I’ve heard some people say clicker training (positive reinforcement) is all about teaching tricks and constantly giving treats and I don’t want to go there with my horse. Yes clicker training can teach your horse tricks but it can be used for so much more as you can teach a horse More
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There are so many reasons to use clicker training that will benefit you and your horse, below I’ve listed a few reasons. I love using clicker training because it can be incorporated into any training program.
It’s great for teaching manners from the ground and is also very useful when riding. Before I started using clicker training my program was based only on
I’m here to tell you that they are not just for kids as I am seeing a trend of Baby Boomers getting ponies as they are easier to handle, cost less to feed, can be kept in a smaller area and when riding they are closer the ground.
There are several events that adults can compete in with ponies and have a great time.
Things you can do with ponies are:
- can be ridden by small adults
- trained to pull a cart for pleasure or the show ring
- competition driving for events such as CDE’s (combined driving events)
- gaming with the pony pulling a cart – barrel racing, pole bending
- the newest sport is Agility with horses no matter the size
I know of a 13.1 Welsh pony (Flying Diamond The Bailef) that has competed successfully with an adult in the Extreme Cowboy Race, is a National Champion Hunter, National Champion Western Pleasure Pony, has wins in ACTHA and Dressage. There are several adults showing ponies successfully in the show ring from the In-Hand events like Showmanship, Hunter, Jumper, and Trail.
If you would like to learn more about ponies and how you can get involved with them contact me today as I can help you find the pony of your dreams. I train miniatures and ponies plus I give lessons, clinics and offer online classes.
Clicker training is a proven method that uses Positive Reinforcement. What is positive reinforcement? It is simply rewarding the animal for a behavior that you want. It was first introduced to marine mammals and if they were unwilling to learn they could swim away. By using clicker they were conditioned to a sound. The sound marked the desired behavior then they would reinforce it with food. This motivated the mammal to continue learning.
Negative Reinforcement – that is a method of training that is based on the horse moving away from discomfort as a reward. With using discomfort if it is not working you have to keep going up on the level of discomfort and you can only go so far. With clicker training it allows you to pinpoint and reward the desired behavior. This way a horse doesn’t have to try five ‘wrong things’ before it gets it right. With clicker the horse offers the behavior you want they are rewarded and the undesirable behaviors ignored. With positive reinforcement horses become very eager students and lessons are quickly learned.
Positive reinforcement training is used by professionals and Olympic-caliber riders as well as amateur riders. This type of training dramatically accelerates the training process for any breed or discipline by unlocking a horse’s natural desire to perform. Clicker training can be done from the ground or in the saddle and can be used for everything from basic ground manners, to despooking and upper level dressage movements. It compliments many other training methods and once you know the basics you can start using this valuable tool right away.
I’m passionate about teaching people how to effectively communicate and listen to their horse. I offer lesson plus I have online video courses to get you started.
Want to get started with clicker training for your horse? Get signed up for my online courses where you can learn from the privacy of your own home.
Copyright © 2011 Kim Wende – All rights reserved
In my opinion positive reinforcement (clicker training) is the most powerful communication tool for training that is out there. I’ve seen some amazing results with all of my horses plus my clients horses. I’ve used positive reinforcement training successfully with horses that were frightened, abused, had behavioral issues and with those that did not have any issues.
With clicker training horses offer a behavior which is then reinforced with the sound of a click and a treat, that hard wires it from their brain to the hoofs unlike other methods that basically force the horse into doing a certain task.
With clicker training I’ve found that all the horses I’ve worked with learn faster because the communication is so clear. Imagine this you are in a foreign country and someone there has something that allows the communication between you two to be very clear and you fully understood what they wanted you to do would you not be interested or would you rather have them push you around, swing a stick or rope at you to get you to do something?
Honestly I can’t imagine why people would not want to investigate clicker training further. Be sure to watch the videos below as this horse had to be twitched by his owner (he is not twitched in the video) to have the hair on the inside of his ears clipped for the show ring. You will see the before and after results.
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Copyright©2011 Kim Wende – All rights reserved