Trick Training with your Horse

There are many books and websites that outline how to train your horse to do a variety of tricks, from simple to complex.? Trick training can be an excellent way to bond with your horse, and can be a useful tool to keep your horse?s mind and body exercised when he is not working.? Many riders will turn to trick training when an injury, whether to the rider or the horse, makes riding impossible.? Here are some tips to keep trick training as it should be ? fun and safe for both you and your horse.

  • Try using a clicker when you are trick training.? A clicker will allow you to instantly reward your horse for good behavior, and although it cannot work miracles, it can make the training process much quicker and less confusing for your horse.
  • Start with simple tricks.? Although they may not be as flashy as the big tricks, mastering a series of simple tricks will help you and your horse to gain confidence through the process.? Try teaching your horse to do natural behaviors on command, such as touching an object or lifting a hoof.
  • Keep your patience.? Above all, trick training should be a fun way for you and your horse to bond.? If your horse doesn?t understanding what you?re teaching, try breaking down the steps further.? For instance, if you want your horse to touch an object, start rewarding him for looking at the object, or bobbing his head towards it.
  • Keep your sessions short.? This will help you and your horse to stay focused.? Boredom, impatience, and frustration have no place in training.
  • Never try to force your horse to perform a trick.? Not only can this be incredibly dangerous, but it will not teach your horse to remember this trick.? All he will remember is your unpredictable behavior.
  • Be wary of tricks that could be dangerous for both you and your horse, such as sitting or lying down.? Some tricks can put you in an unsafe position with your horse should he kick or become startled.? When performed incorrectly, some tricks can also cause injury to your horse.? Stay within the bounds you are comfortable with, and work your way up slowly.
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