Friday, April 22, 2011

Watch what you trick train a horse!

I wanted to tell you another funny story about Enzo! I had taught Enzo a while back to shake his head NO. He learned it of course, super fast! Well, I had used a sharper object to poke him on the top of his neck and that would make him shake(top of paper clip, toothpick, or end of a screw). After you do a few tries the human no longer needs the sharp object. You just need to lift your hand high. Anyway unfortunately, to me!!! Enzo decided anything that poked him in the neck anywhere!!! Will make him shake his neck. That means for blood draws, or vaccines Enzo starts to shake his neck like a mad man!! My spring vaccines I gave this year were a nightmare to give. Even one time the syringe and all went flying on the floor, because Enzo was shaking his neck so hard. Well, today Enzo needed to get a coggins test and fecal. The vet was already coming out for my barn owner for spring vaccines on her horses. So I figured, I would jump in on the barn call. Since, I need a coggins to get to NC! Anyway, I realized last week that the poor vet is going to have an impossible time drawing blood!!!!!! Sooo I kept thinking how do I fix this? Then it came clear! I would go ahead and poke Enzo in the neck all over. Especially, at the jugular area. Enzo would not get rewarded for the times he did shake, but for only the times Enzo stood still and did not move!!! It was really hard, since of course at first, Enzo was shaking all over the place and it was super hard to not release the poke when he was shaking! Finally Enzo started to get it!!! I only had 3 days total to practice this before the vet was coming. My last time to practice was last night. The first couple of times Enzo shook his neck again. I was disappointed, but we kept practicing. At the end Enzo had it again! Sooooo, today the vet came and guess what!!! Enzo didn't shake once and Enzo did great for the VET!!! Soo it paid off and worked!!!! Yeah!!!! Now, I am going to refine my saying NO over the next few weeks. I will reward for head shaking when my hand is high up on the neck where the mane comes out for poking! This is where I started originally months back, but Enzo decided to make it all about his whole neck instead! Then, I will work on poking Enzo below the mane all over. Like Enzo is getting vaccines and or blood draws and I will continue to reward Enzo for not shaking in the future in that area!!! Yeah, how cool!! So be careful what you trick train, LOL!

Keep it natural~ Janine and Enzo


  1. ah ha ha ha! That's really funny and I know what you're talking about because Grayson did the same thing. I quickly learned that I could teach any trick to him. I decided to teach him "paw." Of course he caught on to it quickly but then he started demanding things by pawing in the air. I quit doing paw (although it was cute on demand) since he might end up pawing someone in the was definitely embarrassing for a while :) He's pretty good now unless I ask him something and he's unsure of what to do...I guess when in doubt, paw the air. ha ha!

  2. Oh my gosh, great story Julie!! Thanks for sharing! I'll keep that in mind!

  3. Wow I wouldn't have even thought of that! Thanks for sharing because I was just thinking about teaching him yes and no soon. :D I'm glad he was good for the vet and you have a game plan.

    I started to teach Chrome to paw on cue (or just pick his leg up and forward for teaching the Spanish Walk), but decided not to go any further with it right now because he tries to paw any time something touches his leg. Eek! I'm decide how to go about it later. :)