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Clicker Research Challenges

People ask clicker trainers the same questions, over and over. Why can't I just use my voice? Why can't I tell the animal what to do? When can I get rid of the food? Why should I bother to shape the behavior inch by inch when I can just make the animal do it?

How Clicker Training Changed My Horses

From Karen Willmus: I've been clicking several of the same horses, now, since Alexandra Kurland first published her book Clicker Training for Your Horse about five years ago. I've used it on Arabs, Quarters, Andalusians, and ponies. Also used it on the cats and dogs. With the horses I piggyback the clicker to Parelli, Lyons, and Classic dressage-type principles. Some of my horses have daily training, and sometimes some go for months between training.

Looking for Different Clicker Sounds

From Pat Wolff: I have several clickers from your store and they all sound almost exactly the same. This is a drawback for my family—we have trained our horses using these clickers and here is the problem: we go trail riding, using the clickers for reinforcing behaviors we want, but often when a click occurs more than one horse stops for its reward. When we are riding close, or side by side, how can anyone tell who clicked? I have sought out different clickers, but they are very hard to find and/or unreliable (break!). I switched to a different soundmaker, a squeaky toy rubber ducky ("Why do you have a rubber ducky tied to your belt?" is an interesting, if somewhat embarressing, way to proselytize for operant conditioning), but the squeak is different each time and so it doesn't work as well.

Clicker Training for Your Horse

The coming of the New Year brought a beautiful post to the clickryder list, written by Karen Willmus, mother of four, and a horse trainer in Minnesota. Karen discovered clicker training in 1998, when Sunshine Books and clickertraining.com first published Alexandra Kurland's Clicker Training for Your Horse.