Think carefully about which tricks you want to teach your horse.
Some tricks can be dangerous if not performed in a safe area and by an experienced person, for example, rearing or laying down.
Horses sometimes do tricks without being asked, particularly in the early stages of training. They have yet to learn that they ONLY get a reward when ASKED to do the trick.
You don’t want to be out riding one day, and your horse decides to perform his newest trick (without being asked) – laying down with you and your saddle on board.
Or even more dangerous – your horse decides to rear. Rearing is a trick that requires strength, calmness, and excellent balance from your horse. If he doesn’t get it right, your horse could do enormous damage to himself (and you) by flipping over backward.
WILL CHILDREN BE HANDLING YOUR HORSE?
Consider if children will be riding or handling the horse. A trick such as counting with their front foot could knock a child flying. Or a child might mistakenly give a horse a cue to rear.
WILL YOU EVER SELL YOUR HORSE?
If you might sell your horse at any stage, consider how future owners might view your horse’s tricks. Simple, well-done tricks add to the value and appeal of a horse, but tricks like rearing and laying down could make your horse unsafe.
SAFE, FUN AND USEFUL TRICKS
Some safer tricks include hug, yes, no, fetch, and smile. There are also many useful tricks you can teach your horse that will make life around them easier—for example, lining up at a mounting block, waiting without being tied up, and picking up things that you have dropped.
So think carefully about which tricks you want to teach your horse and who might be around your horse. Your horse can learn lots of fun, safe tricks that will be enjoyable for both of you.
YOUR FIRST TRICK
We recommend teaching your horse to ‘touch’ (target) different items with their nose first. This simple trick is the foundation of many fun and useful tricks.
If you want step-by-step training with online videos to teach your horse fun and safe tricks in a way that creates an amazing bond with your horse, then grab a copy of our HORSE TRICKS GUIDE.