Transferring Cues: Shaking their head for “No!”

Something that we refer to a lot is transferring your cues to a new cue. What does this mean? How do you do it? It is really very simple! Some things are easier to teach with a direct physical motion as a cue, possibly involving touching your horse to cue a certain behavior or trick. But usually we want our horses to do these things from a more subtle cue. For example, for the trick where the horse shakes their head "no" it can be fun to teach your horse to shake their head when you shake your head. The easiest way to teach this trick however, is to tickle the hair right outside their ear. So how do you get from ear tickling to head shaking?

Spinning

Part of the dream of horses is sharing a dance with them. A beautiful step towards this dance is the twirl, which can be done in both directions using the human's spin as the cue for the horse's spin. It is a great exercise for reading body language and developing greater communication between horse and human, not to mention it's just plain fun! All our horses absolutely love spinning, and will throw in spins at random if you let them.

clicker training

Havin’ a Ball

clicker trainingSome horses love playing much more than others. Trubee is one of those horses. Other horses don't really like to play, but love having goals and accomplishing them. Tucker is one of those horses. Then there are horses that are somewhere in between, such as Moxie. So, how does one find a game that engages both types of horses both mentally and physically? How about a ball!

Target Training

No, I don't mean that we're going to head out and start shooting things. However we will be teaching our horses to take aim! Target training is a great exercise with tons of uses. It's used in the training of virtually all animals that you see trained in this world, including dolphins, dogs, birds, you name it. The concept is what you might call a building block to plenty of other exercises, as well. Not only is this a useful trick, but it is also extremely easy and straightforward to teach.