"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

April 15, 2014

I was recently asked ‘If I wanted to compete and still use clicker training, how would I ever ride a whole dressage test? I click and treat for every behaviour, which means my horse stops to get his reward.’

The science and theory behind the way to do this can be a bit of a mind-bender concept for some folk, but I will try and explain it here and hope you can wrap your head around why it works.

The concept is based on chaining behaviours together. This is typically used when you have a good sized list of behaviours already established to work with.

We start by teaching, through positive reinforcement, several behaviors – for example, the foundation lessons. Once a behaviour is well understood and has a strong reinforcement history, doing the behaviour becomes pleasant and the act of doing the behaviour actually...

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