Toys and Equipment

Pool Noodles and Other Training Equipment

I’m always on the lookout for cheap and fun items to use as training equipment.

My favorites are Pool Noodles.

They are an excellent way to get my horses used to things that move and brush against them.

Trigger is happy to eat his feed while these colorful noodles lightly bang against him and fly around on windy days.  This helps when I am out riding and we are moving through some thick bush – he doesn’t mind at all if branches brush against him.  He is also good when strange objects flap in the wind.

To get him used to the Pool Noodles I just started by tying up one (on a calm day).  At first he was wary of it but his feed was just there and it didn’t take him long to move past it to his feed bin.  He still kept an eye on it though!

After a few days he completely ignored the Pool Noodle so I added another and then a few more days another.  Now he is completely uninterested in them.

This is one of the best ways to get a horse used to something strange.  Introduce it gradually, into an area where they already feel safe and enjoy being (their feed area is a good place).  Allow them time to get used to the item.  Easy and no fuss.

Trick Training Tips

Who says you can't teach old horses new tricks?

Believe it or not….Trigger (the chestnut horse in the pictures) is 18 years old.  We have only been together for just over a year.  He used to be a barrel racer but is now retired from that line of work.

teach old horse new tricks
Trigger feeling young

I thought he might struggle to learn new things.  But although it took him a little longer to get the idea in the beginning, now he understands what I am asking him and he has been picking up new tricks as quick as a young horse.

Young horses tend to be a bit more curious, which can make learning easier.  An older horse may be a bit jaded or ‘switched-off’ (they have just learnt to do the what they are asked with the minimal amount of effort).  Teaching an older horse tricks can spark their interest in learning and trying new things again.