Trick Training: How to Teach ‘Catch’

Along with all the more ‘serious’ stuff I do with my horses, I love to teach tricks. They’re just a lot of fun and they make me smile. Because they’re easy, stand-alone behaviours, my horses seem to love them, too. They become something we just love to do together.
For that reason, they become an effective reward in other training sessions. I’ve used them to bring more fun and joy into healthcare and handling behaviours, loading, overcoming boredom when on boxrest and loads more. For example, my pony, Toby, isn’t a fan of being groomed (cuddled, yes. Groomed to remove dirt, not so much.). So, we intersperse grooming sessions with tricks such as ‘smile’, ‘count’ and ‘catch’, which he loves and makes the grooming much more enjoyable for both of us.
Trick training is also great for teaching your horse to problem-solve and become a better learner, so it can help all manner of other exercises, too. (Find out more benefits of trick training from Shawna here.)
However, most of the time, my horses and I just play around with some trick training when I don’t have much time or we’re just hanging out together at the stables with no particular agenda. They boost our relationship and are simple no-pressure fun together!

 

I first saw a pony play catch with my friend, Rebecca Musselwhite, of Jive Pony. I was so inspired, I had to teach my own horses.

Here are the steps so you can teach your horse, too. Enjoy 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Trick Training: How to Teach ‘Catch’”

  1. Will start this today with my 3…young Galaxie has just discovered boys . Will use her love of learning new things to hopefully get her attention away from her raging hormones ! Thank you

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