Empowering Equestrians to Train their own horse with 100% Force Free & Horse Friendly methods

Posts tagged ‘DIY’

DIY Healthy Horse Treats

We all would like to treat our horses from time to time. Positive reinforcement trainers are always on the lookout to find a special treat for their horse which they can use in training.

Kyra is an extremely picky eater when it comes to treats and she won’t eat commercial horse treats. I was very exited when I tried this recipe and discovered that she liked these right away. For Kyra this is a high value treat, so it makes it worthwhile to make.

Healthy Cinnamon Horse Cookies
The molasses is optional. If you don’t use molasses you can use an extract for flavouring, they are low-sugar treats.

Ingredients
1 ¾  cups uncooked (brown) rice / 6 cups cooked rice
1 cup ground stabilized flax
3 tablespoons cinnamon
½ cup flour
½ cup molasses (optional)

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit (135 degrees Celsius). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Cook the rice and let cool down.

Mix all ingredients together. It will make a very sticky dough.

Wet your hands before making little balls of the dough. This is very time consuming. If you don’t have much time you can also roll the dough simply onto the 2 cookie sheets with a rolling pin. Make it half an inch thick. Pre-cut the cookies with a pizza cutter into little squares before baking.

Bake them for 60 minutes. Turn cookies and bake for another 60 minutes. They should be crisp and not squishy. Let them cool down for several hours to harden.
If baked properly and stored in freezer or fridge, they will keep for up to several weeks.

I hope there is no need to keep them stored for weeks. My horse Kyra loves these!

_healthy_horse_treats_hippologic_valentine

These healthy cinnamon horse cookies make excellent gifts, too.

 

Here is a video of my horse Kyra who does the tasting. People who receive this blog in their mail have to visit my blog to find it.

Sandra Poppema
For tailored advise, please visit my website

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DIY target stick

A target stick is such a great tool in clicker training. Read on to make your own safe and sturdy target stick. It’s really easy so you have no excuse to not at least try it out.

With a target stick you can teach a horse practical anything. Read Best basics: Take targeting to the next level if you want some tips for target training.

Supplies

Floater
Bamboo stick
Duct tape
Glue gun

Target

I chose a hard plastic floater which I found in the boat section of Canadian Tire. The floater has a hole in which you can put a bamboo stick. I chose this floater for several reasons. It is a hard plastic so horses can’t get a grip on it with their teeth (safety), it is highly visible, very durable and it is lightweight.

Stick

You can buy bamboo sticks in a garden center or in the gardening isle in a hardware store. Take the bamboo stick in your hands and try it out: hold it horizontally, point it up and down to get a feeling for length and weight. Make sure it feels good in your hand. If the stick is too thin or too long it’s hard to hold for a long time. Some bamboo sticks are a bit thicker on one end, that would be the best end to use as handle.

Tip: buy the floater first and bring it to the garden store so you buy exactly the right size stick: the one that fits in the hole of the floater. It works best if the target is already stuck on the stick without glue.

Glue

I used a glue gun to glue the target to the bamboo stick. You can use any kind of glue that is suitable for the materials you are using and is non-toxic. My floater fit perfectly with the bamboo stick, but I glued it anyway. I wanted to be sure not to lose the target in the middle of a training session or take the chance the target will fly away whenever I am waving the stick in the air. I don’t want to poke my horse or myself in the eye.

Duct tape_targetstick_

I used duct tape to prevent the bamboo stick from splintering or splitting. Some horses like to bite the bamboo stick. They are allowed to investigate it, not to eat it. Duct tape makes it less tempting for them.
Duct tape is available in all colours and prints which makes it fun.

Instructions

Glue the floater on the stick. Let it dry. Put tape around the stick and you’re good to go. To make it more fancy you can glue a (golfstick) handle on it too.

Let me know how your target stick turned out and if you have any tips. Thanks.

Sandra Poppema
For tailored advise, please visit my website and book your personal consult!

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DIY horse wreath

Every horse lover should have a horse wreath for on their (stall) door. This is a 30 minute (no mess) Do It Yourself project.

DIY horse wreath kerstkrans paard hippologic

Supplies

  • Pliers
  • Tongs
  • Two metal coat hangers (frame)
  • Chenille stems (frame)
  • Guirlande (garland 2,4 metres)
  • Glitter flower decoration (eye)
  • Glitter pinnacle decoration (mane)
  • Ribbon (bridle)
  • Wreath hanger

Instructions

1. Straighten the coat hangers with pliers.

_step1straightencoathangers_hippologic

2. Shape the hangers into a horse head.

_step2form horsehead_hippologic

3. Make a frame with the chenille stems to attach the guirlande onto.

_step3a_formaframe_hippologic

4. Cut the guirlande into the length of the frame and weave it through the chenille stem frame._Step4attachguirlande_hippologic

5. Make an eye from the floral decoration and attach the wire to the frame._step5bridle_hippologic

6. Form the mane from the glitter pinnacles. Make a bridle with coloured ribbon or a golden garland.
_step6mane_hanger_hippologic

 

 

 

Enjoy!

More DIY projects:

 

Sandra Poppema
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Safety in Winter: DIY reflection halter

Visibility in these dark winter days is important. I made this very simple Do It Yourself reflection halter for Kyra.

Supplies
1) Halter

step1 DIY reflecting halter by HippoLogic 2015
– Reflecting shoe laces $1 (dollar shop)

step 2 DIY reflecting halter by HippoLogic 2015
– Glue gun

Instructions

Cut the aglets off of the lace before you start.

Measure the shoe lace with the halter part you want to start with. Cut the lace at the desired length.

Take the glue gun and carefully put the glue on the halter. Push the lace until glued.

_step3 DIY reflecting halter by HippoLogic 2015

Be careful not to burn your fingers. Don’t use too much glue because it will spill.

_step4 DIY reflecting halter by HippoLogic 2015

Go to the barn and make a picture of your horses’ upholstered halter.

_step5 DIY reflecting halter by HippoLogic

What do you do to increase your horses’ visibility in winter?

Sandra Poppema
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DIY learn-a-dressage-test board

Memorizing a dressage test can be difficult. You can read the test over and over, but if you’re a ‘visual learner’ it helps to ‘see’ the test. In that case a dressage-test-board can help you.

With a dressage-test-board you can ‘ride’ the test on the board and make the exercises visual. I used to practise my tests on (many sheets of ) paper, but nowadays there is the white board. Yeey!

Supplies
White board
1 permanent marker (black)
3 white board/dry erase markers (blue, green, red)
ruler
plan with arena letters

DIY_dressage_test_board_by_hippologic_2015 Instructions
Take the plan with the arena letters as example. Draw a rectangle with the permanent marker on the white board. The long sides of the arena represent 40 meters, the short sides represent 20 m. Keep that in mind while drawing the ‘arena’, so the proportions long-short side stay 2:1.

Write the arena letters, start with C on the top short side. The order clockwise is C-M-B-F-A-K-E-H. The jury is always at C.

The letter X is in the middle of the arena, on the A-C line and between E and B. The letters G and D are ‘invisible’ and are on the A-C line, G lies between H and M and D lies between K and F.

You can also write down the dimensions with the permanent marker: long side 40 metres, short side 20 metres. F, K, H, M are 6 metres from the corner. B and E are in the middle of the long side, C and A on the short side of the arena. Once you’ve written down the dimensions, you can see how a 20 or 10 metre circle at B or E looks like.

Practising
When you have a dressage test you want to memorize you take your 3 white board markers and start ‘riding’ the test. Each colour represents a gait. It will help you visualize your test. Good luck!

Sandra Poppema

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practise_dressage_test_hippologic_DIY_board_2015

 

 

Review: target stick

DIY target stick HippoLogic

My DIY target stick

What criteria does a target stick need to meet to be a ‘good’ one? That depends on personal preference.

In this post I will tell you what I think is important about a target stick. I’ve seen all kinds of objects and DIY target sticks for horses on the internet, some look safe others don’t, some look handy others don’t.

If you want to know how a target stick is used, read this post.

My favourite target stick
I made my own target stick. I have experimented with different materials over the years and this is the one that I like the most, see picture on the right.

Lightweight
I prefer a solid lightweight target stick. This is important because you can hold a lightweight stick longer in your hands before getting tired. You can also work more accurately if the stick is rigid. If your target stick is too flimsy it may bend at the wrong moment and you don’t want to bump your horses sensitive body by accident.

hippologic key lesson targeting

I made a special lightweight target stick for my son: a soft floater glued to a whip. For this goal: working with a clicker savvy horse and only asking the horse to touch it with the nose it was OK. I would not recommend it in other situations.

Safe
The target at the end of the stick has to be safe. I choose to use a floater of hard plastic so horses can’t get a grip on it if they are exploring the target stick with their lips and or teeth. I use duct tape around the bamboo stick, to prevent splinters. Tennis balls on whips or sticks or soft floaters/pool noodles are not safe if you work with mouthy horses.

 Hip target stick hippologic

The stick must be long enough

Length of the stick
I want my target stick to have a convenient length: long enough to use it to target my horses hips if I stand near the head and long enough to work with the horse while working with a protective barrier between us. But also short enough not to become too heavy after a while. You need to be able to use the target stick easily in one hand without getting tired.

Obvious/clear
The target must be easy to discriminate from the stick. It will be easier for the horse to see it and understand that it is only touching the target at the end of the stick that will earn him treats.

An obvious target makes it also easier for the trainer to have clear criteria what to reward and what to ignore.. One of the goals of using a target stick is to create distance, so the horse has to learn to touch the end. That is why you put a target on a stick. If the horse can’t distinguish the target from the stick, you are missing the point of this tool.

My first DIY target stick HippoLogic

My first DIY target stick by HippoLogic

This is my first DIY target stick: a dog toy on a willow branch. It was too flimsy, too short to use for different exercises (head lowering or hip targeting), not glued to the stick so it fell off often. The dog toy was easy to grab for Kyra (because of the little bulges) and the willow was way too tasty! 😉 

Small enough
Choose a target that is big enough to notice and get touched by the horse, but small enough to be light and easy to work with. The smaller the target the easier it is to store and to take with you.

Quality
You want to invest in a stick that lasts for years. If your target stick is easy to use, you will use it often. You get used to it and therefor you want quality. That quality doesn’t have to be expensive as you can see with my target stick.

I am curious what you use as target stick. Did you buy one, or do you use an existing object (like a tennis racket) as your target stick or did you make one yourself like I did? Please share your ideas.

Sandra Poppema

DIY: a golden clicker

Today I am going to share a DIY project: How to turn a ordinary looking clicker into serious eye candy. After all, if you are a clicker trainer you’re using this tool daily. It might as well look pretty and reflect your personality.

Since all my tack is Havana brown with brass, I thought it would be nice to add a ‘Golden’ Clicker to my collection._DIY golden clicke_ hippologic

Materials:
– a clicker
– a pair of scissors
– a hobby knife
– golden duct tape
– glue gun
– trim
– wooden stick

Step 1: duct tape
First you measure the amount of duct tape you need to cover the ends of the clicker. Cut the duct tape with scissors. Don’t tear it, because the tape will get stretched and you’ll get wrinkles.

Then you measure the peace of tape for the middle of the clicker. Cover the whole clicker in tape and cut a small circle out above the ‘metal sound maker’, where the hole is. Carefully make some cuts in the circle, so you can fold in the borders nicely.

Then measure a little piece of duct tape to cover the metal ‘sound maker’ of your clicker. Stick it onto the metal. Now your clicker is covered in gold! Wow!

Step 2: Finishing touch
Use for the finishing touch some bling-bling trim and glue it to the sides of your golden clicker. Use only a little bit of the hot glue at a time. Use the wooden stick to press the trim to the clicker without burning your fingers!

Now your bling-bling eye-candy super-duper clicker is ready to use!

Tip_rearview_mirror_hippologic
If you think it is too beautiful to use you can hang it on your rear view mirror in your car. I find it the best place to store a few extra clickers. They always come in handy if you’ve lost a clicker.

Instruction video
Here is my DIY Golden Clicker video about this project.
I also have saved some of the bloopers, like my cat who jumps on the table, sits in my chair and more.

Share your ideas
Please let me know if you have personalized your clicker and how you did it. I am looking forward t_silver_gold_clicker_hippologico your creative ideas.

You can share yours in the comments below or place a link to your project.

Sandra Poppema

 

 

 

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