Question & Answers, Solving Horse Problems, Trick Training Tips

Q&A – 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) 

Trick smile

Good question!

Answer:  it depends on the horse…

One of the first horses I started trick training was a thoroughbred who did get 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 “Q&A – Should I Teach My Horse More Than One Trick at a Time?”

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.

Continue reading “Quickest Way to Teach Your Horse a Trick”

Horse Training, Trick Training Tips

Help! The neighbors think I’m crazy!

Every morning I head out to my horses paddock loaded up with balls, hula hoops, traffic cones and other toys.

My horses see me coming and run over to say hello and check out what I’m carrying.

Horse Tricks Hula Hoop

I sometimes wonder what the neighbors think.  They have ‘normal’ horses and are doing ‘normal’ things with them.

In contrast I’m running around the paddock, jumping up and down, waving my hands around while laughing and asking my horses to do all sorts of ‘strange’ things.  My horses play ‘fetch’, stand on boxes and give me hugs and kisses.

But it seems I’m not the only one who wonders what the neighbors think.

I get lots of emails and comments from folk who have discovered the joy of playing with their horses.  They tell me that since they started playing with their horses, their relationship has really improved.  There is now a lot of joy and laughter in their training 🙂

However they also tell me that they get strange looks from their neighbors or the other boarders.

Trigger and I would just like to say… play and have fun!

It’s okay! There are a lot of us doing the same thing! 🙂

One day the rest of the horse world will realize that having fun and playing with their horses has HUGE benefits and everyone will be doing it!

Do you want ideas for fun horse training equipment and toys? Then trot over to this page:  TRAINING EQUIPMENT AND TOYS

 


Trick Training Tips

Learning new tricks – want to know how your horse feels?

Do you want an eye-opening insight into what it feels like to be a horse trying to learn something new?

Then I challenge you to try the following exercise…

You need these items:

  • A friend
  • A place where you can both sit opposite each other
  • Some small toys or items such as a pen
  • Some small pieces of treat that your friend really likes – chocolate, cheese, biscuits etc
  • A word (or sound) that you both agree will be the signal that your friend has done the right thing. This is called a ‘Marker‘.  I click my tongue when training my horses but a word like ‘Bing!’ or an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’ works well too.
Training tools

Decide who will be the ‘trainer’ and who will be the ‘horse’.

Sit opposite each other at a table and place the toys in front of you both. The ‘trainer’ has a small bowl full of treats.

The ‘trainer’ then thinks of something simple they would like the ‘horse’ to do with the items in front of them. For example they might like the ‘horse’ to pick up a particular item and move it to the right hand corner of the table.  The ‘trainer’ mustn’t tell the ‘horse’ what they want them to do or talk to them. Make the first tasks VERY simple until you have practiced a few times.  It’s harder than it sounds!

The ‘horse’ then tries to work out what the ‘trainer’ wants. The ‘horse’ must try different things.

Continue reading “Learning new tricks – want to know how your horse feels?”

Trick Training Tips

Horse Trick Training Schedule (11 minutes)

In this article I’ll show you how easy it is to fit your trick training sessions around your day-to-day horse activities.

Horses learn much quicker if they are taught tricks in several, enjoyable, short sessions rather than one long one.

The perfect time to do a bit of trick training is when you are going out to your horse to feed them or to do your daily horse chores.  This also means that you are adding some fun into your routine rather than just making it all work for your horse (and you).

Continue reading “Horse Trick Training Schedule (11 minutes)”