Clicker training

Ale

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Been a while since we've had a thread on it and I've restarted my efforts now I've finished university as have a bit more time.

Today I wanted to try start teaching Ale to stand and come to call. First I did a few reinforcements of he only gets a reward when he's not looking for a treat. Currently he turns his head away but I want to shape it so it stays straight but that's a lesson for another day.

Then thought I would work on stand. He got the hang of this straight away to the point where I could walk a few steps away and he wouldn't follow. Will have to see when I revisit this if that was just luck or if he fully understood what I was asking.

Then I tried getting him to come over to me. This needs work, I think he found the cue a little confusing, I was using the word 'here' and lowering my hand. Any step towards me got a click. Decided to try a different hand cue and made my hand a fist. I've done targeting with him before with my hand like this and suddenly he was happy to walk right over to me. I made sure I clicked before he touched my hand as I'm not looking for him to touch that more to understand the fist as the cue.

Anyway think it went really well, I might work on asking him not to turn his head away so much tomorrow.

Feel free to share any clicker training ir ideas you have!
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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For "come" I have always used a pat on my thigh, as I would with a dog. The horse can see it from a long way away, and it leaves other smaller gestures for other cues.

I expect target training will be high on your list? It's useful for lots of things.

Ziggy was great at clicker training, motivated and ingenious. He could retrieve a Frisbee! Sid is so excited by the idea of food that he doesn't even register that I am asking for something, but perhaps when he has settled down a bit we'll try again.

It was good for Ziggy to have things we could do together when he was on box or starvation paddock rest. If you want to teach Ale to retrieve, I think a little cone or small dumbbell would work better than a Frisbee which is a bit flat for a horse. It's not hard to teach, just an extension of target training.
 
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chunky monkey

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Havent been doing much recently. I had a go again in the field a few days ago and Billy was in an i dont want to cooperate mode. Cant remember what he did but i had to send him away as he was very rude. After that when i invited him back in, he wouldn't oblige. Walked off sniffed poo. Spun round and kicked out. Fortunately he was no where near me when this happened but i could just tell he was switched off, so i gave up.

I think chunkys new rider has also indirectly influenced him. Shes been given treats to chunky and not Billy and ive noticed his demeanour has changed and hes being disrespectful. She also doesnt click at the correct time. Which i think is confusing chunky. I was washing billy down the other day and she brought out treats and started asking chunky to say please and billy literally walked through me whilst i was hosing him off. He then wouldnt stand so i lost it. Its been happening more and more but this was the worst. I will not tolerate being flattened. I will also be having words with my new helper though. She needs to learn that horses have to be untacked and washed off first before they get rewards.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Oh that is good too! Somewhere I used to have a book with a gorgeous photo of a Haffy doing a levade in hand for his young owner. Brilliant.
 

Ale

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For "come" I have always used a pat on my thigh, as I would with a dog. The horse can see it from a long way away, and it leaves other smaller gestures for other cues.

I expect target training will be high on your list? It's useful for lots of things.

Ziggy was great at clicker training, motivated and ingenious. He could retrieve a Frisbee! Sid is so excited by the idea of food that he doesn't even register that I am asking for something, but perhaps when he has settled down a bit we'll try again.

It was good for Ziggy to have things we could do together when he was on box or starvation paddock rest. If you want to teach Ale to retrieve, I think a little cone or small dumbbell would work better than a Frisbee which is a bit flat for a horse. It's not hard to teach, just an extension of target training.
That's a good idea with the patting leg gesture, will give it a go. I've started with 2 new targets too, a cone and a pointy stick.

Thank you for the retrieve advice, will give this a try!
 

Ale

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I know clicker training is popular on NR, but have you thought of free work Ale?
Free work as in not using ropes etc. I just do clicker stuff loose in the field with Ale, he can leave at any time. Or do you mean something else?
 

Ale

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I also want to work on him moving his shoulders and hind quarters using the target to train it and then gradually stop using that so he will just do it with the cue. We will see.
 

Ale

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Mixed success this morning. Some good targeting with the hand held one and some nice flexing. I might try using a lunge or schooling whip as need something a bit longer for movement I think. He did some much better heres this morning and I was also able to successfully combine them with some stays although he did get a bit confused at one point. But still plenty to work on and he's really enjoying it!
 

Skib

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I might try using a lunge or schooling whip
Tik Maynard clinic, people used a schooling whip with a bit of rope attached to the tip. The rope about the same length as the stick. We have old washing line. Replicates the Parelli carrot stick but doesnt cost as much.
However, as I said, I never got round to doing this with Ella. She already has ground work jobs with her owner and when she is mine, it is for going on rides. I decided not even to ask for permission. If I had my own horse, or could not ride my horse, like you with Ale, I might.
 

Ale

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Ziggy loved clicker training more than anything. The idea of being able to do things for treats enthralled him! When he saw the treat bag and clicker he would let it all hang out with excitement.
Glad it's not just Ale that does this šŸ™ˆ
 

Ale

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But then some of us meanies never use treats.
I don't really either, I take the grass nuts out of his feed and he gets those. He occasionally gets a special treat but not often.
 

Ale

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Tik Maynard clinic, people used a schooling whip with a bit of rope attached to the tip. The rope about the same length as the stick. We have old washing line. Replicates the Parelli carrot stick but doesnt cost as much.
However, as I said, I never got round to doing this with Ella. She already has ground work jobs with her owner and when she is mine, it is for going on rides. I decided not even to ask for permission. If I had my own horse, or could not ride my horse, like you with Ale, I might.
I've just watched his lunging video and whilst it's interesting it's not what I'm looking to do. I don't really understand how the stick he uses is much different from a whip? I'm not anti whip I just want to do some training with Ale that isn't whip based. And I think clicker gets him thinking a little more in my opinion. But people can work their horse however they want and it was an interesting video to watch so thanks for the input
 

chunky monkey

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Billy strongly dislikes the whip, whether thats because of his headshyness and it was mis used when he was younger with his previous owners.
He will also go to peices when i have lunged with a lunge whip. He is much happier to lunge without one.

I was actually trying to do some clicker training in the field the other night, and because i had a whip in my hand he just went nah not coming near you.

I dont think its right or wrong to use one or not. As long as the horse is happy and you are getting what you want to achieve.

I do use a short crop with chunky when clicker training as an extension of my arm. This helps him when walking along to drop his head and stretch to the ground. Also for carrot stretch activities.
 
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Skib

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I've just watched his lunging video and whilst it's interesting it's not what I'm looking to do
I havent watched that. Nor watched him lunge. I went to watch his eventing clinic with a former NR contact, 2 years ago. It transformed my forward seat so I never now canter without thinking of him. I read his book before going. And he kindly explained things to me about Jumping Derbies (Hickstead and Hamburg) which I needed for some history work I was doing. He is very knowledgeable. His book shows how he set out to learn about multiple different ways in which people relate to their horses. And he is able to communicate that.
If I were younger, I would go again this year. But we are still anxious about Covid and may not even go to watch polo.
 
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Ale

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So this was today's effort, I'm tired so decided to stick with something really straight forward. He's the most food obsessed individual so when I first started I taught him to turn his head away. Now I'm trying to get him to just stand relaxed with his head to the front. Notice he gets a bit confused and tries pawing mid way through but he doesn't mug me for food so a success in my eyes. https://youtube.com/shorts/D3HWKhOMkPU?feature=share
 
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