This is the story of my quest to train my three Dales Ponies for classical dressage, primarily by using Alexandra Kurland's clicker training methods, with a touch of others such as Philippe Karl and Anja Beran thrown in. I turned to clicker training because I had come up against some issues that I didn't know how to fix and because I wanted to inspire them to become enthusiatic partners. Bella and Jack are all my own work and have never been ridden by anyone else.

Bella, Grace and Jack

Bella aged 6

Bella aged 6

Treat Delivery

Jack aged 7


Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Hello Muriel. Thank you SO much for the comments! I'm going to answer on here. I wonder if there's anyway I can make comments appear on the blog.

Yes, I'm sure that they are responding to body language and know 'what happens before the next thing that happens, happens', as Pat Parelli would say! That's what Alex's methods do to - teach them to keep on responding at an earlier and earlier stage.

When I watched Philippe Karl on DVD teaching Spanish Walk he said that you should always give the horse a chance to respond before it's touched because horses don't want to be touched (with an aid he meant). That really stuck in my mind and I try to use that with everything I do.

As to whether it would work at speed, I think that it only works at all if they are really concentrating on you, so I think that it will depend on how much of Cutter's attention you have. I would imagine that it's always going to be more difficult if other people ride the horse as well, but then horses are SO clever and, as Alexandra Kurland says "If you can dream it you can teach it".

That's really the answer to everything with horses, isn't it? Getting and keeping their attention? The beauty of 'The Click That Teaches' is that you can do it in such a gentle, horse-freindly way.

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I am a clicker training addict and there is no cure - thank goodness!!!