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Trick training gone wrong

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    09-11-2013, 05:13 PM
  #21
Started
Targetting is honestly my most valuable skill. I use it to teach a horse to lead and do unmounted agility, but also to help them overcome fears and to load on a trailer and to target their stall targets at feeding time. Its an exceptionally useful skill I think all CT horses should know :)
     
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    09-11-2013, 05:24 PM
  #22
Weanling
What cue would you use?
     
    09-11-2013, 05:30 PM
  #23
Started
Trail - for laying down? I just use a verbal cue, but you can use anything.
     
    09-11-2013, 10:25 PM
  #24
Yearling
To the Original Poster: There is a book on clicker training. You should see if the library has it, I know mine does. If the library doesn't have it, you may be able to ask them to get it for you from another library.

I've never taught my horse kisses (at least on the face) as I feel it is dangerous. I've taught targeting, Spanish walk, and bowing. Spanish walk is something to be very careful with, as you can get kicked.

For the first lesson in clicker training, I teach backing up. I do not want to reward pushy behavior. By asking to back the horse is still respecting you (and learning to move away from you to get that reward, rather than towards you). My horses already know how to back, I just use it as an introduction to the clicker. Plus it is very useful to be able to use the voice command for back up and not have to have a lead on, not have to hold a whip up, or worry about the horse running out the gate when I am leading one in.

Of course when starting, always use a halter and lead. And never ever give the horse a treat for putting his ears back!

Targeting an object (like an orange cone) is one of the easiest things to teach and should be one of the first few lessons. Picking up an object should be next on the list.

If your horse is pushy, you need to do some groundwork in the roundpen. Even if I did teach my horses "kisses" on the face, I don't think they would ever "dream" about nipping me. My old mare social grooms with me without using her teeth, my young mare will kiss me all over with her tongue and doesn't use her teeth either. My young mare is a very kissy horse. I didn't teach her to do it, but she loves licking your hands/arms or even your jacket. I think it is an affection thing with her.

Neither of them ever put their ears back towards me though. If they are dis-respectful, they get lunged, and they know it!

Now if your horse is more dominant, pushy, or generally disrespectful, I probably wouldn't teach clicker training.

You may need to work on backing up without treats (as he will probably show some attitude). Introduce the treats once he can back up on his own, just by you shaking the lead. Never treat all the time! Reward him inconsistently or if he looks like he is really "trying" hard.

I use treats, just not very often and not every time I work the horse. I usually use treats if I am asking for a "special trick", or if I am loading the trailer. Every once in a while if I hit a snag while training, but not often.
     
    09-12-2013, 12:37 AM
  #25
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4horses    
To the Original Poster: There is a book on clicker training. You should see if the library has it, I know mine does. If the library doesn't have it, you may be able to ask them to get it for you from another library.

I've never taught my horse kisses (at least on the face) as I feel it is dangerous. I've taught targeting, Spanish walk, and bowing. Spanish walk is something to be very careful with, as you can get kicked.

For the first lesson in clicker training, I teach backing up. I do not want to reward pushy behavior. By asking to back the horse is still respecting you (and learning to move away from you to get that reward, rather than towards you). My horses already know how to back, I just use it as an introduction to the clicker. Plus it is very useful to be able to use the voice command for back up and not have to have a lead on, not have to hold a whip up, or worry about the horse running out the gate when I am leading one in.

Of course when starting, always use a halter and lead. And never ever give the horse a treat for putting his ears back!

Targeting an object (like an orange cone) is one of the easiest things to teach and should be one of the first few lessons. Picking up an object should be next on the list.

If your horse is pushy, you need to do some groundwork in the roundpen. Even if I did teach my horses "kisses" on the face, I don't think they would ever "dream" about nipping me. My old mare social grooms with me without using her teeth, my young mare will kiss me all over with her tongue and doesn't use her teeth either. My young mare is a very kissy horse. I didn't teach her to do it, but she loves licking your hands/arms or even your jacket. I think it is an affection thing with her.

Neither of them ever put their ears back towards me though. If they are dis-respectful, they get lunged, and they know it!

Now if your horse is more dominant, pushy, or generally disrespectful, I probably wouldn't teach clicker training.

You may need to work on backing up without treats (as he will probably show some attitude). Introduce the treats once he can back up on his own, just by you shaking the lead. Never treat all the time! Reward him inconsistently or if he looks like he is really "trying" hard.

I use treats, just not very often and not every time I work the horse. I usually use treats if I am asking for a "special trick", or if I am loading the trailer. Every once in a while if I hit a snag while training, but not often.
Thanks for the advice! I tried the target thing today and I'm pretty sure he got the idea! I got him to do it a few times. He is very food motivated though and I couldn't get him to stop nosing me for the treats. I really hope he isn't too dominant to use clicker training with him because I really want to teach him some tricks! He is a little disrespectful though. He is really interested in people and likes to get lots of human attention so naturally he gets a little too "in your space" sometimes. I had already thought about trying the backing up thing so maybe ill try that with him! Anymore advice on how I can get him to stop nosing for the treats? I smacked him on the nose when he would do it and he would stop but go right back to it. I don't want to make him head shy by constantly smacking his nose though.
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    09-12-2013, 10:01 AM
  #26
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylastacy12    
Thanks for the advice! I tried the target thing today and I'm pretty sure he got the idea! I got him to do it a few times. He is very food motivated though and I couldn't get him to stop nosing me for the treats. I really hope he isn't too dominant to use clicker training with him because I really want to teach him some tricks! He is a little disrespectful though. He is really interested in people and likes to get lots of human attention so naturally he gets a little too "in your space" sometimes. I had already thought about trying the backing up thing so maybe ill try that with him! Anymore advice on how I can get him to stop nosing for the treats? I smacked him on the nose when he would do it and he would stop but go right back to it. I don't want to make him head shy by constantly smacking his nose though.
Posted via Mobile Device

Please, please, please read the thread I linked too. It doesn't matter how "dominant" your horse is you can use CT to train them to behave correctly. You just need to do it correctly. Rewarding him even once when he's in your space is dangerous. Please read the thread I linked to so you can understand the science behind clicker training.

Whenever I syart ANY horse with clicker training I use this exercise, the pushy ones I do this for a long while. I stand by their shoulder with my purse full of treats and wait. They usually start by going nuts trying to circle me to get their nose in the purse, I quietly persist and wait for a brief moment when they put their head forward and CT. I repeat this until they connect the dots. Once the horse is consistantly facing forward with all 4hooves on the ground with me at their shoulder I take a step back toward their belly, and CT until theure good about staying still when I'm there too. I do this until I can walk alll around the horse without yhem moving.
At this point I move on to targetting. Until I can safely move around my horse without getting mugged itsbnot safe to do other things. Your horse hasnt learned yet that muggibg doesnt work so he's trying to rule out that option - but theres a much safer way to teach him. Look up Shawna Karrasch's "how to start a clicker trained horse" on youtube. Please read the thread, buy some books, please educate yourself. Any form of horse training can be dangerous if you don't understand It completely.
Another thing you'll want to learn from the thread I linked to is about session duration, the lessons should be short, sweet and frequent. You'll also want to learn about intermittent reinforcement if you ever want to stop giving him treats for the same skill. And about the difference between positive and negative reinforcement and positive and negative punishment and about which is and isnt safe to be used together. The thread looks long but its only the first few pages of initial information, the rest is conversation and discussion. Please learn more about CT.
     
    09-12-2013, 10:34 AM
  #27
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylastacy12    
Thanks for the advice! I tried the target thing today and I'm pretty sure he got the idea! I got him to do it a few times. He is very food motivated though and I couldn't get him to stop nosing me for the treats. I really hope he isn't too dominant to use clicker training with him because I really want to teach him some tricks! He is a little disrespectful though. He is really interested in people and likes to get lots of human attention so naturally he gets a little too "in your space" sometimes. I had already thought about trying the backing up thing so maybe ill try that with him! Anymore advice on how I can get him to stop nosing for the treats? I smacked him on the nose when he would do it and he would stop but go right back to it. I don't want to make him head shy by constantly smacking his nose though.
Posted via Mobile Device
This is really not a good idea. Let me explain the basic science behind Clicker Training.
There are 4 different ways ALL creatures learn (including you), when I list these 4 ways please think of Positive and Negative as Addition and Subtraction - not good and bad.

Negative Reinforcement - the removal of something unwanted to increase the frequency of behavior
This is what is most commonly used in horse training, we apply pressure, when we get the desired response we relieve the pressure telling them they did the right thing. The pressure can be anything from your mere presence to beating them with a stick, any form of pressure, the relief of it is what teaches the horse they did the right thing.
Positive Reinforcement - The Addition of something desired to increase the frequency of behavior
This is what clicker training works off of, we add something the horse wants to increase the frequency of the horse performing that behavior. We use a bridge signal to mark the exact moment they did the right thing, bridging the food reward. We also have to work hard to bring those behaviors on to a cue, so they aren't offered at unwanted times. We do this by not rewarding behaviors offered without the cue... which leads me to:
Negative Punishment - The removal of something desired to Decrease the frequency of behavior
So when a horse offers us a behavior that we haven't asked for (including things like mugging) we remove (or do not provide) the thing they want (the food reward) - I bet your parents have used this on you, "no TV until you finish your homework"
Positive Punishment - The Addition of something unwanted to decrease the frequency of behavior.
This is adding pressure or some other unwanted stimulus to make a horse not want to repeat the same behavior. Like smacking his nose.

The problem is, for your horse right now, the reward is outweighing the punishment for this particular behavior - mugging you is getting him food, sometimes it gets him smacked, well the reward is strong enough right now to make him willing to get those occasional smacks because the food is so good.
Using both Positive Reinforcement and Positive Punishment at the same time is a VERY conflicting message for the horse and can really knock the "try" right out of him. With Positive Reinforcement we try to shape the behavior we want by clicking at the right time and developing the skill to be more and more correct. (like teaching my pony to jump, clicking at the bottom of the jump made the jumps flatter and flatter, clicking at the top of the jump made the jumps higher and higher). We can also use direct pressure to guide our horse to making the right decision, mixing Positive and Negative reinforcement (like teaching a horse to steer with reins, you apply gentle (non-escalating) pressure to one rein, when the horse turns you C+T. I say non-escalating pressure because in traditional and natural horsemanship if the horse doesn't respond you escalate the pressure until they do respond, with CT we guide our horses to teach them the right decision, if the pressure confuses them we'll use a target to guide them - some start right off with the target and skip pressure all together.

But when you mix Positive Reinforcement with Positive Punishment you are asking the horse to "guess what I want you to do?" the horse guesses, if he guesses wrong he gets smacked in the face - if he guesses right he gets a treat. Well some horses might keep guessing, others would probably not want to try for fear of what might happen if they guess wrong.



Go back to the basics of teaching this horse how to take a treat. Do the standing at his shoulder exercise, if he gets to be too much in your space shake your body to move him off you, don't hit him. If he's still too aggressive start from outside his stall so he can't actually touch you. If you C+T at the right time it shouldn't take more than 5 minutes for him to learn this new game. I would repeat this game for at least 10 sessions of 5 minutes until you can walk into your horses stall or pasture and he's standing all 4 on the ground and facing front ready for his game.

Here is a video of Shawna teaching a horse how to be polite: Video 1
     
    09-12-2013, 10:36 AM
  #28
Foal
Punkstank.... You have some really good advice! I will try that with him and see how it goes!
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    09-12-2013, 10:45 AM
  #29
Foal
So what if he just keeps mugging me a a trying to get the treat? I should just stand there and wait for him to back off? Don't smack him or push him away?
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    09-12-2013, 10:46 AM
  #30
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylastacy12    
Punkstank.... You have some really good advice! I will try that with him and see how it goes!
Posted via Mobile Device
All of this advice is in the thread I linked too - and more useful skills to teach a horse. You don't need to know all the science but if you don't have a clicker trainer there with you in person you really should learn as much about it as you can. You are all your horse has, you want to be sure you're doing things right for him.
It's only the first couple pages that has information, the rest is conversation and people showing what they've done with it.
Clicker Training: Challenge Accepted


If you learn the science and work really hard with your horse you can literally teach your horse to do anything they are physically capable of doing. This is Georgia Bruce a famous clicker trainer with her horses:

This is a young girl's submission to the "World Clicker Equine Games"
     

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