Eye Of A Horse.com

Horse Training Techniques

Horse owners often worry that their horse is not drinking enough water, especially when traveling, at shows, or in hot weather. This is a valid concern, since dehydration can cause very serious problems in horses. Water regulates body temperature, in addition to facilitating digestion and absorption of nutrients. Consequently, dehydration can result in problems such as impaction, colic, and heat stroke.

Horse owners often resort to adding salt to the horse's feed or adding all types of flavoring or commercial products to his water in the hopes that these practices will lead to an increase in drinking behavior.

As a psychologist and an animal behaviorist, I believe there is a more natural solution to this problem. It is actually possible to train your horse to drink on command by using the simple principles of operant conditioning, as demonstrated in this short video.

Two training sessions (9 minutes and 7 minutes in real time) are shown in full, with no cuts, but instead parts of the video are shown at a faster speed in order to condense the viewing time.

As can be seen at the beginning of the video, the horse had been on water prior to the session, and thus had not been deprived of free access to the water tank.

The final few minutes of the video are played at normal speed so that the viewer can more easily see that the horse is indeed drinking on command.


No self-respecting cowboy should ever miss a dally, but if he does, he certainly should spare himself the embarrassment of having to dismount to pick up the errant rope. Please inform your horse of proper horse etiquette! These four Florida Cracker horses demonstrate the epitome of equine etiquette, as they graciously retrieve ropes for their clumsy riders. These are just a few of the horses who are taught this face-saving skill at the Equine Education Center at Forever Florida, the home of the largest herd of Florida Cracker horses in the world. This skill also comes in handy for dropped gloves, hats, jackets and peanut butter sandwiches.


This short 4-minute video features highlights of a 20-minute session of operant conditioning wherein students reinforced horses for coming in from the pasture when a heartbeat drumming rhythm was played on buckets. This activity is part of an experiential therapy module teaching non-verbal communication skills and basic behavioral modification learning principles.