Trick Training Tips

5 Steps to Teach Your Horse Any Trick

Did you know there are only 5 steps to teach your horse any trick?  Get these right and you can teach your horse just about anything!


1. PLAN – break the trick into as many small steps as possible.

2. ASK – use a physical and / or verbal cue to ask your horse to do the first step. 

3. RESPONSE – wait until your horse gives you a response.  It may be right or wrong.

4. MARKER – let your horse know the instant they get it right by using a special word or sound.

5. REWARD – give your horse a treat or something else they really like.

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4 thoughts on “5 Steps to Teach Your Horse Any Trick”

  1. I just got two rescue horses. One of them is 17 year old mare, I was wondering if she would still enjoy getting taught tricks? She seems like she used to be used a lot for trail riding. She is very mellow and doesn’t really seem to have a lot of personality. Do you think she would be come a little more fun if I taught her some tricks?
    Any advice would help!

    1. Hi Soleado,

      I think trick training would definitely help 🙂 Age isn’t a problem. Trigger, my bestest trick horse is about 23 and still learning new tricks.

      Unfortunately a lot of horses that have dome the same thing day in day out or have been badly treated have ‘switched off’. It’s their way of coping. But something fun like trick training can really bring out their personality. It might just take her a while to realize that she can have fun 🙂 Start with a simple trick (I like to teach all my horses to ‘touch’ an object with their nose) and find a treat that she really likes. That will inspire her!

      Have fun!

      Let me know how you go.

      Jain, Trigger & Bella.

  2. Good afternoon! I started training my 2yo filly this summer. This is the first horse I have trained, and things are going very well! My fiancé rode her for the first time the other day and she was so well behaved.

    I plan on sorting and penning with her, but I also want to use her to teach horseback riding to children with various disabilities. Peppered into her training, I have been doing a lot of desensitization. After reading your the information on your site, I think trick training would be a great way to increase our bonding and help make her a safer horse, but, is it harder or easier to teach tricks to a younger horse? Should I wait until we have more basics down until I try these techniques?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Patrik,

      Great to hear that you are working toward teaching horseback riding to children with disabilities. I’ve seen a wonderful connection develop between these children and horses. And there has always been lots of smiles! 🙂

      I’ve taught very young horses / foals simple tricks and they have really enjoyed it ~ it helps to keep their inquisitive young minds challenged. It has also helped when it came time to get them used to ‘strange’ objects like saddles and bridles and to ask them to do new things. It’s a fun way to desensitize them to new objects & situations.

      I think the most important things to develop with our horses is a bond, trust and communication. The style of trick training I teach develops all of these areas. It’s not just about teaching a trick ~ it’s about developing a simple form of communication between us humans and our horses so we can ask them to do anything and they will be keen to work with us. It’s also about getting them thinking about what they are doing and not just reacting ~ makes for a safer horse 🙂

      Good luck with the training. It would be great to hear how you go. You can contact me via the Contact Page on this website or via my Facebook page

      Hope to talk / type to you soon.

      Jain, Trigger & Bella.

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