes this strongest survival instinct away altogether, their legs.
Regards lying down much older horses, I avoid this like the plague. Its very tough on them and if they are a good horse and lives with you well, don’t. If you want to lie a older horse down just because, you are more likely to injure or cripple your horse. Even with someone experienced in achieving this.
Does it really matter if you can lie your horse down or not? This really needs to be achieved in their early days in a horse’s education.
I would consider lying down an older horse if it was fractious on its last chance, last resort to get a CHANGE. But really, we as horse people should not have allowed our horses to resist people so much in the beginning. Horses of this nature are a product of people made problems, not horse made. The horse has just learnt to survive like this. That’s our fault, not theirs.
In the end its up to you and what your willing to put your horse through.
Photo: Pete lying #tess down