Clicker Training: Challenge Accepted - Page 32 - The Horse Forum
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post #311 of 387 Old 09-22-2013, 11:17 AM
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I want to say how it amazes me that you've made so much progress with her - when in fact I always believed that your method would work - its been worth the extra time its taken you because it was the right path for you both
Now I have to post this cute link to Peggy Hogans mini because it makes me smile!!!
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post #312 of 387 Old 11-13-2013, 09:38 PM
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So enthused by your clicker training. Just started me own thread in member journals
Section about me new journey in clicker training.
Thanks for sharing
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post #313 of 387 Old 11-19-2013, 11:57 AM
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Wow I totally forgot about this thread!! Jaydee, thank you so much :) You're so sweet!

Tombo so glad to hear you're getting started! Would you mind posting a link to your thread? I'd love to follow your work :)

As for me and my monsters, Tank is coming along awesome, I've done everything with her for the past few weeks completely at liberty. I've watched her flourish with her new-found freedom. Now that she's had 100% choice in everything we've done she's continued to please me. I'm not sure if I mentioned before about her fear of my barn aisle - this aisle is very narrow and dark (to tight for her to turn around in) and it has doors which lead to the garage and tack room. She's very afraid of all of these things. We've been working on the barn aisle for months now. We worked on a head down cue and at liberty she'll walk through the very scary barn aisle with her head down and her body relaxed (rather than her usual tense and ready to explode). She leads out through the yard and into her paddock at liberty too (ignoring lots of grass!). We've also been lunging and doing other games at liberty too. Yesterday for the fist time in weeks I put a halter on her and tied her in the barn to groom her (even this I usually do at liberty, but I wanted to work on her tying skills) it seems her time at liberty has made her even better tied. She was a perfect doll!
I also knew that she has spook in her, so I was concerned about what would happen when (not if) she spooks while we're at liberty and there is no fence to control her. Well it happened - I was walking her out her paddock gate - this requires me holding the gate open and pointing so she walks out while I hold the gate, so she has to pass me. She did perfectly and I C+T when I went to treat the gate closed, I misjudged and the gate hit her bum, she jumped a little, but then her foot hit the gate and made a loud Bang - so she jumped again, this time she ran forward about 3 steps - stopped, turned around and came right back to my side. We then went back through the gate both ways and walked in again. It was remarkable how quickly Tank brought herself back down to calm. In the past a small spook like this would have left her panicky and afraid for hours, jumping at the smallest trigger. <3 so proud!

My pony (Punk) is working mostly on stimulus control, learning only to do what I ask, when I ask it - not repeatedly and not frantically. He's coming along very well but he's the one I work with the least :(

My Belgian, Revel, is doing amazingly. Being decently trained already I never spent much time with him. I say "Decently" trained, because he was well "broke" to drive in a city, but he was not himself. I gave him his first few months with me off, to regain the 300lbs he needed. He had only been driven in a single joint liverpool bit with the reins on the third shank (serious leverage). I rode him first in a kimberwick and never bothered to do much CT with him - besides some basic ground targeting. Well on the trails he was good enough but I felt like I was driving him, he could only turn full turns, I had no 'subtle' control with him. He also had no brakes >.< He was also pretty unhappy out on the trails, while he enjoyed looking around (an open bridle for the first time), he still was eager to run home and would throw hissyfits when he thought it was time to stop. He was never exceptionally bad, but it was clear he wasn't happy with our situation. I thought things over and bought him an oval link egg-butt snaffle, and a gel pad for our saddle. I also added clicker training to our rides, when he stopped to let someone pat him, when he kept a steady pace without meandering and blocking traffic, when he was quiet when something scary happened (like 4 wild pigs exploding through the woods). Now he is very eager to go on trails, he stands quietly for mounting and walks me up tot he gate so I can open it - he no longer rushes home and loves every minute of our trails. With the new bit he's softer with his turns and seems to have figured out he's not stuck between the shafts, he's also gained some brakes without need for any strong pressure :)

How are everyone else's horses doing? I'm eager to catch up with you all!
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post #314 of 387 Old 11-19-2013, 12:20 PM
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Your mare certainly sees you as a leader she can trust to protect her doesn't she?
The weather here has been so much better for riding since the heat and the bugs have gone that I'm afraid the liberty work has suffered - though we're still using C/T for things that for whatever reason they find more challenging
Looby was perfect for her recent shots and blood tests - just one click before he started as she began to tense up a bit but that was enough - such a change from the horse I bought that launched itself into a full scale attack the first time I had her done!!!
Another positive was that Willow stood in the centre aisle completely 'free' while I clipped her whole head this time - this is the horse that when I bought her (age 10) tried to crush me against the stable wall the moment she heard the clippers and threw a really aggressive fit if you even tried to touch her ears
My other 3 stay fairly free of problems - Jazzie still needs a firm hand or she'll push things - but it doesn't need to be done in an aggressive way, Honey needs more work and we've had a few 'there's a monster behind me' episodes recently when she's been led in at night which are all about finding an excuse to get into the barn faster for her feed so I've put an old bridle back on her again as it gives me more power over her - I can't cope with a pulling horse once the ice and snow come. Flo is as she always is and likely always will be - more like a dog than a horse!!!
Off topic but am I right in thinking you had a wedding planned?
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post #315 of 387 Old 11-19-2013, 12:40 PM
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Sounds good Punkstank and Jaydee! I wish I could say I have much to report, but I don't. I have been working way too many hours, and taking a class this term. Just barely keeping up with the chores.
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post #316 of 387 Old 11-19-2013, 09:10 PM
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Jaydee that's awesome!! Sounds like you're having lots of fun with your horses :) Do you reserve CT for only resolving problems or do you use it for other things too? (just curious) :P
Yup I just got married a month ago :) everything went perfect!! It was in Disney world - where I found out many of the Disney horses are Clicker Trained (the ones used for the parades and special events, but not the ones used for the regular things) The trainers from animal kingdom have been working on trying to get more Positive Reinforcement training (like they use for their wild animals) to be used for the horses too

So today was interesting I am so excited I have to share!
At the rescue I work at the owner has always been accepting of my clicker training some of the horses - and teaching the kids to clicker train their favorites. But she's never really been a fan of what I do. I love her very much, but she's still of the (too common) belief that horses should "just obey", why? "because they should, because they love me, because I'm in charge".
A few months ago we got an emaciated mare and foal - they were put in our 2-stall quarantine barn while they gained weight and the foal was weaned. All went well, except they went relatively unhandled. I had taught the colt the first step of CT, how to take treats politely and I taught him what my smoochy bridge signal means. But at about this point the owner of the barn decided she loved the colt and he was going to be her project. I already have my 3 y/o Gypsy colt, Viking, who's taking me more time than I have at the rescue, so it was fine. But over the past few months the colt Zephyr went pretty much unhandled, getting progressively larger. The owner of the barn is wonderful and has the best intentions, but we've had 2 horses die and another very sick over the past few months and her time has been swallowed up. So the colt just existed in his indoor/outdoor stall.
Well flash forward to today - we need to get the mare and foal into the big barn for the winter. We hoped the colt would follow his mom across the driveway and into the barn, being as he's not halter broke. So we blocked off either end of the driveway, so he couldn't go anywhere if he didn't follow. Well sure enough he followed to the barn door, then doubled back and ran around this new enclosure. He decided it was way nicer staying in the driveway and eating grass. I walked the mare in and out several times with the barn owner trying to herd the colt in. We failed. So we put the mare away and gave up, hoping he'd wander in on his own or go back to his old stall. After a few minutes the BO asked me what CT I had done with him - I told her almost nothing, but if he knew how to target we could have used that. She said, well why not start now?
So I started. In 5 minutes flat I had him targeting and following the target, I jackpotted and left. A while later I came back and we walked into the barn like we were old pros!! He was awesome!!! He figured out the target so fast, he was so eager to please. I love CT!
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post #317 of 387 Old 11-20-2013, 10:00 AM
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I'm finding that I'm using it more now for all sorts of things because its a sort of 'feel good' stimulus
I don't use it in a way that they would only comply if I use it but as part of learning something new as well as a reassuring thing and they don't always get a treat reward - just as they don't get treat rewards for learning things that they've established
The 3 that I keep in the paddock next to the barn come in on their own when I open the gate and know which stable they have to go it Last night Looby had decided to stop and help herself to a bale of hay DH had left at the side and so parked herself in such a way that Willow couldn't get past her to get into her stable and is afraid of Looby so wouldn't push past and I was stuck behind Willow. When I shouted at Looby to walk on she ignored me but when I clicked and told her to walk on she immediately obeyed.
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post #318 of 387 Old 12-28-2013, 10:05 PM
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Hi everyone! I've just joined this forum because of this thread. I have just started CT with my arab mare two days ago and have been looking for somewhere to ask questions that I come up with:). I have some experience training my dogs with CT and done some targeting with a previous horse, so its not a new concept.

My mare is 11yo, previously a broodmare (had 2 foals and was a paddock ornament) before I got her last year. I started her under saddle myself earlier this year and I am extremely pleased with her progress.

She's a sensitive mare but we have a great partnership on the ground and under saddle, she now has lovely manners and our training has overcome all but one issue that she came to me with - she dosn't tie solid, so I am teaching her to ground tie and I think CT will help with that as well.

I am most interested in clicker training for tricks, more as a way to keep her interested and spend time with her when I don't have time to ride. Specifically I would like to teach her the Spanish Walk. In four short sessions she is targeting a small orange cone and a piece of pool noodle on a stick (will take several steps or swing her head up, down and too both sides to touch it), and will lift her left front foot on cue (started with a tap to the back of the fetlock but quickly progressed up to behind her elbow where I can cue it from the saddle, I also double cue by lifting with my left leg as I don't want her to start flinging her front legs around while I am on the ground so she gets a double cue for safety reasons).

We also have another 5yo arab mare that I will be starting under saddle for my daughter soon. She has pretty much been unhandled all her life until two months before we got her when she was put in a small pen, she was minimally handled every day but was so stressed being in that environment after running with a herd that she was pretty wild when we got her. She is still very reactive so I will do some CT work with her as well, although for her a treat is releasing pressure not food, so it will be a totally different experience than with my mare.

I now its a quiet time of year, but hope those with experience will frequent this thread again in the new year:)
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post #319 of 387 Old 12-29-2013, 12:14 PM
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CT is a great training tool with nervous and distrustful horses where more traditional methods have often failed. It was what made me a convert
It will be good to hear and see your progress
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post #320 of 387 Old 12-29-2013, 12:26 PM
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Excited to see another open mind dig into CT. I started with it for helping a nervous mare - I've found it so valuable it's all I ever use anymore! Every new thing any of my horses have learned, they've learned through CT. Even standing calmly for mounting - where my Belgian liked to take off when you were half on :P Or playing fetch to keep them exercised on yucky days.
A whole world of fun things to do with my horses opened up when I found CT. :)

Please keep us posted on how you're doing, what you're working on and if you have any questions.
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