clicker training?

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clicker training?

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    11-23-2010, 12:48 PM
clicker training?

I have a Canadian mare that I have been training but she is very pushy and let's just say she has a lot of 'personality'. I really need to work on her ground manners. Does anyone use clicker training? And if so, has it worked out for you?
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    11-23-2010, 01:16 PM
My mare was also very pushy . I have the clicker training tries (without a trainer). But that was very difficult for me. It got worse. I have my mare then very consistently worked without clicker und feed. That was a good idea.

Good luck.
    11-23-2010, 01:24 PM
I am planning on trying clicker training with my mare next year for a few things (mainly trick training and want to try out a lunging idea with it to - read an interesting article on it). I know a few people who have used it and it worked very well for them.

How food orientated is your mare? I don't know if its the best thing for ground training (at least it wouldn't be with my mare as she gets pushy with food unless being asked for a specific trick/move in which case she is trying to hard to figure out what I want her to do).

Have you tried other forms of ground training? Have they not worked?
    11-23-2010, 01:27 PM
I would not suggest clicker training as it is treat training. I would work your mares ground manners and be firm and clear to show her you are in charge.
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    11-23-2010, 10:37 PM

Yes, clicker training *done properly* definitely works well on any animal(even husbands & kids!!), as it's basic behavioural psychology in action. I find it is especially great for teaching 'good' manners to 'rude' or 'aggressive' horses quickly & effectively. It is a method of training that teaches the animal to *want* to do what you ask & try for you. It is also a fantastic way of teaching yourself to be a better trainer, as it gets you focussed on your timing, focussed on all the Good Stuff the horse gives you & what you can give to the horse, as well as being consistent & teaching new behaviours in small increments, which is an important teaching principle.

I think what is most important to focus on is understanding the *principles* of it, rather than getting hung up on the specifics - eg plastic clicker, food treats, etc. Those are useful 'tools' but are not necessary. Any short, sharp, unique sound will work as a 'bridging signal' and a positive reinforcement doesn't have to be(& sometimes isn't) food treats. It is anything that that horse at that time truly desires, so will work to earn.

Likewise while many people blame food for their horse's bad behaviour, it's not the food that causes this, it's the *behaviour* that has been inadvertently reinforced with the food that's the problem. Eg. A horse does something 'good' but when the handler gives him a treat, he has his ears back or snatches at it with his teeth. If the reinforcement is given(be it food, release of pressure or otherwise) then, the horse has effectively *been taught* to be 'pushy' or 'mouthy', because that is the behaviour that has worked for him. It's not the food, it's being aware of what we're teaching that's the issue. People aren't very good at positively reinforcing horses in other ways and food is often the only effective reward they ever get, so they don't realise the difference is that it is just a more powerful & therefore effective teacher than other methods.
    11-24-2010, 07:53 AM
Jw have you ever seen the video of the lady who 'invented' clicker training ? She can't get her dogs to do anything. I don't think its really training because the animal does it because somethings in it for them, not because you said so. Just my opinion.
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    11-24-2010, 08:22 AM
I've clicker trained my dogs and it works wonders. I've thought about doing it with Bourbon but he gets really pushy when he is hand fed.
    11-24-2010, 06:09 PM
Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
Jw have you ever seen the video of the lady who 'invented' clicker training ? She can't get her dogs to do anything. I don't think its really training because the animal does it because somethings in it for them, not because you said so. Just my opinion.
Be interested to see that vid, as I've only seen a few vids of her & they were all impressive.(Parelli on the other hand - don't let him within cooee of your dogs... but that's another issue)

Curious definition of training you have IMO. So your animals do things you ask just because you say so, with no consequences whatsoever for their actions? How did you teach them to do that? I suspect you really mean they do what you ask because through negative reinforcement/punishment it is easier for them to do it & more unpleasant for them if they don't. I wonder why you think rewarding an animal for desirable behaviour is a problem?

I've thought about doing it with Bourbon but he gets really pushy when he is hand fed.
So the first thing I'd teach would be acceptable 'table manners' - Mugging, pushing, ears back, teeth bared, impatience, dirty looks, etc NEVER work. Instead, standing calmly, head down, head tucked in, nose pointed away, taking a step back from you... whatever you choose to ask for is what works. It is also my prerogative to dish out treats if & when I like, it is not the horse's right to have or even ask for them.
    11-24-2010, 06:17 PM
I have 'clicker' trained my mare. She now stands like an angel for injections and wound care. Its amazing! And yes, I use carrots as the reward! My dogs know it too!
    11-25-2010, 08:29 AM
If your horse is pushy I suggest do ground exercises which work on you moving her feet, thus controlling where she stands in relation to you...One website which has some really good ground exercises and work on naturally getting your horse out of your space is this, the art of natural dressage, The Art of Natural Dressage - Index page Take a look through the forum and theres bound to be something that can help, otherwise post your own thread and ask, They helped me alot when I was working with my pushy mare and I also learnt how to teach her some small tricks from this type of training aswell. :) hope this helps

clicker training, ground manners, ground work

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