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.
Thursday, 5 February 2009
Is Clicker Training Unique?
I think you need to see an experienced clicker horse to appreciate just how different an experience it is, from the horse's point of view. Their eyes SHINE with pride and enthusiasm. They become addicted to it - they just can't get enough of it. They'd much rather play with you than with their equine friends and the most difficult part of it is to find a way to end sessions without the horse viewing you ending work as a punishment, because they want to go on forever. If they ever did want to stop then I'd know there was something wrong and I'd have the thermometer out and the vet on stand by!
If I'm going to use my horse's body for athletic effort then I want it to be with his full consent, and for him to enjoy it as much as I do. I find with Clicker Training that the horse actually enjoys it at least as much as I do, and often more than me, because I'm always ready to stop before they are!