Bonding Ideas

Help Your Horse To Learn New Tasks Easily

Most horses enjoy learning and working things out (just like us humans).

But if a task is too difficult, the horse can become frustrated or confused.

To avoid this, make learning easy and enjoyable for your horse by breaking the task down into super-simple steps.

The more things you can teach your horse, the stronger your communication, trust, and bond will become.

 

STEP-BY-STEP TRICK TRAINING

Here’s an example of some trick training I’ve been doing recently with my horse Bella…

First, I thought of my end goal, and then I broke the task down into smaller steps.

GOAL: Teach Bella to put her foot up on the hoof stand, out in her paddock, without restraint.

WHY: To make it easier to trim her hooves.

To start, I just wanted to teach her to put her foot ON something.

Then I slowly increased the height of the stand so she could learn to balance with one foot up and forward.

Then finally, I introduced the hoof stand.

STEPS:

1. Put hoof on a small mat on the ground.
2. Put hoof on a small block of wood.
3. Put hoof on two blocks of wood.
4. Put hoof on hoof stand.

I made sure she really understood what I wanted at each step before moving onto the following (and more complex) stage. This meant I needed to practice some steps for a few days.

I kept the sessions very short (just 5 minutes each time) and practiced a couple of times a day when I could. Horses only have short attention spans, and keeping the sessions short keeps them interested and motivated.

I rewarded her the instant she did the correct thing.

If she showed any sign of frustration or confusion, it meant I hadn’t made the next step easy enough for her to understand. So I thought about ways to make it even easier or go back to a previous step and practice that more.

Once she was happy to put her foot up on the stand, I then increased the time that she kept it there.

Within 2 weeks, she would put her foot up on the hoof stand while free out in her paddock. She then stood calmly while I gave her a quick trim.

Learning this new ‘trick’ was fun for her and me!

Bonding Ideas, Horse Training, Horse Treats and Recipes, Trick Training Tips, Useful Tricks

25 Fun and Useful Things To Do At Home With Your Horse

Are you and your horse stuck at home and looking for activities you can do together?

There are still lots of things you can do!

Here’s a list of activities that are fun, useful, and will make your relationship even better!

Continue reading “25 Fun and Useful Things To Do At Home With Your Horse”

Bonding Ideas, Featured

6 Simple Ways To Pair Bond With Your Horse

You’ve seen those horses that are best friends. They are nearly always close to each other and call out if they are parted or nicker when they see each other again.

They have what is called a ‘pair-bond’.

While your horse will never think of you as another horse, there are ways that you can use this natural instinct to pair-bond to encourage a similar relationship with you.

Continue reading “6 Simple Ways To Pair Bond With Your Horse”

Bonding Ideas, Toys and Equipment, Trick Training Tips

Playing Catch With Bella

I like to offer my horses different toys to play with and see what they want to do with them.

Letting your horse have a say in the play process will really increase your horse’s motivation and enjoyment.

I had been originally teaching Bella to fetch, but then she started to pick up the ball and throw it. She really enjoyed doing that so we played around with her throwing the ball to me to catch, rather than continuing with ‘fetch’.

Bonding Ideas

BONDING TIP: Find a Brush Your Horse REALLY Likes

Horses that like each other, groom each other. It is one of the ways they care for each other and maintain their relationships.

You can do something similar by finding a brush that your horse really likes and having regular grooming sessions. They only need to be short – just a few minutes every day.

Continue reading “BONDING TIP: Find a Brush Your Horse REALLY Likes”