3 Tricks You Can Teach Your Horse This Off Season

While we’re on the topic of off-season training and entertainment, I thought it would be fun to try to teach my horse some new “skills.” I actually took a groundwork lesson with our resident horsemanship trainer a few weeks ago and got a lot out of it, and it got me thinking about other things I can do to bond with my horse.

I’ve always wanted to know a “real” way to teach my horse to smile, so to speak, so a YouTube search yielded none other than Elisa Wallace on how to teach this ultra important trick:

Needless to say, I’ll be trying this as soon as I can get to the barn. My horse is supremely food motivated, so I feel like making a list of things to teach him is not out of the realm of possibility.

There’s another trick that some horses seem to do well with: bowing. While I must give a disclaimer here that you need to be safe while attempting these tricks, learning from others who have experience is a good way to do it. Here is Megan Tucholski teaching us how to bow a horse:

It’s really funny to type in “How to teach your horse to…” on YouTube and see the ideas that come up. Clearly, teaching your horse to rear or do other obviously dangerous things are not on my list. I even looked up teaching your horse to count, but then realized that this teaches your horse to paw constantly so, we’ll just skip that one for now.

One cute trick, though, is teaching your horse to hug you. Granted, they probably won’t attach the same amount of affection to the gesture, but we can pretend, right?

If you have any other tips or tricks (safe ones, please!) to share, please comment below and let the winter bonding begin!