Teaching tricks? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-19-2019, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Teaching tricks?

hi!

im curious to know the different tricks youve taught your horses? i recently taught my guy how to bow but im curious to see what cool things they can learn 🙂
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-19-2019, 11:21 AM
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Horses are capable of far more than many give them credit for...
They learn by repetition, reinforcement of something over and over...hence how a horse it taught to be ridden.


I caution you though on the kinds of tricks you teach your horse.
Choose carefully as sometimes a trick we think fantastic could prove to be the demise of the animal if we ever need to sell them, a new owner unknowingly use your cues and suddenly the horse is labeled rogue or dangerous.
Much as we say "forever homes" we don't know what tomorrow shall bring, and tomorrow could be the day you must sell or give away your horse...
I would not ever teach a rear or paw the air on hind feet as what it can be interpreted as...

Please, please stick to safe tricks...
...
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-19-2019, 02:07 PM
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Some horses really like trick, I know one of the favorites is a Spanish walk. Every horse I've taught to do this totally loved it!

Also sidepass toward and away from you.
Smile (it's really cute cause they start to do it as asking for treats)
Lay down
Sit down (Sam Vanfleet on Youtube has a video for this and other trick training videos)
Stay and come
Pick up things
There is so many things you could teach your horse!

Really I'm glad someone other then just me is looking at doing stuff like this!
And I agree with @horselovinguy rearing can be very dangerous and though it may look really neat, horses can learn to use it against you or when they are trying to learn something else use it as a possible answer...



But other then that, I hope you keep us updated on what you're teaching your horse!
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-19-2019, 09:31 PM
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I tried it. Had to stop it. My mare will still run the full gamut when she wants a treat, a year later. I only did it a few times. She is REALLY food motivated and very smart. So, trying to mount while the clever girl twirls around, bows, Spanish-walks...and I laugh...yeah... My horsemanship is good enough to teach her the tricks but not good enough to make her forget them :)
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-19-2019, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
I tried it. Had to stop it. My mare will still run the full gamut when she wants a treat, a year later. I only did it a few times. She is REALLY food motivated and very smart.

Isn't food the start of clicker training? Wonder if that would make a difference or if she'd still go through the same routine to get positive reinforcement.

No diet, no hoof. No hoof, no horse. No horse is not an option!
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-19-2019, 09:38 PM
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I used to love teaching tricks - now it's just lack of time & other priorities... so it's my kids that generally do this these days.

Side passing towards you - handy at the mounting block... or ditch or log or whatever obstacle.

'Stay' or 'stand' is another handy one.

Playing fetch is fun... and handy when you teach your horse to pick up & return to you something you dropped when you're riding - taught this initially for the horse to pick up my hat when I used to ride without a helmet.

Kneeling & bowing is one my kids have enjoyed teaching but it's really come home to them to put very specific cues on tricks... because it gets old really quick if they're trying to clean hooves or put boots on & the horse keeps trying to bow.

Standing on a pedestal(or log, stump, whatever) is another fun one.... Unless you aren't specific about cues and your horse tries to join you on the mounting block!

Playing 'chasey' is fun - take it in turns chasing the horse & then having them chase you. Obviously safety considerations there too - the horse must know well what is & isn't acceptable behaviour first and understand there is no need for fear when you chase.

Liberty stuff - lunging & stuff, or obstacles/agility without ropes attached. Trailer loading without ropes, riding without headgear. 'Soccer' is fun, if you have a big ball. 'Dancing' as in following your moves is fun.

'Ponying' a horse without ropes - I often go places that it's safe to just have loose horses come for 'the ride' and also, as a safety precaution when my kids first learned to ride off lead & I'd be riding too(believe me, that brings new meaning to the word fear!) I taught the ponies to come to me when I was riding & to 'heel' or stay beside us without a lead.

Lying down on cue is fun. Be handy too if, Dog forbid, you were alone on a trail ride & fell off & broke your leg or something.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-19-2019, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
I tried it. Had to stop it. My mare will still run the full gamut when she wants a treat, a year later. I only did it a few times. She is REALLY food motivated and very smart. So, trying to mount while the clever girl twirls around, bows, Spanish-walks...and I laugh...yeah... My horsemanship is good enough to teach her the tricks but not good enough to make her forget them :)
Yeah this illustrates the importance of putting tricks on specific cues. Once you teach a trick, you need to quickly attach a cue to it & teach them to never do it in absence of that cue - make sure it never works for them.

As said, some tricks that we have taught... & learned by mistake about are bowing & standing on pedestals. One horse I taught to jump while my daughter also learned to jump bareback... so there were a few spills & near misses... caused him to get happy & stop every time someone leaned forward on him or fell off - silliness that was actually handy.

But he was such a quick learner - from but a couple short jumping lessons on a lunge like that, when it came time that my daughter wanted to learn to canter bareback & I thought it would be safer to do it online, he thought he was supposed to jump, so literally leapt into the canter! We laughed & had to 'unteach' that one quick smart!
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-19-2019, 10:18 PM
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I plan to do lots of liberty and trick training with my gelding, I just got him a couple of months ago then had shoulder surgery so I’ve been delayed in starting with him yet. I’ve followed a few people on Instagram and YouTube who post “how to” videos - Sam Van Fleet on YT is a great resource. I’m currently just working on “stand” (stay) and “come” with my boy.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-19-2019, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
I tried it. Had to stop it. My mare will still run the full gamut when she wants a treat, a year later. I only did it a few times. She is REALLY food motivated and very smart. So, trying to mount while the clever girl twirls around, bows, Spanish-walks...and I laugh...yeah... My horsemanship is good enough to teach her the tricks but not good enough to make her forget them :)
My horses are food motivated but not like your mare --- that's my Rottweiler,, she is the biggest food monger I have ever seen, lollol

The first thing that gets their attention is the palm of my hand when I say "wait - wait for a cookie". Most of the time either one will stop in their tracks but I'd better be quick with the payout, lol

They both know to lift their heads when I say "head up".

I can generally get either of them to stop going down the aisle, if I say "whoa - whoa for a cookie" and I'm 20 feet behind them.

When Duke was alive and it was his turn for an evening shower, I would open his stall door, say "let's get a bath, pick your spot". He would go stand who here he wanted under the overhang and not move an ear until I said "ok, you're done". He would then go back to his stall. One time I made the mistake of saying "you're almost done". Duke heard "done" and back to his stall he went,lolol

Both my current horses know "let's get a bath". I never tie horses for baths, but the horse in my avatar will stand outside, without a halter, like Duke did.

The horse in my avatar taught himself how to nod his head up & down, ears forward, and look at the cookie jar. Hard to say no to that.

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-20-2019, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feathers7 View Post
Isn't food the start of clicker training? Wonder if that would make a difference or if she'd still go through the same routine to get positive reinforcement.
Food is a generally strong, generally practical & convenient positive reinforcer(reward) so it is very commonly used in +R training, like C/T but it is not a necessary 'tool' - if there are other desired rewards that are practical you can use those instead.

Not sure what exactly you're wondering above feathers but it's not what is used to reinforce the horse(so long as it's effective) but what the horse is reinforced for... or not, that is the issue here.

It's important tricks are quickly put on cue after the initial 'try & win' shaping of the behaviour, then never ever reinforced in absence of the cue, if you want to 'proof' the behaviour so the horse only does it when the cue is given.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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