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Clicker Training: Challenge Accepted

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        12-30-2013, 07:52 AM
      #321
    Yearling
    I spent maybe 3 hours reading this entire thread! I'm waiting on the arrival of my first horse, and can't wait to try some of these techniques. :)
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        12-31-2013, 08:57 PM
      #322
    Foal
    Thanks for the welcome and Happy New Year everyone:)

    My mare is catching on very quickly, at the moment I am doing everything at liberty without even a halter, I think its pretty cool that she will leave her dinner which contains some of the carrot/apple pieces I use as treats to come and play. The reaction from the other horses is so funny - they all stand at the fence line while we play. My daughters pony who knows some tricks and stands there the whole time nodding his head 'Yes'. My gelding stands watchign us twisting his head and neck while pulling all sorts of faces and my daughter mare stands right at the fencline presenting us with her bottom to show her disapproval at not being involved.

    I am teaching Tessa the Spanish Walk from the side (standing at her girth). I use two cues - lifting my leg up and touching the back of her leg, and yesterday I introduced the verbal 'step' cue. I don't want her flinging her front legs around from an accidental cue or whenever she wants, so using multiple cues seems a good way of teaching this, and she has had no problems accepting multiple cues as most other things we do on the ground and under saddle use physical and verbal cues.

    Yesterday she offered the first beautiful lift and point with her left leg rather than just raising the leg up. We are not as far along with the right leg as I havn't spent as much time on it, although she understood the cues to lift the right foot from the first try so it won't be long.

    I've been watching as many youtube videos as I can on teaching Spanish Walk and many of them seem to encourage pawing to the point it becomes striking behaviour. I don't want to do this as its a dangerous habit that I won't tolerate and actively discourage in my horses.

    Although Tessa hasn't tried to paw or strike the ground, can anyone clarify the steps I would take to discourage pawing fi she tries to? It seems counter-intuitive to me to allow the horse to energetically paw the ground, then try and restrict to a single well controlled lift and step. I don't mind if it will take longer to teach in a more controlled manner.

    I'm presuming only rewarding a single leg point and touching the ground once only and ignoring multiple strikes to the ground would be the way to go? Or would it be more effective to teach her to target something in front of her with her hoof or place her foot on a mat or pedestal?
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        12-31-2013, 09:03 PM
      #323
    Yearling
    Well hello again :) God to see everyone posting despite my long absence lol. I back now as you can see new that I've settled in some in our new home and location. I've got some catching up and updating to do obviously. That'll have to come later but I just wanted to say hello for now
    Posted via Mobile Device
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        12-31-2013, 09:20 PM
      #324
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quintessence    
    Thanks for the welcome and Happy New Year everyone:)

    My mare is catching on very quickly, at the moment I am doing everything at liberty without even a halter, I think its pretty cool that she will leave her dinner which contains some of the carrot/apple pieces I use as treats to come and play. The reaction from the other horses is so funny - they all stand at the fence line while we play. My daughters pony who knows some tricks and stands there the whole time nodding his head 'Yes'. My gelding stands watchign us twisting his head and neck while pulling all sorts of faces and my daughter mare stands right at the fencline presenting us with her bottom to show her disapproval at not being involved.

    I am teaching Tessa the Spanish Walk from the side (standing at her girth). I use two cues - lifting my leg up and touching the back of her leg, and yesterday I introduced the verbal 'step' cue. I don't want her flinging her front legs around from an accidental cue or whenever she wants, so using multiple cues seems a good way of teaching this, and she has had no problems accepting multiple cues as most other things we do on the ground and under saddle use physical and verbal cues.

    Yesterday she offered the first beautiful lift and point with her left leg rather than just raising the leg up. We are not as far along with the right leg as I havn't spent as much time on it, although she understood the cues to lift the right foot from the first try so it won't be long.

    I've been watching as many youtube videos as I can on teaching Spanish Walk and many of them seem to encourage pawing to the point it becomes striking behaviour. I don't want to do this as its a dangerous habit that I won't tolerate and actively discourage in my horses.

    Although Tessa hasn't tried to paw or strike the ground, can anyone clarify the steps I would take to discourage pawing fi she tries to? It seems counter-intuitive to me to allow the horse to energetically paw the ground, then try and restrict to a single well controlled lift and step. I don't mind if it will take longer to teach in a more controlled manner.

    I'm presuming only rewarding a single leg point and touching the ground once only and ignoring multiple strikes to the ground would be the way to go? Or would it be more effective to teach her to target something in front of her with her hoof or place her foot on a mat or pedestal?

    I always reserve skills like spanish walk, kicking objects, biting objects (to pick up), laying down, rearing up - Any skill I don't want to see without a cue - for when my horse is VERY clicker savvy.
    The first few skills you teach a horse will be their favorite one to go back to when they're unsure of what to do. Which is why standing still and facing forward is always the first skill I teach a horse, then targeting with their nose.
    "stimulus control" means the skill is only ever done on cue, never offers it without a cue or with the wrong cue. Double cuing is great for horses to be more versatile, but it really doesn't make it any more "safe" as they'll likely perform the skill if any one of the cues are given. Normally people double word cues "walkwalk" so that horses don't respond to casual conversation - I haven't ever found that to be a problem though.

    I would put several simple skills on strong stimulus control before moving on to something potentially dangerous.

    That being said, yes, a good way to avoid pawing is not rewarding pawing, rewarding them picking and holding up their leg. Another option is using a farrier's pedestal and teaching the horse to target it with their hoof - then cue the behavior without the pedestal when the cue is solid. This will show her the purpose is to pick and hold her hoof up, not pawing or striking.
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        12-31-2013, 09:21 PM
      #325
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jillybean19    
    Well hello again :) God to see everyone posting despite my long absence lol. I back now as you can see new that I've settled in some in our new home and location. I've got some catching up and updating to do obviously. That'll have to come later but I just wanted to say hello for now
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Excited to have you back :) Can't wait to hear how you and your ponies are doing
         
        12-31-2013, 11:04 PM
      #326
    Yearling
    Hurray, Jillybean is back! Can't wait to hear your update!
    Posted via Mobile Device
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        01-01-2014, 12:45 AM
      #327
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PunksTank    
    I always reserve skills like spanish walk, kicking objects, biting objects (to pick up), laying down, rearing up - Any skill I don't want to see without a cue - for when my horse is VERY clicker savvy.

    The first few skills you teach a horse will be their favorite one to go back to when they're unsure of what to do. Which is why standing still and facing forward is always the first skill I teach a horse, then targeting with their nose.

    I would put several simple skills on strong stimulus control before moving on to something potentially dangerous.
    Sorry, I should have said I introduced her clicker training last week by teaching her to stand facing forward, with her nose slightly tipped towards her chest, then we moved on to targeting a small orange cone and a piece of pool noodle on a stick. She will move her head/neck left and right, up and down and take up to four steps to touch her target when asked (when I point to it and say 'touch') and is already solid with those skills. I've also quickly run through some other things that she already does (fore and hind yielding, following me (left, right and back) at liberty, head down etc re-inforcing with c&t.

    She's very smart and willing to please so she's progressed pretty quickly plus I'm familiar with clicker training so havn't had to learn it myself which probably helps;)

    Thanks for the tip about the farrier stand, I've got one of those but hadn't thought of using it, but it would be ideal to use.
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        01-01-2014, 01:00 AM
      #328
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quintessence    
    Sorry, I should have said I introduced her clicker training last week by teaching her to stand facing forward, with her nose slightly tipped towards her chest, then we moved on to targeting a small orange cone and a piece of pool noodle on a stick. She will move her head/neck left and right, up and down and take up to four steps to touch her target when asked (when I point to it and say 'touch') and is already solid with those skills. I've also quickly run through some other things that she already does (fore and hind yielding, following me (left, right and back) at liberty, head down etc re-inforcing with c&t.

    She's very smart and willing to please so she's progressed pretty quickly plus I'm familiar with clicker training so havn't had to learn it myself which probably helps;)

    Thanks for the tip about the farrier stand, I've got one of those but hadn't thought of using it, but it would be ideal to use.
    That's all wonderful! But it sounds like each skill is not on a "cue" right now, they're all triggered by the presence of a target or pressure. So there's no new skill that's on "stimulus control" yet. 1 week of basic clicker skills is a great, but not a solid history.
    I would probably spend more time working on the basics just to be sure you can keep her on strong stimulus control before teaching anything you might not want to see offered to you. Most skills, while they're new will be offered without a cue until they learn that doesn't work. Which is why the first few skills that I want on stimulus control I try to keep being skills I don't mind seeing without a cue.
    The best way to teach stimulus control really is to just ignore it without the cue and reward it when cued. The first few skills this will take a while for them to realize when they do and don't get rewarded for it. But once they understand this concept the later skills they understand more quickly.

    So yes you can continue teaching the spanish walk by rewarding it on cue and ignoring it off cue - it's a more difficult behavior for the horse and if she's not a pawer in general she may not offer it much without the cue. But she also may offer it.. I just would hate for you to be dissuaded if this doesn't work out well to start with :(
         
        01-01-2014, 11:51 AM
      #329
    Super Moderator
    I only use CT to train for what I see as useful - so while I wouldn't tell anyone not to train a horse to Spanish walk or rear to command - I personally don't have any need for those things so no experience of them
    I do have reservations about both - a horse that thinks that 'pawing' is going to get him a treat could become a real PITA so you would have to be very clear about the cues you use to ask for that
    So saying - since I suffer with recurring back problems I am working on getting them to lift their feet to command so I don't have to bed down so far
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        01-01-2014, 01:06 PM
      #330
    Yearling
    Millie is an Appendix filly who LOVES to paw and she has tried that "answer" for CT. My response was "no." Until Millie is much further along, I will not teach her anything that involves pawing motions. She needs to understand a lot more basics first.
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