If you want to teach your horse lots of tricks you need to clearly define the start and end of your training sessions. Your horse needs to know when you are about to start teaching them something new and to give you their total attention.
To signal to my horses that I am in training mode I wear a Treat Bag around my waist. This bag is a great place to store treats and it has a spring that holds the bag open so I can easily get to the treats.
But best of all… if I’m wearing the treat bag my horses know we are going to do some trick training and to pay attention. Even if it’s just a quick 5 minute session.
You can use other ways to signal the beginning of a trick training session. For example, you could put a particular halter on your horse or train in a certain area reserved for learning new things.
If I am wearing a Treat Bag my horses really come to attention and watch every movement I make.
My hand movements and other cues now contain important information for my horses on what they need to do to earn a tasty reward (VERY important stuff for horses).
To finish the training session I just touch my horse on the neck and say “Free” and walk away.
If I’m not in training mode then my horses know they aren’t going to be learning anything new. I can ask them to do things they already know or just spend time with them without an agenda.
Having a clearly defined Start and End to your horse training sessions will tell your horse WHEN to pay extra attention to you and this focus will really help them to learn a lot faster.