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Clicker training

This is a discussion on Clicker training within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Dislike clicker training for horses

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    06-04-2012, 05:19 PM
  #11
Foal
I don't dislike clicker training, I just don't prefer it.
I clicker train my dog, not my horse!
     
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    06-04-2012, 05:55 PM
  #12
Weanling
Yes, clicking at the wrong time and treating at the wrong time can still become problematic. Here is how I tamed my Cookie Monster, just like I trained dogs for the "leave it". She knew what the clicker meant previously so I didn't have to "Load" the click.

She knows I have treats in my hand. My hand is curled in a fist where she can't get to them. She sniffed, and lipped, and looked under, and around, and lipped some more (never bit), but as soon as she got bored and turned her head away, *click* and treat. This was joined with "Leave It". Several more times of the begging and lipping and nosing, and she would look away and look back, and look away, and look back. I would wait until she would look away for a second longer than normal *click* treat.

This goes on longer and longer and longer until they are no longer checking in for a treat and wait for the click to tell them there is a treat waiting.

I really should video her!
     
    06-04-2012, 06:20 PM
  #13
Foal
I have him off treats now he just gets a click and a pat but if is something new he will get a treat. He has bonded really well with me and will pretty much do what I ask without using anything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rancher    
The gal who trains my horses doesn't use that method but some people swear by it. I'm just chiming in here about the treat issue. Once in a while has always been okay with me. If the horse won't take the bit, rather than stand there wrestling with it in the heat for 20 minutes I'll put a little molasses on that boy and the game is over. Just sayin
     
    06-04-2012, 06:26 PM
  #14
Foal
I agree with everyone different horses/trainers with different things. I have trained horses other ways I just thought I would try something new he seems to like it and I can keep his concentration longer I don't use it for everything but I have used it a lot of times I just use it to introduce new things
     
    06-04-2012, 08:59 PM
  #15
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by julianeAHS    
I know clicker training have their horses "pose" to prevent nippiness and it's great but it doesn't work on all horses, this one is just too eager. Without natural hrosemanship to go with it I wouldn't be able to use him as a school horse.
I too agree, as I've said, that for me at least, using negative reinforcement as well is best, although there are those who do claim to use solely positive reinforcement successfully(any here, care to share?)

I don't personally go along with the strict behaviourist model - I think there's far more to it than straight input=output - but I do think the 'laws of learning' hold true consistently. I almost never say never, but I think the principles behind c/t do work all the time.

Eg. If the horse NEVER got reinforced for 'muggin' behaviour, he'd eventually stop trying, because the behaviour doesn't work. Especially if he also got reinforced for a conflicting behaviour, such as tucking his nose in & down or taking a step backwards.

If the horse occasionally gets reinforced for the 'mugging' though, this will actually strengthen the behaviour (another reason it's good to drop back on reinforcements once the desireable behaviour is learned). The stronger a behaviour has been, the longer it takes to eliminate it - eg. If your horse knows it doesn't work all the time but it's worth a try, if you decide to become consistent & NEVER allow that behaviour to work for him, he'll likely keep trying for some time before ultimately giving up. It reminds me of the difference of experiences driving cars; if you jump in a shiny new car and turn the key, if it won't turn over, you're only likely to have a couple of goes before giving up, but if you jump into your old clunker, with a history of reliability... eventually, you might sit there trying to start it for ages before giving up.
     
    06-05-2012, 12:32 PM
  #16
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy May    

And, I agree....no matter what you classify a training method (e.g., natural), I don't think clicker can be used effectively w/o integrating it w another training method of some kind. And to be trully effective, one needs some degree of prior training experience, IMHO.
Actually, CT can be used 100% to train a horse on the ground and in the saddle. There does not have to be another method. And, as it has been discussed in a clicker group I belong to on FB, combining a pressure method (even NH) with CT can poison some of your cues. The mentality behind CT is very different, to me, than most other "methods". If you're interested, I would gladly point you in the direction of some resources that use 100% CT/+R.
     
    06-05-2012, 12:38 PM
  #17
Foal
Oh, and just a little background: I have been a professional dog trainer for 9 years, using +R methods. I have been around "traditional" and "NH" horse folks and horses for years. I always thought there had to be a way to incorporate my +R (as well as learning theory, classical conditioning, shaping, luring, etc) with horses. Last summer, almost a year ago, I got my first MY horse. A 9 year old mustang (born in captivity to a captured mare) with a questionable past, roped off of by a girl who didn't have the horse's best interest in mind. So we started from the very beginning. We are using all CT, 100% +R. We have come SO far since then. So I know it works.

Some names you might want to Google: Alexandra Kurland, Peggy Hogan, Shawna Karrash (who I have seen on this board)
There is even a reining instructor near Houston who teaches with CT.
     
    06-05-2012, 05:03 PM
  #18
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXClickerChick    
Actually, CT can be used 100% to train a horse on the ground and in the saddle. There does not have to be another method. And, as it has been discussed in a clicker group I belong to on FB, combining a pressure method (even NH) with CT can poison some of your cues. The mentality behind CT is very different, to me, than most other "methods". If you're interested, I would gladly point you in the direction of some resources that use 100% CT/+R.
Perhaps you misunderstood me...I never said it could not be used "100%" (there is no law prohibiting it, that I am aware of), I was stating my personal opinion, not a fact. I have found that the best way to apply any training method, be it for dog, horse or human - is subject to a vast and varying degree of opinion. I do not use it under saddle as a matter of personal preference - many, many others do presumabley b/c it is their personal preference. On the ground I do everything at liberty, so their is no pressure to concern myself with, under saddle I don't use clicker, so it doesn't apply. I personally find it a dangerous idea to not train w contact for a lot of situations... such as in rugged terrain with a really large mad momma cow w horns coming for ya both.
     
    06-05-2012, 09:56 PM
  #19
Trained
Missy, you said "I don't think clicker can be used effectively w/o integrating it w another training method", so I understood that as TX took it too. It seems that many people do indeed believe what you said.

I understand, agree with & use the principles of c/t, but I don't think -R & pressure training in conjunction 'poisons' cues at all. I've never experienced anyone using solely positive reinforcement myself though. I'm really interested in the specific cues you use for your horse TX? I'm imagining it must be all voice cues, if you don't use pressure at all? Do you use reins or a string around the neck or anything when you ride/train? No pressure to me means reins, leg aids, seat aids... would all be out.
     
    06-06-2012, 01:39 AM
  #20
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Missy, you said "I don't think clicker can be used effectively w/o integrating it w another training method", so I understood that as TX took it too. It seems that many people do indeed believe what you said.
Well, I am willing to concede that it may have been a failure on my part to communicate my point clearly, but in my defense I have to say...whenever I see the statement "I don't think" used when discussing widely recongnized training methods, I immediately think "opinion"....and maybe I should have said, "as effectively".

I, too, am curious how one trains/rides w/o any pressure whatsoever. Does that only include horses started as a colt, or does it also include horses already saddle broke by "another method"? I mean, lets say you are a horse and it is very windy making it near impossible to hear, and you are ridden to a washed out treacherous area....does your rider want you to go right, backup, choose for yourself, go left, or? No telling, can't hear or feel them up there. I personally don't see pressure as "negative" - I see it as communication. My mare backs up on voice command or for a shift in weight. IMHO, horses are highly intelligent beings....they are very capable of processing the concept of "synonymous cues" w/o their ability to interpret "words" (cues, spoken words, whatnot) being "poisoned".
     

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