Having fun is important because it keeps you and your horse motivated. If you start positive reinforcement training/clicker training you can be overwhelmed by ‘everything you have to do differently’. Not only do things in a different way, but also exactly in the opposite way.
If you come from a traditional background training and riding horses or you come from a natural horsemanship background, you can have the feeling that you’ve been doing it ‘wrong’ all along. That’s not true and it is also not a motivating thought.
People who change their approach because they are looking for a more ethical way of training or the method they use to train horses doesn’t feel good anymore, are often attracted by positive reinforcement (R+) methods. In R+ it’s common to give the animal a voice in training. Giving the animal power over what is happening to him builds trust.
Start easy, stay motivated
Set yourself up for success. A good way of starting positive reinforcement training with your horse is to start with easy, seemingly purposeless and completely new exercises to your horse that give a feeling of accomplishment when you reach it.
Start easy and choose something fun so you will stay motivated. Be gentle with yourself: you are learning a new skill. Give you and your horse time to learn and discover.
Choose an exercise that looks impressive but is simple to teach your horse and simple for your horse to learn. Don’t start with complex behaviours before you have enough basics under your belt.
Consider it ‘fun’ time
If the new exercises seem purposeless there is no stress if you decide not to follow up with training and there is no pressing timeline in your mind (like a farrier appointment that’s coming up for a scared or green horse).
Choose something completely new. In this way the horse doesn’t have an existing association with the new things he and you are going to learn. You start with a clean slate.
If you want to practise your mechanical skills in clicker training and you are looking for suitable exercises to start with, think about starting trick training. There are several easy tricks you can teach your horse and practise your clicker skills, your timing and safe hand-feeding skills.
For a safe and fun way to start take a look at my Key Lessons (your Key to Success).
Easy and fun tricks to start with are:
- standing on a mat, a tarp or a pedestal with 2 front feet
- smiling (= flehmen)
- simple bow (front leg one step forward and head down)
- targeting (touching an object)
- shaking ‘No’
- push a ball with his nose
- back crunch
What exercises or tricks would you recommend to horse enthusiasts that just started clicker training?
Share your l♥ve for horses
If you want to share this blog on your social media, use one of the share buttons below. It’s very much appreciated!
I love to hear from you, so please add a comment or let me know if you have a question. I read them all!
Don’t know what to say? Simply hit the like button so I know you liked this article.
Join our Community!
- Are you looking for professional positive reinforcement advice?
- Do you want an affordable program?
- Do you want to turn your equestrian dreams into reality, but you don’t know where to start?
If you have answered ‘Yes’ to one or more of the above questions look into one of the online programs HippoLogic has to offer.
Join our community for online positive reinforcement training tips, personal advice and support in training your horse.
Shape the community
If you’re interested to become a member of the HippoLogic tribe, please tell me what you want in this short questionnaire. Thanks a lot!
Sandra Poppema, B.Sc.
I help horse owners get the results in training they really, really want with joy and easy for both horse and human. I always aim for win-win!
Get your FREE 5 Step Clicker Training Plan on HippoLogic’s website.
Take action. Start for free!
Book a free 60 minute Discovery Session to get a glimpse of a new future with your horse. In this conversation we’ll explore:
- Your hopes and dreams and goals so that we can see what’s possible for you and your horse
Your Key to Success
- Where you’re now, where you want to go and which path is right for you
- What’s holding you back so you can make a plan to get these hurdles out of your way.
At the end of the call I’ll give you some ideas and advice for your next step and if it looks like a fit, we can explore what it looks like to work together.
Simply check the best time for you in my online calendar and click to reserve your free call today.