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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are leasing a pony for our 10 year old. This is a pony that lives at the barn she rides at and she has ridden him a ton of times and shown him a few times as well. This is a pony that she has definitely "clicked" with. Anyhow, what are some easy little horse tricks she can teach him? He already knows how to bow, but this has proved to be problematic at times. When she goes down to pick his feet, he thinks she has a carrot and has gotten her in the face (gently). So we are trying to "untrain" that trick. Anyhow, any cute, easy horse tricks that she can teach her sweet pony? Thanks!!
 

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Teaching them to smile is pretty easy. The way I teach is tickle the inside of their top lip until they lift it (move their lip away from the pressure) then release (remove your finger). Pick a word that is going to be your release and say it in a higher happy voice, something like alright, or ok when you remove your finger say the word. It is important to have a release when they get good at the trick they will be expected to hold the trick until told to release. I try to stay away form using food to teach tricks it just causes distraction.

I am sure if you look on Youtube there are lots of ideas there. Look for how to teach yes and no, give a hug with their neck. I would stay away from tricks that involve the horses feet leaving the ground like counting, picking up the foot to hug, do not teach a horse to rear, I don't like teaching them to kiss their teeth to close to any body part not a good idea ect.

Smiling, yes/ no and give a hug seem pretty cool for a young girl to be able to do safely.
 

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It may be best to run your intentions by the owner. I don't find tricks cute as the horse seems to do them when they aren't wanted, as you found out. Instead, why not have her work with the pony at liberty and let her experiment with eliciting a response from her body language.
 

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There's lying down, I taught mine to rear, bow, let me stand on her. I've also taught her to pick her feet up when I ask her to. I did loads of tricks with her today, just spent an hour with a load of carrots in the school.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good point about asking his owner. She will pretty much let us do anything with him, except rearing. She says that she will not have a horse that rears just because it's much too dangerous and most of her riders are young, between the ages of 6 and 18. But smiling would be a fun little pony trick. I am actually smitten with this pony myself. He has the best personality, has a lot of "get up and go", and a little naughty at times, which makes him even cuter. And yes to whoever said not to teach him anything that makes him pick up his feet, as we have seen already that that can by annoying!! lol!

Thanks!
 

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I taught my mare to smile using clicker training and something smelly. Horses will "smile" when they smell something weird, so I would put some peppermint soap on my finger and bump it on her nose. When she smiled, I'd click and give her a treat. The motion of me rubbing the stuff on her nose turned into the hand cue, so now I just wiggle my finger at her face and say "smiiiiile!" and she does it. :)

You can also teach them to target...walk up to an object and touch it with their nose. That is a good first trick because it reinforces the concept of the clicker.
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A "cute" trick I taught mine was to stand at liberty in the pasture while I walk a huge circle around the horse. Or I stand on the mounting block, and the horse, at liberty, aligns himself to make mounting or grooming easier. Look into horse agility. This develops the responses between handler and horse.
 
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