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Clicker Training: Challenge Accepted

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        06-28-2013, 10:45 AM
      #181
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PunksTank    
    I'm sorry if my one horse who's having troubles right now is making CT look bad as a whole, maybe others could post up videos of their good work? It would be great to see everyones progress with their horses :)
    No! You've come such a long way and are a representative of a very important population that clicker training works wonders with! In fact, I may be signing up to foster a horse when I move this fall, so I'm excited to see what challenges I can tackle with my cool little tool ;) We'd all be missing out if you didn't post here.
         
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        06-28-2013, 10:49 AM
      #182
    Foal
    Hello everyone.
    I just registered due to this thread. I have read the whole thing. I clicker train my dogs and have been thinking about it for my horse. After reading this thread, you have given me the encouragement to go ahead and do it.

    I have a couple of issues with myself and my horse, but one of the main things right now I want to work on is leading her from her stall or pasture to the arena. Its all grass, and yes, she will stop and eat. She is so hard to get her head up and moving and then she just drops that head again. I am soaked from the work out and ready to quit by the time I get her to the arena.

    As long as it does not rain today, I plan to go over and attempt to ct her to pass that grass up. That will be my only goal for now.

    Must go to the store and get some cheerios first.
    She is a 7yr old haflinger.

    I will let you know how things go. Love this thread. Maybe I can get someone else to go with me to record how we do.
    jillybean19 and PunksTank like this.
         
        06-28-2013, 10:54 AM
      #183
    Started
    Thats a very good point, everytime I stopped at something scary I was probabky just guving her time to be sure it was terrifying. Gah x.x ok definitely going to work on keeping her looking for the next step.
    Thanks :)
    jillybean19 likes this.
         
        06-28-2013, 11:00 AM
      #184
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blossom in Srping    
    Hello everyone.
    I just registered due to this thread. I have read the whole thing. I clicker train my dogs and have been thinking about it for my horse. After reading this thread, you have given me the encouragement to go ahead and do it.

    I have a couple of issues with myself and my horse, but one of the main things right now I want to work on is leading her from her stall or pasture to the arena. Its all grass, and yes, she will stop and eat. She is so hard to get her head up and moving and then she just drops that head again. I am soaked from the work out and ready to quit by the time I get her to the arena.

    As long as it does not rain today, I plan to go over and attempt to ct her to pass that grass up. That will be my only goal for now.

    Must go to the store and get some cheerios first.
    She is a 7yr old haflinger.

    I will let you know how things go. Love this thread. Maybe I can get someone else to go with me to record how we do.
    Welcome to the thread :) And congrats - you're in for a lot of fun!

    Don't try tackling the issue right from the start because you'll set yourself up for failure. First, get your horse excited and solid on the whole concept of clicker training without ANY distractions. This is the key to successful training down the road. Just an FYI - it took 2-3 days of just doing "targeting" in a stall with no distractions before the CT was strong enough to move on. And that's considered FAST, especially since my horse was brand new to everything in his life, so he caught on to CT and now believes that's just how the world works.

    Once you have your horse effectively targeting, start leading with a target. My issue was that my colt would get SO excited about following me places, he'd hug right behind me and actually buck just inches from me (I couldn't see it, but I heard it!). I used a target to show him where to walk and focus on that. First do it in a round pen, then somewhere bigger like an arena, but still minimize the distractions. I even went so far as liberty leading at a walk, trot, and lope. These were all fun games that he loved doing and further reinforced the idea of CT in his mind.

    Once I knew he was focused on me at all times and willing to do whatever it took to follow that target, I could introduce distractions. In your case. I would try it with just a flake of hay in the arena. You may have to go back to just letting your horse choose the target over the hay before you're able to lead around the arena and eventually past the hay. Once you're sure your horse will pay attention to you even when a distraction like hay is present, you're ready to go for the walk across the grass. If you've built her foundation solidly, she should learn quickly that she'll be much better off paying attention to you rather than the grass.

    Finally, since this is obviously a food-motivated horse, be wise in your selection and presentation of the food. Not only do you not want her to get mouthy, but, in your case, you want to also make sure that whatever you use is more pleasing to her than the grass. This means using something she likes better as well as making sure you "jackpot" her when she finally does chose you over the grass, then continue to do so as she chooses to continue to giving you the proper attention for extended time.

    Good luck, and keep us updated!
    PunksTank likes this.
         
        06-28-2013, 11:05 AM
      #185
    Yearling
    One more thing for Blossom - don't expect a lot today. Some horses pick it up right away, and others don't. Make sure you only try for about 5 minutes, and then leave off on something good. Go do some chores and come back. My horse was so eager that I forgot to do that, but Punks reminded me about keeping things short, simple and sweet, and it's made a world of difference in our CT. Give your horse time to think about this amazing new concept he just discovered. If you want to take a video camera, go for it - but even I didn't have anything really worth sharing on day one. But trust me, once they get it, some horses are just on fire for CT afterward!
    PunksTank likes this.
         
        06-28-2013, 11:20 AM
      #186
    Foal
    Whew!! That was alot of reading :) but well worth it. I am in the know now ;) I am going to look into it more and maybe incorporate it with my training. Thank you for explaining and opening my eyes to something new :)
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        06-28-2013, 11:23 AM
      #187
    Started
    So excited for more horse CT users!
    I usually start even a step further back than Jilly does. I've found most horses will revert to the first skill theyve ever learned when they arent sure what to do. My pony backs uo when he's confused. That's fine but can be annoying. This is why now the fjrst skill I teach horses is to stand calmly ajd face away from me. This reinforces that food will not be delivered when theyre invading my space. It also tries to encourage horses to stop when theyre unsure, not fidget like my pony. Then I move on to targetting when tbats solid
    jillybean19 likes this.
         
        06-28-2013, 12:16 PM
      #188
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PunksTank    
    So excited for more horse CT users!
    I usually start even a step further back than Jilly does. I've found most horses will revert to the first skill theyve ever learned when they arent sure what to do. My pony backs uo when he's confused. That's fine but can be annoying. This is why now the fjrst skill I teach horses is to stand calmly ajd face away from me. This reinforces that food will not be delivered when theyre invading my space. It also tries to encourage horses to stop when theyre unsure, not fidget like my pony. Then I move on to targetting when tbats solid
    I start with targeting first because it's something solid and concrete to get the concept. I don't know that that's necessarily better for everyone, but I wanted some solid results so It worked for me. Soon afterward, I moved to standing and I use the target to help teach where I want his face. We spent so much time working on that and it was so early on that it became his default. Regardless, standing, backing, targeting, and especially waiting politely for a treat without mugging are the foundation to a solid CT horse and should be taught first.
    PunksTank likes this.
         
        06-29-2013, 12:32 PM
      #189
    Started
    So I had a wonderful CT day yesterday! All the kids were at the rescue working with their favorite ponies! It was really sweet. I got some videos too :)
    This is Coco and her favorite girl, this pony came to our rescue completely feral. She had lived the first 16 years of her life loose in a pasture, bred a few times but never touched. It took 6 men 4 hours to herd her into a trailer to get her to our rescue. When we got her we had to leave a short rope hanging from her halter and we would back up to her slowly and not make eye contact and catch her. She lead only because she was too terrified to do otherwise. Touching her was out of the question. That's when this little volunteer decided to make her her own. She sat outside her stall for weeks, touching her nose and just enjoying her company, inside her paddock too. And soon the little pony started following her. That's when they started Clicker Training, helping Coco overcome her fears and having SO much fun together! They're working on their unmounted agility, but we didn't have the jumps out yesterday because its been so rainy.



    I even started working on a new project myself :) We have a 3 year old colt at our rescue, we got him at 6 months as a seriously aggressive stud colt. After he had a little operation he settled down a great deal. Then, due to inter-human politics his training came to a stand still. Unfortunately he was left generally unhandled aside from being turned out and brought in. Now I've sorted out most of the politics and his training can resume, unfortunately he's had 2 years of ingraining some seriously terrible habits.
    I had some questions with his work though, this is a video of our first real CT session. He figured out immediately that turning away earned him his treat, but I found myself backing out of his space a lot, he really pushes me into corners (his stall is much smaller than mine at home so I feel tight anyway). Can/should I push him back out of my space when he starts getting invasive? He is still turning his head away, but is way too close to me. He also turns his ears back, I've never seen this before? They're not pinned but I don't really understand why he's doing that? Usually horses have their eyes and ears on me while training. He's a very pushy, rude, nippy colt with no respect at this point. Is there anything outside of the norm that I could work on with CT to help reinforce his manners?

    And lastly, this is Pretty in Pink and her favorite person, these two have been buddies for a long time but Pink has an awful lot of issues to work through. Pink came to us from a summer camp program, she was never actually used as a camp horse, she kicked her hind foot through a wall in the night and got hung up for several hours before anyone found her. She wasn't going to be sound before camp season was over so they opted to put her down. So we offered to take her, a few months of rest and good food and she was almost good as new. But we learned a bit more about her. It turns out she was a Spanish dancing horse (I won't get into the cruelty involved in this, you can look it up - it's not the same as just the gaited horse shows). But she suffers from some terrible anxiety attacks, this is the best we can decipher from how she acts. She'll kind of go numb, her eyes will soften like she's asleep, her leg muscles will start twitching and she'll sort of jog in place, sometimes bouncing just her hind legs, and then she'll let out one violent kick straight back or lunge out and bite the wall. She only does this alone in her stall or paddock, she's always alert and kind with humans, but wants nothing to do with other horses. It's almost like they don't understand her, they all avoid her and she avoids them. She's lost most of her teeth through this, so we don't know how old she is, we've seriously reinforced her stall to prevent injury when she has her episodes.
    The young girl working with her has been working on keeping her calm and quiet, Pink was raised to believe if she's in hand or under saddle she needs to be doing her trot/gait/dance the entire time. She doesn't understand she can just walk and stop calmly. So this is why we've started CT, we want to show her that people can be wonderful and that she doesn't need to be worked up all the time.
    This session with Pink was the best yet, she was calm the entire time - usually she gets frantic turning her head and touching and turning again and again - but she's very settled this time. I'm so proud of how far she's come. I think it'll be time soon to move her on to targetting and teaching her to stand still out in her paddock. :)



    And finally, my phone was dead at this point, but when I got home I decided to do some targeting loose in the aisle with Tank. She did exceptionally well! I'm SO proud of her, she was still nervous in the narrow aisle but in the wide aisle she settled right down and ventured all around. This morning when leading her out she made it through the wide part of the aisle very easily but still pretty tense in the narrow part.
    I also discovered something - 4 weeks ago I ran out of Brewer's Yeast and decided not to get more. I wonder if this was the change that triggered her spookiness? Does anyone know if that could be it? I'm going to be ordering her another calming supplement soon and hopefully that will help too.


    Sorry for my massively long post I just thought I'd share some fun CT stuff
         
        06-29-2013, 12:54 PM
      #190
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PunksTank    
    I even started working on a new project myself :) We have a 3 year old colt at our rescue, we got him at 6 months as a seriously aggressive stud colt. After he had a little operation he settled down a great deal. Then, due to inter-human politics his training came to a stand still. Unfortunately he was left generally unhandled aside from being turned out and brought in. Now I've sorted out most of the politics and his training can resume, unfortunately he's had 2 years of ingraining some seriously terrible habits.
    I had some questions with his work though, this is a video of our first real CT session. He figured out immediately that turning away earned him his treat, but I found myself backing out of his space a lot, he really pushes me into corners (his stall is much smaller than mine at home so I feel tight anyway). Can/should I push him back out of my space when he starts getting invasive? He is still turning his head away, but is way too close to me. He also turns his ears back, I've never seen this before? They're not pinned but I don't really understand why he's doing that? Usually horses have their eyes and ears on me while training. He's a very pushy, rude, nippy colt with no respect at this point. Is there anything outside of the norm that I could work on with CT to help reinforce his manners?
    It says the video is private :( However, from what you said, I have two ideas. First about the space. Just as with any other training, it is NEVER ok for him to invade your space. This is where I resort to "traditional" methods. I shouldn't have to reward a horse for respecting my space, ever. It's a given due to safety and I never want him to think that being in my space is ever an option (like turning the rump). Thus, I think, depending on the horse, this is where either making yourself big (waving your arms) or even a good smack on the offending area (whichever is closest to you) is in line, even with CT. And I wouldn't click nor treat unless he's at a respectable distance.

    Second, about the ears. If he's like my boy, the ears tick back each time he ears a click. It was very interesting and a reason why I gave up on the "ears forward" training suggestion. EVERY time I clicked the clicker, his ears flicked around. I'm not sure if it's something to do with the way it echoes or what, but I just don't worry about it. I haven't noticed him do it lately, but I'm not sure. If your boy's ears are always back and you decide this is a problem for whatever reason, you could try just clicking for ears forward :) Or you could just do it even if it's not a problem haha. It's another game!


    And awesome job with Tank! It's so cool to see how far all your ponies are coming and all your little CT prodigies.
    PunksTank likes this.
         

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