From Bettye Baldwin, Pleiades Pony Farm, TX:
I'm getting pretty excited about this clicker stuff. I specialize in teaching timid riders or those that have lost confidence so anything that can help in that is exciting. I've been dinking with the clicker training this past week while waiting for your articles to arrive. I used some of the target training I read about in your on line articles with an old school pony of mine that is a real case. He was in complete charge of his people for many years and did NOT appreciate my trying to exert any control. He was a mugger first class and had NO sensitivety whatsoever. Within moments I had him focusing on touching the target instead of searching my hands and pockets for the treats he knew were there. I haven't given him treats by hand for the 2 years I've had him, but he would still try to "mug" me, so observing this change in a matter of moments was incredibly exciting. I'm going to attempt to train the youngest of the Arabian mares I bought last month to put her halter on herself. She is coming along pretty well as is, but this should be good for both of us.
Thanks again for making this material readily available to the general public.
I am so excited about this positive relationship. I never dreamed it would be so Easy! It truly has amazed me. And it is fun. Next I will have to think of some exciting ways to get her interested in getting in the trailer. Thanks for Clicker Training for Your Horse.
From Patricia Reszetylo:
This is one of the best horse training books I think I have ever read, and would HIGHLY recommend it. Regardless of discipline, this book gives you the tools to build a positive, dynamic relationship with your horse (or any other animal). It totally changed the way that I think and work around horses.
From Cynthia Toth Hidell:
I purchased Clicker Training for Your Horse a couple of years ago, but did not need the method at that time (I thought). The horse I had then died, and my new horse is a six-year-old quarter horse with little training and a mind of his own (although he is very smart). Working with a fully developed 5/6 year old horse that likes to throw tantrums when asked to do something is physically demanding, and dealing with the "attitude" cuts down on training time.
So I called www.clickertraining.com's 800 number a couple of weeks ago and was kindly sent a free clicker, even though I had purchased the book some time ago. I can't thank you enough. I only started clicking a week ago, but my horse caught on quickly and now pays attention to what I ask of him. I can now get through to the horse, elicit his cooperation, and make progress without fighting with him. He cooperates, moves in a relaxed manner, and is a pleasure to work with. It is like a magic switch was thrown in his brain. I now see hope for my horse and me, where I was recently questioning the wisdom of my purchase of this animal. We will be attending our first clinic and show (novice showmanship class only) in two weeks, and the clicker will accompany us. I know I can use it to get his attention and reassure him in what might possibly be a scary situation for him.
I am a convert to clicking, and I thank you again.
From Joyce Nesmith:
While I have been to only one clinic with Alexandra Kurland, I am eagerly awaiting another one to be scheduled in my area. The one I took in the spring of this year in Rappahannock, Va set me on a path of learning and having fun with my horse like none I have experienced. It is well worth doing. A few people at my barn are using the clicker and we just feel sorry for the naysayers—and even sorrier for their horses.
picking up dropped gloves from the saddle.
I ride a tall draft cross mare in a treeless saddle. You can imagine the fun I have getting on her - as the saddle slips even when cinched up tight - you need a person to hold the off side stirrup - or you need a box to get on!
I also live in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan - and it gets pretty cold up here. I am always pulling off my gloves to blow my nose - and dropping the darn things in the dirt. This was quite tedious last winter - having to get off to pick them up - and then have all that trouble to get back on.
While cleaning Dolly's pen this summer, I dropped my work glove, and Dolly sniffed it out of curiosity. I clicked with my tounge on the spot, and treated right away. The game was on - and before the end of 5 minutes I had her picking it up and tossing it around. I noticed that she always tossed to the right, so the next session I positioned myself on that side. I got pretty handy at scooping my hand up under her mouth to catch the glove. It took several sessions to slowly work the retrieve all the way to a standing position. I took a chance soon after when I dropped my glove in the saddle and asked her to "getit". She did! Huge jackpot of course. A few weeks ago she could hand me my glove once out of 3 times - often dropping it just before it got to my hand. Now she's around 90% on the money!
Now I have her picking up a lot of things from the saddle. I'm making bets for coffee from unsuspecting visitors on the rail, and we're getting a lot of laughs at the barn, but the best thing of all - no more struggling off and back on to the saddle - and even better - lots more reasons to pet and treat my horse!
Riding with the clicker
I got the book Clicker Training your horse years ago, and used it extensively in our barn on a number of horses. I also got a big pack of clickers that I casually handed out to interested people who took an interest in my training sessions - and I was running low on spares, so I took the plunge and got the next book, and another pack of 30 clickers. As we all know - when you have horses you have a lot of barn jackets to salt down with clickers and treats! Strangely, I've found myself going right back to the basics, re-learning all the elementary steps in clicker training. Alexandra does such a great job of breaking it all down for you - if you get stuck - just re-read the pages. When you start having trouble - just read on ahead and see what she has to say about say, extinction bursts! The pace and outline of the book is right on "target". I am only part way through the second book - and it feels a lot like re-learning the first book - but for some reason it is coming together very well for me and my horse. I don't know who is doing all the learning in the barn, but I have a feeling it's not all on Dolly's side! You can pay a lot of money to take a clinic where you forget everything you learned by the end of the next week, or you can pay a fraction of the cost - get two really great, well written books, a bag of crunchies and another bag of clickers - and enjoy some wonderful successes!
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