equine clicker training

using precision and positive reinforcement to teach horses and people

Teaching Horses with Positive Reinforcement: The Book…

coversmallsnipIn January 2016, I had an idea for a “little project.” I thought I would take some of the most useful articles from my website, blog, and Facebook page, organize them into a logical format and publish them as a set of “collected articles.” I organized the material into four volumes (beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate, and ridden work) and got to work.

But, I quickly realized that just doing the first one would be a challenge, and I had to consider how much time and energy I could spend on this project. In the end, I decided to focus on the material for beginners and save the rest for later. Even though I decided not to cover more “advanced” behaviors, my hope is that the book provides a good foundation and trainers can use the resources and references that I have included if they wish to learn more.

Now, 2 and a half years later, I am finally publishing my set of “collected articles,” which has evolved into something more like a book. I chose to publish the book as an e-book because I wanted it to be searchable and easy to update.  At the current time, the book does not contain any photos or video links, but there is a link to a page on my website where I will be adding photos and video links as I have time. Eventually, I will incorporate some of those into the book itself, but I thought it made more sense to publish the book now, instead of waiting another year for me to finish that aspect of it. I will post an announcement when an update becomes available.

My hope is that the book will be useful for new clicker trainers who are just starting, or need a few more details about how to get started successfully, as well as provide some in-depth information for people who have already done some clicker training, but are eager to dig a little deeper into it. If you are interested in learning more about the book, you can find the book on Amazon, which will let you look inside. The Table of Contents, listed below, will also give you some idea of the content.

Here’s a link to the book:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 
INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS CLICKER TRAINING?
An Introduction to Clicker Training for Horses
Are There Different Styles of Clicker Training?
Are We Trainers, or Teachers?
Why Do I Clicker Train?

CHAPTER 2: CLICKS, TREATS, AND WHAT HAPPENS IN BETWEEN 
Training with Food
Learning About the Clicker
The Basics of Food Delivery
Protected Contact
Mugging
Motivation
Timing
Before we Move on…

CHAPTER 3: A LITTLE BIT OF SCIENCE
Operant Conditioning
Punishment
Classical Conditioning
Reinforcement
Taking Another Look at the Click
How Neuroscience Can Help us with Training
Reinforcement and Bribery
A Little Review of Key Points

CHAPTER 4: TRAINING STRATEGIES
An Introduction to Cues
Shaping
Targeting
Capturing
Luring
Choosing A Training Strategy
A Closer Look at the Process of Shaping
A Shaping Plan to Teach Whales to Blow Bubble Rings

CHAPTER 5: TRAINING SESSIONS
Preparing for Training Sessions
Training Plans
Reinforcement Schedules and Variety

Unwanted Behavior and Errors
How to Introduce Your Horse to Clicker Training
What Behaviors Should You Train First?

CHAPTER 6: TARGETING
An Introduction to Targeting
Teaching a Horse to Touch a Hand-Held Target
Teaching a Horse to Touch a Stationary Target
Adding a New Cue to the Behavior “Touch the Target”
Teaching a Horse to go to a Target
Building Duration: Waiting at a Target
Teaching a Horse to Target Your Hand
Teaching A Horse to Follow a Target

CHAPTER 7: A RELAXED STAND
An Introduction to Teaching a Relaxed Stand
A Training Plan to Teach a Relaxed Stand
“The Grown-ups are Talking, Please Don’t Interrupt”

CHAPTER 8: HEAD LOWERING
An Introduction to Head Lowering
Basic Strategies for Teaching Head Lowering
Head Lowering: Adding Cues, Duration, and Movement
A Training Plan for Head Lowering

CHAPTER 9: MAT WORK
An Introduction to Mat Work
Basic Strategies to Teach a Horse to Put His Front Feet on a Mat
A Training Plan for Mat Work
More Advanced Mat Work

CHAPTER 10: BACKING
An Introduction to Backing
Basic Strategies to Teach Backing
Tips for Teaching a Horse to Back
A Training Plan to Teach a Horse to Back

CHAPTER 11: OTHER FIRST BEHAVIORS
Can I Touch You?
Can You Put Your Head in It?
Name Recognition and a Recall
Walking Forward
A Balanced Halt
Happy Faces: Ears Forward
Bucket Manners

CHAPTER 12: LOOKING FORWARD
Learning from Dogs: Thoughts on Science and Relationships
Find Your Troop
Making Decisions
Advances in the use of Positive Reinforcement in Animal Training
Stepping Stones

NOTES

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Categories: Uncategorized

13 replies

  1. whoopee!!!!!

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  2. When can I buy one! Congratulations.

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  3. Looks amazing! The link isn’t working for me though.

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  4. Hi Katie! Yeah, this a fabulous! I am looking forward to reading and learning. We still struggle with the trailer 😦
    Hope all is well with the kids and critters.

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  5. Congratulations! Looking forward to reading this and sharing with others!

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  6. lovely insightful writing, as always 🙂

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  7. Where can I order a hard copy of the book

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