There are so many tricks you can teach your horse. There are all the usual ones like kiss, hug, bow etc, but also have a think about teaching your horse some useful tricks.
These can make life a whole lot easier (and safer) around your horse.
Point at your horse’s foot and he will pick it up for you. No need to strain to lift his foot up.
Keep his foot on a hoof stand. Your farrier will love this one!
Stand / Wait
Stand still and wait without needing to be tied up. Useful if there is nowhere convenient to tie your horse or you just want to quickly pop out into his field and check him, pick out his feet or brush him.
Also helps when mounting and dismounting.
Treatments and Procedures
Teach your horse to happily accept those inevitable treatments and procedures BEFORE you actually have to do them.
Spraying – accept being sprayed with an aerosol or pump spray bottle (for example fly spray).
Bandaging – stand still while you bandage any part of his body.
Foot baths – stand still with foot in a bucket of water (useful in case of foot abscesses).
Clipping – stand still while you clip any part of your horse.
Stretching – neck and leg stretches before or after exercise.
De-worming – happily accept a de-worming tube in the mouth.
Go Forward and Touch Scary Objects
Make your horse braver. If you teach your horse to ‘touch’ new and unusual items with their nose you will find that they will be more willing to go forward and investigate scary objects.
Be well behaved around food. This includes waiting politely while feed is mixed and only moving forward to start eating when told it is “okay”.
For more information on ‘Food Training’ visit TEACH YOUR HORSE TREAT MANNERS
Point at your horse’s hindquarter and he will move it away. Point at his head and he will move his front end away. Point at his chest and he backs. The easy way to move your horse around!
Just lightly touch your horse on the top of his head and he will lower it. This makes putting a bridle on easier.
There is also some scientific proof that lowering a horse’s head has a calming effect.
Pick up items
Pick up things you drop. Especially useful when you are out riding. Imagine dropping your hat and your horse reaches down, picks it up and hands it to you. No need to get off!
Come when called
Come running when called and put his head in a halter, ready to be caught. (No more running around the paddock trying to catch your horse).
Here’s a video of Bella (who was very hard to catch) coming when called:
Okay… this is not really a ‘useful trick’ but if you’ve had a bad day there is nothing like a horsey hug to make you feel better! 🙂
All these ‘useful tricks’ are taught using the same principles as any other trick. Consider adding a few to your horse’s education to make life around your horse easier and safer for you both.