Trick Horse Training

What is Trick Training?

The term "Trick" training is a misnomer.  There is no trick about it.  It is simply more training.  We are working on our relationship with our horse as we ask more and more of him.  We use the phrase "trick training" since this is the standard term. 

Trick training is like any other kind of training. We give a horse a signal or cue and they react with a trained or conditioned response. In this case, we are teaching horses to do fun or fantastic feats. You can teach your horse anything from "counting" to "shaking hands" to "rearing." Only your imagination limits what you can do.

Jackson rearing in a liberty performance at the Midwest Horse Fair


There are several methods to teaching horses tricks. I use a treat reward method to teach my horses. You can use clicker training; you can use a different type of reward other than treats. It all depends on how you prefer to train. I understand that when I give my horse treats, I must be responsible to make sure that he never nips, bites, or nuzzles to get treats. You can train your horses without treats, but it might take longer.  It us up to you to decide which method you are most comfortable with. 


I use treats to help encourage my horse to learn the tricks. Once my horses learn a trick, I start to wean them off of treats. This way, they will to the tricks anytime with only an occasional treat. I also use lots of verbal and physical praise. Horses, like dogs and other animals, respond very well to your tone of voice. If you use a high pitched, excited voice, they will pick up on that. If you use a low, bored voice, well, they might fall asleep.

Is Trick Training for You?

Trick training is very fun. It also takes a lot of work to have a good trick horse. To teach some of the other more advanced tricks, plan to spend at least an hour a day, every day. If you only have time to train on the weekends, plan to teach some of the simpler tricks such as, "yes," "no," "count," and "kiss." There are quite a few that you could teach that are simple and learned in a relatively short amount of time. People will still be amazed at what your horse can do and you will have fun teaching your horse.


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Basic Trick Training
$700 per month*
Includes board
Requires the owner to be somewhat involved


Trick Training Clinic
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