Horse Training, Question & Answers, Trick Training Tips

[FAQ] What are the best tricks to teach my horse?

Easy. Just start with something that your horse does naturally.

This will usually be a behavior that they enjoy or do in response to something going on around them. It is much easier to use a behavior your horse already does and build on it to create a trick.

Continue reading “[FAQ] What are the best tricks to teach my horse?”

Horse Training, Question & Answers, Trick Training Tips

[FAQ] Which trick should I teach my horse first?

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.

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Question & Answers, Solving Horse Problems, Trick Training Tips

Does Your Horse Do Tricks Without Being Asked?

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 our experienced trick horses 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 annoying or even dangerous.

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…

 

 

Question & Answers, Solving Horse Problems

Q&A – Can I Use Tricks to Teach My Horse to Stand Still?

Question: My horse won’t stand still. Can trick training help with that?

Answer:

You can definitely use the same process that you use to teach a horse tricks to also teach a horse to stand still.

I like to train all my horses to stand on a particular spot – for example a small mat on the ground. This gets them ready for lots of other tricks such as standing on a pedestal and gets them used to things under their feet.

They also seem to understand the idea of standing still better if you ask them to stand ON something. Continue reading “Q&A – Can I Use Tricks to Teach My Horse to Stand Still?”

Question & Answers, Solving Horse Problems, Trick Training Tips

[FAQ] Should I Teach My Horse More Than One Trick at a Time?

Question: I have started teaching my gelding to smile, he’s doing pretty well considering neither of us have a clue… well, do I stay with just the one trick until he “gets it” or… will that make him too bored and should I introduce another trick and alternate during the training time? …OR would that confuse him? Heck, I’M confused just from my question :O) 

Good question!

Answer:  it depends on the horse…

One of the first horses I started trick training was a thoroughbred who got bored with doing the same things over and over again – he was a VERY smart horse.  So I would try and teach him about 3 tricks at a time.

Continue reading “[FAQ] Should I Teach My Horse More Than One Trick at a Time?”