equine clicker training

using precision and positive reinforcement to teach horses and people

Do You Have a Cue for That?

Last week I posted a video on my facebook page of Aurora learning the difference between targeting and manipulating an object, and it reminded me of something that I’ve been meaning to write about for a while. This is the importance of making sure that each new behavior has its own cue, that the cue is regularly practiced, and that old behaviors don’t lose their cues when new behaviors are […]

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One of the advantages of clicker training is that the use of a marker signal (the click) allows the trainer to tell the animal exactly what behavior she is reinforcing. When we observe an animal, it is tempting to think of behavior as discrete units, but a more accurate description of behavior would be what Dr. Susan Friedman calls a “stream of behavior,” where behavior is constantly changing and each […]

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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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