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The clicker, for me a symbol of …

WP has a Photo Challenge with the theme ‘symbol‘.

For me the clicker became an important symbol. It represents force-free horse training, friendship, fun and a life time of learning. Let me explain.

_clicker_hippologic_symbol 

 

Force-free training

The clicker represents positive reinforcement: training behaviour by adding an appetitive to the horse in order to reinforce behaviour. There is no force or coercion in positive reinforcement training.

Friendship

When I started to use positive reinforcement I had to learn about what my horse likes and dislikes.

Positive reinforcement is a way to give my horse a choice in training and therefor it gives her a voice. For me friendship is not only listening to my horse but also acting on the information she is giving me. Friendship means that I sometimes have to change my approach if my horse doesn’t like it, can’t (physically) do it or won’t do what I ask for whatever reason. For me, the clicker symbolizes this.

Fun

Learning new skills, exploring new ways has always been fun to me. The clicker represents also the fun the horse displays when he figures out what the training question is. The eagerness my horse shows in working with me: always coming to the gate in the pasture as soon as she sees me and the soft loving nicker to greet me.

Life long learning

Switching from traditional and natural horsemanship methods to positive reinforcement forced me to develop new skills so I could communicate clearly what I want from my horse.

I had to learn to listen better to my horse and I had to develop my observational skills in order to pinpoint (click) the desired behaviour. I had to figure out what motivates my horse in order to reinforce the behaviour I am teaching her. I studied the learning theory and learning curve of animals intensively. Something I probably wouldn’t have done tothis degree if force was still my go-to method in training and riding horses.

The road to positive reinforcement has been (and still is) an exciting journey for me. I am still fascinated every day by how learning actually  works in horses and how we humans can influence it. It is a life long journey with fabulous views!

What represents a clicker for you?

Sandra Poppema

For tailored advise, please visit my website and book a personal consult!

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Weekly photo challenge: Optimistic

Last weeks theme of the WordPress challenge was ‘Optimistic’.

How do I express my optimism in a picture when it comes to horses?

This picture came to mind. It is taken on a moorland called Dartmoor in Devon, England.

This foal is a Dartmoor pony and his mom and the rest of the herd were patiently waiting and watching it from a distance. I wanted to connect with this free roaming horse. I was curious if I could win over his curiosity and come closer. He did!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Horses inspire me to stay optimistic and live in the momen. They are so gentle, so forgiving and so patient with us. They are a great inspiration to me!

_choose_optimistic_hippologic2016

Sandra Poppema
For tailored advise, please visit my website

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

Another Horse Quote Pic

I found a few other pictures with quotes.

I like positive reinforcement because it makes you focus on the positive, on all what goes right. And what you focus on, grows. I don’t have to nag my husband about household chores, I have reinforced him a LOT for doing those things. I even don’t have to point out what needs to be done. My favourite day is when I go out to work – read: give lessons! That is my passion, to show passionate horse owners how they can radically change their bond with their horse- and when I come home our son is well taken care off and the whole house is clean. This is when I made the picture quote below.

 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

This picture is taken by my lovely husband. It was kind of funny do things the other way around and it was quite hard to keep Kyra of the pedestal, LOL.

Sandra Poppema

Copy of _wietraintwie

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