Does Clicker Training make your horse a treat monger? - Page 4

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Does Clicker Training make your horse a treat monger?

This is a discussion on Does Clicker Training make your horse a treat monger? within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    06-02-2011, 08:59 PM
Originally Posted by munschk    
Perhaps so, but take this as an example. I know a lot of people (probably due to a variety of NH trainers) that start teaching a horse to back but shaking/jiggling their lead rope. The horse steps back and you stop jiggling but there is still some momentum in the line which takes a little while to stop fully. With the clicker, its an instant "Yes! You did the right thing!" and the stimulus is removed. I'll agree that that is not always the case but I've seen it happen.
i don't think that's a good example, because you can reinforce something that has happened in the last couple seconds, its not as if the rope keeps moving for thirty seconds. Isnt the stimulus removed at the same time anyways ?
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    06-03-2011, 03:04 PM
Fair enough, to each his own.

Ah, but clicker training is not about a few seconds, you want to click the instant (within 2sec) that the horse offers the behaviour you want. And I have seen those ropes maintain that 'energy' for a lot longer than 2 seconds after the person has stopped swinging the rope. However, I shall try and come up with a better example when my brain is not so fried =D
    06-03-2011, 10:42 PM
Also, with the rope thing, the rope moving is not the cue, it is the reinforcement. You start with moving your finger, then hand, then arm, then rope etc. so they should be watching your hand, right ? Not the rope ??

If you don't have the timing to click at the right moment it wont help you either ! So either way it doesnt really matter, its just about timing.
    06-04-2011, 07:27 AM
Gypsy, I think the point with clicker is that it is a consistent 'cue' for the correct response.

Using pressure and release alone, the cue is always changing - it may be taking leg off, releasing rein, etc. Whereas with clicker, you add in a sound that is consistent every time - it makes it clearer to the horse. No matter what you are training, the click in conjunction with the release of pressure makes it very clear that they have given the correct response.

No training method can make bad timing/training better, but clicker can make good training/timing better (by better I mean easier for the horse to decipher).

*Disclaimer - I don't use clicker with my horses. I used a marker word when training my dog which worked fantastically. I would like to try clicker with my horses one day, but am having success with conventional pressure/release in the meantime.
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    06-04-2011, 07:31 AM
Forgot to add - with clicker you can 'shape' behaviours offered at random. Example off the top of my head is targeting - allow the horses natural curiosity to lead them to sniff a cone. Click and reward. You have just re-enforced touching the cone, from a distance, without any pressure to release.

This is how I taught my dog to 'shake'. I was in the car on the way to obedience and I reached to pat him - he lifted his paw so I used my marker word and treated. I repeated a few times, added a cue, and by the time we got to class, we had the beginnings of shake established.
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    06-04-2011, 07:57 AM
I don't see whats the point though, isnt that just reinforcing good/ desired behavior ? Isnt that just positive reinforcement training ?
    06-04-2011, 08:12 AM
Well I see the rope as being part of the cue as that's what the horse is responding too (assuming one has to escalate to the rope moving). But I have no problem with people using pressure/release, I still use it. I just found clicker training an interesting alternative.

And yes, it is purely positive reinforcement, but there's nothing wrong with that. Or for that matter, using negative reinforcement, it just comes down to personal preference and what works best with your horse.
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    06-05-2011, 02:31 AM
i don't see whats the point though, isnt that just reinforcing good/ desired behavior ? Isnt that just positive reinforcement training ?
I thought I just explained the point...? A clear, consistent, immediate cue that the horse has offered the correct response...
    06-05-2011, 02:45 AM
I have read the other responses but I actually used clicker training to stop a horse who used to mug you in the paddock for food... he was so bad and he once he had been trained the look away command he was so much better!!!
    06-05-2011, 02:48 AM
Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
i don't see whats the point though, isnt that just reinforcing good/ desired behavior ? Isnt that just positive reinforcement training ?

Its more than that - its the whole operand conditioning thing....

So its not just positive reinforcement - although that's part of it.... but its also about punishment as well (Withdrawing things):

Reinforcement, punishment, and extinction

Reinforcement and punishment, the core tools of operant conditioning, are either positive (delivered following a response), or negative (withdrawn following a response). This creates a total of four basic consequences, with the addition of a fifth procedure known as extinction (i.e. No change in consequences following a response).
It is important to note that actors are not spoken of as being reinforced, punished, or extinguished; it is the actions that are reinforced, punished, or extinguished. Additionally, reinforcement, punishment, and extinction are not terms whose use is restricted to the laboratory. Naturally occurring consequences can also be said to reinforce, punish, or extinguish behavior and are not always delivered by people.
Reinforcement is a consequence that causes a behavior to occur with greater frequency.
Punishment is a consequence that causes a behavior to occur with less frequency.
Extinction is the lack of any consequence following a behavior. When a behavior is inconsequential (i.e., producing neither favorable nor unfavorable consequences) it will occur with less frequency. When a previously reinforced behavior is no longer reinforced with either positive or negative reinforcement, it leads to a decline in the response.

Taken from: Operant conditioning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Its actually really interesting and effective

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