9 top tricks to teach your horse and the reasons why they’re important

If you plan to keep your horse or pony “forever” or if you’re preparing it to go on the market, teaching your horse tricks can be fun and beneficial. Often times you’ll hear “why waste your time with that?” or “what’s the point?” In this article I’ll not only list the tricks but also the benefits of each.

1. The Lie Down

More advanced tricks, like this one, take time, but they also are great at demonstrating the horse’s train-ability. Market-ability also increases because buyers think its “cool” if they purchase a horse that can do tricks they can show off. More importantly, have you seen Lonesome Dove? What if you’re being run down by Indians on the wide open, flat plains??? Exactly.

2. The Bow

Also a crowd-pleaser… The bow is a stepping stone for the lie down. It demonstrates submission as well as flexibility.

This video shows Garrett and his pony Pat”trick” demonstrating some of the maneuvers he’s taught him.

3. Follow the Leader

No one wants their horse to run off or pull away while you’re leading it. The solution: train it to follow you or walk next to you- no halter or lead rope needed. It reminds me of a dog that heels.

4. Side Passing to a gate

Avoid getting your boots dirty in the gateway or the hassle to dismounting/remounting, have your horse take you right to the chain/latch and open the gate without leaving the saddle.

5. Knowing the proper stall to enter and heading right in

Putting horses in stalls each morning or night can be a pain. When horses get accustomed to their designated stall the task becomes much easier. No fight in the door way and the rider can work on their own tricks, like Garrett in the video below.

6. Lifting Feet on Command

Want to keep your farrier happy and coming back? Get your horse to lift it’s feet on command.

7. Rider standing up in the saddle

Standing up in the saddle is a great trick for sale rings, parades, or if you need to knock down a bird’s nest in the barn.

8. Putting head down on Command

With simple pressure on the crown of a horses head, they should drop it as low as requested. Bridling, grooming, clipping, all become easier when the area is within reach.

9. Coming When Called

Horses that know their name or a respond to a call can make the rest of the horse riding experience that much better. Ever get geared up to ride and by the time you’ve traversed the pasture and chased the horse around you’re out of the mood? An obedient horse can be the deciding factor between a stressful, frustrating situation and a sweet exchange.

Training your horse or pony to do these tricks isn’t easy, but with patience and persistence it can be done. With a little work you’ll have the crowd at a sale or your horse friends visiting your ranch thinking that horse is …

“As handy as a pocket on a shirt”

-Casey Schwieter, in response to the importance of going the extra mile when training a horse or pony

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