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Horse Trick Training Schedule (11 minutes)

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In this article, I’ll show you how easy it is to fit several trick training sessions around your day-to-day horse activities.  In just 11 minutes a day, you can start to teach your horse lots of tricks.

Horses learn much quicker if they are taught tricks in several enjoyable, short sessions rather than one long one.

The perfect time to do a bit of trick training is when you go out to feed your horse or do your daily horse chores.  This also means that you add some fun into your routine rather than just making it all work for your horse (and you).

I recommend working on only one NEW trick each day, but you can also practice tricks your horse already knows well.

Following is an example of the trick training that Trigger and I do each day and how I fit it around daily horse chores and riding.

8.00am – Mix up Trigger’s morning feed

  • Practice a trick that Trigger already knows, such as giving me a kiss (1 minute).
  • Practice touching a handkerchief, which is the start of a new trick of teaching Trigger to take it from my pocket (1 minute).

8.05am – Feed Trigger & take off his rug

10.00am – Clean out the water trough

  • If Trigger comes up to me while I am in his paddock (which he does 99% of the time), we will again practice touching the handkerchief (1 minute).

1.00pm – Bring Trigger in for a ride

  •  Practice calling Trigger in.  He will usually come cantering over to me when I call him (1 minute).
  •  Again practice touching the handkerchief (1 minute).

1.05pm – Saddle Trigger up

  •  While saddling, practice some useful tricks he already knows, such as lifting his feet by pointing at them or lowering his head for bridling (1 minute).

Lower head for bridling

1.10pm – Go for a ride

2.00pm – Return from ride.

  • Practice a trick Trigger already knows, such as saying “Yes” (nodding his head) (1 minute).
  • Practice touching the handkerchief and encourage him to mouth the handkerchief (1 minute).

5.00pm – Mix up Trigger’s evening feed

  •  Practice a trick he knows, such as twirling (1 minute).
  •  Practice touching the handkerchief and encourage him to mouth the handkerchief (1 minute).

5.05pm – Feed Trigger & put his rug on

  •  Ask Trigger to give me a goodnight hug (30 seconds).

 Total Trick Training time = 11 minutes.

The schedule above shows that I have been able to fit 6 short trick training sessions into a day.  No special preparation was necessary (except I needed to take a handkerchief and some treats with me – or I could have used some of his feed).

The next day I would follow a similar schedule but ask Trigger to do more with the handkerchief if he is ready.  For example, I would encourage Trigger to actually take the handkerchief in his mouth.

You might not be able to spend as much time with your horse throughout the day but if you visit your horse even once a day, try to fit a short training session in several times during the visit – at the beginning and end of everything you do.

If you practice several times a day and make the session short and enjoyable, you will find your horse will learn super fast!

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