Part 13 – Clicker Training – A Summary So Far!

I took the feature photo when I was in Italy in 2018. Alexandra Kurland gave a clinic. The photo shows Michaela Hempen helping to translate to German for the clinic participant. From the look of the photo they would have been working on rope handling skills.

Okay – where are we up to? So far we have talked about embracing a different mindset and how to go about that. To help we have imagined our horse as a Centaur – to put a more human spin on it. I even named mine ‘Bob’.

We talked about giving a horse the freedom of choice – and looking for WHY they might not do our preferred option, rather than MAKING them do it. In giving them a choice, we are giving the horse equality, respect – and the eye starts to gleam!

We also discussed empowerment – as a result of understanding that a horse ‘misbehaving’ is trying to communicate in the only way they know how. A two way conversation empowers both of you!

And the magic of time! Clicker trainers are patient. They know time is their friend. ‘Things’ happen! There is weaving being done – and the weaving is like magic – helping both horse and human to a new level in their relationship!

Safety was mentioned quite late in the posts! Because I forgot to mention it earlier! We use our observation skills to stay safe! It keeps you and your horse in good physical and mental condition!

And then we get to the partying! Oh what fun! There are so many celebrations to be had! We celebrate the small successes – so we have many parties!

And then ….sigh….. we talked about problems! Maybe we should just call them something else – like a puzzle or riddle – an opportunity to ponder!

We also talked about support groups of like minds and how valuable they are!

I’m just going to briefly talk about tools. Remember the table with the clickers? Well, you can experiment with what you want to use as a marker signal. I started with a clicker around my wrist – then I went to a tongue click. It was easier for me – less things to fiddle with – but some people prefer the stronger sound of the clicker.

Next, you need either a treat pouch, a vest, or good pockets. And you need the treats. I use KER low GI cubes. They are a good size. You might also want a halter and lead rope, depending where you are, some mats, cones and something to use as a target stick.

So there isn’t really a lot you need – in fact I rarely use a halter at home! There isn’t much to sell. The main thing you will buy is the educational materials – the ‘how to’ books.

There is a lot to learn – but don’t let that put you off!

I’ve included another video. This was from earlier in the year – I’m talking about Magnum and how he constantly amazes me! Don’t just leave your old horses in the paddock – they have so much to offer!

Also, you will see how often I’m feeding him. That was for several reasons – we have not trained ‘Grown Ups’ to a great extent – and also Magnum hadn’t had the halter on for a long time – so he was heavily reinforced. Here it is!

So that’s the summary so far – but there is a lot more to add!

Until next time!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s