Food Delivery Part 1: Thinking Outside The Box "Stall"

This series of lessons, showing you how to use the foundation lessons of Alexandra Kurland’s clicker training, though they appear very simple, were very carefully designed. If you progress systematically through them, you will see amazing results from your horse and reap unexpected benefits to your relationship.

Each lesson presented will explain another section of the “polite horse” rule book to your horse. The lessons will also address a whole host of issues such as barging, pushing into you with their shoulders, rearing, biting and shying to mention a few.

Now, I know you’re going to be eager to go out and try this with your horse but, before that happens, we’re going to begin by perfecting the basic mechanical skills you will need to be a great clicker trainer.

We start by having people work on these lessons with other people. This approach makes Alexandra Kurland’s work very innovative and ingenious. We get to practice the skills we’ll need BEFORE we try things out on our horse AND we get to experience the training from the horse’s perspective.

Working with a human partner gives us “English language” feedback rather than “horse language” feedback, so that we can perfect our lessons much faster, and all without frustrating our horses while we ourselves are trying to learn.

We will begin with food delivery, seeing as it is at the heart of clicker training. The equipment needed for this lesson is your tongue (we do tongue clicks rather than use a clicker) and a pouch or pocket for holding treats (please see my blog on clicker clothing as pockets are VERY important), and some treats. You will also need a friend to help you out by pretending to be “the horse.” (I have found that humans work better for chocolate.) You are going to practice using a friend as “your horse.” Have your friend hold her hands together out in front of her body. Her hands represent your horse’s “head.”