This blog outlines some of the new learning and adventures to be had with a study of equine clicker training.
Hertha James has a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology and a High School teaching degree. She taught science and biology for 23 years. Now she devotes her teaching and learning skills to designing and sharing clicker training resources to help jump start people’s desire to learn more about equine clicker training.
Clicker training opens up a whole new vista of horse interactions. It helps us appreciate how extremely sensitive and incredibly aware of body language horses are.
“I learned to watch and listen more closely to what the horse is saying. With each new challenge, Boots and I are building a two-way language that allows us to have fun with Horse Agility, go for enjoyable walks out and about in the neighborhood or just hang out together resting or doing interesting things.”
Check out the BOOKS link above to see her books available from Amazon.com as either e-books or paperbacks.
The GLOSSARY link above can be helpful in getting ones head around the ‘positive reinforcement’ terminology.
I am totally enjoying your delightful calm manner with the horses
Can’t wait to try them out with my very smart very clever very pushy 2 yr old mini , who can get overly excited be a bit nippy
Hello. Im beginning clicker training again. I have most of your books. Im starting to get the usual lost feeling. Im not understanding why you would have targets hung around for the hotse to touch. What is purpose? Or what sequence if any for training. We have charged the clicker and ready to move on but not sure whete to begin. Also target body part to hand how do i do it? Free shape or. Sorry for multitude of questions.
Multiple questions no problem!
Walking between targets with a click&treat at each target is a way to get the horse keen to walk with us because they realize that we know where the next click&treat stop will be. I call it ‘Destination Training’. It starts with the targets close together, then further apart and eventually out of sight. It is a way of building a moving relationship with our horse in a way that makes sense to him. Horses on their own seldom walk anywhere with a reason. By heading for targets you are giving a reason. Eventually, if you walk or ride out, particular spots can become your ‘targets’ where you stop for a click&treat. It is sort of looking at ‘going somewhere’ from the horse’s point of view.
Presently I take my horse out with my mobility scooter for a walk/trot. We have a safe spot where we usually stop of a click&treat. When we get to our furthest point for the day, we have either a bit of grazing or a major click&treat with a jackpot before we head home. When we get home we practice a few things and she gets her special feed. In this way she has a motivation to go out and about and a motivation to come home (she has never been one to rush home as she is on restricted grass at home).
Targeting body parts: Yes, free-shaping. Start with chin to hand, then cheek to hand, ear to hand, eye to hand and eventually shoulder to hand. In my Blog Contents List (link at top of page) heck out 14 for chin to hand, 17 for Destination Training, and 27 for Target Shoulder to Hand.
Do you have the Walking with Horses book?