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


Monday, 10 November 2008

Jack was SO good today. We had 3 short sessions in blustery gales with leaves blowing everywhere and acorns and bits of twig falling on us from above, and he stayed soft and relaxed the whole time, except for one small spook where he circled around me but never even thought of pulling away, and that was at the start of the 1st session. He SO wants to stay with me now, and wants to be brave, that I think (at least I hope) that he quite likes me taking a slightly more assertive role now, and distracting him from his fears. All the potentially explosive tension that used to be there when he was worried (and especially when he was worried and I took a contact on the rein) has gone and I no longer feel that if something makes him jump he might mow me down any second, when he's between me and the bales.

He is such a lovely, soft, kind, willing, civilised horse to be with when he can hold his nerve. He was my hero today!!!!!

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