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Sue De Laurentis and Allen Pogue love to share their experiences in teaching horses tricks and teaching other people how to teach horses tricks! With an easy way of communicating and a depth of knowledge unrivaled in the field your listeners and readers would love to learn what they have to say.


WHO are Suzanne De Laurentis and Allen Pogue?

Sue founded Red Horse Ranch in Dripping Springs, TX as a boarding and training facility in 1998. Housing over 50 horses for over 20 years helped her develop the depth of understanding of equine nature necessary when she and Allen   founded Imagine a Horse in 2001. 


Allen Pogue is Sue's husband and Partner and their Imagine A Horse training project. He has decades of humane horse training experience under his belt and offers a gentle expertise that is both effective and rare.


Since 2001, Imagine a Horse has brought Enlightened Trick Horse Training to folks all around the globe to those seeking a deeper and more interactive experience with their own horses. 

WHAT is Imagine A Horse? 

IAH is an integrated training program that combines classical concepts and modern methods to create a high school horse that is also the Ultimate Companion Horse.  

  • Imagine A Horse Enlightened Trick Horse Training is about creating a more intelligent, predictable and adaptable horse companion or sport horse.
  • It is about training the mind of the horse and combining gymnastic moves that create physical strength and range of motion and a desire to interact.
  • IAH demonstrates that an adaptable horse is a safe horse in any context.

Imagine A Horse methods are modern and effective with an emphasis on equestrian tact, understanding how and why horses learn. The addition of props such as pedestals, big balls, Frisbees and even agility platforms help horses form useful associations between objects and actions. Horses naturally understand objects which in turn escalates learning.

What Do You Mean by the Word TRICKS?

We define “Tricks” as most specialty moves that are taught to horses such as stepping up on a pedestal, retrieving an object, executing a simple pattern while at liberty and even a spin or sliding stop. There are five different categories of tricks each of which offers a unique set of benefits for the horse.

Popular Topics

  • It’s NOT Just Tricks!
  • Trick Training for Trailer Loading and unloading
  • Taking Tricks to the Trail (title of the five year running series from Trail Blazer Magazine)
  • How to Create a Truly Willing Partner with Trick Training
  • Freestyles with Tricks that Amaze!
  • Creating a Bold Trail Horse with Trick Training
  • Using Treats as a Training Tool—we teach how to do it safely and without mugging

Prompting questions for pod cast and radio hosts for Sue and Allen


  • What is the best age to teach tricks, are some tricks more suitable for young horses?
  • Can old horses learn tricks?
  • Do horses understand sounds or words and spoken language?
  • What equipment or props are needed and what type of training area is required?
  • Which tricks do people commonly ask about?
  • Are some breeds better suited for trick or Liberty training?
  • How do you teach/ control more than one horse at a time when Liberty schooling?
  • What kind of whips are needed or best? 
  • Is there any practical use for trick training?
  • How do you transition from training on the ground to under saddle?
  • Where is the best place to start, (what kind of tricks) or best first trick?
  • How long should a training session last, how often should you repeat lessons?
  • Do you have to train every day?
  • What if I make a mistake?  (Rapid Intelligent Failure)
  • Can kids teach horses tricks?
  • Why are ponies mean?  (as in “I had a bad experience once)
  • Are some tricks dangerous?
  • Can you make money with a trick horse?
  • Are there downsides to teaching a horse tricks?  (my horse tries to bow when the farrier picks up his foot)
  • Has trick training evolved in recent years with changing attitudes about horse treatment or sentience?
  • How have you changed in your approach or understanding of trick training?
  • How or why did you learn to trick train horses, Is it similar to dog training?
  • Do horses forget bad treatment from previous handlers?
  • Is there a difference in training horses, mules or donkeys?
  • How do you desensitize a horse to scary things? (crowd noises or applause) other animals (goats, llamas pigs etc)
  • Safety tips? 

Deeper TOPICS with Questions

Below are a series of sample TOPICS for show hosts or editors to refer to about each topic.

These are designed to get you started on your own interview focal points catered to your specific audiences.


It’s NOT Just Tricks!

  • First of all, what are “tricks”
  • Can you share with us an example of how a trick can be repurposed into something useful?



Trick Training for Trailer Loading and Unloading

Many people experience a lot of stress when it comes time to load up and safely unload a horse who’s not comfortable with the concept. We’ve all seen the horse that held up an event by not hopping into his trailer……etc.


  • How does trick training help with trailer loading?
  • What are some of the steps to getting started successfully loading a horse?
  • What are some tips about this process?


Taking Tricks to the Trail (title of the five year running series from Trail Blazer Magazine)

  • Intro
  • What kinds of tricks are we talking about?
  • How do these transfer to a useful behavior on the trail?
  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Anecdote
  • Steps to get started
  • Typical challenges
  • Great outcomes


How to Create a Truly Willing Partner with Trick Training

  • Intro
  • What is a willing partner?
  • How can you tell if your equine partner IS willing?
  • What are some typical tricks that help create this willing partner?
  • Examples
  • Anecdotes


Freestyles with Tricks that Amaze!

  • Intro
  • How do you create a trick behavior that doesn’t look like one?
  • What are some examples of subtle cues?
  • What are some great tricks that can be repurposed into amazing behaviors?
  • What are some typical first steps?
  • Resources?


Creating a Bold Trail Horse with Trick Training

  • Intro
  • What is the value of a bold horse?
  • What does a bold horse do that a hesitant will not?
  • How does this create a safer horse?
  • Examples
  • First steps
  • Typical challenges

From Sue:

Folks ask us all the time "Where do we Start"?

Any category or move within can be taught according to the horse’s individuality and goals of the human. Sometimes an owner may desire a particular set of behaviors for a performance or to shape interesting behaviors their horse exhibits naturally. We even “shape” some moves to help overcome difficulties or even trauma a horse may have, even to the point of corrective learning.

Most horses can simultaneously move between several categories to keep their learning interest strong. If taught in a more linear manner, it’s easy to see that each move is the basis for an upcoming and more advanced move. This can result in a seamless and fun performance and a stronger yet more fun relationship between horse and human. 

Imagine A Horse Begins their solidly conceived training program with a series of “Tricks” that they also have developed into a series of DVDs.


  • Tricks of Trust or Compliance -obeisance, bow, kneel, lie down, sit up and sit down. (The Fundamentals I & II dvds
  • Tricks of Agility, the salute or Jambette, the sit down and sit up, agility platform
  • Liberty Schooling-Liberty I & II dvds) Performing simple patterns and advancing to complex or even multiple horses at liberty. 
  • Tricks of Engagement -Rolling/herding the big ball, retrieving the small ball, cap or frisbee, smile (Shaping Behaviors I & II dvds)
  • Tricks of Gait -Spanish walk, piaffe and various marching steps (Spanish walk dvd)
  • Pedestal Training -perhaps THE most beneficial area of all. (Pedestal training dvd) as the pedestal serves as the horse's place or mark and can shape desired behaviors and even re-direct some natural instincts.      

Photos, Links and Support Materials

Feel free to use any of the photos below for your website or social media posts.

High resolution photos can be made available for print.

Their Book - The Trick Horse Companion

Their DVDs - Sold together or individually

Their Facebook Page - Stop in and say hello!

Their Blog