How to teach your horse to kiss

How to teach your horse to kiss

Horses tend to show affection in their own way. This affection is not always immediately obvious to us, although we wish it were! However, there are many ways to teach a horse to give affection, including teaching him to kiss.

Teaching your horse to kiss a fun trick to learn. It’s a cool trick to have and always makes other people smile and is good for photos too. It’s also a great way to bond with your horse and teach him how to respond to your voice and signals.

It’s a relatively simple trick to teach that should only take a few weeks depending on the horse. All you need to learn this trick is a good deal and some patience. (Try to use a healthy treat if possible)

Warning – Not all horses are apt to learn this trick. The horse you are teaching should already have reasonably good ground manners and should be familiar with you. A horse’s head can often weigh the same as its own body weight and could seriously injure it if its head snaps suddenly. There is also a risk of biting depending on the temperament of the horses.

The basic skill of this trick is teaching your horse to play. In the steps below, I explain how you can start with this ability and then progress to the kiss.

How to teach a horse to play

  1. Extend the palm of your hand and give your horse a treat.
  2. Take three steps back and hold another treat in the palm of your hand until the horse comes over and eats it.
  3. Place a treat next to an object you are familiar with, such as a bowl, ball, or toy, and say « touch. » When they touch the object, treat them immediately to reinforce the command.
  4. Repeat this process several times with different objects until the learner consistently touches the desired object.

How to teach a horse to kiss

  1. Hold a treat to his cheek and say the « kiss » command. Release the treat when the horse nuzzles your face.
  2. Verbally praise the horse after giving the treat to reinforce the command.
  3. Repeat the process a couple of times a week until the horse is constantly nuzzling your face when you give the command to kiss.
  4. Finally, he gives the command to kiss without offering a treat. This will test your horse to see if he has associated the command with the trick. If this works, reinforce the behavior with a treat that he had hidden when he gave the initial command.
  5. Finally, practice and then practice some more. Teaching a horse anything is all about repetition.


  • Turn your horse’s nose away if he tries to get the treat without touching your face. Be firm and be sure to use a different tone than the one you reserve for verbal praise.
  • After making some progress, try the trick again 15-20 minutes later to see if the horse still remembers the initial process. This is a great way to reinforce training commands.
  • Change the treats if you are not making progress. Some treats will be seen as higher value currency by the horse and you will more easily get his attention.