Trick training gone wrong
I want to trick train my horses so I started with what I thought would be a simple easy trick, teaching him to give me "kisses" I always kiss my horses gently on the nose and they never have a problem with it. I trained my gelding to do this trick and he caught on to it in about two minutes and started doing it on command with a clicker. I had someone make a video of him doing this and I noticed he would sometimes pin his ears while he "kissed" me and then release them after the click. I didn't think much of it, but the next day when I started practicing the trick again he did it at first but them he reached up and bit me on the chest. Any idea why he did this? I'm guessing maybe he started thinking that he was making me give him treats by nudging me with his nose and became dominant? He isn't a mean horse and hasn't bit me before. I won't be doing the trick anymore, but I would still like to know why he may have decided to bite me and why the ear pinning while learning the trick? I assumed he should be having fun since food was involved.
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I have no advice. .but ouchhyy.. sorry about that.. hmmmm SUbbing as well to see what others think
I think if you do clicker training, you have to give the treat rewards in a certain way, and that is that the horse has to put their head to one side and wait to be GIVEN the treat. If they nuzzle you for food, they get nothing.
Sorry you got bitten, that must have been shocking.
Yes it did shock me a little bit. I haven't had him very long but I always hand feed him treats and he takes them very gently and nicely. He is also very very interested in people. Constantly following any humans around and interested in what they are doing so I thought he would really enjoy trick training. I'm just thankful he didn't bite my face because he came really close. I'm starting to think he might have some food aggression?
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I don't think your guy ever thought of it as a 'kiss' - it was an action he used that got him a treat, presumably right after the click. He may have been ticked off when the treats stopped but the clicks were still there or he may have always been irritated by that particular trick and had had enough of the process. I suspect the latter as the ears laid back are a sign of dislike or hostility and sometimes both. It's probably for the best that you decided to take that trick off the menu.
I am always a bit wary of horses that follow people around too closely. They sometimes exude a "possessive" attitude, like they are herding "their" humans. uh uh. I usually move them off of me. They may follow me, but not "herd" me.
Trix are for kids.... or so says the really old cereal commercial.
I'm sorry this happened. It could have been much worse.
I'm a wet blanket when it comes to teaching tricks. Maybe for entertainment professionals, but most of us do well to stick with teaching proper manners, etc. like standing still when you get on. What if some unsuspecting person was close, made some clicker sound and whammo! because they had no treat?
I know many will disagree and think tricks are fine, and that's okay.
Just stay safe.
That skilled clicker training gal is here, she's had a thread that's very informative; you should ask her about this.
I have taught some ponies to give kisses. You have to be very aware of the horses nature. Some get very very pushy or agressive when food is involved and those horses should never be taught using treats.
Also I never teach them to "Give" kisses, I teach them to offer thier nose for a kiss.
This is the reason many of us are against trick training.
A lot of it depends on the horse, and the human doing it as well.
And biting you is horse's way of saying it is in charge, not you.
Bad habit to have gotten started, and at this point, I would back off before horse does get you in face.
Watch too, for other signs horse is trying to dominate you, as they may pop up now.
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