The best trick to teach your horse first is to ‘touch’ an object with their nose. This is a simple trick, but it is also the foundation of many other tricks like fetch, hug, and kiss.
Most tricks, even the more advanced ones, can be built using a few foundation movements.
If you teach your horse to ‘touch’ (target), you can also use it for many other useful things, including…
- Help your horse to approach and accept scary or new objects
- Take medicines and de-wormers
- Load into trailers
- Liberty work
- And lots more!
Steps to teach your horse ‘touch’ (target)
To start, we will need something your horse is not scared of. Something he will be willing to touch with his nose. A whip handle, a cone, a plastic bottle, a ball, a rubber chicken – this is a place to get creative and have fun!
The object needs to be small and portable and something that they can’t swallow or damage.
- Ask your horse to touch the object.
- Tell him the instant he has done the right thing.
- Give him a reward.
Keep your training sessions short. Practice for a few minutes over a few days. Most horses will learn this simple trick in just a couple of short sessions.
Teaching your horse this very simple ‘touch’ trick will also teach him many trick training principles. You can then use the same steps to teach your horse just about anything!