It seems complicated to use positive reinforcement during riding. Most common struggle points are: ‘It’s hard to hold a clicker and the reins in my hands’, ‘Clicker training is useful on the ground, but I don’t know how to use it from the saddle‘ and ‘If you use clicker training in riding you have to stop all the time to give a treat‘. How to address these issues?
Keep it simple!
Positive reinforcement is positive reinforcement, whether you apply it from the ground, standing next to your horse, or when you sit in the saddle. Therefor you have to apply the same rules to set you and your horse up for success: (more…)
We all like to hold on to our beliefs and our familiair training aids. I know I do, even when I already know I never will use it. Here are some ways to drop your crop.
Holding on to your riding crop (carrot stick, training stick or lunge whip) gives us a feeling of safety and empowerment. We need our crop, just in case…
But what if you don’t have a crop anymore. What would happen? Would you die? Yes, it can feel that way, but you (probably) won’t. (more…)
The term ‘husbandry skills’ refers to all the behaviours you want to teach an animal in order to take care of them safely. Daily husbandry skills are haltering, leading, grooming, cleaning hooves, cleaning nostrils, eyes and ears and so on. Medical procedures like drawing blood (important in zoo animals) or administering medication (injections, oral medication, ointments) are also a part of husbandry skills.
In this blog series I will share with you how I train a young horse to lift her legs for hoof care with positive reinforcement (clicker training). (more…)
Being a farrier is a high risk profession. It is not only a physically demanding job, but also the clients can be very opinionated. Or worse become defensive and kick, bite or rear. With clients I mean horses, of course. How can you help your farrier be safe working with your horse? How can you prepare your horse for a farrier treatment? My answer is of course: with positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement for the professional
The first thing reinforcing the farrier to come back is that he gets paid! I like to offer a cup of tea and some cookies too, if he is really good with my horse. But the best way to reinforce your farrier to come back and do a good job is to have your horse well trained and prepared.
Today I posted this question on my Facebook page and the answers were pretty diverse and also surprising. When I thought about this question myself I thought back to when I got Kyra.
Kyra was 11 months old and was separated from her mom and her whole family herd three weeks earlier. Kyra was born in a nature reserve. (more…)
There are so many myths in the horse world it is hard to choose where to start debunking them. Since I have seen several advertisements on Facebook with videos of horses at liberty and instructors talking about ‘freedom’, ‘connection’, ‘positive training’ or ‘friendship’ while carrying a whip directing a horse with a swishing tail and a lot of tension in its body, I will start with the whip (it-is-an-extension-of-my-arm) myth. (more…)
In horse training we often have to be creative if we encounter resistance, fear, frustration or if something else is just so much more reinforcing than you. You have to be even more creative, if you want to come up with a force free and horse friendly training solution. Here are some tips that can help you become creative.
Occupy your conscious
Occupy your conscious so your unconscious can come up with a solution. Do something completely different. Go draw a horse or colour a colouring sheet. I made one for you, see the download at the bottom of the page.
Listen to yourself
Talk your training problems over with a good friend. When you hear yourself talk you can put things in perspective and come up with a solution.
If that doesn’t work, your friend might have a solution for you or you can ask yourself: ‘What advise would I give if it wasn’t me, but a friend with this problem with her horse?’
If you are not looking to solve a particular training problem, just download my colouring sheet and relax. Have some fun.
I would really appreciate if you upload your colouring sheet and show it to me. You can send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or put a link in the comments below. I’m looking forward to seeing your creativity!
DOWNLOAD your colouring sheet here
Are you interested in online personal coaching or do you want to sign up for the next online course ‘Set Your Equestrian Goals & Achieve them’, please visit my website
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