"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

October 28, 2014

In the November/December issue of Horse-Canada, in my article “Starting Them Young: Clicker Training Foals,” I mentioned two new games – Magic Hands and Touch the Goblins.

The goal of magic hands is to have the horse maintain a light contact between the part of his body you are touching and your hand, usually the shoulder. As you move and stop and turn it is his job to stay glued to you through the contact of the hand as a guide in order to earn reinforcement.

Here is an example, with Jen Digate, whom I interviewed for the article and her youngster, Rune. Here Jen has added in a voice cue after building the initial behaviour.

See my previous blog, Clicker Training Foals, for more about starting them young.

Touch the Goblins is another version of targeting. In it, we use nose targetin...

October 22, 2013

I hope you all had fun playing with transferring the head down cue from the lead to a lifted hand. Now let’s look another cue transfer. I now want Oli to put his head down when I turn on the clippers. Once again, I go through the same process and would not do this transfer until the old cue of hand above head was solid.

Clippers turned on as new cue for head down…

…followed by presentation of old cue of hand above head. Remember to present the new cue of the sound of the clippers followed quickly with the old cue of hand above head until he starts to drop his head at the sound of the clippers.

Very soon Oli would drop his head at the sound of the clippers alone.

To review – when he dropped his head first with the old hand cue paired with the new cue of the clippers, he got clicked and treated for head down. Soon...

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