Horse Training, Trick Training Tips

3 Principles

Most horses will happily do anything you ask if these 3 principles apply:

  1. The horse is physically able to do it.

Your horse must be able to physically do what you are asking and it must not cause him any pain or discomfort. If your horse finds something difficult or painful they just won’t want to do it. (And we want trick training to be lots of fun for you – and your horse).

If you have an older horse or one that has injuries then look at tricks that are easier for him to do. For example I rarely ask Trigger to do a Full Bow (down on his knee) because of his age. But there is a trick called the Simple Bow which is much easier for older horses to do and still looks really nice.

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Horse Training, Horse Treats and Recipes, Solving Horse Problems, Trick Training Tips

How To Teach Your Horse Treat Manners

Some people worry that using treats during training will cause their horse to become pushy, nippy and turn them into a horrible food monster!

Unfortunately this is likely if your horse doesn’t learn how to behave around treats. For most horses food is their favorite thing and they just want some… NOW!

Thankfully it is easy to teach your horse to have perfect manners around treats.

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Horse Training, Trick Training Tips

Increase Your Horse’s Attention By Defining Your Training Sessions

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.

Bella training 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).  Continue reading “Increase Your Horse’s Attention By Defining Your Training Sessions”

Horse Training

Building Trust and Communication

If you build a bond with your horse through trust and communication, they will do just about anything for you.

A few days ago I was training Bella (my new trick horse) in her new paddock. I’m always looking for opportunities and new things to do with Bella.  There were lots of flat rocks around. I thought it would fun to ask her to stand on one.  She’s never stepped UP onto something for me but we have been practising walking onto a mat.

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Horse Training, Trick Training Tips

Quickest Way to Teach Your Horse a Trick

Would you like to teach your horse a trick quickly or slowly?  I think you would probably say ‘quickly’.  Who wouldn’t?  But I’ve found that teaching horses tricks slowly actually speeds things up.

Huh???

Let me explain…..

If you want to teach your horse to bow it’s easy – just grab a carrot, put a halter on your horse and without letting your horse step backward, tease them between their front legs with the carrot until they lower their head.

There are loads of websites that show you how to do this.

But….

Your horse hasn’t really learnt anything (except how to bend into a funny position to try and get a carrot).  If you want them to do something more complicated or a movement that can’t be taught by following a carrot then you won’t stand a chance with this method.

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