How to Teach a Horse to Kiss

Teach your horse to "kiss" you by wiggling his/her nose against your cheek to show you how much he/she loves you! They should learn the trick in just a couple of sessions!

Steps

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    Is your horse safe to train to kiss? Some horses won't respond well to learning this. They may bite and this trick may become a habit when your horse is unhappy. Decide whether your horse has had bad behavior and whether this is a safe trick to teach him/her.
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    Get lots of small yummy treats, maybe 20 per session. Apples, carrots, and watermelon cut into small pieces are some specific examples.
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    Warm the horse up with a free treat so they will know what they're working for.
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    Put two or three treats in your hand, and hide the rest in your pocket. Make sure your horse knows about the ones in your hand.
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    Position yourself in front of your horse, but facing to the side, so without turning your face, your cheek is toward him.
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    Lean over to position your cheek beside your horse's nose.
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    With the hand holding the treats, tickle your horse's nose with your index finger. A light tickle usually works best. The combination of you tickling his nose, and him wanting to work a treat out of your hand will hopefully make him wiggle his muzzle back and forth. Try to have your cheek against it when he does!
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    The moment he wiggles even a tiny bit on your cheek, reward him with a treat, as fast as you can so he/she knows what they did right!
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    Repeat the procedure, saying "kiss" while you're encouraging the move, until he/she starts to get bored (or you run out of treats), not more than 10 or 12 times.
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    Repeat the same procedures once a day until he/she figures it out. When you think he/she gets it, stop tickling his/her nose, but keep your hand there. Pretty soon you can take your hand away, but remember to keep a treat ready!
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    When he/she has really got it, you should be able to lean in and ask for a kiss, and be rewarded with a big smooch!

Tips

  • Less is more when teaching a new trick. Don't do it so many times that it becomes a chore for the horse - it's supposed to be fun and rewarding for both of you!
  • Make a massive fuss when your horse does it right! Say well done and good boy or girl right after giving your horse a treat. Then your horse will automatically associate kissing with love.
  • As you are training your horse, slowly cut the amount of treats, giving pats or some other reward instead.
  • You can cut up regular sized horse treats, carrots, or apples to use as a reward.

Warnings

  • Make sure you use caution to not being bitten! This trick may not be appropriate for horses who tend to lash out when frustrated.
  • Remember, he/she won't do it if he/she doesn't trust you, so build a bond with him/her before you try this; see related articles.
  • Don't ever punish your horse, or yell at him/her. He/she's learning a new trick here, and he/she's only doing it because you want him/her to!
  • Don't feed him/her sugar cubes - they are bad for the horse's teeth and stomach. They can cause too much stomach acid which may make your horse very sick.
  • Never ask for a kiss on bran-mash night. Yuck!
  • Caution: Possible risk of mega-slurpee surprise.
  • Do not feed your horse peanuts for a treat!

Things You'll Need

  • A horse you have experience with
  • Small treats, such as baby carrots, dry bread pieces, apple pieces, or even Polos (usually the sugar free). Make sure that the treats are not round or square, or your horse might choke on them. It would also be good to make sure they aren't too expensive, because you will be using a lot of them.

Article Info

Categories: Horse Training