"Thinking of your horse as behaving badly disposes you to think of punishment. Thinking of your horse as struggling to handle something difficult encourages you to help him through his distress."- The Concordia Connection

February 9, 2017

I thought it was finally time to write about my clinic in Denman Island that happened last year! It is almost time for this year’s clinic and there is one spot left for anyone interested. Definitely one of the best times of my year, so why don’t you join us and find out what I mean!

At this clinic we all get to play with Cynthia’s fabulous donkeys. Now we usually get some horse folk who come but are skeptical about how working with a donkey can compare to working with a horse. They are small and so should be easy. Well it doesn’t take long for the donkeys to first win them over because they are so cute, but it also doesn’t take long for them to find out that they are stronger and much more particular about their training. The people come away with a new appreciation and a better set of skills then a lot of peo...

August 8, 2011

We left you last month throwing treats into feed tubs. I hope some of you took the challenge and tried to think up your own training plan. I would love to hear them if you’d like to email me. So, now what to do? I chose to add in a target stick.

I wanted something that didn’t look like a whip, as I was sure that would be a poisoned cue for these guys. I found a small orange plastic ball and attached it to a sturdy wood dowel about 3 feet long. I placed the target in the feed tub and held the far end of the stick, hoping that they would bump the ball when they reached in for their treat. It worked! I then moved the ball up a bit above the feed tub and made it possible for them to touch it again on the way to the tub. As I gradually moved the target further from or above the tub, they clued into the fact that to...

July 3, 2011

So I can hear you all saying, “What does this have to do with clicker training?” Well, I thought this month I would share with you some of the work I have done with a couple of rescue animals, Blossom the donkey and Flower the mule.

A few months ago I took these two in, pretty much sight unseen and with little information on their history, so I wasn’t exactly sure what would come out of the trailer. I can tell you that, when they arrived and were turned loose from the trailer into the barn, trust was definitely NOT in their vocabulary! 

It had been a very long time since I had seen such fear in an animal. As they stood huddled and shaking, heads buried in the far corner of the barn, I have to admit that the question “What have I gotten myself into?” did cross my mind. (I’m sure there were other words crossing m...

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