Pressure and the Click

I have an internal struggle. I’m seeing more and more articles about clicker training and horses, which is a good thing, right? Well, I’m not so sure. One article discussed how to train your horse to put its head down. It clearly demonstrated how to apply pressure to the poll and then once the horse lowers its head you click.

Herein lies my struggle. Why should the click be associated with pressure? Continue reading

Identity Crisis?

There are so many words in our vocabulary yet none of them seems to help me define definitively what label I place on the type of training I do.

Even when I say the word ‘training’ it makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I feel like my work-play with my horses is more about a dialogue, or a conversation, even verging on communion. To say ‘training’ evokes images of a teacher and student. More often than not, my horses are the teacher, and I am the student.

Here is a fabulous article by a dog trainer encountering a similar conundrum called Why is Positive a Negative, by Gillian Ridgeway, from a website I dearly love, called Dog Star Daily.

Continue reading

Teaching a Horse to Target

All this talk of attraction and why targeting works so well and I haven’t explained how to target. The process is a weird combination of being technical and observant. There are a few rules for the human to follow, but the rest is simply watching your horse to gauge his interest. For me, the moment is absolutely magical when I see a horse’s eyes widen, his ears perk forward and I feel him say, This is great game. I know how to play it and I’m good at it. Let’s play again! Continue reading

More “Good Becoming Normal” Videos

In my ongoing quest to find and share examples of attraction-based training I found these two clicker trainers.

This trainer has 19 amazing videos on her YouTube channel. I love the videos teaching her horse to do belly crunches. A valuable exercise for any horse. http://www.youtube.com/user/AVotreSante2008#p/u

This trainer has a whopping 136 videos of wonderful videos sure to make you smile and say wow. http://www.youtube.com/user/Lucy04574#p/u

Enjoy!
Cheryl

What the Heck Kind of Training Is This Anyway?

If you read my page about Attraction, or if you’ve read anything from my PaintingHorse site, you may say, “Sounds like this is Clicker Training” and then wonder why I’m not calling what I do Clicker Training.  I think a more correct term would be to say it’s Positive Reinforcement training, but wow, is that a loaded term. Continue reading