Clicker training exercises

MaisieMoo

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Oct 19, 2007
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I'm looking to start doing clicker training more regularly with C - I'd not done it for ages and last night because he'd been in because of the snow I decided to do some with him.

I was expecting him to be a bit slow but he is just sooo clever and was doing things that I'd not asked him to do in about 6 months as if I'd been training him every day.

He can do the basic stuff - target work, back up, stretches and will also kick or header a ball around and will lift both front legs up and forward when asked- this is all great and he LOVES it but I want to start incorporating some things that will improve his ridden work.

I know here is a book out with exercises but it's quite expensive and I can't really justify the cost just now.

Does any one have any exercises that I can start on the ground and then progress to ridden work?

Many thanks

K x
 

Daffy Dilly

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Dec 5, 2004
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Hows your lateral work?

It is so much easier to teach from the ground and with the clicker, and to then ask for it under saddle. I started off doing it from the bridle (reins as normal, but one comes across the wither, left hand near bit, right hand by the girth area) but now that he knows the concept Daffy much prefers to do it from a headcollar, or nothing at all.

You could also teach him to soften at the poll when asked, and sharpen his transitions to voice commands.
 

MaisieMoo

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Oct 19, 2007
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Lateral work needs to improve but don't know where to start. He'll do a nice turn on haunches and will do a lovely step over when I push his shoulder but just not sure how to translate to ridden work!
 

capalldubh

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May 26, 2006
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I was expecting him to be a bit slow but he is just sooo clever and was doing things that I'd not asked him to do in about 6 months as if I'd been training him every day.

Stuff they learn thru positive reinforcement, they don't forget :) That's why it's great if you can incorporate it into ridden work too!

Would you like to borrow my copy of Riding with the Clicker? Am off to a clinic with Alex in June, so will need to do some major revision before then, but I'm not using it for the next couple of months :)

I've taught shoulder-in out of one of her exercises, and separately the most wonderful soft rein-back, plus at the moment we are learning "ramener", which is softening to the bridle in hand - and starting to introduce it ridden as well. There are lots of lovely things you can do, and when the horse gets a buzz out of doing them, they practically tack themselves up when they think there's the chance of a few clicks ;)
 

MaisieMoo

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Oct 19, 2007
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Stuff they learn thru positive reinforcement, they don't forget :) That's why it's great if you can incorporate it into ridden work too!

Would you like to borrow my copy of Riding with the Clicker? Am off to a clinic with Alex in June, so will need to do some major revision before then, but I'm not using it for the next couple of months :)

I've taught shoulder-in out of one of her exercises, and separately the most wonderful soft rein-back, plus at the moment we are learning "ramener", which is softening to the bridle in hand - and starting to introduce it ridden as well. There are lots of lovely things you can do, and when the horse gets a buzz out of doing them, they practically tack themselves up when they think there's the chance of a few clicks ;)

That would be fab - I could even just copy a few exercises to try - he's just so sharp with it and enjoys it so much I may as well start using it to school him as I've started running out of ideas as he'll do anything and learn it quickly - before I stopped doing it (just got lazy) he would touch 3 cones set apart at reasonable distance - it took me 10 minutes to train him to do that as he's quite good at trying different things to see what it is you are looking for!
 

MaisieMoo

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Oct 19, 2007
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No problem - I will bring it in to work on Monday and we can meet up whenever suits you :)

Thank you - any day except Thursday is good for me!

Do you find it much harder to train when you're on board? I just think it's so much easier to see what they are doing when you're on the ground -when I've tried things onboard I worry that I'll reward incorrectly which is why I've not really done much other than the basic voice commands and asking him to stand.
 

capalldubh

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May 26, 2006
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Do you find it much harder to train when you're on board? I just think it's so much easier to see what they are doing when you're on the ground -when I've tried things onboard I worry that I'll reward incorrectly which is why I've not really done much other than the basic voice commands and asking him to stand.

Usually what I'm asking him to do when I'm riding is something we've done on the ground already - so I would start a schooling session by asking for the things we've trained as groundwork. Then mount up and ask for the same. Your main difficulty tends to be getting the behaviour "under stimulus control" - so they only do it when you ask and they never do it when you don't. Because otherwise (if you're a bit keen and slightly sloppy like me) your horse will randomly offer you a perfect shoulder-in at exactly the moment when going straight would have been nice :rolleyes:

Oh, another really cool thing to train which I did recently is to get your horse to back away from food ;) So you stand with your hand outstretched with a large chunk of apple in it, and the horse immediately goes into reverse instead of lurching forward and eating your hand :D This is now my favourite ever trick for people who say "never hand feed, your horse will always mug you for food" ;)
 
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