Sometimes you can’t ride. Sometimes you don’t want to. Here are 31 fun and useful things to do with your horse – other than riding.
Bake a batch of these to give to your horse as a special training treat.
Cook a bit longer if you want a drier / crunchy treat.
Most tricks, even the complicated ones, start with a simple trick or are made up of several simple tricks joined together.
The same applies to really anything you want to teach your horse. Start by teaching your horse some simple basics and then use them to help your horse learn lots of different things!
There are so many tricks you can teach your horse. There are all the usual ones like kiss, hug, bow etc, but also think about teaching your horse some useful tricks.
These can make life a whole lot easier (and safer) around your horse.
Here are some of our favorite useful tricks…
MAKE HOOF WORK EASY
Keep his foot on a hoof stand. Your farrier will love this one!
Point at your horse’s foot and he will pick it up for you. No need for you to strain to lift his foot up.
STAND AND WAIT ANYWHERE
Stand still and wait without needing to be tied up. Useful if there is nowhere convenient to tie your horse or you just want to quickly pop out into his field and check him, pick out his feet or brush him.
Also useful when mounting and dismounting.
NO FUSS TREATMENTS AND PROCEDURES
Teach your horse to happily accept those inevitable treatments and procedures BEFORE you actually have to do them.
Spraying – accept being sprayed with an aerosol or pump spray bottle (for example fly spray).
Bandaging – stand still while you bandage any part of his body.
Foot baths – stand still with foot in a bucket of water (useful in case of foot abscesses).
Clipping – stand still while you clip any part of your horse.
Stretching – neck and leg stretches before or after exercise.
De-worming – happily accept a de-worming tube in the mouth.
GO FORWARD AND TOUCH SCARY OBJECTS
Make your horse braver. If you teach your horse to ‘touch’ new and unusual items with their nose you will find that they will be more willing to go forward and investigate scary objects.
PERFECT FOOD MANNERS
Be well behaved around food. This includes waiting politely while feed is mixed and only moving forward to start eating when told it is “okay”.
For more information on ‘Food Training’ visit TEACH YOUR HORSE TREAT MANNERS
PICK UP ITEMS
Pick up things you drop. Especially useful when you are out riding. Imagine dropping your hat and your horse reaches down, picks it up and hands it to you. No need to get off!
COME RUNNING WHEN YOU CALL
Call your horse and he comes running, then puts his head in a halter, ready to be caught. (No more running around the paddock trying to catch your horse).
Here’s a video of Bella (who was very hard to catch) coming when called:
GIVE LOVELY HORSEY HUGS
Okay… this is not really a ‘useful trick’ but if you’ve had a bad day there is nothing like a horsey hug to make you feel better! 🙂
All these ‘useful tricks’ are taught using the same principles as any other trick. Consider adding a few to your horse’s education to make life around your horse easier and safer for you both.