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Breezy2011 01-23-2013 09:23 PM

Trick Training
I have been reading a lot on trick training, and I have heard in multiple places, if you teach your horse some tricks, they will look at you as a leader, you will have a better bond, and your horse will respect you more.

I am not planning on ever teaching Breeze to rear.

Tricks I am interested in teaching her are:
-grab items

I was looking into doing some liberty work to with her, but not until she is a little older... some things would be:
-free lunge
-walk beside me no lead (in a smaller pen)
-trot beside me no lead (in a smaller pen)
-back up across the pen, me standing in one spot, telling her to.
-more... but later on

Is there anything that won't be a good idea? Is there any other trick I can teach her?

Share your thoughts, opinions, and if you have taught your horses any tricks.

rookie 01-23-2013 10:23 PM

I am not opposed to trick training. I don't know that it establishes a leader role but it can be kind of cute. I think you have a good list but I would remove grabbing things. That could spiral easily into biting or just as irritating your horse taking inappropriate items. I could easily see my horse (who is just "clever" this way) grabbing a jacket or a saddle pad, or god forbid part of my saddle, thinking that it was a trick and she would be rewarded. I have taught my horse to come when called, to back up on hand and voice commands. I am considering teaching a bow. I am working on a flex. He is stiff in his neck when we ride and I think it helps him to stretch and I would like to have those as hand or voice commands. I would nix grabbing things, rearing (as you already stated you would), I would also nix any pawing/shake command (it can lead to pawing on cross ties which is a pet peeve of mine).

I have a friend who trains dogs. She says "never teach your puppy something that you think is cute but that won't be cute when its an adult. Sure your 8 week old puppy tugging at your pant leg, or jumping on you is cute now, but when he is 2 years old, weighs 90 pounds and has bit the mail man after knocking over and breaking Old Aunt Tilly's hip its not cute." The same applies to a horse. Look at every behavior you are thinking of teaching Breeze and try to find a way that behavior could be annoying. If you can find a way for it be annoying or hurt someone, than your horse will too.

Breezy2011 01-23-2013 10:32 PM

Okay, I see your point, I will not be teaching her to grab things anymore, as I can now see what can go wrong.

Breeze already comes when called, and she has backed on voice command, but most of the time won't (I make her anyways, we are still working on it)

Breeze flexed really good, I do it once everytime I go out their, so she doesn't get a stiff neck.

I am wanting to teach Breeze bow, so in the future, when I ride her bareback, it is easier to get up on her (I know a lot of people that do this) and a few years MAYBE lay down

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