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About Me

The focus of my journey is now on trying to help reach the tipping point in positive, scientific based horse training. To bring science into the work, and training out of the dark ages. Having seen the joy that positive reinforcement training brings to both partners in the horse - human relationship over the past 17 or so years, there is no going back...

 

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"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 28, 2017

I will admit, thanks to a friend, that I almost (ALMOST but not really) wish that snow and winter would stay a bit longer. Why on earth would I want that? Well I’ve discovered kick sleds.Now don’t get too excited about me actually doing exercise in the snow and cold. My kick sled is not human powered!

My, now coming four-year-old mini, Eggo was finally ready to really hook to something and start really driving.


I’d put in lots of preparation. I’ve also trained him differently than my other driving ponies. I’ve tried to use positive reinforcement and cue transfers to shape his learning without any negative reinforcement. I must say I’m quite pleased with the results and I think Eggo is too!

This first video shows some of the behaviours I teach all my guys. They come in handy for teaching many other behaviours th...

December 23, 2014

Clicker training for many is something they slip on easily like a well fitting glove. For others it represents a real U-turn in their thinking. They have become comfortable with their current tool kit. Swinging a lead doesn’t feel forceful. It’s just how you use leads. The horse complies. Everything is light and polite. They don’t see the lack of sparkle as a problem. Until you have experienced the contrast, how do you know that something is missing? If I don’t know how much better a cake can taste when I add butter and cream and chocolate to it, I won’t mind the bland flavor and heavy consistency.

If you bring your old habits of thoughts with you into clicker training, you can still end up with that bland product. You may be mixing in the “butter and cream”, but you won’t see the result. It will get lost unde...

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...

July 29, 2014

This week I’m posting a video of things that a lot of people don’t often associate with clicker training. They are not the cute tricks that most people associate horses and clicker work with.

However, for those of you who have been following my blog and articles you know that clicker work can do so much more, from trailer loading to bridling. In fact the next print article is all about getting your horse to bridle himself so keep an eye out for it, it is definitely one you don’t want to miss.

The short video for this week shows some of the things that clicker trainers come to regard as ‘normal’ and don’t see as something special, that is until we have to deal with a horse that is not clicker trained and suddenly realize that this lovely, soft, willing behaviour is not always the norm.

I hope you enjoy this glimp...

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