Although I'm experienced with clicker training and wanted to use the clicker for this, I didn't choose this book because it was clicker training. I love the progression and the checklists. I really feel like I can safely progress through my horse's early training thanks to this book. Don't let the title of this book fool you as this book is not just about colt starting. Leslie's book is the answer to the rest of the puzzle in clicker training with horses.
I started clicker training with my horses 8 years ago after 3 different clinics. Those clinics opened the door to the possibilities but that was it. I just didn't have the tools to carry on by myself. I worked with various horses but couldn't really master clicker training or move forward adequately. No one else that I met in my area was interested in clicker training for horses. Spoiling is the word that comes to mind.
About the same time I was also introduced to Natural Horsemanship training. I really needed help with both styles of training. I bought the books, the videos, attended more clinics but needed more personal help and a step-by-step guide to get results to move forward. Leslie has produced the answer for me with her book - clicker training with the follow-up of Natural Horsemanship training.
It all comes together and makes sense now. She has an insightful and fantastic program mapped out for the beginner as well as the advance person wanting to learn what clicking training can do for them. She gives a wonderful step-by-step process by first introducing the horse to clicker training whether they are a riding horse already or a wild colt.
She moves through various Natural Horsemanship training exercises combined with clicker training to complete the process to obtain a horse that has various safe ground manners including trailer loading and riding skills like spinning on the hind legs. Hurrah for Leslie and all the horse people out there who will benefit from Leslie's years of research and daily logging all those long hours to produce an inspiring no-nonsense step-by-step book.
Even if you are just getting started after a long winter, there will be tons of material and applicable concepts. If you enjoyed this blog and would like to support my writing, head on over to my Patreon page and become a patron. While the initial mechanical skills of training are fairly simple to learn or be coached through, the larger picture of structuring a session is more complex. They are finite and very measurable; they form the foundation of your skill set as a trainer.
But, as you master your hard skills and move from working your horse in lessons to teaching him by yourself, you will need to have more soft skills so you can create useful training sessions for your horse. Soft skills are about flexibility, recognizing and creating patterns, breaking patterns when necessary, reading situations and adjusting accordingly. Soft skills are both what guide you in making a training plan and help you change that training plan in the moment so your horse can be successful. Soft skills are harder to learn because they are very subjective to the individual horse and learning situation.
So where to begin if you are just getting started? A teaching session is a short session where the entire time is devoted to teaching the horse one new behavior. You will still be shaping or using successive approximations, but your focus will be on teaching your learner just one behavior or motor pattern. Teaching sessions are necessary and, in the early stages of training, make up a majority of your sessions.
Clicker Training: Colt Starting the Natural Horse
You will use these components in more complex sessions later. Training sessions are focused practice where you will work on multiple behaviors in one session, usually toward a larger unified goal. If your horse knows two foundation behaviors, you could do five repetitions of the first behavior and then five repetitions of the second behavior, clicking and treating for each repetition.
The larger goal is just to teach your horse emotional flexibility in moving between different skills and to teach yourself how to gracefully transition between multiple subjects in one lesson. Make sure you can do this simpler training exercise before biting off something more complex. All of these are behaviors I will click and reinforce:.
AvaliaÃ§Ã£o de clientes
Combined together, these component skills add up to a horse who understands the cues needed to be responsive under saddle. He knows how to respond in multiple ways to the rein, how to use my body as a target, how to stop and stand quietly and how to offer the beginnings of softness.
- colt starting – Spellbound;
- The Mine (Northwest Passage Book 1)?
- The Magic of Jane (Novelette)?
- Flowing Passion : Bold, Beautiful and Inspiring Words.
- The Wave Finite Element Method (Foundations of Engineering Mechanics).
- Clicker Training: Colt Starting the Natural Horse by Leslie Pavlich.
In part two, I will explain and detail how to set up a training session to transfer these cues to a novel situation — riding! Yesterday when I went out to train Aesop I had a clear idea in my head about what I wanted the training session to look like. When we got outside and into the training session, it was clear Aesop needed a different lesson than the one I had planned.
I had planned on doing a training session where we would review what he had already learned and get in some nice repetitions of fairly stable behaviors. He had processed the go forward with someone at your side really well from our last lesson and was ready to offer it just when asked to bend or when I got near the side of the saddle. He was ready to show me what a good walk-off looks like and I had been so busy envisioning our fun trot work I was caught totally off-guard.
It is an ok training choice that centers around getting stimulus control. But many other young horses would be frustrated or discouraged to be interrupted at this stage in their learning. To my small credit, I am clicking and treating these re-sets because I am at least aware they are new to him. But in my work, I am looking to let the horse be right. So how can I let him be right? I can let him walk off and click for either soft bend within the walk off or staying with me, both of which are criteria I will have in this exercise. That allows Aesop to have the right answer while I am still building skills we need for our future riding.
In this video you can see that Aesop leans down on his forehand and walks off when I ask him to bend. He gets to be right and I get behavior that I want, too.
Part of what I love so much about training is the number of choices it presents at every moment. There are training mantras, though, that can help a trainer navigate their choices better. In this case, the mantra was: Let you horse be right. But when we identify just with the human component of the equation or the spectacle, we can forget to check in and see if the animal is happy and relaxed.
We now know animals experience emotion much the same as humans do. We are wholly responsible for the emotions we elicit in our horses through training. First, do no harm: If you look up the man, his son and the method online you can find a description of it here. The method is a unique approach to tame horses in the most natural manner with avoiding punishment and cruelty on these beautiful animals. It sounds like a wonderful way to teach a horse, noble, even. Below is a video clip of the method in action. I want you to watch it and imagine you are a year old horse learning about humans for the first time in your life: How would you feel?
Would you feel like the humans in this video were trying to actively gain your trust?
the science, art and magic of horse training
Do you think this looks like a method that avoids punishment? Can fear or confusion be just as punishing as pain? Again, imagine yourself as the young horse involved in this training. How would you feel as this young horse? Would this feel like a positive experience to you?
Equine Clicker Training
Does the pen seem to offer freedom or restriction? How would you feel having a rope continually tossed at you? How would you feel being allowed to run off but made to run farther and faster for your caution as a flight animal? Does he look trusting already?
Does he look ready to be ridden? Does this look like a positive experience? That will clarify VERY fast how you feel about the method. All animals, humans included, enjoy choice, rewards and low stress learning environments. They get attached to certain predictors like the sight of the trainer, the equipment used or the space used for training. This is Pavlovian conditioning and it happens whether we want it to or not. Susan Lennon rated it it was amazing Jan 28, Karen Mountain rated it liked it Dec 10, Melissa Alexander rated it it was amazing Jun 03, Caroline Fisher rated it liked it Mar 22, Vikki rated it did not like it Oct 07, Equihab Foundation added it Jul 22, Deanna added it Dec 27, Daniela Hielc marked it as to-read Jun 11, Randi marked it as to-read Nov 29, Kimberly is currently reading it Aug 21, Cheri Thaut marked it as to-read Dec 01, Amend marked it as to-read Dec 31, Olivia marked it as to-read Jun 29, Kim Burruss is currently reading it Aug 31, Susan Walker marked it as to-read Oct 29,