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You've found the Mary-Dixon page about horsemanship.  Horses are my passion and my obsession.  They have helped me become a kinder, more confident, more patient person.  What they have taught me about them and taught me about myself is immeasureable.  I now try to teach folks about the nature of horses and how to understand each other which leads to a more confident human and a more confident little darling.
Adventure Horse Riding in NYS

4/6/12

#65 Trick or Treat

#65  Trick or Treat

Tricks are just a great way with communicating with your little darling.  What tricks do for the both of you is to teach each of you how to understand and talk with your horse and figure out what speed the two of you can go to learn something new.

  What is so fascinating is that once you start doing dinky little tricks you'll notice how much faster he learns as you continue your trick training and how much more you improve in your skills in teaching and making things clear..  He will begin to catch on really quick - and that is simply because with each trick you and he have learned to understand each other more and more and more.

But a huge hint here - if you haven't done tricks before - you need to be in a good mood and have lots of patience - and I mean patience - because in the beginning the little darling is going to be absolutely clueless and you are going to get frustrated - which you do not want.

So, you need to reward the "smallest try" as in "shaping" - an earlier blog and finish on a good note.  He doesn't have to learn the whole trick in one session.  For example, a simple trick is to get him just to move each of his front feet forward.  So you need to get one foot forward first.  If that is all you have time for that day, and you are getting cranky, then leave it at that and start again another day.  Even if he just lifts that foot which you are asking him to move, that is fine.
As you do more and more of this stuff, he will really catch on - it is not about learning tricks, it is about the partnership that is going to develop from doing this.  It is really cool.

Adventure Horse Riding in NYS            Smilla13@gmail.com  (Mary Dixon)         www.RideNYS.com