equine clicker training

using precision and positive reinforcement to teach horses and people

Capturing Behavior

In Kay Laurence’s IDTC class last year we took a closer look at capturing behavior.  I’ve always been intrigued by capturing behavior because it’s one of the advantages of clicker training and there are some behaviors that are easier to capture than to shape. A behavior is “captured” when the trainer marks and reinforces the animal for doing a complete behavior, instead of shaping the behavior in small steps.  In […]

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Body Part Targeting – Moving beyond nose targeting

Touching a target is one of the first behaviors that many clicker trainers teach to their horses. It’s a great way to introduce the horse to clicker training and show him that he can do a specific behavior to earn reinforcement. Once this targeting behavior has been learned, it can be used to train many other behaviors such as leading, standing still, going over obstacles, turns, lowering the head, etc… […]

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Training with Base Position – Using this technique to train hoof handling

Last fall when I bought Aurora it was clear that getting her feet trimmed was a high priority. It was also clear that it was not something she was comfortable having done. I could sometimes ask for a foot and she would pick it up, but not with any consistency, and there was a lot of anxious body language.   Even if I could pick it up, she would then snatch […]

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Motivation:  Motivation is a theoretical construct used to explain behavior. It represents the reasons for people’s actions, desires, and needs. Motivation can also be defined as one’s direction to behavior or what causes a person to want to repeat a behavior and vice versa. A motive is what prompts the person to act in a certain way or at least develop an inclination for specific behavior. (from Wikipedia) Motivation…Too much, […]

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Detective Work

Back when the clickryder list was active on yahoo, people would often write in with their questions about clicker training horses. Sometimes those questions were about teaching new behaviors or “getting rid of” unwanted behaviors, but there were also questions about what to do when behavior deteriorated. These were questions like “my horse used to do this and now he doesn’t, what do I do?” The most common answer I would give is […]

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