Featured, Trick Training Tips, Useful Tricks

Teach Your Horse a Useful Trick

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.

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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.

wait

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).

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.

deworm

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.

touch

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!

pickup

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:

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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! 🙂

hug

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.


THE HORSE TRICKS ACADEMY

(We only open the Academy to new members a few times a year)

The Horse Tricks Academy is an interactive online video-based training program that will take you and your horse step-by-step from simple tricks to doing extraordinary things together!

Plus you will have access to a community of like-minded people who provide lots of fun and support.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

 

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.