When you start teaching your horse a new trick they may want to do it all the time (even when you don’t ask them to do it).
This just means they are super keen! And they have discovered that by doing this new trick they are ‘rewarded’. A reward for a horse can be anything like a treat or a scratch. Some horses even find it ‘rewarding’ when their human smiles or laughs.
Even Trigger, who is an experienced trick horse, will sometimes do tricks without being asked.
And while this is cute and you’ve got to love them for trying 🙂 it is really important that your horse learns that they should only do tricks when you ask them. Otherwise it could become dangerous or just annoying.
Your horse needs to clearly understand that they will only be rewarded if they do a trick when you ask them to do it.
So from now on you can’t reward any trick you don’t ask for. That means no smiling or laughing either…. I know that is hard to do! 🙂 (I even do it in the video below).
If you want to build the bond and relationship with your horse, you must never punish them for trying. You just need to explain that they should only do tricks when you ask.
Here’s a video showing how I handle Trigger doing ‘extra’ tricks (in the kindest possible way).
PS Watch for Bella trying to do some extra tricks too 🙂