Toby is retired from riding but still loves to learn and play. Painting is one of his favourite things to do and he always goes to stand by his easel as soon as it’s brought out! Trick training is a great way to enrich the lives of horses who can’t be as active as they’d like due to age, injury, conformation issues and so on.
It’s also a great mental challenge for horses. They’re intelligent and love to problem-solve, though domestic life often doesn’t give them much chance to do so. Painting is quite a mental challenge as the horse has to learn all the pieces and then put them together – hold the brush, touch the paper gently with the brush, move the brush on the paper.
Toby also adds some other suggestions to the session, too, such as catch, smile and leg lift. Of course, I encourage his ideas as I love his enthusiasm and creativity. It also makes it more of a conversation and connection as Toby gets a say in what we’re doing, too. I try to keep this conversation element strong in ALL training, which is why Toby is so confident to share his opinions with me!
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