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Clicker Training: Challenge Accepted

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        06-29-2013, 12:13 PM
      #191
    Started
    Thanks so much, that's what I ended up doing, he got a little nippy so I gave him a whack on the nose. But sometimes when he invaded my space I moved out and sometimes I pushed him back, I just couldn't decide - but from now on he'll be doing the moving. I've kind of learned all the rules for traditional training but I'm still so foggy on what is and isn't OK with CT :P

    Sorry I must have hit private by accident can you try the video again I think I fixed it?
         
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        06-29-2013, 12:36 PM
      #192
    Yearling
    It works now! Ok so.... I'm making notes while watching it. Let me first say that I think you're doing a great job. I say that because you asked for suggestions so I don't want this to sound like I'm criticizing you. But here are my thoughts on what might help....

    First, I would adjust how you're treating him, especially since he has space issues. A good rule of thumb is to treat wherever you want his head to be. Flash never comes to me to be treated - he freezes wherever he is and waits for me to present the treat exactly where I want him to take it (which, for me, is with his head aligned and tucked/on the vertical since that's where I want him to hold it always). It requires a little extra walking on my part sometimes, but unless we're riding, he's not allowed to come to me for a treat. Rather, he should freeze (established during the "stand" game). Even when we're riding, he doesn't reach for the treat until I tap his shoulder on the side for the treat, but I think he's just learned that he might as well wait while I get the treat out and decide where he's going to get it haha.

    Which brings me to the second thing - you're always behind him (which is why his ears are back). I would position myself directly to the side of his head or even a little ahead of him. This establishes "your space" in a basic sense, and he's not allowed to come to you. You can easily control his body from here and ask him to back up if you need to (which I would recommend training him to do ASAP to get him to step out your pace with more polite means). Having his body angled toward you automatically puts you at a disadvantage for him to be in your space since his head will naturally extend from that body and into your bubble.

    I would also wait longer to click and decide exactly where you want his head, then be consistent. I think he's just moving back and forth naturally sometimes (getting comfortable, and knowing that a click means having a treat, but not really connecting it with why you clicked). For instance, you might have noticed that, even without a click, he turns away and then immediately back to you for a treat at about 2 minutes. Maybe ask him to hold it longer? I think where you position yourself will also help with this.

    Never forget that the one who moves their feet is the one that's being dominated and pushed around. As for what's "appropriate" with clicker training, I still behave the same way I do as with any other horse that might not be clicker trained. The clicker is simply a "yes" signal when the horse responds to you how you expect them to. For example, even now when we're backing up, if Flash doesn't back up or doesn't do it fast enough, I start walking toward him fairly aggressively. He knows now that if he lets me catch up to his shoulder, he's going to get a good poke/smack on the chest. He knows what he's supposed to do and it's his own darn fault if he doesn't respond quick enough. Yet, I still click and treat once he does what I was asking for to say "Yes, now you get it!" So, in your case, when you ask him to get out of your space and he does, I'd even click and treat. Maybe you should even make a game out of that - "When I raise my hands and move toward your head/shoulder, you move that part of your body out of my space!" You could even work work in zones, focusing on the horse moving his head, rump, or whole body over based on where you put the pressure.

    Flash and I have the opposite problem. We need to work on a clear "come here" or "follow me" signal at liberty because he usually just freezes thinking he's supposed to stand or often starts backing up lol. It's never a problem with the lead rope because it clearly communicates what I want, but he knows better than to just follow me everywhere because we've really done a good job on the stand game - I can walk around the entire arena and he won't budge!
         
        06-29-2013, 02:19 PM
      #193
    Showing
    A stall isn't a safe place for the handlers. If you have a pen or paddock use that. Take the spooky mare out there and remove her halter. Let her run around but don't encourage it by standing to one side. It's hard to get a horse to focus when it's energy level is high. As she settles down, with very low energy, ask her to move. The walk is desirable. If she stops and looks at you, back up a few steps and be sure your whip is low and behind you. If she doesn't take a step toward you, ask her to move again. Do this again and again until she comes to you. Just rub her forehead. Food will motivate her to keep coming to you rather than moving when you ask. You are teaching her that she doesn't have a say when you ask her to move. Step back a few steps and turn your back to her. This removes all the pressure. Give her a break for a minute then start moving her again. I don't ask for the canter as it seems to motivate them to kick out so just walk and trot with lots of direction changes. You want to motivate her to really want to be with you rather than working. She will learn that she is done when you put the halter on her. Take her into the barn and right back out in soldier attitude then put her away. And turn her away from you, always for the next month. There's an expression, you move you lose. Think about this when asking her to turn. To the left, she is moving you which means she's dominating you. To the right, you are moving her and asserting your dominance. You are becoming her apha or leader.
         
        06-29-2013, 04:17 PM
      #194
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
    A stall isn't a safe place for the handlers. If you have a pen or paddock use that. Take the spooky mare out there and remove her halter. Let her run around but don't encourage it by standing to one side. It's hard to get a horse to focus when it's energy level is high. As she settles down, with very low energy, ask her to move. The walk is desirable. If she stops and looks at you, back up a few steps and be sure your whip is low and behind you. If she doesn't take a step toward you, ask her to move again. Do this again and again until she comes to you. Just rub her forehead. Food will motivate her to keep coming to you rather than moving when you ask. You are teaching her that she doesn't have a say when you ask her to move. Step back a few steps and turn your back to her. This removes all the pressure. Give her a break for a minute then start moving her again. I don't ask for the canter as it seems to motivate them to kick out so just walk and trot with lots of direction changes. You want to motivate her to really want to be with you rather than working. She will learn that she is done when you put the halter on her. Take her into the barn and right back out in soldier attitude then put her away. And turn her away from you, always for the next month. There's an expression, you move you lose. Think about this when asking her to turn. To the left, she is moving you which means she's dominating you. To the right, you are moving her and asserting your dominance. You are becoming her apha or leader.
    Saddlebag, just out of curiosity, how much of this thread have you actually read? I ask that because Punks is dealing with some very specific issues with a rescue horse and she's made a lot of progress as well as had a lot of setbacks. This has been a long journey with a horse that has experienced a lot of trauma, and requires special adaptations. A lot of things that may work in general may not work with rescue horses, and this horse in particular is a peculiar one at times.

    In addition, while I'm not saying your suggestions are incorrect or bad in any way, this thread is specifically about using clicker training and you don't seem to be making suggestions related to clicker training. If you are a into clicker training, could you be a little clearer about how you would implement this method? If your suggestions aren't clicker-training related, you may want to at least incorporate the method into your suggestions. Otherwise, a private message may be the most appropriate as posts unrelated to clicker training don't fit with this thread.
    PunksTank likes this.
         
        06-29-2013, 04:41 PM
      #195
    Started
    Thank you SO much Jillybean, all those things are so right, I will focus on those!
    I'll work on staying at his side (should I move to stay standing at his shoulder? He backs up and tries to face me when I do that). I'll also be sure to maintain our space from now on, to be honest I didn't even feel like he was pushing me around until I watched the video and saw how much he really got me to move, that's why I love taking videos. He knows back up, but I LOVE your idea of using CT to get him yielding his body, he's so disrespectful just in general. Being and adorable little foal he's been allowed to really invade space and hurt people. He has a terrible conformational issue that makes his front teeth completely misaligned, so when he bites you, his teeth don't come together and it doesn't hurt much - so he's even been allowed to bite!! I'm so appalled. So he's got a few serious lessons to learn, but I don't want every minute with me to be constant punishment. Besides punishment is really just a challenge for him and to make any sort of impact you have to get pretty extreme. So I'm very happy to have an idea of how to help he behave better without so much constant punishment. :)

    Saddlebag, yes I understand what you're saying - while I don't opt for that particular method in general, my horse is well trained. In her paddock she will follow me anywhere, lead or no lead, she will turn toward or away from me, she'll stop, back up and yield every inch of her body. The problem isn't until she is afraid, it's as if when she's afraid she forgets everything she's learned.
    So my goal with Tank is to find a way to keep her attention on me and on our goal without using force, as force only leads to someone getting hurt in this horse's particular case.
    If you have any ideas with Clicker Training I'd love to hear them, but so far working on targeting at liberty around the barn has really been successful, it's just taking time.
         
        06-29-2013, 05:00 PM
      #196
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PunksTank    
    Thank you SO much Jillybean, all those things are so right, I will focus on those!
    I'll work on staying at his side (should I move to stay standing at his shoulder? He backs up and tries to face me when I do that). I'll also be sure to maintain our space from now on, to be honest I didn't even feel like he was pushing me around until I watched the video and saw how much he really got me to move, that's why I love taking videos. He knows back up, but I LOVE your idea of using CT to get him yielding his body, he's so disrespectful just in general. Being and adorable little foal he's been allowed to really invade space and hurt people. He has a terrible conformational issue that makes his front teeth completely misaligned, so when he bites you, his teeth don't come together and it doesn't hurt much - so he's even been allowed to bite!! I'm so appalled. So he's got a few serious lessons to learn, but I don't want every minute with me to be constant punishment. Besides punishment is really just a challenge for him and to make any sort of impact you have to get pretty extreme. So I'm very happy to have an idea of how to help he behave better without so much constant punishment. :)
    If you're moving your feet when you didn't plan to, you've already lost. So I'm thinking you'll need to find a way to stay put and move him. Maybe you could have a halter on him so you can shake him back and reposition him, so even of you do move your feet, you're moving him as well? If he comes toward you one step, make him back up/move away from you two. Whether you do that by pushing him with the halter or you get him yielding to you with your hands, you're still the on driving him away and telling him to put his body where YOU say, just like a lead mare.

    In particular, it sounds like he needs to learn to stand off to your side. I see a few ways to do this. First, you can help him by using the lead rope to hold him exactly where you want him, then click and treat. Then try releasing the pressure, but keeping your hand there and arm extended to block him from coming into your space, and if he keeps his head where you want it, then click and treat. Once he's got that, start pulling your hand back and C+R if he keeps his head where it's supposed to be. Eventually, you should be able to work up to having him at-liberty and keeping his head out of your space as well as letting you stand to the side.

    Other ways you could achieve the same goal is by positioning him with a target or by doing the "stand" game. It seems like you might just want to jump to one of these to make him do more with his entire body for the treat. It's the same lesson I learned by focusing on my boy's head and speed during movement, but neglecting the hind end and so I was reinforcing disengagement of his hindquarters. Which makes me think, maybe you're accidentally reinforcing him always facing you?
    PunksTank likes this.
         
        06-29-2013, 05:03 PM
      #197
    Started
    I figured I'd post some fun pics from today's clicker work with Tank and my Belgian Revel :)

    I finally got a saddle that would fit Tank's wideload :P This is her first time lunging in one (she's had them on her back before plenty, but none ever fit!)





    She did so exceptionally well I figured I could hop on and do a couple minutes walking around. Pardon my rein in this one, there was a corner she was trying to avoid, but I posted this one so you can see why it took so long for me to find a saddle for her xD can you say W-I-D-E?



    I love this one, she looks mythical




    Me and Revel went and enjoyed a good long trail ride too :) he rocks!






    I would love to see everyone else and their horses too :) Please post videos or pics - I love to watch the progress, and seeing how others do it might help me get the gist of it better too. :)
    Blossom in Srping likes this.
         
        06-29-2013, 05:05 PM
      #198
    Yearling
    Oh, and he doesn't get his treat unless he holds still. It'll take some self-control training for him to understand that (which sounds like it could do him a lot of good!), so you may want to start with more forced self-control (by using a halter). Once he's got that, you can move on to other activities and enforce holding still since he already knows how to do it, and now you're just teaching him when. That's what I meant by when he takes one step toward you (after a click), make him back up two and he has to behave and be polite. If he's solid enough with the clicker, he should be able to understand that he must behave at all times - even after he hears the click - and that he can lose his treat by misbehaving after the click (it's not an invitation for a free treat!).
    PunksTank likes this.
         
        06-29-2013, 05:06 PM
      #199
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jillybean19    
    If you're moving your feet when you didn't plan to, you've already lost. So I'm thinking you'll need to find a way to stay put and move him. Maybe you could have a halter on him so you can shake him back and reposition him, so even of you do move your feet, you're moving him as well? If he comes toward you one step, make him back up/move away from you two. Whether you do that by pushing him with the halter or you get him yielding to you with your hands, you're still the on driving him away and telling him to put his body where YOU say, just like a lead mare.

    In particular, it sounds like he needs to learn to stand off to your side. I see a few ways to do this. First, you can help him by using the lead rope to hold him exactly where you want him, then click and treat. Then try releasing the pressure, but keeping your hand there and arm extended to block him from coming into your space, and if he keeps his head where you want it, then click and treat. Once he's got that, start pulling your hand back and C+R if he keeps his head where it's supposed to be. Eventually, you should be able to work up to having him at-liberty and keeping his head out of your space as well as letting you stand to the side.

    Other ways you could achieve the same goal is by positioning him with a target or by doing the "stand" game. It seems like you might just want to jump to one of these to make him do more with his entire body for the treat. It's the same lesson I learned by focusing on my boy's head and speed during movement, but neglecting the hind end and so I was reinforcing disengagement of his hindquarters. Which makes me think, maybe you're accidentally reinforcing him always facing you?

    You're probably right, I think I'm going to go right to targeting and see if I can't get him to keep his body where it belongs with the target - and yes I really need to focus more on keeping myself still and only moving him. If I'm not successful with the target I'll try the halter. Thank you :)
         
        06-29-2013, 05:13 PM
      #200
    Yearling
    I love the pictures! She's so pretty It's hard to imagine such a big, beautiful girl would be so timid!
    PunksTank likes this.
         

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