Why bother teaching a bunch of ‘silly tricks’?
Isn’t it more important to teach the important thing? Shouldn’t our horses know how to lead, to ride, things that matter before or instead of pointless things like tricks?
I think that is completely the wrong way of looking at things.
Tricks are the foundation of all those other things. Tricks teach a horse to learn. Tricks teach a horse to be fearless, curious, to seek out new things. Trick training teaches all those other things almost by accident. The serious learning is accomplished in a way that is fun for all involved as goals are reached that we think are frivolous.
This little trick has taught both horse and rider to over come insecurities, to work together, balance and trust. Soon it will be flawless and smooth. Together they will learn to be a team. Steering is nothing compared to that.
- Standing Quietly
- Rusty Roping
Very well said! Tricks also help the person remember what fun it is to be with their horse too. I am the only one at my barn who does tricks and clicker training so they think me odd but I am also the only one who laughs with their horse!
What a great point! When we spend all our time focusing on ‘work’ it can take all the fun out. Laughing with our horses is very important.