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FutureVetGirl 09-10-2008 12:40 PM

Trick Training... once more
OK... just say your opinions on it. I'm unsure about it.

There. Nothing about why... or anything. This is my question. What do YOU guys think about Trick Training?

SonnyWimps 09-10-2008 01:00 PM

it really depends on the tyle of trick training AND how they teach the horse to do it. As long as the horse isn't harmed in teaching the trick or can be harmed while doing the trick, IMO it's fine.

Edit: Just wanted to add also that it can lead to bad behaviours depending on what you are teaching as a trick

valleychick2121 09-10-2008 06:47 PM

I LOVE trick training! That is how I got my buckskin filly bonded with me. It can lead to problems, but if your quick to correct them, they are fine. My filly (once she grasped the idea) bonked me in the mouth a couple times while teaching to give kisses, so i didn't reward her for giving a hard kiss and waited until she did it correctly, then gave her a treat. I usually make her do a couple tricks before I feed her, so she is interested in it. Why were you asking about them? Are you going to do a couple tricks with yours? Thats awesome if you are!

loosie 09-11-2008 01:47 AM

288 Attachment(s)
It's all trick training, if you ask me.... getting the ultimate prey animal to allow a predator to ride him, sidepassing, spins, flying changes, jumping...

I agree with Sonny. It depends how any training is done whether it's good, bad or otherwise. I really like clicker training philosophy, tho I rarely actually clicker train these days. Negative reinforcement(removal of pressure) is a great teacher and fine, so long as it's not overdone and the 'pressure' you're using isn't too strong.

Specifically teaching tricks for the sake of fun is great I reckon, for the attitude of both horse & handler. It teaches the horse that he will be rewarded for following your direction, to have fun with his handler & not be 'micromanaged'. It teaches timing and the importance of positive reinforcement to the handler and generally keeps them in a good frame of mind - hard to get grumpy with a horse just because he can't kick a ball very well!

Obviously some tricks can cause potential probs, such as rearing, pawing, teaching the horse to use his mouth, haute ecole.... as with teaching anything else, we need to be aware of the possible lessons that we may be teaching the horse and make sure we teach them what & how we want in a way that will avoid or minimise the possibility for 'bad' behaviours.

FutureVetGirl 09-11-2008 04:26 AM

Thanks guys! It's nice to get opinions on things!!

I can understand how teaching the wrong way/the wrong thing would cause a huge problem. If I teach Mozart something, it'd be something extremely simple, like a hug, to act ashamed, say yes or no, or to smile. None of those will most likely hurt someone if taught right. I can see how kissing could turn to nipping, how rearing and pawing can turn into huge problems.

But then... what about teaching more "complicated" tricks to miniature horses? My aunt has several minis, and I'm sure that she'd be able to show me where I could get a mini, or a mini donkey for a decent price...

My second cousin has a miniature horse that does absolutely nothing but graze in the field. She WAS going to train it and work with it... but lost time, and now he's just sitting out in a field/stall, gettin fat. So maybe I could work with him?

I dunno... for the most part I'm just wondering... because I saw some stuff on it on and thought they looked interesting/cool.

loosie 09-11-2008 08:01 AM

288 Attachment(s)
Want some inspiration? Look up ImagineAHorse, Guy McLean, Nevzorov's Haute Ecole...

I've been put off the idea of minis because of health probs inherent in so many littlies, due to their shrunken size & inbreeding. Not sure if that would be true of donks tho, as they're not so tiny compared to the standard garden variety.

sempre_cantando 09-11-2008 08:00 PM

I am totally ok with trick training provided:
- the trick will not be dangerous to the horse or human (i.e. rearing)
- the training methods are fair

My mare knows several tricks including:
- fetch
- high 5 (with nose)
- side pass towards me
- shake hands (with front leg)

She loves doing tricks because she knows it means she'll get a treat!

I believe her tricks are fairly harmless even if she does them at the wrong time.

Fetch, at worst, can be annoying when she tries to pick up stuff of the ground that I actually want left there!
Side pass towards me could be dangerous in another horse but my mare is respectful enough not to run me over - she wouldn't dream of it!
Shake hands - well, anyone reaching for her leg obviously wants to pick it up and so can't harm anyone anyway.
High 5 with nose is also at worst annoying, i.e. I stand by her head and am talking to a friend, I put my hand out in conversation and my mare touches it.

FutureVetGirl 09-12-2008 04:26 AM

haha... that sounds hilarious sempre_cantando!

yeah. If I ended up working with the minis, I'd be doing more "complex" things like rearing on command, sitting, laying down, and so on, just because they're smaller, and a bit more controllable. And you're not planning on riding them any time soon. But here, with these horses, if I DO use any trick training, it'd be very basic things like yes or no, smile, etc. Nothing that would (hopefully) cause problems with future owners and riders.

I'd like to get it with most of them where it's not where they get treats EVERY time they do it. But maybe a pat instead, or something. Because I don't want to cause pushy horses when it comes to treats.

sempre_cantando 09-13-2008 06:08 AM

yeah i agree
my mare doesn't get treats every time. Especially not if she starts getting pushy in which case I don't give her a treat. She soon learnt that being pushy = no treat
whereas waiting patiently = treat

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