Training Grounds – Horses!

Training Grounds – Teaching a Horst Respect

By Guest Writer Claire S.
You all know, I am sure, those nervous, jumpy horses who

simply cannot concentrate on you when there are other things

going on. In fact, sometimes you are even scared that your horse

really has no clue you are standing right beside him and might

just run right over you! Take heart! There is a very simple

First, however, we must explore the cause of this rampant

problem. Basically, by worrying about what is going on over the

fence or in the next stall rather than calmly looking to you, your

horse is saying, ‘I don’t trust you to take care of me, I have to

take care of myself.’ To begin with, you should analyze why

your horse is thinking like this. Have you ever let him be hurt by

anything? Have you ever done something around, near, or to

him that really shook his trust in you? Trust takes a long time to

rebuild, and I suggest you start working on that. You must prove

yourself again to your horse. It is far easier to always treat your

horse with respect and look after him well than to try to patch up

broken trust.
Now, on to the ‘practical’ solution. When a horse lowers his

head below his withers an endorphin is released which gives him

a pleasant sensation. Putting his head down to eat, resting it on

the ground when he is lying down, all these things feel very

good to the horse. When he eats or lies down, he is relaxed

because of the endorphin. So, to get your horse less uptight, you

simply must lower his head. You will always lose at tug-of-war

with your horse; he is much stronger than you are, so don’t pull

down on your lead rope! Instead, start by putting your hand over

his poll, right between his ears. With your thumb and middle

finger (or pinkie, if your hand is small) you should feel two

indentations in the horse’s skull at the base of his ears. Apply a

small amount of pressure with your fingers here with your right

hand, while applying soft pressure downward with your lead

rope. It there is no response, wiggle your fingers, gradually

increasing pressure until the horse drops his head away from the

pressure. Immediately release all pressure and praise him! Even

if he moves a millimetre, release, praise, and keep practicing

Getting this exercise down is important, because it helps with a

myriad of horse problems. When your horse lowers his head

when you tell him, you can put a bridle on easier. You can help

him calm down in a scary situation, and you have more control

over your horse.
Want to read more from Claire about horses? Go look at her blog: !

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Training Grounds- Tell you a Secret

Training Grounds

This month, you can teach your pet how to ‘tell you a secret’.


  • You
  • Your pet
  • Some treats

1.First, Make your pet sit and crouch down next to it. Point to your ear and say, “Tell me a secret!”


2.Wait until your dog noses your ear and give them a treat


3.It should be a natural thing for a dog to do anytime throughout the day; when this happens say” Tell me a  secret” as they are doing it and praise them.

Training Grounds- Recycle

Training Grounds

This month’s pet trick is called ‘recycle’, in this trick, you pet will basically chase his/her tail on command. It is cute and funny!

•Pet treats


•Your pet


How To Do It:

1.First, gather all you need and position your pet standing in front of you.

2.Holding a treat in your hand, put your hand in front of your pet’s nose and move your hand to your pet’s rump. Your pet’s head (nose) should follow your hand to it’s rump.

3.Move your hand in circles sort of pushing your pet’s bottom, and say ‘recycle’ or whatever keyword(s) you want.

4.Go in two circles (or however many you want, but do the same amount each time) and then give your pet a treat.

5.Practice for a little everyday, and with practice and patience soon you will have a new trick to show your friends and family!

Do you have any tricks you would like us to feature? If so, please tell us in your comments.

Training Grounds- December 2013

Pet Tricks

This month’s pet tricks are more of games than tricks but they do help to practice tricks with your pet, besides they are fun and a great way to exercise! You are going to play both hide & seek as well as Simon Says.

•Your pet

•A few friends, parents, or siblings (Theses are not required but suggested for more fun).

•Some treats (if your pet needs them)

Hide & Seek

1. Gather all your supplies and head outside for a game of hide & seek, you may want to do it inside until your pet is used to it or you can trust him/her outside without a leash. It may also be best if you do this a few times with just you and your pet and then add other friends.

2. Chose a place where the ‘it’ will ‘count’ and tell your pet to sit/stay. Remember that this is a different kind of hide & seek and your pet will always be it… though I suppose you could try to get him/her to hide using the same technique.

3. Continue to tell your pet to stay while you go and hide behind a tree, the couch, or whatever you can think of.

4. As you are telling your dog to stay also add the word ‘hide’.

5. Wait a few moments in your hiding place (you can vary the time as your pet gets used to this game) and then say “Come, Seek!” and reward your pet with treats.

6. You can add some people once you think your pet is ready and start making it more fun! Your pet will love the attention!

Simon Says

1. Have you ever played Simon says? For this game you will need to know how; if not you can email us and ask us. Gather your supplies (this time friends are suggested)

2. Chose one person to be ‘Simon’. It might be best if you or someone who knows your pet and has done tricks with it before starts out as ‘Simon’.

3. Now you know how this is usually played and there is only one difference: Your dog is playing so You have to only use the tricks you pet knows such as sit, lay down, roll over, etc.

4. You will have to excuse your pet when they do it even though you don’t say ‘Simon Says’ but other than that play as usual!

Pet Tricks

Pet tricks

This month’s pet trick is called peek-a-boo. As well as being cute it is useful for putting leashes, collars, or harnesses on your pet. Before learning this you will want to teach your pet sit, and stay. This trick can be good to learn before you teach your pet to weave through your legs too.
First put your pet in the ‘sit’ position.

Now, telling you pet to stay, turn around so your back is facing your pet.

Releasing your pet from ‘stay’, lure your pet halfway through your legs with a treat saying, “peek-a-boo”

Reward your pet as soon as he/she does what you want.

As your pet begins to go where you want him/her right when you say without you having to lure him/her with a treat begin adding the hand motion: put your hands on your hips.

With practise both you and your pet will soon be experts!

Meet Zoey
Zoey is the pet of one of the authors of this magazine’s families. She is an Australian Labradoodle. Zoey is hypoallergenic. Some of Zoey’s favorite things to do are chasing squirrels, chewing up paper towel rolls, and chasing a little laser light. Zoey is the star of this magazine’s pet tricks section and in the past ones. She is a little over a year old and will be expecting puppies in November or so. Zoey weighs about 24 lbs. She is chocolate colored. WE have to give Zoey a home- haircut about once a month. Otherwise her hair will get to 4in long! With all her fur Zoey gets quite hot and enjoys ice cubes on hot summer day.

Pet Tricks

photo by photostock and

photo by photostock and

Pet tricks:
‘Shake’ or ‘High five’ as my family calls it, is a fun and fairly easy trick you can teach your pet. It is also a fun thing to do when your pet meets new people, better than jumping on them at least.
1. First put your pet into the sit position and kneel in front of him/her.
2. Holding a treat in one hand, put the other one (your right hand is good) out in front of you and say ‘shake’ or high five’ whichever you prefer. When you first begin training your pet to do this you will need to grab your pet’s paw with the hand not holding the treats to teach him/her to lift their paw and put it on your hand.
3. Now repeat step two over and over again until your pet gets it, it may take a few different training sessions but eventually your pet will do it without you asking him/her to right after you tell he/she to sit.