Unlimited access >

Minis with no boundaries!!

I am currently working with a mini to get him trick trained. He is very pushy when treats are involved so I am just rewarding him with lots of scratches, BUT he doesn’t know boundaries at all. He tried to stuff his nose into my pockets and my face. He doesn’t lunge very well at all because he just wants to stay near me at all times. Get him to back away from you? Not happening. Want him to found tie while you grab a lunge whip? Good luck! Any tips? He is as outgoing as a mini can get, and very goofy. I love playing with him, but sometimes his attention just isn’t all there and he doesn’t want to leave your side.

Just follow regular horse training. People tend to not demand manners from minis for the same reasons people don’t train chihuahuas to walk properly on a leash. Too cute, too small, and people like an animal that’s perpetually immature.

First you need to clicker train him to look away from you and back up before he gets a treat. Very very important number one step. If you can’t do this, don’t clicker train, period.

You are probably going to also have to do a little bit of shank the halter get out of my space ground work training. Just imagine he is a Percheron stallion that will walk all over you not a cutesy little dwarf.

If you are new to horses or to groundwork with spoiled or green horses, get some sessions with a groundwork trainer to set you on the right path.


Btw all my advice is exactly the same as if you had a full size horse, and I use clicker training too.


I started my mini with basic groundwork. He was a rotten mess when I got him. We did the basics, he lunges well, backs up, side passes, stands well for the farrier, and will stand tied. He’s a well behaved little man now at 5 years old. He still maintains his pony personality, and is a joy to be around. We are now doing trick training, and I feel it’s much easier because he knows and respects the basic rules. Would love some pics!

Scribbler is exactly right. These little itty bitty’s are so accustomed to doing as they please whenever. They KNOW they’re

so cute and adorable and people laugh at their antics instead of putting them in basic training.

I once took on a 28" mini stallion for training and maybe to teach him to drive and lunge and just overall mannering.

Initially he was resistant but once he knew the program and what was expected of him, he was a stellar student.

Mini’s are super smart. They learn very fast, once they know you don’t back down cause they pull their antics.

He learned all his lessons and jobs and became a farm favorite cause he was just so darn cute and good at what he did.

Hang in there, there’s hope. Regular, consistent, patient training is key. Just like with big horses.

Training is training. All the differs are the cues/aids, according to what you’re teaching him to do.

I guess I’m unclear how one can be a trick-trainer, but not be able to teach basic manners :confused:

Tricks need to be put aside until he understands politely staying out of your space, coming into your space when invited, moving out of it when asked, and waiting for things with a pleasant expression. All signs of aggression or pushiness need to be dealt with immediately, and this means always having a halter and lead on him, no liberty work for a while.

It shouldn’t be hard to teach him to get out of your space and wait. Ignore unwanted behavior unless it’s dangerous, keep asking for and reward wanted behavior.

Not being able to get an otherwise reasonable horse to get out of your space means you’re not actually trying. Ask politely, then get as big and loud as it takes to get him backpedaling as fast as he can, then let him chew on that for a minute. If he tries to come back to you, move him out again. And again, and again. When he’s out there, and relaxes, you go to him and tell him good job. Then ask him to move away again. How long it takes before you simply quietly ask him to move away, depends on your consistency and timing.

1 Like

Stop playing with him. I would probably avoid “trick training” for now and focus only on working properly like a regular sized horse.

For example - “want him to tie while you grab a lunge whip?” Have you taught him to ground tie? If not, you can’t expect he knows how to do this.

Basic ground work and manners before any tricks.


No tricks, no scritches until you are done working. Use your voice and other aids (whip, lead rope, crop, etc.)