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Clicker Training?

This is a discussion on Clicker Training? within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Outline at liberty clicker
  • How to correct a greedy pushy horse

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    05-10-2012, 09:11 AM
  #11
Green Broke
Im thinking that's the plan till she gets some understanding of space.
     
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    05-10-2012, 09:37 AM
  #12
Trained
She just hasn't learned there are rules to the game. I prefer to have them loose rather than tied, but for horses that haven't yet learned any manners, starting out on the other side of a fence or stall door is a good move, so you can ignore the 'bad' behaviour without it getting anywhere.
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    05-10-2012, 10:04 AM
  #13
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by HorsesAreForever    
So I tried doing the bridging conditioning.. and it had her ALLL over her me she couldnt focus on anything other then she NEEDED the treat.. even if I pushed her head away and waited a second and clicked then treated she would keep her head and mouthing me the whole time unless I pushed her head away from me.. so after a while I put her on cross ties to groom her to let her chill out because she was getting so excited about the food I wanted her to relax..

Not sure where do go with that..?
Cut back on the treats, giving them to her at random times when she does what you want, other times verbal praise or a pet/scratch as mentioned above. With our mares, I had a pocket full of treats and they never knew when they would get a treat or a different reward. It doesn't take too long before treats can be only a once in a while reward.
     
    05-10-2012, 12:33 PM
  #14
Foal
Hi HorsesAreForever,

Skyeternalangel is talking about the first video I recommended for you...I think anyway. :0) That one is the first of a 3 part series on de-spooking your horse but part one gives you a quick lesson on getting started. Here is the link again: http://.despookingyourhorse.com.

Her reaction is quite normal since she doesn't know any different. She knows food means "go eat food". So she reaches out and persists. This is the behavior that has worked for her so it is the behavior she will repeat until we teach her a new behavior. This is part of how they learn...learning what works for them to get what they want. Also you pushing her head away can turn into a game that she enjoys so let her make the decision on her own. When the horse is allowed to make the decision it always results in a much stronger behavior. The lesson is much more solid. This is why liberty work is so important when teaching the basics...but I am getting a little ahead of myself.

Start by having the food in something small enough that you can control access and easy enough for you to get in and out of quickly (and waist pack usually works pretty well). I recommend standing by her shoulder facing forward and I would recommend sliding the waist pack around to the side closest to her. This way as she cranes around to reach for the food, the stretch is hard and at some point she will put her head forward to get a break from cranking her head around. I recommend starting with the smallest LOOK away from the food. The instant you see her eyes look away click and feed her a big handful. Reach you hand out and feed her where you would like her head to be (out in front and slightly off to the other side). THis practice will help to take the focus off of the food source. While she is still chewing, and not yet focused on trying to do something to get more food, click and feed her again (as long as her head is still away from you.) This will be setting her up for success since she is most likely going to be doing the correct thing...something worth reinforcing. Pretty soon you will add more time in between but to start you need to build a good reinforcement history with the correct behavior and this helps to make the criteria clear for her. Continue this for about 3-5 minutes each session. You should see her start to put together the new behavior that results in the food she was trying to get in the first place. She will realize that turning my head away/standing quietly results in food but pushiness gets me nothing. You have just replaced the old behavior with a better behavior. This new behavior requires that she wait and watch for you. Repeat this lesson twice a day for about 4 days.

This training period does two things...1) It teaches her this new lesson, which is manners, and reinforces it quite a bit so this becomes her default behavior. And 2) which is even more important is: it gives the clicker, or whatever signal you would like to use, value as you pair it with the food. This is called classic conditioning and it is the same principle behind Pavlov and his dogs. Pretty soon the clicker communicates you just did something correct and you have earned yourself some sort of reward. It actually bridges the time between the time when they perform the correct response and the moment when we can reinforce the correct response (bridge signal). When she is getting this sorted out and is doing well you may try walking a bit and maintain the same criteria. This really cements her respect of space. After the 4 days I recommend going to the target training (also on the first video). This portion of the training teaches her to step up the game and begins to move into the working relationship. It is easy and the horses love it (you will too). I recommend repeating this for about the same amount of time as with the the clicker...4 days, twice a day for about 5 minutes.

After this, you have laid a solid foundation and you are ready to go where to any behavior you would like to work on with her. The target will be a very useful tool for all sorts of behaviors. Think of it as your new halter and lead rope. You can use it where ever you would use the halter and lead (leading, trailer loading, lowering head for clipping, ground work, leg yields from the ground, introducing new objects, focus, holding still for mounting, backing up...the list goes on and on!!) Through all of these lessons try to also draw attention to relaxation...a softening of the eye, ears, mouth, lowering of the head, exhales and relaxing of the muscles in general. This will get her to learn to relax and focus. Still start by looking at the correct responses (turning the head away and later, touching the target but keep an eye out for relaxation as well and draw more attention to these things as well. There is also a blog post about relaxation and attitude and it should be an underlying theme for all training. Here are a couple other tips that may help: 1) I recommend feeding generously when getting started. This helps to make a big impact and lets the horse relax because the food is coming. Sometimes little tiny handfuls may almost seem like a tease. 2) remember to only click and feed the behavior that you would like to see more of since what gets them the click is the behavior that they will repeat.

Okay, so there is more of an outline but as I suggested I recommend sorting through the blog links that I gave you earlier. There is a virtual treasure trove of information there (video and written). Here is that link for the blog. Remember that you may use the search bar to look for specifics. On Target Training with Shawna Karrasch I look forward to hearing of your progress. :0)
     
    05-10-2012, 05:21 PM
  #15
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by HorsesAreForever    
So I tried doing the bridging conditioning.. and it had her ALLL over her me she couldnt focus on anything other then she NEEDED the treat.. even if I pushed her head away and waited a second and clicked then treated she would keep her head and mouthing me the whole time unless I pushed her head away from me.. so after a while I put her on cross ties to groom her to let her chill out because she was getting so excited about the food I wanted her to relax..

Not sure where do go with that..?
I wouldn't cut back on the treats at this point. If you're teaching her behaviours, you should reward consistently and often in the very beginning. Randomising the treats is extremely effective, but it has to come once the behaviour has been learned. It's part of the proofing process as opposed to the actual training process, if that makes sense. Using other things like butt scratches is fine, but the thing to remember in all training is that we have to use what the horse finds reinforcing, not what we think they deserve or should have instead of what they want.

With clicker training, one thing you have to remember is that EVERY TIME YOU CLICK, YOU MUST TREAT!! Otherwise the click loses its value.

So what I would do is keep the treats completely out of sight, or use a lower value treat. One thing to practice is reaching for the treat AFTER you have clicked. Practice this in your kitchen...get a cup and a handful of raisins or something. Put the raisins in a treat pouch or pocket, and the cup on the table. Click, reach for a raising, then put it in the cup. Practice this over and over. By reaching for treats too early or having them somewhere visible, you can trigger your horse to get greedy/pushy. Teaching them from the get-go that only the requested behaviour earns a click and treat.

Here's a video of me teaching my dane to step into a box using free-shaping with a clicker. You can see that I reward constantly in the beginning for even the smallest movements, then increase my criteria slowly over time. Now, what went from hundreds of clicks just to get her to touch the box with her paw, I have her standing in it for just one click or "yes," which is the verbal bridge that others have mentioned. Having a verbal bridge works exactly in the same way and just as well, it is just a bit slower IMO depending on what you are trying to do.

Beginning Stage (she had already worked on this part a bit previously):

End Stage (this was the first day she got it):

PS...I cheat a bit sometimes by reaching for the treat before I click, but she is so focused on the task at hand and is well-versed in how it works that it doesn't matter too much.
     
    05-10-2012, 07:20 PM
  #16
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnakarrasch    
Hi HorsesAreForever,

Skyeternalangel is talking about the first video I recommended for you.

Yep that would be it! It's actually book marked on my desktop computer which is in storage.

I'm excited to see how Jovie does once she starts getting into it more! I started with Sky almost 2 years ago but it hasn't been all too consistent. Hope to start that back up again.
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    05-10-2012, 07:23 PM
  #17
Trained
Agree with Meatos that you need to be consistent to *teach* something. Then you get more random with it(variable schedule of reinforcement) in order to *strengthen* the behaviour once learned.

I think one of the most important principles to keep in mind though(that unheeded lead people to assume c/t & handfeeding lead to 'mugging', etc) is regardless of what 'good' behaviour may have occurred as well, to be careful to NEVER reinforce 'rude' or undesirable behaviour.

Also I wouldn't praise in place of actual reward. Praise is(assuming it's meaningful at all) a bridging signal itself, so you might as well just click twice, or not click. Assuming the horse truly enjoys a rub or scratch, you can definitely use that, or anything else desirable as a reinforcer.
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    05-10-2012, 07:25 PM
  #18
Foal
Skyseternalangel,

It so nice to hear that you have doing the training even if it is a little inconsistent. :) They don't forget! If you ever want any help along the way, I will always be here...or on FB.
     
    05-10-2012, 07:31 PM
  #19
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnakarrasch    
Skyseternalangel,

It so nice to hear that you have doing the training even if it is a little inconsistent. :) They don't forget! If you ever want any help along the way, I will always be here...or on FB.
Why thank you :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Agree with Meatos that you need to be consistent to *teach* something. Then you get more random with it(variable schedule of reinforcement) in order to *strengthen* the behaviour once learned.

I think one of the most important principles to keep in mind though(that unheeded lead people to assume c/t & handfeeding lead to 'mugging', etc) is regardless of what 'good' behaviour may have occurred as well, to be careful to NEVER reinforce 'rude' or undesirable behaviour.

Also I wouldn't praise in place of actual reward. Praise is(assuming it's meaningful at all) a bridging signal itself, so you might as well just click twice, or not click. Assuming the horse truly enjoys a rub or scratch, you can definitely use that, or anything else desirable as a reinforcer.
Yep that's exactly the idea behind it. Some horses are very eager about treats and food. Should have seen when I first began with Sky. We tried little pieces of carrot and apple and he was very good about not hounding me but that look in his eyes.. if I wasn't his herd leader he would have run me over hahaha

I think, HorsesAreForever, if you try it again and take no for an answer when she mouths you or whatnot, as soon as she stops (could be a good 30 minutes) you click and treat.. eventually she'll understand it. Just about correct timing. But a stall door would be a good divider so she doesn't get too in your space, like in the video.
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    05-10-2012, 07:35 PM
  #20
Foal
Also, for some horses it helps to do the initial sessions after they have just eaten. It takes some of their urgency out of it and may help her to relax. As she gets it figured out, you will be able to do it anytime because she will understand the criteria.
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