Training a horse to go to its “mark” is super easy. In this video, Wiley has had 4 days of training to target to his mark. He got the idea of this game easily and loves to play it. Since Wiley has a super high play drive, this is a great way to engage his mind while getting some energy out. He gets bored pretty easily, so I constantly have to find new and fun things to train on.
I used a mat for Wiley’s “mark” and started by just leading him up to it. When he put both feet on the mat, I rewarded him. It didn’t take long before he got the idea. Next, I free longed him, gave the command “mark” and removed the driving aids. Wiley came in to the mat. It took Wiley a few attempts to understand that BOTH feet had to be on the mat for the reward, but I just hung out and waited. He eventually figured it out. When he was consistent at going onto the mat, I took him to the other end of the arena and gave the command “mark.” You can see his first attempts on the video below. By the way… the video and the still shot were taken by my little 8 year old man Karsten. He’s getting pretty good!