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.
Sunday, 18 January 2009
Aspirations and Expectations.
I guess a lot depends on your expectations and your starting point. I started clicker training with problems with both Bella and Jack that I had begun to think might prove insolvable. Clicker training solved them in the blink of an eye.
I am not saying that there were definitely no other ways of solving them, or that clicker training is the only way, but it was the only way that worked for me and this is a personal account of a personal journey.
Karen Prior, pioneer of clicker training and author of 'Don't Shoot the Dog' says the following;
‘‘A curious but important corollary to training
by positive reinforcement is that it breeds affection
in both subject and trainer. . . . The success
of the training interchange tends to turn the
participants into generalized conditioned reinforcers
for each other. The trainer is the
source of interesting, exciting, rewarding,
life-enhancing events for the subject, and the
subject’s responses are interesting and rewarding
for the trainer’’.
My expectations and aspirations have grown alongside the success I've had with clicker training, and because Bella and Jack seem to me to be quite talented, but I'm not kidding myself too much. All I really want is to have happy, soft, shiny, enthusiastic horses who love working, playing and being with me as much as I love working, playing and being with them, and that's what clicker training has given me.
Bella is already producing some extraordinary work but when I say that I don't mean that it would be extraordinary, or probably even ordinary, if Philippe Karl or Anja Beran were training her. I mean that it's extraordinary because I am training her. We're already managing to achieve things that I thought were only possible in my wildest dreams, because I am not a talented rider and never will be.
Bella and Jack were never going to take the professional dressage world by storm, even if they did have a talented rider, and even with the most talented horse in the world and all the coaching money could buy neither was I. If I can train them to happily do a little high school work then I will have surpassed all that I ever thought I was capable off. I will have blown my own socks off!
If I do manage to it will be because of clicker training. Other people can get there without but it will be such an extraordinary, massive achievement for me. My wildest dream before clicker training would have been that some day I might have found someone willing to let me have a sit on their high school horse and experience what piaffe, passage, etc. felt like. The idea of training my own, all by myself, from scratch......
Clicker training makes dreams come true. I'm already making mine come true. But it is my dream and it only has to impress me and my horses. If the work ends up lacking fire and great impulsion but my horses stay sound and happy doing it then I will have achieved everything I have ever wanted.
And I couldn't have managed a fraction of it without Alexandra Kurland and clicker training and I know that to be true.
- Motivation of Dressage Horses - Richard Hinrichs
- Taking Stock.
- Snowy Days.
- Photo Albums 2008.
- Snowy Days Photos.
- Frosty Photos.
- Philippe Karl Style Flexions.
- Giving the Horse a Voice.
- Aspirations and Expectations.
- First Time Evers.
- I found these clips on You tube yesterday and they...
- Russell's Story.
- Saddle Fitting.
- Photos of my Pones Backs.
- My Little Helper.
- ▼ January (15)