clicker training - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 26 Old 11-01-2019, 04:06 PM
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Hi!

Just wanted to let you know while books and videos can be helpful for some horses, every horse has a different way of learning or processing information, like people. Not all the methods may work that are in a book, but it’s a good start!

Also, PLEASEEEEE don’t clicked train your lil one to pull a cart!! I cannotttttt stress this enough. Although it’s good for tricks, a horse should not always expect a treat when in the cart. Many of the horses I’ve seen this done with have either not been able to pull a cart, would be dangerous in the cart, or would refuse commands after realizing they can’t always have a treat when someone’s behind them in a carriage.

And make sure to be careful about greediness! Minis (like all horses) loveeeee treats, and letting them get into the habit of doing tricks when not asked or nipping/rubbing against you are bad!

But, I’m glad you want to train your mini some disciplines! It’s good for them, and having a mini that can smile good morning to you or count out numbers is always fun.
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post #22 of 26 Old 11-04-2019, 01:45 AM
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Apples, I think your cautions are a great illustration of the difference between just following a training 'recipe', a set of instructions - trying to emulate 'methods' without full understanding - compared to understanding & using *principles* of training theories. Just like with hoof care - or probably almost anything else - if you try to just follow a 'recipe' approach, colour by numbers, you will come up with many instances where it doesn't work/isn't right. But if you can understand the *principles* & reasoning behind the specifics, you can generally work out how to adapt your 'methods' accordingly, to fit the specific situation or horse.

Quote:
while books and videos can be helpful for some horses, every horse has a different way of learning or processing information,
I agree with behavioural theory, that ALL animals - no matter what species we are - learn in essentially the same way - that is, what 'works' for us, what is profitable to us, we will learn to do more of, while what never profits us, what may be 'bad' for us, we will do less of. That we learn by associating actions with consequences. Just that, other animals, not having a verbal language like humans, to be able to link abstracted ideas(like delayed punishment/reward for eg), need more *instant* association of cause & effect. And all animals - be in species difference or individual... or even the same animal at a different time/situation, will have different perceptions about stuff & different motivators - eg. sometimes even minis & labradors won't be interested in food treats! So we need to understand 'what lies beneath' in order to know what specifics may or may not be best at any given time.

Quote:
Also, PLEASEEEEE donít clicked train your lil one to pull a cart!! I cannotttttt stress this enough. Although itís good for tricks, a horse should not always expect a treat when in the cart. Many of the horses Iíve seen this done with have either not been able to pull a cart, would be dangerous in the cart, or would refuse commands after realizing they canít always have a treat when someoneís behind them in a carriage.
I think this is also a matter of whoever was doing the training not understanding the principles, so not training *well*. Regardless of whether you're teaching 'tricks' or anything else, horses should definitely not 'only work for treats' - IOW be rewarded/expect a handout for everything they do. If they have not been taught properly, if you've inadvertently taught them you're a vending machine, then it is the fault of the trainer, not the 'tool' or the activity being taught.

The other bit about this is, while some are 'purist' positive reinforcement trainers, probably the vast majority of us use c/t or rewards in conjunction with other training. So for eg. I just incorporate rewards as part of the 'whole picture' & my horses still learn to respond to reins, negative reinforcement, etc. I do think it would be rather... dangerous & probably not all that efficient to teach a horse to pull a cart or be ridden *solely* with positive reinforcement training.
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post #23 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 11:07 AM
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I'm reading (slowly) articles and discussions on equineclickertraining.com and am finding it very helpful.


I looked up one article referred to by another author, her mentor actually, and copied this excerpt which I thought very interesting.


Quote: He was posing. He was doing great. I should have clicked him by now! Robin hates being wrong. He's very bright, and he's very eager. He gets mad if he gets the wrong answer. So as my count stretched out, Robin would get frustrated and grab at the lead. Zap! We might be one step away from a click, but the count would go back to 0.


As I explained this exercise to the people at the clinic one of the questions that came up was the whole issue of randomness. A variable reinforcement schedule should be just that, variable, and yet here I was describing a very patterned exercise, the count automatically increased by one after each click. My pattern was set from MY perspective, but from ROBIN'S I was being the most variable and unpredictable that I had ever been.


I'm a sucker for quality. Normally, if Robin shows an extra bit of brilliance, I click him. But in this game, at least at this stage, it absolutely did not matter how gorgeous he was. If we were not yet at my count, I did not click him.


I had begun the clinic by showing a tape of an experiment that was done with orangutans. The tape begins with a study conducted on children where preschoolers were given a timed test. They were told that most children of their age could complete the test in the allotted time. Then the researcher manipulated the time to ensure that the child either passed or failed. What they were looking at was the body language, the postural changes, the child exhibited when he failed.


A similar test was then presented to an orangatang. The orang was using a language board, matching symbols to pictures for a treat. She was very good at this, and almost always got the right answer. But then the researcher made the test deliberately so much harder that she couldn't help but fail. When she got the wrong answer, she exhibited a similar posture to that of the preschooler who failed his test. She clearly had an awareness that she had made a mistake, and it upset her.


I believe our horses show similar emotions. Our clicker-trained horses understand the game, and they are eager to please, eager to get the right answer. That's especially true of horses like Robin who are very bright, and very confident. Robin hates being wrong.This is a very important dynamic to understand. Robin expresses his frustration by grabbing at his lead. That's the postural equivalent to the body language the pre-schooler and the orangatang showed. The ape flung her arm over her head. Robin structurally can't do that. Instead he uses his mouth to express frustration.This is NOT a question of respect, and if I addressed it as such, I would create some major training issues. Imagine how you'd feel if someone reprimanded you every time you got a wrong answer. Think how willing you'd be the next time to try anything. You might shut down, or you might get angry and act out more violently the next time.


The above is part of a article written byAlexandra Kurland found here ... http://iceryder.net/300peck.html

Last edited by horselovinguy; 01-16-2020 at 12:51 PM. Reason: added article credit
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post #24 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Apples, I think your cautions are a great illustration of the difference between just following a training 'recipe', a set of instructions - trying to emulate 'methods' without full understanding - compared to understanding & using *principles* of training theories. Just like with hoof care - or probably almost anything else - if you try to just follow a 'recipe' approach, colour by numbers, you will come up with many instances where it doesn't work/isn't right. But if you can understand the *principles* & reasoning behind the specifics, you can generally work out how to adapt your 'methods' accordingly, to fit the specific situation or horse.



I agree with behavioural theory, that ALL animals - no matter what species we are - learn in essentially the same way - that is, what 'works' for us, what is profitable to us, we will learn to do more of, while what never profits us, what may be 'bad' for us, we will do less of. That we learn by associating actions with consequences. Just that, other animals, not having a verbal language like humans, to be able to link abstracted ideas(like delayed punishment/reward for eg), need more *instant* association of cause & effect. And all animals - be in species difference or individual... or even the same animal at a different time/situation, will have different perceptions about stuff & different motivators - eg. sometimes even minis & labradors won't be interested in food treats! So we need to understand 'what lies beneath' in order to know what specifics may or may not be best at any given time.



I think this is also a matter of whoever was doing the training not understanding the principles, so not training *well*. Regardless of whether you're teaching 'tricks' or anything else, horses should definitely not 'only work for treats' - IOW be rewarded/expect a handout for everything they do. If they have not been taught properly, if you've inadvertently taught them you're a vending machine, then it is the fault of the trainer, not the 'tool' or the activity being taught.

The other bit about this is, while some are 'purist' positive reinforcement trainers, probably the vast majority of us use c/t or rewards in conjunction with other training. So for eg. I just incorporate rewards as part of the 'whole picture' & my horses still learn to respond to reins, negative reinforcement, etc. I do think it would be rather... dangerous & probably not all that efficient to teach a horse to pull a cart or be ridden *solely* with positive reinforcement training.

Hear hear! I've been clicker training my own driving horses for decades. I've never had one refuse to work without a handout. One of my favorite sayings is, "I can explain it for you but I can't understand it for you" and this really applies to trying to explain clicker training to a skeptic in a social media post.



People will ask, "but how do you treat from the cart?" Well, obviously you don't. But it's clicker TRAINING, not clicker PERFORMING. I don't think there is a behavior leading UP to driving that can't be taught with clicker training. You have to remember that actual DRIVING is dozens of behaviors taught individually that produce a skill. There are countless opportunities to click a student driving horse. Correctly applied, the reinforcement for desired behaviors would have long since been put on a variable schedule, by the time the horse is actually driven, chained together and rewarded only as the effort becomes more and more refined. In many cases the reward is phased out altogether, but I always find an excuse when on the ground to ask for, and receive, some small, rewardable behavior.



In the past year, I have taught my "new" mare several behaviors, relying heavily on CT. These behaviors, say, placing a forefoot to the outside, or a hind foot over, have been chained together into lateral movements, better halts, rounder corners, and ultimately, have led to her understanding how to exchange her pace for the desired flat walk (TWH), all the while the rewards back off, from clicking every tentative try, to gradually more "correct" efforts. A click for one step to the outside becomes a click for a round corner, to a click for a quarter circle, to a click for a full circle. One step to the side, up to one click for leg yield the length of the arena.When she gets frustrated, we can instantly go back to where the rewards are frequent, and having such reassurance, her next effort is always relaxed and confident. It doesn't have to be perfect, just a "close approximation". This has been the experience of a lifetime.
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post #25 of 26 Old 01-15-2020, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpatch View Post
"I can explain it for you but I can't understand it for you"
Never heard that before, but love it!

Quote:
People will ask, "but how do you treat from the cart?" Well, obviously you don't. But it's clicker TRAINING, not clicker PERFORMING.
Yes! That needs repeating over & over. So I bolded & coloured it too! If I had a... click & treat for every time I've heard people say something relating to 'they only work for treats'...
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post #26 of 26 Old 01-16-2020, 08:56 AM
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Hey all. I seem to have failed to add a link to the article source from which I quoted above.


For those interested in reading the entire article, here is one link. It's about training horses using or based on a 300 peck pigeon experiment.


Clicker Training, 300 Peck Pigeon
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