The first trick that I usually teach my horses is to TOUCH an item with their nose, as this forms the beginning of so many tricks including kiss, hug, and fetch.
It is also a really good way to help a horse to approach and accept scary objects. For example, if you are out walking and your horse is worried about a strange, horse-eating mailbox, asking him to touch the mailbox will usually result in him approaching the box, touching it, and realizing it isn’t going to eat him.
In the videos below you will see my experienced trick horse, Trigger, touching different objects and then my new trick horse, Bella, learning this simple trick from the very beginning.
TRIGGER SHOWS HOW TO DO ‘TOUCH’
In this video Trigger shows you the different ways you can ask your horse to touch an object.
‘Touch’ is a very simple trick but it is SO important. Your horse will learn so much when you teach them this trick.
This video describes step by step how to teach your horse to touch an object. We also discuss possible issues that you might have when you first start to teach your horse ‘Touch’ and provide solutions.
Also included is a printable Horse Trick Planner that breaks this exercise up into lots of small parts and suggests each step to teach your horse.
VIDEO NOTES: TOUCH VIDEO NOTES
HORSE TRICK PLANNER: TRICK PLANNER FOR TOUCH
BELLA LEARNING ‘TOUCH’
These videos show Bella learning Touch. You will be able to watch her from the very beginning learning to touch different objects.
This is Bella’s first ‘Touch’ lesson. She works out what I want very quickly and starts touching the target.
In this lesson I am asking her to lower her head further to reach the target.
Bella is now doing tricks freely and without restraint. Here I ask her to follow the target right to the ground and she even starts to pick it up – the beginnings of ‘fetch’.
In this lesson Bella is touching and following the target in lots of different positions. She is doing it without restraint out in her paddock.
I am also just starting to teach her to walk away from me and touch a cone. This exercise will help her to learn to fetch.
(This training is one of the activities which are available to people that have purchased The Happy Horse Handbook.