Horses are amazing creatures. They can do amazing things, like a walk on two legs, turn around, and even make the impossible happen. But they’re not just animals–they’re horses who have been conditioned to do tricks. In this post, we’re going to teach you nine easy tricks that will help your horse learn even if you are a first time horse owner.
The Basics of Trick Training
Before you can train your horse, you need to understand some basics about how horses learn. Horses are conditioned animals and need to be taught what we expect of them in order for them to perform the actions that you want. There are three basic steps which, when followed, will help you successfully teach your horse a trick:
1) Reinforce the desired behavior
2) Teach the cue word
3) Reward the desired behavior
A horse’s mouth is an important tool for communicating with other horses. When you see your horse with its mouth open, it’s often a sign that your horse is frightened, angry, or trying to communicate something. But if you want to teach your horse a trick like the back-up rider or the barrel roll, teach your horse how to smile.
When teaching your horse how to smile, start by sitting on the ground near his head and calmly offering him a treat so he knows you will not hurt him. Once he’s relaxed, pick up a carrot and hold it between two fingers in front of his face while gently smiling at him. You can also offer him a spoonful of sugar water (if he’s old enough) or molasses if you don’t have any sugar water available. With this approach, you’ll be able to teach your horse how to smile in no time!
The most simple and easiest trick to teach your horse is the shake hands. We can teach this trick in two ways.
You can teach your horse to shake your hand by using a treat like a cookie and putting it on your hand. When the horse touches your hand with his nose, allow him to get the treat.
Alternatively, you can teach your horse to shake hands with you by having them touch their nose to a piece of cloth that has been placed on your palm and then present it as if it were a cookie. Either way, this is an easy trick that will have horses wanting more!
Bowing is one of the easiest tricks for any horse to learn. It’s not just a trick, but a sign that your horse is happy and comfortable. All you need to do is run your hand over their withers (the area between the neck and back) and suddenly your horse will bow, therefore agreeing to you. After a few repetitions, your horse will start doing it on his own!
If you want to get some quick results, try bowing before or after feeding. This will help teach your horse the pattern of what happens when they bow.
Shake For ”No”
When your horse is being stubborn and not wanting to do what you ask, it may seem like there’s nothing you can do about it. But there are a few methods that can help. One of the easiest tricks for your horse is shaking for ‘no.’
This trick can be done with a trainer or, if you have some time, by yourself. It works best when it’s done with a trainer, so they’re aware of your horse’s behavior and how to respond appropriately to them. To teach this trick, get down on the ground and make sure your horse is behind you in front of a wall or fence (even better if it’s metal).
Then say ”shake for no” while rubbing their neck and rewarding them after they shake their head back and forth at least three times. They’ll soon learn that shaking means no!
Hugs and kisses
Another brilliant trick to teach your horse is the hug and kiss. You can do this in a variety of ways, but it usually involves moving in the horse’s direction, touching or rubbing their nose or neck, and then backing away again. The gentle touch will help your horse understand you are not threatening them and you want to communicate with them. It’s also a good way to reward your horse for a job well done!
Another trick is the back scratch. This works similarly to the hug and kiss by getting close to your horse’s side and scratching in their direction. The way we do this trick differs depending on whether you are doing it with one hand or two hands, so make sure you know what works best for your horse!
The next trick is called “tucking.” This involves wrapping your hand up close behind the front legs of your horse with just enough space for them to get their hoofs off the ground. Then tuck their nose under arm if they’re facing forward and tuck their tail under arm if they’re facing backwards. Just like with hugging and kissing, this helps teach your horse that you’re not a threat.
Another trick we’ll mention is called “slow walk.” For this one, you will need to get in a very close position with your horse and walk slowly around the ring. Your horse should be able to see you, but they won’t be able to touch or get away from you. This helps teach your horse that you are not threatening them and that you want to communicate with them.
Nod For ”Yes”
This is a very basic trick to teach your horse that the motion of nodding his head means ”yes”.
Encourage your horse to stand in front of you and hold out his head. Lead him around by the nose or mouth, so he will have to follow you. Then stop and reward him with a treat for nodding his head. Since this trick is easy for your horse, it’s a good idea to reward it often. Soon enough, he’ll understand what it takes for a nod to get him some food!
Come When Called
One of the he key tricks to teach your horse tricks is being able to call it back. When your horse is away from you, you can call them over by using a high-pitched whistle.
The sound of the whistle will get their attention, and they will make their way towards you. When they come, try rewarding them with food or a pat on the head before continuing with more training.
These are just a few of the ways you can communicate with your horse, and it’s up to you to figure out which one works best for your particular situation! Happy training!