TREATS, REWARDS & MOTIVATION IN LIMBO?? No, you are not in "limbo!" You're just new to these movements. Do not to rush anything quickly, and reward MORE of the behavior. In other words, make him "hold the pose" or movement longer. This applies to the "Kiss" as well. DON'T reward him for moving his head around or butting you with it if he is too eager for the treat. Reward correct behavior. Be a real stickler for mannerly horses! If he moves it a lot, tell him IN A SHARP TONE OF VOICE, "NO!" This is what you should tell him all the time for an unwanted behavior, then try the trick again. NIPPING PROBLEM? Anything is "permissable"-- this sequence is not cemented in stone. Sometimes you have to be flexible and creative enough to change the master plan in teaching certain horses. With nippy horses avoid teaching the "kiss" as a starting trick, and hold off any other tricks using his mouth. Although he may not be a biter, or nippy, he could become one in an instant! If he is always "in your face," and has not been taught to respect a person's space on the ground, work on this. Even if he takes the carrots gently, and is highly motivated to work for the treats, do not put your face in danger by teaching him the "kiss" as a first trick. Instead, teach him some other tricks using his head and neck first. The biggest problem sometimes is that he is extremely smart and responsive, but has no patience and does EVERYTHING hurriedly--even riding. This type of horse needs to be slowed down, so do everything with him in "slo mo." Make him wait patiently for your cues, and make him wait a minute or two longer before asking for a "try" again. You could easily ruin him if you try to teach him too much too soon. Listen to your gut instincts. They are usually right! Train by presenting the cue first, which then creates the behavior. Many ideas are shared by trainers, but many differ too. WHAT MOTIVATES YOUR HORSE? Do not attempt to run through the tricks, when the problem you have won't be solved with teaching a different trick. It will be solved when you find out the most powerful motivator for your horse. For many horses, food is a powerful motivator. Treats, especially. However, some folks never feed their horses treats, so the horse does not recognize them as appealing. It all depends upon what you are feeding your horse. Are you feeding him grain? If you are, and he really likes his grain, then start by hand-feeding him grain instead of carrots or other treats. That would be a good starting point. Then, you can reward him with handfuls of grain at first during your learning sessions. Eventually, you can introduce some other treat, and "teach" him how to eat it, perhaps by cutting up small pieces of carrots or apples and mixing them up into his grain. But first, you need to work on finding a food motivator for him so that you can use food in your training. When you have a horse that carries a sign, "WILL WORK FOR FOOD," it makes your teaching so much easier! Some horses never show interest in food as motivation, and would prefer pats or rubs in a favorite place. Perhaps he is a horse with a low food drive, but has a strong social (herd) drive. That means he will respond to tactile rewards well. If you are having problems, go back and BEFORE you start ANY trick-training, find out what motivates your horse to perform best. There must be SOMETHING he likes well. When you find it, then go back to starting with the first trick, instead of jumping around. When you find the solution to your motivation problem, and find the right motivator for your horse, then he'll learn tricks(or any other behaviors)like a charm! WORRIED ABOUT TIME? For those of you worried about your horse taking time to learn a trick--don't! Some folks just have more time to teach with frequent sessions. If you don't, that's fine. Take your sweet time until the trick is learned thoroughly. If some people want to teach their horses more tricks, they can refer to a video or book, and go to it! Make your horse learn patience. They need to learn to wait, stand around, be groomed, or whatever. Sure, your horse wants to please you and get the goodies, and now you can probably see why you should start with some innocuous tricks that won't cause any mouthful of hooves. The sequence of trick-training is very important! While you may want to teach your horse to bow on one knee to make it easier for you get up it is recommended that you start with the simple, fun tricks such as those that have been listed on page 2 in order to gain your horse's trust and confidence. Not only that, but these tricks should not present any danger or harmful behaviors that can become "pesty." Some people have the same bright, alert, anticipating sort of horses that need to be SLOWED DOWN. Perhaps you can groom and do other things with them that will require them to stand quietly for you. Or--if they need to blow off some steam before settling down to some trick-training, perhaps you should train after they have been turned out. You must INSIST on obedience. No matter how well they do a trick, it it not on cue, do not reward or pet them. Only reinforce the wanted behavior when you ask for it and they do it well. Do the trick the way it is comfortable for you. "Resting" the head is not that important, if it's easier to "wrap" it, go ahead--makes no difference for later tricks As for motivation,find some way to make the horse WANT to do what it is you want. Once you find out what is the most powerful motivation for your horse you will be on your way. A vet has been consulted with to see if any methods will present health problems. All of the techniques recommended here have been veterinarian-approved and evaluated for safety reasons.